Griffin's run was of epic proportions (US Presswire)
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- "He's unbelievable," said Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder.
"Looking into his eyes, he's got the heart of a champion," Adrian Peterson
said about the Redskins quarterback, via the Minnesota Star Tribune. "It's easy to see he's a great player. He's been
Redskins players and fans will talk about Robert Griffin III's 76-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Vikings like old-timers talk about Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. In every way, shape and form, RGIII's galloping burst down the sidelines and into the stands of Fed Ex Field was a historical event not just for the Redskins, but in the history of the NFL. Check out Grant Paulsen's breakdown of the significance of the run.
By now you probably know my thoughts about the Redskins unleashing their rookie quarterback and his legs -- apparently I need to calm down before my pal Dan Steinberg unfollows me. I will, Dan.
Outside of MMA, boxing and war, the NFL is the most dangerous activity on the planet. It's more hazardous than jumping from outer space. To me, injuries happen regardless of where you are on the football field, so running Griffin 10-plus times a contest (on designed runs or his own dictated quarterback scrambles) should be a part of the game plan each Sunday. It's become obvious his legs can win football games -- he's still ranked 15th in the NFL in total rushing and is on pace for 1,040 rushing yards.
In the grand scheme of things, what I preach about the Redskins offense means less to the world than a Wizards preseason game. Still, there seems to be a prominent person who is also willing to roll the dice on Griffin's health in order for the quarterback to continue to take the league by storm.
Much of how far into superstardom Griffin can reach is on the shoulders of Kyle Shanahan. Outside of the first half against the Bengals in week three, Mikey's prodigal son has been a mastermind with his headset and clipboard.
There is practically nobody in town who thought the Redskins would run
Griffin 13 times on the ground just one week after his dizzying concussion. There is a reason the Vikings defensive minded head coach Leslie Fraizer said the Redskins were the toughest team to prepare for: the multiple option looks. It's quite apparent now that Minnesota was not expecting the Redskins to use as much of the option as they did.
On Sunday Washington ran 55 total plays, and 32 of them came from some variation of the pistol formation. All but six of those plays featured Griffin either extending the ball, a staple of the option offense. Of the 32 plays, 15 were passes, seven were of the normal handoff variety, four were option pitches and six were runs from Griffin -- debatable on whether they were designed or not. The assortment of those numbers are making my head spin.
Giving a rookie quarterback this large of a playbook shows RGIII has the potential to one day be the most intelligent quarterback in the league. He's done a brilliant job of limiting mistakes thus far.
As dangerous as the option offense arguably is, against a ferocious Vikings defense, it worked like a charm. Griffin's legs and brain forced the defense into over-thinking where they should be on the football field. The best part about the Redskins newfound offensive attack? The team used it sparingly against the Rams and Falcons. Washington doesn't have to solely rely on it. Griffin's arm will sometimes be the only thing necessary. It's just such a luxury.
Does Griffin's long touchdown run happen in a conservative offense meant to protect him from an injury? Does it happen without the 31 pistol plays before it? Probably not. Kudos to the Shanahan's for putting their best player in a position to win.