Robert Griffin III completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards and broke Cam Newton’s rushing record for rookie quarterbacks in the Washington Redskins’ (6-6) 17-16 win over the New York Giants (7-5) at FedEx Field Sunday night. Ironically enough, however, the Redskins’ standout play of the evening began with a fumble by none other than Griffin himself.
Trailing 3-0 with just over four minutes left in the first quarter, Griffin scrambled down the left side as the ball popped out of his hands, but Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan caught it just in time to take it 13 yards for a touchdown. The fumble return marked Morgan’s first touchdown as a Redskin.
Just four weeks ago, Mike Shanahan stated that the Redskins were playing to see who would be on the team for years to come – as if to declare the season a bust. Now, after beating the New York Giants, the Redskins are staring up at first place in the NFC East from just a game back with a 3-1 record against their division.
More importantly, they looked like a team hungry for the playoffs.
Griffin relied heavily on Pierre Garcon who, despite missing six of the first nine games of the season with a toe injury, played with resilience and helped keep the Redskins within a drive of regaining the lead. By day’s end, Garcon managed a touchdown over eight receptions for 106 yards.
With just under 10 minutes left in the half, Eli Manning led the Giants downfield with the aid of a 30-yard toss to Victor Cruz who tallied 104 yards over five receptions. The 85-yard drive over 13 plays and nearly seven and a half minutes allowed the Giants to take a 10-7 lead, but it wasn’t long before Kai Forbath allowed the Redskins to tie with a 33-yard field goal.
Unfortunately for the Redskins, the play happened in too little time and allowed the Giants to strike again with a fiel goal of their own in just over 40 seconds to send the rivals to their respective locker rooms tied 10-10 at the half.
The Redskins’ defense showed signs of life in the third quarter, holding the Giants to just 31 yards on their first drive. On the Redskins’ next possession, Griffin nearly scrambled to the end zone, but the Giants’ Stevie Brown took advantage of Griffin’s untucked jersey and pulled him down in the red zone.
On the next play, Chase Blackburn forced Alfred Morris to fumble and the Giants recovered the ball as confusion broke out on the field. Giants’ defensive tackle Linval Joseph dove for Will Montgomery’s leg. Montgomery responded by kicking Joseph and Joseph threatened to stomp at Montgomery and the madness resulted in offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties.
On the next drive, Lawrence Tynes and the G-men struck again, this time with a 35-yard field goal to give New York a 16-10 lead.
But, Morris pulled through at the end of the quarter in time to bring the Redskins to the Giants’ 41-yard line to start the fourth. On second and 7 from the Giants’ 22, Griffin tossed to Leonard Hankerson for 14 yards and, in front of a roaring crowd of both Redskins and Giants fans, Griffin found Garcon for an eight-yard touchdown. With Forbath’s extra point, the Redskins took a 17-16 lead.
The Redskins will look to carry the momentum from Sunday’s matchup next week as they take on the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon at FedEx.