Behind five rookies — Griffin, Cousins, Crawford, Forbath and running back Alfred Morris — the Redskins notched their fourth consecutive victory and improved their record to 7-6. It marks the first time since 2008 that the Redskins have orchestrated such a win streak, and the first time since that year that the team has owned a record above .500 in December.
“It’s a big game for us. . . . We knew if we didn’t get the win today, obviously, those other three [victories] didn’t mean a whole lot,” said Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan, who in two previous seasons had managed only six and five victories, respectively. “I’m really proud of the way the guys played.”
Team spokesman Tony Wyllie said Sunday evening that Griffin underwent an MRI exam and “everything is clear.” Griffin did not tear his anterior cruciate or medial collateral ligaments, Wyllie said, calling the injury a knee sprain and adding that Shanahan will provide further details Monday. It remained unclear whether Griffin will be able to play next weekend.
Said Robert Griffin Jr., Griffin’s father, in a text message to a reporter: “Knee better than yours and mine.”
Griffin suffered the injury with less than two minutes left in a game that the Redskins dominated in the early going, jumping out to a 14-7 lead on a Josh Morgan touchdown catch and Morris’s touchdown run in the first quarter. Washington accumulated 186 yards of offense in that quarter, more than any NFL team in the first quarter this season.
But the Redskins’ offense went cold for the better part of the next three quarters, generating just two Forbath field goals — from 48 and 49 yards — in the third.
After falling behind 28-20 on a seven-yard touchdown run by Ravens running back Ray Rice with 4 minutes 52 seconds left in regulation, Washington got the ball at its own 35. The team dodged a bullet when returner Niles Paul fumbled on the runback, and Baltimore’s David Reed appeared to recover as he slid out of bounds. But the replay showed that he bobbled the ball, and Washington took over.
Seven plays later, facing second and 19 at their own 27 with 1:56 left, Griffin took off and gained 13 yards. But as he was tackled, Baltimore’s Haloti Ngata drilled Griffin, whose knee appeared to hyperextend.
Griffin was helped to the sideline and watched as Cousins threw an incompletion, but a pass interference call on the play gave Washington new life. Griffin came back in and completed two of his next three passes, but went to the ground again after the fourth play — an incompletion and intentional grounding call — and Cousins came back into the game.