As Yogi Berra once said, it was like déjà vu all over again.
Just like last Monday against the Eagles, Robert Griffin III had a nice game if all you did was look at his final stat line. He was 26 for 40 for 320 yards and 3 touchdowns, a passer rating of 104.2. But once again the numbers were empty as the Redskins got way behind early and piled up yards in extended garbage time.
The Redskins fell to 0-2 as they lost to the Packers 38-20 in another game that was not as close as the final score would indicate. The Eagles led 33-7 before the Redskins were able to get on the board.
After the game Griffin again waved off concerns about his surgically repaired right knee and vowed to make things better.
“We’ll make it happen,” he said. “We’ll figure it out, we’ll figure out what’s missing right now and we’ll make it happen.”
Griffin has been the team’s leader almost from the moment he set foot in the Redskins’ locker room last year. By all accounts he has been the encouraging/enthusiastic type of leader. But, at the request of some teammates, that may change.
“If those guys want me to go out there and be the stern leader then I can do that,” he said. “I got some of that from some of my teammates on the sideline asking me to do some more things. Not necessarily change who I am as a person but if they want me to be hard on them, I’ll be hard on them.”
Whether it was a change of leadership style or something else, Griffin said that the losing would stop. “We’ll be better, period,” he said. “We’ll make it happen. We’ll figure it out, we’ll figure out what’s missing right now and we’ll make it happen.”
Griffin was asked what type of leadership changes he would make.
"I just not, you know, I’m not an a-hole. I believe in positive reinforcement," he said. "If something happens, I know he’ll make it up the next time he gets that chance. And that’s just the way I lead. If they want me to do that, you know, I’m fine with doing that . . . If that’s what we need to get over this hump, to move forward and start winning games I’m definitely going to do it."
If Griffin is successful in getting the offense turned around, perhaps he or someone else can do something to help the Redskins’ defense. The loss certainly wasn’t all Griffin’s side of the ball.
Aaron Rodgers has a field day for the Packers, completing 34 of 42 passes for 480 yards and four touchdowns. Even if Griffin had been razor sharp all day the Redskins would have had trouble winning this one.
Through two games the Redskins have allowed 1,023 yards of total offense. In NFL history, only the 1967 Atlanta Falcons (1,025) have allowed more through two games.
At halftime it was 24-0 and Griffin was six for 13 for 107 yards with an interception that comes to a passer rating of 42.8.
At that point the Redskins were 0-5 on third down. They failed on two more in the second half before the Packers scored to make it 31-0.
The Redskins finally converted a third down with 4:15 left in the third quarter. It came on a third-down touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon that covered six yards.
Griffin would go on to throw two more touchdown passes, one of three yards to Jordan Reed and another one to Santana Moss that covered six yards. But it was the proverbial too little, too late.
Griffin ran just four times for one yard. A year ago the dynamic threat of his legs helped the whole offense click. Many are wondering if there are reasons beyond the knee injury that Griffin is not running with the ball.
“If teams are going to give us the QB run we’ll take it,” he said. “If they’re not we can’t just run those plays.”
"I'm not just going to run to show people that I'm back. I think that’s stupid."
In the end, Griffin said that the solution is to keep on fighting.
“You can’t just totally jump ship,” he said. “It’s not that time and I don’t think this team will ever do that.”