The NFL has announced that Robert Griffin III is the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for November.
The Redskins quarterback packed his great month into two games in five days. His play was nothing special in his first game this month, the Redskins’ 21-13 loss to the Panthers on Nov. 4. The team then had its bye week and to say that Griffin came back strong would be quite the understatement.
On Nov. 18 against the Eagles he completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards and four touchdowns. That gave him a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3, making him only the second rookie to post a perfect rating in a game with at least 15 attempts.
Then in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day he threw for 311 yards with four touchdown passes and one interception. The Redskins won that game 38-31 for their first Thanksgiving win ever against the Cowboys.
In the two games, Griffin had one more incompletion (9) than he had touchdown passes (8). He became the first rookie quarterback ever to throw four touchdowns in two games in a season and his QB rating of 146.1 in the two games combined is the best a rookie has ever posted in back-to-back games (minimum of 40 attempts).
Griffin also was the Offensive Rookie of the Month in September. He is the second quarterback to win the award twice in a season. Sam Bradford of the Rams was the first in 2010.
The Redskins’ most talked about injury loss on Monday dealt with the Achilles tear suffered by Junior Galette. However, the loss of Kyshoen Jarrett, who was waived with a failed physical designation with neck and shoulder injuries, may have more long-term impact on the defense.
Galette may have been a one-year rental. If he had enjoyed a big 2016 season the Redskins may not have been able to afford to re-sign him. Jarrett appeared to be set to be a long-term piece of the Redskins’ secondary.
The news on the 23-year-old Jarrett didn’t draw the headlines or discussion that Galette’s injury did because the his release was not unexpected. After he was injured in a collision in the “meaningless” regular-season finale in Dallas there was great concern about the seriousness of the injury. He saw a number of specialists (flying to some visits on owner Dan Snyder’s personal jet) in an attempt to find a solution. But when he was seen on the sidelines during minicamp still having obvious issues with his right arm the writing seemed to be on the wall.
Jarrett was drafted as a safety but early in training camp last year the team was short on cornerbacks after a rash of injuries so he volunteered to line up at nickel corner. He played there during the regular season and was a safety in some packages. Jarrett played 616 snaps, had 38 tackles, four passes defensed and a forced fumble.
Replacing a guy like Jarrett is hard to do because you don’t know how versatile a player can be in the NFL until he gets there. The Redskins are hoping that second-round pick Su’a Cravens will be able to play a jack of all trades type of role on defense but we will have to see how it develops.
Right now Jarrett’s NFL future is very much up in the air. The first step, however, would be for Jarrett to get enough use of his right arm so that he can live a normal life. I’m sure all Redskins fans wish him well in his recovery.
Monday's news that OLB Junior Galette again tore his Achilles and will miss the season for the Redskins certainly will impact Washington this fall, but perhaps not as much as some would lead you to believe. Remember, the 'Skins won nine games and the NFC East last fall - without Galette ever playing a snap.
Galette's speed on the edge would undoubtedly be a benefit for Joe Barry's defense this year, but the Redskins ranked in the middle of the NFL in 2015 with 38 total sacks. That total led the NFC East, beating the Eagles by one sack and outpacing the Cowboys by seven sacks. The Giants put up terrible sack numbers, bringing opposing QBs down just 23 times all last year, good for 30th place out of 32 teams.
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Much will be expected of second year man Preston Smith, who logged an impressive eight sacks as a rookie. But Redskins fans should also remember that Ryan Kerrigan produced 9.5 sacks last year despite coming off knee surgery that kept him out of most offseason work and dealt with a broken hand during the season. This year, Kerrigan should be healthy and in position to get back to the 13.5 sacks he registered in 2014.
Again, losing Galette is obviously a blow to the Redskins, but nothing the squad couldn't overcome last year. An improved - and healthy - Kerrigan might also make up some of that difference.
Disagree - should the Redskins worry without Galette? Let us know what you think in the comments.
The Redskins will have to get through the season without Junior Galette, who suffered a second torn Achilles tendon in as many seasons. He won’t be easy to replace but they will have to line up and play 16 games without him just like they did last year.
Ryan Kerrigan, who had 9.5 sacks last year, will start at left outside linebacker as he has since he was drafted in 2011. Preston Smith, who was going to compete with Galette for the starting right side job, will now have that to himself.
Kerrigan had 13.5 sacks just two years ago and Smith has the potential to have that many. After that, however, the Redskins are quite thin.
Last year they had Trent Murphy starting 15 games at right outside linebacker. But he has been moved to the defensive line, adding around 30 pounds to make the position change. Even if the team wants to move him back to linebacker it may not be possible to have Murphy shed the weight.
Assuming Murphy stays on the line, the Galette injury could open the door for a few other players to get an opportunity. Houston Bates played in eight games last year, most on special teams. Willie Jefferson has been looking for an opportunity since he played six games for the Texans in 2013. And Lyden Trail is large (6-7, 270), athletic, and very, very green.
The Redskins also could use rookie Su'a Cravens, their second-round pick, to help out with outside pass rush. He could be of help in nickel situations but at 6-1, 222 he is not big enough to be effective defending against the run from the ouside linebacker spot.
Training camp is always important for young players but for this group the stakes just went sky high. We will see who responds starting in a few days.