It’s scary to think how good Washington’s Robert Griffin III will be when he gets a more elite cast around him.
Griffin leads the NFL in completion percentage and is third in passing efficiency. His Redskins offense ranks fifth in the league in both yards and points.
Griffin has shown he can get the Redskins into the end zone regardless of who is tagging along. The Skins have had big-ticket wideout Pierre Garcon on the field for just two full games. Unheralded Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson are seeing the most action at wideout while veteran receiver Santana Moss has played fewer than half the snaps. Tight end Fred Davis now is out for the year.
Little-known running back Alfred Morris, who beat out Tim Hightower, Roy Helu and Evan Royster in preseason, is one of the surprises of the season. The Skins’ offensive line has been better than expected but still includes a liability at right tackle in Tyler Polumbus. And the Redskins’ defense isn’t pulling its weight, yielding the fourth most yards in the league.
Nevertheless, Griffin is making everyone look better, thanks in part to the fact he’s on pace for 1,069 rushing yards, in addition to his precision passing.
One of the surer bets in the NFL is picking against a first-year starting quarterback on the road. Griffin faces Pittsburgh’s No. 2-ranked defense in Heinz Field today.
But Griffin is averaging 277 passing yards and producing 29 points a game in four road starts. The Skins are 2-2 in those games.
Maybin stuck on mediocre
Jets rush linebacker Aaron Maybin drew attention this week when he said the Jets wanted to knock Miami back Reggie Bush out, “but we’re out to do it legally.”
That prompted Miami center Mike Pouncey to respond: “I don’t even know why Aaron Maybin’s talking. He’s done nothing in this league to even open his mouth. I don’t even want to talk about him. He’s a joke.”
“If he’s in there [Sunday], I guess we’ll say something to him,” Pouncey added. “If he’s in there. I’ll have to be on punt-block or something to say something to him.”
Pouncey knows what he’s talking about. Maybin has played 111 snaps this year and has one tackle and no sacks.
He has played on 22 percent of the Jets’ defensive snaps. Last season he played about 30 percent of the snaps.
Moorman on job
Ex-Bill Brian Moorman got some extended job security this week when Dallas put punter Chris Jones on injured reserve due to a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament. When Moorman was signed on Sept. 27, it was viewed as a short-term job because Jones initially was expected back. Moorman punted one game, sat out the next with a groin injury, then came back last week against Carolina. Moorman averaged 49.3 yards on four punts with a 48.3 net last week. It was Dallas’ highest net in five years.
“Is there ever peace of mind in this business?” Moorman told ESPN Dallas. “I think the most important thing for me is get better every day. Everything else will take care of itself. Just get better at my craft and work hard on it and do the things I need to do to help this football team. Everything else will fall into place.”
“At least now I know I can get out of a hotel and maybe rent a place and get my family situated,” Moorman said. “That’s probably been the hardest part of the whole process.”
Bolts & Bills
Here is the quote of the week in the NFL.
“We have some outstanding, talented players on this team and some outstanding coaches across the board. But obviously we cannot play as a team. We appear to not be able to handle adversity or finish games. Individual and team confidence appears to be going south.”
The quote was from Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith. If attributed to Bills General Manager Buddy Nix, it would be equally appropriate. The Chargers two weeks ago became the first team ever to lose by double digits after leading by 24 or more. Smith essentially acknowledged heads will have to roll if the Bolts (3-3) don’t win the division. Ten wins ought to be a given with the talent on board.
Gilmore leads snaps
Rookie cornerback Stephon Gilmore has played 96 percent of the Bills’ defensive snaps, tops on the unit. Here are the rest of the play-time percentages for the Bills’ defenders:
George Wilson 93.6, Nick Barnett 89.5, Jairus Byrd 86.6, Mario Williams 85.0, Kyle Williams 72.3, Marcell Dareus 71.5, Aaron Williams 71.1, Mark Anderson 50.8, Chris Kelsay 50.0, Bryan Scott 51.0, Kelvin Sheppard 48.9, Terrence McGee 29.0, Nigel Bradham 27.4, Arthur Moats 23.4, Spencer Johnson 21.9, Da’Norris Searcy 20.6, Kyle Moore 12.7, Leodis McKelvin 11.3.
St. Louis owner Stan Kroenke had a vested interest in bringing his team to London for today’s game vs. the Patriots. Kroenke in 2011 took over full control of the Arsenal football club, one of the most storied in England’s Premier League. He had been the largest stockholder since 2007. Kroenke made his fortune in real estate, then married the daughter of Wal-Mart founder Bud Walton. Kroenke’s worth is estimated at $3.2 billion. His full name is Enos Stanley Kroenke. He was named after St. Louis Cardinals great Enos Slaughter and Stan Musial.
Kroenke keeps a low profile in London and has not spent big on Arsenal’s roster, which has not endeared him to the club’s fan base. Before this week, he had attended only two Arsenal games since becoming the majority shareholder. The Rams spent the week practicing at Arsenal’s training facility. The Rams originally had agreed to play in London three straight years, but they backed out of that plan in order to better pursue a new stadium deal in St. Louis. That’s when Jacksonville stepped into the breach and agreed to play a game in England each year through 2016.
New England, meanwhile, arrived in London only on Friday. New England gets a bye next week before its game against the Bills, and the Pats will need it. The Pats traveled to Seattle (and lost) two weeks ago. Then they hosted the Jets before taking a 6½-hour plane trip to London. New England has traveled more air miles in two weeks (11,480) than 11 NFL teams will take all season. The Pats arrived in London on Friday.
• Denver’s Peyton Manning has 47 game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, tied with Dan Marino for most by any QB since 1970.
• Washington’s London Fletcher tweaked a hamstring last week and has been dealing with a balance issue related to a hit to the head. But it looks like he will play today and continue his streak of 231 straight games played.