The big NFL star didn't look right. He was coming off a torn ACL and MCL, and his movement in the pocket wasn't the same. He didn't look confident, and he didn't step into his throws, as he completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes in a desultory Week 2 loss.
Perhaps the chatter regarding whether or not the Washington Redskins should bench Robert Griffin III was inevitable. In a sports culture with so many voices, there are going to be disagreements. The chatter started last week, and it picked up Sunday night after another rough first-half performance by Griffin.
"I'm seeing a guy who's not doing the same things he did last year," NBC's Tony Dungy said of the Redskins quarterback on Monday's "The Dan Patrick Show."
"He's not 100 percent, and he's not presenting the problems he did in the past. I think he's (RGIII) at risk sitting in the pocket. And that's why I would take him out."
Tony Dungy has forgotten more about football than I'll ever know, but this narrative is difficult to swallow. Griffin didn't play in the preseason. He just began his second NFL season. It would be insane to expect him to look the same as he did one year ago.
Yes, Griffin doesn't look as mobile or comfortable against the pass rush. Why would he? Brady didn't look right for nearly half the season and only got better by playing. Adrian Peterson -- he of the 2,000-yard 2012 season -- had only one 100-yard game in the first six weeks. He didn't cut with his usual aggressiveness to start the season.
Griffin hasn't put up noticable numbers until the second half of games this season, but it's not like he's been a total stiff. His yards per attempt, completion percentage and passer rating are all right around league average. Kirk Cousins is a fine backup quarterback, but there's a reason he's a backup quarterback. He's not a franchise quarterback. He's not Robert Griffin III.
There's no reason to think RGIII won't improve with playing time. He is one reason the Redskins are losing, but he's hardly the only reason. The Redskins are the first team since the 1967 Atlanta Falcons to give up 1,000 yards in the first two weeks of the season.
Unless Kirk Cousins can line up at safety, there's no reason for him to be on the field.