A Possible Warning Sign That Robert Griffin III's Hot Start Might Be Smoke And Mirrors

robert griffin iii washington redskins qb against new orleans saints 2012

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III is having a fantastic season by all traditional metrics, but Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders tweeted out some interesting advanced stats that draw his hot start in question a bit:

He later corrected that tweet, the number is actually 25 completions of less than five yards. But the point is he leads the league in meaningless completitions.

You could read this as a warning sign that RG3’s stats are inflated — that he’s getting by on smoke and mirrors by playing conservatively.

But more likely than not it’s by design.

Yesterday we wrote about how the Redskins are being incredibly smart by letting RG3 run similar plays that he ran at Baylor. A significant piece of this offence is short throws in the flats that are low-risk, high-reward, but more often than not gain only a handful of yards.

So even though those plays are technically “failed completitions,” it’s not because of some individual flaw with RG3.

It’s true that the Redskins are being conservative by letting him run plays he’s comfortable with. But it’s all by design at this point.

You worry about “failed completions” when a quarterback gets antsy in the pocket, panics, and throws a three-yard completition on 3rd and 10 out of nervousness (Mark Sanchez did a lot of this earlier in his career). From what we’ve seen, RG3 isn’t doing a whole lot of that, so we probably shouldn’t panic all that much.

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