No question about it, the Broncos battered Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III during the course of their game last Sunday. When asked about the play of his offensive line, Kyle Shanahan somewhat downplayed the issues.
“I think that game versus Denver looked pretty much like every game does versus Denver – especially with 58 [linebacker Von Miller] out there . . . they hit every quarterback,” said Shanahan. “That’s how it is when you throw the ball. You always want to protect him. You always want to keep him upright and take those hits off, but you turn on any tape versus Denver and that pass rush, especially when 58’s out there, I think a lot of those games will look worse and not many of them will look much better.”
Looking back at the Broncos’ games this season, they have been able to get to the quarterback in every game. They have at least one sack in every game and double digits in hurries in all eight contests so far (from www.profootballfocus.com).
But the Redskins were worse than any other Broncos opponent this year when it came to allowing their quarterback to get hit. Here is a look at each Broncos game this year with the opponent, sacks, quarterback hits, and quarterback hurries.
It should be noted that Von Miller, who was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2012 with 18.5 sacks, was suspended for the first six games so he was in the lineup only against the Colts and Redskins. He had a sack, three hits, and a hurry against Washington.
Still, Griffin and Kirk Cousins were hit a combined 11 times. The Broncos had no more than six QB hits in any game prior to this one. They had averaged 3.6 hits in the seven games prior to the one against the Redskins.
However, it’s possible that not all of the blame for the QB hits rests with the offensive line. Many thought that Griffin held on to the ball for too long on some of his pass plays. The Broncos’ 15 hurries against the Redskins were a bit fewer than their average of 16.8 going into the game. Perhaps Griffin’s indecision turned some of the hurries into hits.