Griffin is still their quarterback of the future. But how good is he right now? He'll be facing the NFL's eighth-ranked defense - and 12th overall in points allowed. The Redskins excel at big plays, with 34 pass plays of 20 yards or longer (third in the NFL). Minnesota takes those plays away, with only 22 (tied for 10th).
Keim: There is no doubt Griffin and the Redskins have a lot at stake over the next eight weeks. I don't know if they're sitting there saying "what if he looks bad?" I think it's as much, "Let's see what we have." They still view him as the quarterback they must develop -- I think that is sort of obvious. But they will have a decision to make on him after the season, so they definitely need to see what they have in him. They have to decide in early May whether to offer him a fifth-year extension. I don't think, based on what I know, that he can get one without playing well. And I'm sure if he doesn't play well there will be concern. It makes the final half of the season interesting..
Keim: Yeah, the defense has largely been better during the last four games than the first four and the statistics mostly back this up. They're better in scoring average (27.2 in the first four; 22.8 in the last four) and third downs (46.3 percent in the first four; 37.0 in the last four). Where they haven't improved is in total yards (324.2 yards in the first four; 337.8 in the next four). Run defense has gone the other way too (3.25 yards per carry in the first four games; 5.15 yards per carry in the next four). But this is now a younger defense, so there are natural ups-and-downs.
Clearly the 2012 RG3 is the best way to utilize the player's talents but only if he can keep himself in one piece. Griffin got injured while making an unscripted play, a jaw-dropping pass he fired to DeSean Jackson while falling out of bounds. He stayed on the sideline and he hasn't crossed the line back into the field of play since. We will have to see if he can figure out how to stay on the field while playing the style that makes him successful.