Washington Redskins

RG3 Injury: Redskins QB's Promising Recovery Will Translate to NFC East Title

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins walks off of the field injured in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 14, 2013

Robert Griffin III's recovery from January knee surgery is going well, according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, meaning he could potentially be ready for Week 1's season opener next September.

If so, you can circle the Washington Redskins as the preseason favorite in the NFC East.

This from Schefter on Thursday:

Although it is only a little more than a month since Robert Griffin III underwent reconstructive knee surgery, Washington Redskins officials are encouraged enough with his recovery to believe he has a legitimate chance to start in the 2013 opener, according to team and league sources.

If Griffin is ready to start come Week 1, then the Redskins have to be considered the favorite in the NFC East. Not only did Washington come back from the dead in 2012 to win the division for the first time since 1999, but the Redskins led the league in rushing offense (169 rushing yards per game), and got some significant contributions from an undermanned, bend-but-don't-break defensive unit (fifth in rush defense and 31 takeaways).

With the reigning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year under center from the start, Washington would have to be considered a Super Bowl contender in the wide-open NFC. 

In addition to boasting the league's third-best quarterback in terms of passer rating (102.4 in 2012), the Redskins will be fielding the NFL's second-leading rusher from 2012 in Alfred Morris (1,613 rushing yards), who averaged nearly five yards per carry as a rookie last season.

Washington must address its secondary this offseason, that's for sure. But with key defensive players like Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker (who combined for 14.5 sacks in 2011) set to return from injury in 2013, the Redskins are going to be significantly better on that side of the ball.

So long as RG3, the face of the franchise, is upright and ready to go this fall, Washington will be the team to beat in the NFC East. After all, the Redskins have won five straight against NFC East opponents, including two straight against Dallas and Philadelphia. And the New York Giants aren't the same team they were in 2011.

It took Mike Shanahan three seasons, but he finally has the quarterback capable of executing his winning formula. 

If healthy come Week 1, RG3 is primed to key the defending NFC East champions to their first repeat division title since 1984. Keep in mind the Redskins finished 11-5 that year.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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