It was a much more balanced afternoon for the Browns on offense, making Robert Griffin III‘s job at quarterback much easier than in week’s past. Under these improved circumstances, including a better pocket in the first half and balanced play calling, Griffin thrived.
Completing 17 of 25 passes for 164 yards, the 26-year-old was efficient through the air and relatively accurate. Finding big target Gary Barnidge five times for 42 yards including a critical fourth-down conversion on the opening drive, Griffin came through in the clutch when the team needed him most.
On the ground, the Browns’ quarterback did what few quarterbacks in franchise history have been able to do. Rushing for 42 yards on six carries, Griffin was smart, but effective. He converted on two critical third-downs using his legs, extending drives which ended with Cleveland points.
Unfortunately, Griffin exited the game with a concussion in the fourth quarter. Rookie Cody Kessler took his place, and handled the extreme pressure of the moment very well. Completing two of three pass attempts for 11 yards, his third-down completion to Corey Coleman was a game-changing play.
Overall, it is fair to say that Griffin was one of the main reasons the Browns won on Saturday. While still missing some throws and having room left to grow, his efficiency under difficult circumstances was refreshing.