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Robert Griffin III's struggles are cause for concern

The 2014 season presented itself as Robert Griffin III's opportunity for redemption. After Week 1, that opportunity still remains. But things are off to a troubling start.

The third-year quarterback struggled to move the Redskins' offense for four quarters in a 17-6 loss to the Texans on Sunday, rarely pushing the ball downfield while showing none of the explosive running ability that helped make him an instant star as a rookie in 2012.

Griffin's final numbers were OK (29 of 37 for 267 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, one lost fumble), but they don't begin to tell the story. Griffin looked uncomfortable and unsure of himself. That easy confidence we saw during his rookie season is absent.

How stunted was Washington's offense? According to ESPN, Griffin's eight completions to free-agent import DeSean Jackson averaged 2.4 yards in distance through the air. Given Jackson's famed big-play reputation, this is almost impossible to make sense of.

Jay Gruden's gameplan played a big role, of course. The Texans made the decision not to let Washington beat them with big plays, daring the Redskins' offense to beat them with a more methodical approach. There was also pressure: According to ESPN, the Texans had 14 hits and three sacks on Griffin. We shudder to think what J.J. Watt would've done if RGIII had tried to connect on some longer developing deep routes.

Which brings us to the other concern: Griffin isn't wearing that bulky knee brace anymore. He's supposed to be healthy, or at least the most healthy he's been since his January 2013 knee injury. But we didn't get a good idea of that on Sunday. Griffin looked helpless as Houston pass rushers closed in, his ability to escape defenders notably absent. Is it gone forever?

"You can take the good," Griffin said after the game, according to The Washington Post. "Stats don't win you games, but if you look at the total yards, time of possession, the amount of first downs we were getting, it was building up to where you would think we had 28, 35 points."

In reality, the Redskins built up to exactly six points. It's unclear if Gruden trusts his quarterback. It's hard to say if this version of Griffin even trusts himself.

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