Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback PositionFive rookie quarterbacks made their debuts Sunday afternoon, but only one impressed enough to have Tom Brady gawk in
amazement.

Robert Griffin III took the field on Sunday with the
entirety of Redskins nation anxiously awaiting the debut of their "savior." And he didn't disappoint. Griffin looked sensational from his very first
series in the NFL, but it was his second drive that was truly memorable.

After finding themselves trapped at the 12-yard line to
start their second drive, Mike Shanahan called a play that Redskins
fans will reminisce about for a very long time. Griffin took the snap and faked
a handoff to the right side of the line. The move was convincing enough to
trick both the Saints' front seven and freeze blitzing safety Malcolm Jenkins. But Griffin had bigger things in mind.

The rookie quarterback quickly turned his body downfield and
launched the ball about 20 yards toward the middle of the field in search of
his receiver. Pierre Garcon leaped into the air to snag the sailing ball and
turned the play-action pass into an 88-yard touchdown that even started a new
celebration trend
that is running rampant throughout D.C. called
"Griffining."

Behind Griffin's leadership and remarkable stat line, the
Redskins went into New Orleans and pulled out an unlikely 40-32 win. The
victory marked the first time in nearly two calendar years that the Saints were
beaten inside the Metrodome. And who better to pull off the feat than the kid
wearing Superman socks?

Griffin has been an interesting figure since his first real day in the
spotlight in the run-up to winning the Heisman trophy. He is a polished speaker with a great work ethic, impressive intellect and elite athleticism. His quirky style, including an array of themed socks, also showed the softer side of the physically intimidating quarterback, which only makes him more desirable to lead a franchise.

In his professional debut on Sunday, Griffin put all of his unmatchable characteristics to work and quickly surpassed expectations.

In what has become somewhat of a trend, Griffin did
something that no one else ever had. He became the first rookie to throw
for 320 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in his first career NFL start, a feat not even John Elway, Dan Marino or Joe Montana could match.

Griffin is a one-of-a-kind product, similar to the type of presence Cam Newton brings to the Carolina Panthers offense. He offers a level of athleticism, play-making and intangibles not often found in other prospects. And all of that was on full display Sunday.

The unimaginable performance gave Redskins fans everywhere a bundle of hope that the future may finally bring something other than heartache and turmoil. Griffin is a different creature altogether than what Washington fans are accustomed to, and his leadership in the victory over the Saints was an undoubted case and point of that fact.

RGIII is not only setting a new standard for Redskins fans, but he's also doing it for young quarterbacks as a whole. The Baylor alum is setting a precedent, and much like Newton did in 2011, Griffin is redefining the position. It's no longer a dropback passing league, and with the athleticism of a guy like Griffin, why not utilize his quick cutting legs as much as his powerful arm?

Griffin has all the tools to be a successful quarterback in the NFL. He also has the tools to be the physical, vocal and emotional leader of a franchise. In Washington, the fans have been waiting for a savior like this for 21 years. Finally, their prayers seem to have been answered.

So, as Griffin continues to redefine the quarterback position in the NFL, the Redskins will only benefit as the franchise prepares to dominate football for the next decade or so under Griffin's leadership.

The Starting 11
The Starting 11 is a weekly feature taking a look at the big
winners and losers of the past week around the NFL.
 
1 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins

Griffin was as impressive as anyone in the opening weekend of the NFL season. He looked nothing like a rookie as he completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also showed up the newly crowned single-season passing champ, taking down Drew Brees' Saints in a 40-32 win. More than anything, though, it might be the trendy new celebration sweeping the nation that finds Griffin in the top spot on this list.

2 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Brandon Weeden, QB, Browns

While RGIII had one of the most memorable performances of Week 1, his rookie compadre had maybe the most forgettable performance of the weekend. Weeden completed just 12 of 35 passes for 118 yards and an embarrassing four interceptions. In a week where Michael Vick looked about as bad as any quarterback in the NFL, Weeden put up such a stinker that it actually made Vick look good. Colt McCoy, you may want to get loose.

3 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Kevin Kolb, QB, Cardinals

A little more than a week after head coach Ken Wisenhunt named John Skelton the Cardinals' opening day starter, Kevin Kolb led Arizona to the Cards' first win of the season. An ankle sprain late in the fourth quarter sent Skelton to the sidelines and gave Kolb the chance to show off the poise he developed over the course of the preseason. Kolb ultimately finished 6 of 8 for 66 yards and, more importantly, threw the game-winning touchdown to cap off the Cardinals' 20-16 win. He won the game and likely also the starting job in AZ, for at least in the near future.

4 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Blair Walsh, K, Vikings

Welcome to the NFL. Here's some pressure. That's how the Vikings brought Walsh into his first NFL game on Sunday, giving him three seconds to kick a 55-yard field goal to send the game into overtime. And I'll be damned if he didn't crush it. The only thing that can top that is consequently booting the game-winner in overtime. Done and Done. 38 yards later, the Vikings are 1-0 and Walsh is slowly becoming a well-known figure in Minneapolis.

5 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Buffalo Bills

C.J. Spiller was a bright spot for the Bills in the season opener. The problem? He was the only bright spot they had in Week 1. Spiller carried 14 times for 169 yards and a touchdown, but that was only after starter Fred Jackson went down with a knee injury. Now, Jackson is officially out for about a month, and No. 2 wideout David Wilson is gone for the year with an ACL tear. A 48-28 blowout at the hands of AFC East rival Jets is the only thing that can make that sting hurt even worse. More salt, please.

6 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

David Akers, K, 49ers

If there were a kicker who could one-up Blair Walsh on Sunday, it was Akers. A season after leading the NFL in points, Akers accomplished another unlikely feat in Week 1, and this time it was of historic proportions. Akers booted a 63-yard field goal through the uprights — well, technically it bounced through, but who's counting — to end the first half in Green Bay. He added two more on the day, and San Francisco left Wisconsin with a little Lambeau treat in the form of a 30-22 win.

7 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Kevin Ogletree, WR, Cowboys

Wednesday's opener seems so long ago at this point that Kevin Ogletree's eight-catch, 114-yard, two-touchdown performance feels like a mirage. But those stats are real, just like Dallas' 24-17 win over the defending Super Bowl champion Giants. Ogletree may have been the most important player to that Cowboys victory, and if he can continue on this path, he may be in store for a Laurent Robinson-like contract come season's end.

8 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Mike Vick, QB, Eagles

Vick was nearly as bad as Weeden on Sunday, but the word almost carries a great deal of weight in this comparison. The 17-16 victory was spurred on by Vick’s incredible play-making as well as his ability to overcome the adversity that comes with a four-pick day. He got the win and promised to improve next week. So, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt, just this once.

9 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Jonathan Vilma, LB, Saints

The four players involved in the Bountygate scandal were reinstated by the league over the weekend, and some saw action on opening day. Vilma, though, will have to wait until after Week 6 before playing. It's not because of a suspension, Vilma missed so much
time in training camp that the Saints put him on the physically unable to
perform list to start the year. That's a bummer for the time being, but at least he'll be able to see the field at some point this season.

10 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Matt Schaub, QB, Texans

Schaub helped lead the Texans to a 30-10 blowout win over the Dolphins on Sunday. The quarterback was efficient on the afternoon, completing 20 of 31 for 266 yards and a touchdown. But it was Schaub's postgame revelation that was his biggest win on the day. The Texans quarterback scored a massive new contract, extending him five seasons for what could be worth up to $62 million and a reported $24.75 million guaranteed. I'd say that's a pretty good day.

11 Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position
    Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets

After much hubbub surrounding the Jets offense during the preseason, Sanchez appeared as smooth as ever from his place behind center. He completed 19 of 27 passes for 266 yards and a trio of scores. The 48-28 win was a statement for a Jets team that was maligned by every media outlet known to man heading into the season. But for Sanchez, the big win was putting all the Tebow chatter to rest for at least one more week.

Photo of the Week

Hey Roger, I think this grudge might last a while.

Robert Griffin III Makes Redskins Immediate Contender by Redefining Quarterback Position

Tweet of the Week

Spend a dollar, find some honor.

Yardbarker

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 224,257 other followers