Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III runs the offense during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. Washington won 20-17. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III runs the offense during an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. Washington won 20-17. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Much rests on Robert Griffin III’s shoulders this season, just as it has every season since he entered the league in 2013. But unlike those past seasons, Griffin enters this campaign healthy and supposedly improved from last year. When Washington began the preseason with a road game against Cleveland on Aug. 13, Griffin successfully walked away in one piece and with a solid showing on the field, two things that fans haven’t been able to say about some of his prior work.

The outing wasn’t pretty, exciting or even impressive—but just remaining healthy has been Washington’s idea of a “good performance” for RGIII. Griffin completed four of eight passes for 34 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The night could have been drastically different had veteran receiver Pierre Garçon hauled in a 70-yard bomb, which was set up perfectly after a play-action pass fake, but Garçon couldn’t get a grip on the ball. Neither Washington nor Griffin have any room for a bad start, and it’s important for RGIII to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders.

Washington Redskins center Kory Lichtensteiger calls a play during an NFL preseason football against the Cleveland Browns Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Cleveland. Washington won 20-17. (AP Photo/David Richard)

Washington exercised its $16 million option to retain Griffin for the 2016 season, but nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, and his performance and play going into his fourth year in the league haven’t made a strong case. Griffin delivered some solid throws against Cleveland, but that “wow” factor just wasn’t there. Finishing unharmed and upright are wins for the Griffin camp, but he’s going to need a sizzling campaign and get Washington back into the postseason to ease the criticism. Garçon’s dropped pass may have been a first step in changing the conversation. Griffin’s going to have to find a way to connect with his receivers, and the offense as a whole is going to have to step up. Griffin appeared calm, poised and confident and delivered the ball efficiently, he just needed that big play to solidify the night.

Washington will host Detroit on Aug. 20, and RGIII will have another chance to make an impression. He needs to break a troubling trend; a Griffin-led offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in four consecutive preseason games dating back to last year. Detroit is one of the more formidable opponents in the league, and they’ll bring some star power to FedEx Field next week. Griffin and his team need a good showing against the Lions to gauge how much they have improved. It’s been a long time since Griffin has wowed his fans, and time is ticking for the 25-year-old to impress.