Photo via USA Today Sports
WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- I was pretty harsh in my review of the Redskins performance Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.
I called RGIII's 'All-in-for-week-one' campaign another gimmicky Washington catchphrase that didn't meet expectations. The way Griffin acted, the way Griffin practiced and the words Griffin spoke in the months leading up to week one -- I'll admit, I didn't think such a lousy performance was possible from him. I honestly envisioned the same superhero RGIII unleashing himself in front of a national audience. Millions of Redskins fans and myself were caught off guard.
But the greatest thing about the NFL is that each Sunday starts a new chapter. Just how the Eagles shocked the Redskins at Fed Ex Field, the same can happen this Sunday at Lambeau. And Griffin did enough positive things in the second half of game one to make believers out of nearly everybody including the Packers.
When Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews was asked about a 'rusty RGIII' he retorted quickly: "Did you see the second half of that game?"
Opponents are continuing to respect Griffin, but it's now in his hands to prove his old self again.
1) Where will the Packers line up Clay Matthews on the field?
If they're smart, Green Bay will flip Matthews to the right side this week, so he can completely annihilate right tackle Tyler Polumbus. And while Robert Griffin is still getting used to himself on the football field, having an attacker like Matthews come from his non-blind side may actually be worse for the Redskins because it'll make Griffin think even more. If Matthews has a field day, it'll be tough for the Redskins offense to get in a rhythm.
2) Does RGIII trust himself more
For a majority of the game against the Eagles Griffin looked like a 33-year-old Steve McNair with the Ravens (rest in peace). He was thinking way too much about every decision, locking onto receivers and when he was pressured his footwork looked awkward. If Griffin is going to function as a fully fledged healthy football player in 2013, this week in Green Bay will serve as an eyeball test. Even though we know he speed isn't the same (yet), an instinctive Griffin can still beat the Packers with his arm. The less he thinks, and the more he just reacts, the better the results will be for the Redskins.
3) Can the Redskins stop the run?
We know Aaron Rodgers is going to put up his numbers and spread the football around like strawberry jam on white toast. LeSean McCoy's outburst last week was alarming because in 2012 the Redskins didn't allow an 100-yard rusher until Jonathan Dwyer did it week eight in Pittsburgh. So if a rookie like Eddie Lacy is able to move up and down on this Redskins front seven again, hitting the panic button is not too far away.
4) Will Pierre Garcon make a big play(s)?
Last week the 49ers torched the Packers secondary. A portion of that has to do with the fact that their personnel isn't top notch, but a portion also comes from the fact they played out of a cover-3 bsae set. This zone defense grants receivers the ability to make short catches, and in turn, make big plays -- which we saw plenty from Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin. Griffin can't be counted on to jump start the offense with his legs quite yet, so it'll be up to Garcon to do so with his. His seven catches for 64 yards against Philadelphia were awfully quiet. He needs to make at least one play of 30-yards or more at Lambeau Field.