After jousting with the potent combination of Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, the Rams will be faced with an even more formidable duo - Robert Griffin III and the tremendous trail of media hype he is generating in his wake. However, this may be one of the few occasions where the hype is fully justified. Watching the game replay of last week's Redskins - Saints game, I came away more impressed with Griffin's performance than with Andrew Luck's game against us in the preseason.
However, the matchup between the Rams and Redskins revolves around more than a single player, no matter the wattage of his star power. To get in-depth on Washington, I talked to Tom Threlkeld of DC Pro Sports Report, who was gracious enough to share his thoughts.
Q: After a slow preseason, Griffin and the Redskins' offense erupted out of the gate in week 1. How did that performance impact your expectations for this year? Can the Redskins contend for the East right away?
Tom: KC Joyner of ESPN, whom I respect a lot, thinks the Redskins can contend for the NFC East division crown right now. As much as I enjoy reading that, I've learned from bitter experience not to believe too much too soon in the Redskins.
Every year a few teams surprise us, negatively or positively, in week one and then revert to form the rest of the season. I picked the Redskins to go 7-9 or 8-8 and I'm not moving off that yet. Much has been made of Washington's tough schedule this season, but the rest of September is St. Louis, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay. If the Redskins get through that undefeated, I'll reconsider my prediction.
Q: RG3 looks like the real deal, but otherwise few apparent impact players appear to be in this year's draft. Is there a worry about the long-term cost of the deal Washington made with the Rams?
Tom: Well, the Redskins drafted Alfred Morris in the 6th round and he ran for about 100 yards and 2 TD on Sunday, so he might be a good find in the back end of the draft. Kirk Cousins looked very good in preseason and maybe the Skins can use him in a couple of years to swindle some team the way the Eagles swindled the Redskins with Donovan McNabb and the Cardinals with Kevin Kolb.
Other than that, it certainly looks like the RG3 draft. And that's fine. A franchise QB is worth more than a few high draft picks and if the Redskins can turn into a good team soon, those high draft picks will come a bit later in the first round.
If RG3 turns into a star, it's a great trade for both teams. If RG3 doesn't turn into a star, it's a great trade for the Rams and a debacle for the Redskins. But nothing the Skins would get from those draft picks would be as valuable as a star quarterback. That's what the NFL is all about now, star quarterbacks. Get one and you're golden. That's why you take them at the top of the draft, like RG3, Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford.
Note: We thank Tom for his charitable inclusion of Bradford in this list. We might argue the "and you're golden" conclusion he comes to, though...no comments