The Washington Redskins came into the 2012 NFL campaign with high hopes for the future. After landing Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III in the draft by pulling off a trade for the second overall pick, the Redskins took a giant leap in the right direction as they were able to grab one of the few superstar-caliber players in the draft to build a franchise around.
Although it was uncertain if acquiring Griffin was the right move, the trade has paid off as taking Griffin at No. 2 may be a game-changer was Washington potentially turning things around in the near future.
After beating the New Orleans Saints right out of the gate in Week 4, Griffin immediately proved a lot of doubters wrong with 362 total yards and two touchdowns in his debut. Not only was Griffin near unstoppable under center, but he didn’t make common rookie mistakes with no turnovers.
Unfortunately, the next eight weeks were not as kind to Griffin and the Redskins with Washington losing six out of eight. Griffin continued to have solid performances at times over the course of eight weeks, but not consistent enough to lead them to more than two victories in that time over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings.
With the Redskins sitting in last place in the NFC East with a 3-6 record, it’s highly unlikely Washington will be able to bounce back and clinch a playoff berth in the NFC. Head coach Mike Shanahan disagrees via Dan Graziano of ESPN.com:
“To insinuate that I was giving up on the season is completely ridiculous,” Shanahan told ESPN.com in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “We’ve got five NFC East games still on the schedule. Any time you have division games, you have a great chance.”
As an NFL head coach with two Super Bowl titles to his credit, it’s no surprise Shanahan is optimistic about the second half of the season and isn’t giving up hope. Although Shanahan believes there’s a chance of slipping back into the race for the division title, that’s doubtful with the reigning Super Bowl New York Giants sitting atop the standings, but anything can happen in this league.
The Redskins will face all three divisional opponents in a row after coming off their bye week. Griffin and company will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11 followed by the Dallas Cowboys and Giants.