Return of Griffin’s mobility keyed Redskins’ offensive success

Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III, here running for a first down in the third quarter, had his best game of the season on Sunday. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that it’s no coincidence that his offensive unit had its best performance of the year on the same day that Robert Griffin III turned in a season-high rushing total.

Griffin on Sunday rushed for 84 yards on 11 carries. He also passed for 298 yards and two touchdowns while completing 18 of 29 attempts as the Redskins defeated the Bears 45-41.

“I think Robert did a great job,” Shanahan said Monday afternoon after reviewing video of the game. “Any time you score 45 points, you should be excited, but I don’t think our guys were. We knew we left a lot on the field as well. It’s encouraging when you’re able to score some points and get some yards both rushing and passing, but you’re still not satisfied with your performance. That means you’ve got some guys that have some high expectations and believe in themselves.”

Griffin threw one interception but still posted his best passer rating of the season (105.2). The 11 carries counted as a season-high and the 29 pass attempts a season-low for Griffin. His 62.1 completion percentage ranked third-highest on the season.

But his efforts spurred Washington on to 499 total yards of offense (the most by the team since 1999) and 45 points (the team’s highest total since 2005).

Griffin’s rushing ability opened doors for abundant opportunities and success for the offense, Shanahan said.

“I think the threat of the run is very important,” the coach said. “Any time the defense is afraid you may run the football, they have to cover the whole field and all the aspects of your game. I think anybody that has a threat of running the ball, you never know who they’re going to take away. Sometimes they’re going to take away the running back, sometimes they’re going to take away the quarterback. Defenses can do a lot of different things and we really don’t know which direction they’re going to go.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins return to practice Wednesday afternoon.

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