Redskins, RG3 edge out Giants and tighten division race
First-year quarterback RG3 shows a lot of poise and not a little luck as he leads Washington to home victory over division-leading New York
Robert Griffin III went down, the ball popped out, and the Washington Redskins scored a touchdown.
Look out, New York Giants and the rest of the NFC East. If Griffin keeps getting these kinds of breaks, it'll be hard to keep him out of the title hunt for years to come.
As it is, "RG3" has the Redskins within a game of first place after leading a fourth-quarter rally in a 17-16 victory over the Giants.
Washington have a three-game winning streak in which they have dispatched each of their division rivals - Philadelphia, Dallas and now New York - one by one.
"We know that our backs are against the wall," Griffin said. "And even though we won tonight, our backs are still against the wall."
But it'll be hard to count them out whenever he's on the field. It was his sixth game with a 100-plus passer rating, his eighth without an interception and his second in which one of his fumbles turned into a Redskins score.
On the way to the turf after a 12-yard run, Griffin was stripped by Stevie Brown - but the ball flew right to teammate Joshua Morgan just upfield. Morgan ran 13 yards for a first-quarter touchdown no one would ever diagram on a whiteboard.
"We didn't run it in practice because we wanted to save it for the game," Griffin said with a grin. "I knew he was going to be there for it. Joshua did a good job being in the spot where he was supposed to be."
By Griffin's reckoning, the Redskins (6-6) are also where they're supposed to be after they appeared out of the running at 3-6 a month ago. One of Griffin's goals was to win more games than last season's 5-11 team.
"You can put a check by that one, but there's a lot more goals that this team is stretching for and striving for," Griffin said.
A division title, for instance. With the Giants (7-5) losing three of four and the Cowboys (6-6) also at .500, the NFC East is up for grabs.
"They've got a great opportunity to win the division just like we do," Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck said. "We let one slip away tonight, but if we handle business, we'll still win this division."
Griffin also broke another record, running for 72 yards to get to 714 for the season, passing Cam Newton for most by a rookie quarterback.
Griffin completed 13-of-21 passes for 163 yards and a go-ahead, eight-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon in the fourth quarter. He finished with a 101.9 QB rating.
Washington also ended a 10-game home losing streak in Monday night games, another sign that Griffin has a knack for winning on a big stage.
"If he stays healthy, he's going to be a havoc on defences for a long time," Tuck said.
Garcon finished with eight receptions for 106 yards, showing no signs of the painful toe injury that forced him to miss six of the season's first nine games.
Alfred Morris ran for 124 yards, reaching 1,106 for the season to break Reggie Brooks' franchise rookie rushing record of 1,063, set in 1993.
Eli Manning completed 20-of-33 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown for the Giants, who had won 26 in a row on the road when holding a half-time lead.