Monday, October 14, 2013
Long-ball issues for RG III
By Tom Carpenter
We saw something from Robert Griffin III Sunday evening against the Dallas Cowboys that we had yet to see prior to their Week 5 bye: he ran. In fact, his nine rushing attempts Sunday matched his total from the previous two games, and the 77 yards he tallied on the ground were 40 more than his previous season-high mark back in Week 3.
That should have made Redskins fans and fantasy owners happy, but RG III continued to have issues throwing longer passes. He was 3-of-15 for 70 yards and an interception on throws traveling more than 10 yards downfield Sunday. After five games, he has completed just 36 percent of his passes beyond 10 yards with a 32 percent off-target mark, 1 TD, 3 INTs and 7.5 yards per attempt, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That's a far cry from last season, when RGIII led all qualified quarterbacks in completion percentage (59 percent) and yards per attempt (14.6) on such passes, while scoring 10 TDs with 2 INTs and a 23 percent off-target mark.
It appears that he will have plenty of chances to improve on those marks in the coming weeks, since the Redskins' next four defensive opponents (Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings) all rank in the bottom half of the league in completion percentage allowed on passes beyond 10 yards. The Bears, Chargers and Vikings actually rank in the bottom eight of the NFL, allowing more than half of such passes to be completed.
Even though the opportunity is there for RG III, whether he can take advantage may be entirely up to him and his surgically repaired knee. That's because the same opportunity was there the past two games against the Oakland Raiders and Cowboys, both of which are ranked in the bottom nine in that category. The Raiders are dead last with a 62.3 percent completion rate.