For years, Griffin would do battle with fellow rookies Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. Over the course of a career, he would redefine the quarterback position with his loping grace, his pinpoint passing precision, his Indy-car acceleration. We salivated at the prospect that, delectably, the best was ahead.
Two plays after Griffin appeared to reinjure an already tender knee in the first quarter, he threw a four-yard touchdown pass. To that point, the Redskins had 14 points and 135 yards of offense. Over the remaining 51:36 of the game, they would add only 69 yards and never again cross midfield.
After the game, Griffin said the knee did not affect his ability to throw. If that is true, it is an indictment in itself, suggesting that, without his mobility to fall back on, Griffin needs to make significant progress as a passer. More likely, he was taking one for the team – playing when he should not have been on the field.
But that raises its own questions. Griffin tweaked his knee in the first quarter and then injured it further in the fourth – to the point where he finally did come out – without being touched by a defender either time. And this was three weeks after suffering what doctors called one of the milder knee strains possible.