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Is Robert Griffin III the most valuable player in the NFL?

The question was brought up for discussion after former Washington Post columnist and current ESPN (basketball) talking head Michael Wilbon said that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III may be the most valuable player in the NFL today. Again, not the rookie of the year or the most valuable rookie, but the most valuable player in the entire league.

And that was after the Redskins lost a game, with their rookie quarterback having less than a season’s worth of starting experience.

So, is Robert Griffin III really the most valuable player in the NFL?

At this point in time, as much as some of the burgundy and faithful may want to disagree, the truth is the truth: Griffin isn’t the MVP of the league. I think he’s a virtual lock for rookie of the year (assuming he keeps up this level of play for the remainder of the season, which I have no doubts that he will), and is already on the cusp of being considered a truly “elite” quarterback in this league. Again, that’s only after seven regular season starts for Griffin.

I’ll still say that Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay is the single most influential and valuable player in the entire league. With no bonafide #1 receiver this year (Greg Jennings hasn’t been quite right all season), a virtually non-existent running game (they haven’t had a running back break 65 yards rushing since Cedric Benson got injured), and a defense ranked in the bottom half of the league, if you took Rodgers off the Packers, that team may not win more than 4 games this year. Yet, the Packers are 4-3 through their first seven games thanks almost exclusively to Rodgers, who leads the league in touchdown passes and passer rating, and is 4th in the NFL passing yardage.

But as of today, you could legitimately make a case that Griffin is the best quarterback in the always difficult and extremely talent-loaded NFC East:

* Would I take Michael Vick over Robert Griffin III? Over my cold, dead carcass.

* Would I take Tony Romo over Robert Griffin III? Hell no. I’ll take Griffin over Romo ten times out of ten, and twice on Sunday.

* Would I take Eli Manning over Robert Griffin III? That’s the first time I gave pause to the thought. But then again, ask yourself this: after watching the Giants beat the Redskins, can you honestly say that Manning really played better than Griffin? I promise you that late in the fourth quarter, the Giants defense feared Griffin more than the Redskins defense feared Manning.

In fact, the short list of quarterbacks that I would give pause to, when asking if I’d rather have them versus Griffin as of today, would be Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady as “probably,” and Eli Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger as “maybe.” Past that? There’s no other quarterback in the game that I’d consider taking over Griffin. Not Peyton Manning (arguably my favorite non-Redskins player since the day he was drafted), not Matt Ryan, nor Cam Newton, Matt Schaub, or Jay Cutler. I’d consider the aforementioned five, but nobody else.

After the public slandering he had to take at the hands of local talk radio listeners, one can’t help but gush about the job done by offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who’s been spending week after week conjuring up new and creative ways to utilize this incredible weapon the Redskins now have at quarterback.

His game plans and in game play calling have been masterful, and yet elegantly simple. They play offense like a great heavyweight fighter: come out and show your opponent a look he hasn’t seen before, work the opponent with steady body shots all game, break down the opponents physically and mentally, and then start delivering the big haymakers (from Griffin) as knockout punches.

And to me, that’s what sets Griffin apart from almost everyone else: when he has the ball at any point in time, you either expect him to do something completely spectacular to turn the tide of a game, or you expect him to put this Redskins team on his back and almost single-handedly will them to victory. How many quarterbacks outside of Rodgers, Brees, and Brady can you say that about? Honestly, you can’t even say that about Tom Brady this year.

Griffin may not be able to take the mantle as the most valuable player in the NFL today, but it’s a question that does give you legitimate pause to think about.

But as of today, for a guy that grew up idolizing John Riggins, the Fun Bunch, and the Posse in the 80’s, Robert Griffin III is without question the most singularly dynamic and game-altering force playing for the Redskins in my lifetime.


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3 Responses to “Is Robert Griffin III the most valuable player in the NFL?”

  1. Ghost of Sammy Baugh says:

    Possibly.

  2. Ghost of Sammy Baugh says:

    The best since SAMMY BAUGH. And I’ve seen them all in 61 years of being a REDSKINS fan.

  3. Steven says:

    He’s been great, don’t get me wrong, but I love how no one seems to mention the fumble at the 7 min mark of the Giants game last week, and how that cost the Skins BIG TIME!

    He will be good, maybe very good, in time, but he’s got a lot of growing up to do, and he’s not even close to having the season of a Matt Ryan or I’d even take the season Eli is having over RG3 at this point.

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