It looked like a botched play and a major stroke of luck, but Washington Redskins players insist that the Robert Griffin III run-turned-Josh Morgan-touchdown occurred by design.
“Basically it was an option play,” Morgan said, “I just kept my pitch relationship on the option. It didn’t work out exactly how we planned it in school. But basically, the result, it was the same.”
On the play, Griffin picked up 12 yards on a run around the left end, and with safety Stevie Brown closing in on him, Griffin fell backwards at the New York 16-yard line, and Brown appeared to knock the ball from his hands. Before Griffin touched the ground, however, the ball popped into the air and traveled three yards. Morgan grabbed it and ran the remaining 13 yards into the end zone.
Officials reviewed the play and deemed it a fumble, but after the game, the Redskins said otherwise.
“I saw the follow-through with the arms. He threw a perfect chest-pass pitch, and it ended up working out,” Morgan grinned.
Said Griffin: “It was totally by design. I knew Josh was going to be there ready for that touchdown, so that’s what we did.”
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan sang the same tune when asked about the play.
“I was really proud there,” the coach said. “I can’t believe he fumbled that one ball to Josh. Everybody thought that was an accident, but he’s worked on that during the week.”
The coach laughed and added, “I thought it was a great job there.”
It marked the second time this season that a Redskins receiver has scored off of a Griffin fumble. Against Tampa Bay, Griffin fumbled just before crossing the goal line, and receiver Pierre Garcon recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.