The Washington Redskins once were a franchise that collected Super Bowl trophies and considered playing meaningful games in December and beyond an annual rite. The arrival of rookie quarterback Robert Grifﬁn III has sparked hopes that perhaps it can be that way again in the not-too-distant future, that the team can win consistently enough to revive a certain ho-hum attitude about playing for a share of first place in late October. ¶ But the Redskins of the Grifﬁn era aren’t quite there yet. There is still something fresh and new about the prized newcomer taking his team into a game Sunday at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants with a piece of the NFC East lead at stake. ¶ “This is absolutely a big game,” Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen said. “This is to be ahead of the pack in the East. . . . I think everybody is approaching it with the mentality of it’s almost like a playoff atmosphere.” ¶ The Redskins’ record is a modest 3-3. But they’re coming off an uplifting victory last Sunday at home against the Minnesota Vikings in which Grifﬁn threw for one touchdown and ran for two others, the final one a 76-yard dash that sealed the outcome just when the Redskins seemed to be on the verge of unraveling.
Griffin’s sprint made it clear, once more, that the team has possibilities whenever he is in the lineup. The Redskins have stopped next to no one on defense, and their offense is about to play for the fourth time in seven games this season without would-be top wide receiver Pierre Garcon. Yet six games into his NFL career, Griffin is the league’s third-rated passer, one of its top rushers and the Redskins have become relevant and interesting again.