- Yes, there were many reasons why the Redskins won, but there’s no doubt who the fans credit: Robert Griffin III. Hence the chants of “RG3! RG3!” as fans exited the stadium (“There’s a lot of excitement around this team and I think everybody feels it,” Griffin said of the chants). They could have chanted for Alfred Morris; he had 124 yards rushing. They even could have chanted for Pierre Garcon. But it’s Griffin that provides not only the fans hope, but the players. “He’s a stud,” Redskins center Will Montgomery said. There’s just no chance the Redskins win a game like this in the past. But games like this can be won just because a team believes. Thanks to Griffin, the Redskins believe.
- Do you think a Rex Grossman fumble would have bounced into a teammates’ hands for a touchdown? That’s not to pick on Grossman; you could say that about any other quarterback of recent vintage. But Griffin leads a charmed life; two of his fumbles in the red zone have resulted in Redskins touchdowns this season. This time as Griffin slid and the ball popped free, it went right to receiver Joshua Morgan. “God’s on our side… Once again, the play to Josh was a pitch,” Griffin deadpanned after the game. By the way, no I don’t think Griffin is the sort who truly believes God is taking a side in these games.
- Griffin rushed one time for 12 yards in the first half. He carried four times for 60 yards in the second half. The 46-yard dash around right end was a perfect play call. You can thank Alfred Morris and the running game for this play. If it wasn’t so good, perhaps the Giants would not have sold out to stop Morris. But Jason Pierre-Paul – who has had trouble vs. Griffin and the zone read – sold out hard to stop Morris. And linebacker Chase Blackburn beat Logan Paulsen to the spot and was in the hole. That left Griffin with an opening around the end. It’s honestly hard to believe the Giants did not account for him, but the success of the ground game means you play percentages. And the Redskins countered with a terrific call. By the way, the Giants had eight in the box on that play; and no one was outside the tight end. With Griffin’s speed, that’s asking for trouble.
- By the way, did you see the joy on linebacker London Fletcher’s face after that run? Pure joy. I have not seen that look on him before this season. Again, it’s just different with Griffin. But you know that by now.
- Here’s what Giants end Justin Tuck said about Griffin after the game: “It’s always going to be frustrating playing a quarterback like him. Even when you’re playing your best ball, he can run you all the way out to the edge. There were two plays in there where he should have had sacks and he outran us. There’s some plays in there where we should have tackled and he outran us. As we continue to play him and get more adjusted to what he likes to do, I think we will play better. If he stays healthy he’s going to be havoc on defenses for a long time.”
- It’s not as if Griffin had the night of his life. But after consecutive four touchdown games, he’s due for a game where he didn’t put up monster numbers. He was zero for four on third down passing. But he averaged 7.8 yards per attempt and 12.5 yards per completion. He didn’t turn the ball over (thanks in part to the fortunate bounce). But he avoided trouble because of his running ability, preventing sacks. One of those plays he bounced left after pressure came from the inside and Griffin did a good job of setting his feet and throwing to tight end Niles Paul. But he dropped the pass. Another time Griffin ran to the right and dumped it off about 10 yards downfield. Santana Moss was wide open down the field on the same side.
- Griffin really made the game look easy. He did not try to do too much with the ball in the air and found the guys who were open. Not every pass was perfect, but he was efficient. And on the clinching drive, it was the run game that was most important. But Griffin completed one pass for 17 yards to Pierre Garcon. I did like Griffin’s zone read throws. And if a team is going to play a cover-3, those zone reads will work just because of the effects of the fakes on the linebackers. They can’t drop fast enough. Griffin hit Garcon after a zone read fake for 18 yards and a play later, the play-action froze the ‘backers again and resulted in a 35-yard Garcon catch and run. The touchdown pass was to an open Garcon. So there was nothing spectacular about his game passing, but there didn’t need to be.
- Griffin praised Alfred Morris after the game too. “I’m not going to take any credit for Alfred’s success, aside from lifting with him in the offseason, maybe getting a little bit stronger. He’s done a lot of great things for us. We say it looks like he’s out there playing peewee football; he just won’t go down. I definitely look forward to playing with him for many years. We gotta probably reduce his carries to make sure he can continue to play for an extended period of time. This year he’s been big for us. I love that he’s on our team. I’ve told people that if I had to vote for rookie of the year, I would vote for him.”
- Another Griffin quote, this one on the hit he took late in the game while making sure he stayed in bounds. “I could feel the typewriter’s writing when I took that hit. People are saying I run too much. We had talked about this a few weeks ago, when the clock stops and doesn’t stop. I knew we were under four minutes. I had to stay in-bounds, I just kind of got a little stuck there on the sideline, because I was bee-lining toward the sidelines and at the last second realized I needed to stay in. Coach called it the Gumby hit because my legs bent like Gumby. It was fine. You have to take those for the team sometimes.” That’s the first time I’ve ever written about Gumby, [darn it].
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