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Stop Pointing Fingers At RGIII

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Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins doing what he does best, throwing the pigskin. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins doing what he does best, throwing the pigskin. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The 2013 NFL season started with high hopes for the Washington Redskins. The D.C. ball club finished last season with a 10-6 record and a newly established faith in their team. They won seven straight games to close out the regular season, their defense was playing well, and they had two rookie sensations on offense — one being QB Robert Griffin III. With the "all clear" signal from Dr. James Andrews this offseason, RGIII seemed primed and ready for another great year, as did the Redskins.

Fast-forward four games into the season and the Redskins find themselves an abysmal 1-3. Claims are being made that RGIII isn't the same player and it's his fault the Redskins have started so poorly. I'm here to tell those critics that they need to stop pointing their fingers at RGIII (it isn't his fault).

Despite the Redskins’ poor start, Robert Griffin III has thrown for 1,202 yards, six touchdowns, four interceptions and completed 62.4 percent of his passes. He ranks sixth in the NFL in passing yards among quarterbacks, notably ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Tony Romo and Andrew Luck. He is currently averaging 301 yards per game and is on pace for 4,808 passing yards and 24 touchdowns. Yeah, that's pretty terrible. 

As a whole, Washington's offense has been playing above average. They are ranked ninth overall in the NFL, averaging 390.8 yards per game with 301 of those yards coming through the air from RGIII. Tack on an additional 18 yards rushing per game from the quarterback, and you're left with the calculation that the rest of the Redskins offense can only muster up a measly 71.8 yards per game. With that said, RGIII accounts for 82 percent of the Redskins offense. I don't know about you, but I still think it's his fault that they're 1-3 (hopefully you're realizing my sarcasm here).

With RGIII on a personal record-setting pace and his team's offense being ranked in the Top 10 in the league, we realize that the Redskins' problems aren't offensively based but stem from the defensive side of the ball. Upon further inspection, Washington's defense is ranked 31st (yes, 31st) in the league only in front of the Philadelphia Eagles. Even the Jaguars are playing better defensively than the Redskins — now that's bad.

The ‘Skins are allowing 440.5 total yards and 28 points per game this year. Before padding their defensive stats against the Oakland Raiders this past week (if you could call it that), Washington averaged 488 yards and 32.6 points allowed per game, which at the time, had earned them the coveted 32nd overall defensive ranking. While the offense is managing 22.8 points per game, the defense is giving up 5.2 more points on average. RGIII is contributing most of the offense every game while the defense can't seem to slow down the opposing teams' offenses. Unfortunately for the Redskins, they're not the Broncos and they can't out-gun every opponent.

The Redskins need to figure things out on the defensive side of the ball quickly, or they won't see their record improving anytime soon. RGIII is doing all he can when on the field, even while trying to get used to running on his knee again and wearing a hefty and limiting knee brace.