The Redskins are favored by about 3 points over the Baltimore Ravens. Who in the world thought that would ever happen, particularly with a rookie quarterback? Rich Tandler notes this hasn't happened in a while.
They won as underdogs in Dallas (3.5 points) and against the Giants (3). But it will be a different story when the Ravens come to town.
The last 15 times the Ravens have lost a football game they came back the next week to win. The Redskins have been very good at breaking their own bad streaks this year [ending a home losing streak on Monday Night Football that dated back to 1997, for example], but can they break this remarkable Ravens streak that dates back to week 6 of 2009.
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has thrown only 4 interceptions through twelve games, an astounding achievement for any NFL passer, much less a rookie one taking over a 5-11 team and playing without his two best receivers for more than half the season. Griffin will face perhaps his sternest test this Sunday when he goes up against that Baltimore Ravens defense -- particularly its ballhawking future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed, who is 10th in NFL history with 61 interceptions. But as John Keim points out, Ed Reed will face a stern test, too. In almost 1200 passing attempts in college, RG3 threw only 17 interceptions. In other words, protecting the ball isn't anything new for Griffin.
Of the four other rookie quarterbacks starting, only one -- Seattle's Russell Wilson -- has thrown fewer than 10 picks. And he has eight. Indianapolis' Andrew Luck (16), Cleveland's Brandon Weeden (15) and Miami's Ryan Tannehill (12) all have had their share of turnovers. Only Wilson has thrown more touchdown passes (19) than Griffin (17).
Rich Campbell has more on RG3's ability to avoid turnovers.
Speaking of RG3, the NFL Hall of Fame is already calling him. Why? Read this and find out.
The Ravens are not just worried about RG3, though. They're worried about the offense he's running out of the pistol formation -- a unique offense in the NFL.
“We’ve got to contain him,” Ravens safety Ed Reed said in a conference call. “We have to get him on the ground and not allow him to run. But that’s like telling Superman not to fly. But he’s a pocket passer as well as a scrambling quarterback. You’ve got to maintain coverage as DBs, and you’ve got to contain him and hold him in the pocket as much as you can, but make sure that you get to him and tackle him.”
Mike Wise writes that TB Alfred Morris plays running back like a football star, but doesn't run his mouth like one. The Redskins are lucky indeed to have a such a quiet, hard-working rookie playing a big role on the team this year.
Redskins CB Josh Wilson, who is from Maryland, played at the University of Maryland and suited up for the Ravens before coming to D.C., isn't having any of this Redskins-Ravens rivalry talk. "We've got enough rivalries as it is," says Wilson. I think that is absolutely correct. The Redskins have rivalries with the Cowboys, Giants and Eagles. We play those teams twice a year every year and because they're in the same division, each game has the potential to put one team in the playoffs or knock the other one out. It isn't just about rivalry bragging rights, it's about how your favorite team does that season. It's the same with the Ravens in the AFC North and their young, but already-legendary rivalry with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Redskins and Ravens simply won't play each other often enough to sustain any kind of rivalry.
Meet RG3 Woman, the newest DC-based superhero. Appropriate, I suppose, since RG3 himself is now a complete rock star in DC and beyond. Why else would a local hotel chain looking to hire 35 people give special consideration to anyone with the initials R.G. or a III designation after their name?