Published: Saturday, December 22, 2012
By BOB GROTZ
PHILADELPHIA — The way Robert Griffin III has performed, there shouldn’t have been any bidding for his services before the draft.
The St. Louis Rams would have been smart selecting Griffin with the second pick and trading starting quarterback Sam Bradford. Griffin has been that good for the Redskins, who packaged three first-round draft picks and a second round choice to entice the Rams into giving up the selection who netted the Heisman Trophy out of Baylor.
“I think when all is said and done, if people don’t already realize it he was well worth it,” veteran Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher said. “And they would do it again in a heartbeat and probably give up even more to be in a position to get him because he makes that big of a difference.”
The Eagles projected Griffin as a star, and were rumored to be among his silent bidders prior to the draft. They’ll be reminded of it each time they play him … twice a year for the next 10 or so years.
It’s just the Eagles’ luck that Griffin has healed from the sprained knee sidelining him last week and is probable to play against them this Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.
Griffin threw four touchdown passes in fashioning a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3 en route to laying a 31-6 loss on the Eagles and Nick Foles in the rookie quarterback’s first start. Griffin also rushed for 84 yards.
The good news is the Eagles know Griffin can be sacked. Fletcher Cox and Jason Babin, who since has been released, both dropped Griffin.
“We’ve got to get after RGIII early, and stop the run,” Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said. “They’re No. 1 in rushing. We’ve got to make sure we do that part and everything else will take care of itself. We’ve got to stop No. 10.”
Even if Griffin is a millisecond of a step slower due to the sprained knee, the Eagles are in for a huge challenge.
Griffin has connected on 66.4 percent of his attempts with 18 TDs, four interceptions and a 104.2 rating. Foles has completed 59.4 percent of his attempts with five TDs, four interceptions and a 77.6 rating.
Bradford, by the way, has completed 60.2 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and an 83.2 passer rating.
“RGIII has definitely evolved into more than what he was in college, and he was good in college,” said Graham, who is tied with Cox for the team lead with 5½ sacks. “Now he’s a professional in the NFL. Shoot, man, he’s doing good right now. We’ve just got to make sure we don’t let him get no momentum.”
The Redskins are 8-6 and in control of their playoff destiny.
The Rams are 6-7-1 with all of those draft picks.
The Eagles are 4-10 and preparing for a draft in which there isn’t anyone who compares to Griffin or Andrew Luck, the first overall draft pick having a sensational season with the Indianapolis Colts.
The 37-year-old Fletcher, a veteran of 15 NFL seasons, credits almost all of the Redskins’ turnaround to Griffin.
“The way the league is now you have to have an elite guy at that position, somebody that you know you’re going to get consistently good play from week in and week out,” Fletcher said. “In the past we didn’t get that. With Robert he’s been consistently good to great for us. It’s extremely important you a guy at that position if you’re going to make hay in this league.”