Robert Griffin’s debut in New Orleans ushered in a new era for the Redskins. This doesn’t mean the Redskins are playoff bound this season, but it does mean that a seismic shift happened with the Redskins. That moment for me happened early in the game after Drew Brees led the Saints on a touchdown drive to take a 7-3 lead. How did Griffin respond? He stood in the pocket, took a hit, and delivered a pass to Pierre Garcon who took the pass and scored an 88 yard touchdown. In previous seasons the Redskins would have wilted after that Saints touchdown and wouldn’t respond. But there was Griffin and Garcon connecting on a quick strike touchdown. That was the moment that it was clear that Griffin was that franchise transforming player. Griffin responded again leading the team on a scoring drive at the beginning of the second half after the blocked punt and touchdown closed out the first half. Dejon Gomes showed it by intercepting a Drew Brees pass and returning inside the 5 after the Saints had cut the lead to 8 and had gotten the ball back. Griffin did it again by hitting Logan Paulsen for a first down in the wanning moments of the game so Brees and the Saints offense had 20 seconds an no timeouts instead of 2 minutes to get the game tying score. But it all comes back to that strike to Garcon and the teams ability to stand up to the Saints.
We saw that shift with the Capitals on October 5, 2005 during Alex Ovechkin’s first game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The moment in that game wasn’t the 3-2 win or the 2 goals he scored. It was his first shift of the game when he checked a Blue Jacket into the glass, which was dislodged. We saw that on June 8, 2010 during Stephen Strausburg’s first start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. It wasn’t the 5-2 win, but the 14 strikeouts. He was everything he was suppose to be and that stat line changed that franchises history. And now it’s Robert Griffin III’s turn.