Robert Griffin III’s turn on big weekend for rookie quarterbacks

Robert Griffin III and the Redskins aim to improve to 6-6 Monday. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Two rookie NFL quarterbacks, Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Russell Wilson of Seattle, led their teams to dramatic victories Sunday. Now it’s time to see if Robert Griffin III can keep pace when the Washington Redskins face the New York Giants Monday night at FedEx Field.

Griffin certainly is in the thick of the NFL’s rookie of the year debate. There has been talk recently that he might be in the most valuable player conversation as well. But it appears that it will take a strong finish by the Redskins, who have a record of 5-6 entering the Monday night game, for Griffin’s MVP candidacy to reach equal footing with front-runners such as quarterbacks Tom Brady of New England, Peyton Manning of Denver and Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay, along with Minnesota tailback Adrian Peterson.

“He’s had a great year,” former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi said last week. “But you’re talking about Tom Brady and Peyton Manning both having great years and leading their divisions. He can get into that conversation. Let’s start by getting above .500.”

Griffin enters the Giants game after consecutive brilliant performances. He had four touchdown passes in each of the Redskins’ last two games, wins over the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

“For the difference he’s made to his team, probably,” former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Randy Cross said last week when asked whether Griffin should be considered a candidate in the MVP race. “The problem is, the MVP isn’t really earned until December. Could he be in the conversation? Probably…. It’s strange to hear a rookie even talked about. Unlike Cam [Newton of Carolina] last year, they’re winning enough to sort of be in it. If they beat the Giants, you’re going to hear a lot more of it.”

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