The Washington Redskins couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season. Their anointed savior at quarterback, Robert Griffin III, lived up to that billing with a scintillating debut performance that propelled the ‘Skins to a 40-32 win over the New Orleans Saints as 8.5-point road underdogs. This week the RGIII show will once again take to the road, this time to St. Louis where the Redskins have been installed as a 2.5-point favorite against the Rams.
Any talk of the Redskins at this point has to start with the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft. Making his pro debut in arguably the loudest stadium in the NFL, Griffin was cool as a cucumber while completing 19-of-26 passes for 302 yards. On top of that, his excellent play-action skills and running ability left the Saints defense scrambling for the entire 48 minutes. A similar performance against the rebuilding Rams should be more than enough to lift the Redskins to the level of the top NFL picks.
Griffin wasn’t the only highlight of Week One for the Redskins. The Mike Shanahan-led offense showed a vast improvement in overall team speed, which can be largely attributed to a busy offseason that saw the Redskins acquire a trio of wide receivers—Pierre Gordon, Josh Morgan and Aldrick Robinson. They made for enticing targets for Griffin and left the indication this could be a long-term success story.
The Rams come in off a tough 27-23 loss to the Lions in which they relinquished the winning touchdown with just 10 second left in the game. The conservative game plan of first-year head coach Jeff Fisher nearly paid off with an upset win, but the thinking here is Griffin’s dynamic play-making ability will force the Rams to get away from that strategy. The prediction here is another Redskins cover.