RGIII-Kaepernick! It’s the Manning-Brady of struggling second-year starting quarterbacks that old white sportswriters are pulling for to fail. Each was described as a phenom bound for greatness in 2012. This season, regression has fans and pundits questions their form, ability and, in the case of RGIII, their leadership and maturity.
The latest damning report for RGIII is the revelation that he asked coaches not to show negative plays during film review. Mike Shanahan denied that ever happened, but the report alone was enough to let local media continue to portray Griffin as an aloof know-it-all who isn’t striving to correct the problems in his game. It also doesn’t help that the Redskins’ loss in Philadelphia last week was punctuated by a terrible game-ended RGIII interception.
As much as the narrative centers on the quarterback struggles, the defensive play is equally concerning. The Niners defense isn’t quite what it was last year, while the ‘Skins defense has been just plain awful, although they do have a remarkable knack for getting fluky defensive touchdowns. If San Francisco’s offense can’t get it going even on the road against this defense, they’re in worse straits than anyone thought. Michael Crabtree had been hoping to make his 2013 season debut tonight, but has been listed as inactive.
Washington has already surpassed the point where they turned the season around last year and made the run to get the NFC East title. Even if the Redskins run the table and reach 9-7, there’s still only an outside chance they’d reach the postseason. Not that any but the most foolishly optimistic Washington fans are holding their breath about that happening. The 49ers, meanwhile, need a win tonight just to get back to being on track to get the sixth seed in the conference.