In the Redskins’ first game after their bye week, Griffin made sure they resumed their schedule on an upbeat note.
He was razor sharp again. Griffin completed 93 percent of his passes en route to his first perfect passer rating of 158.3. His scrambling (the Eagles joined the list of teams that couldn’t corral him) played the biggest part in his rushing for a game-high 84 yards on only 12 carries.
Whether Sunday’s outing was Griffin’s best yet is debatable. But it was definitely his most timely.
Before their bye, the Redskins had lost three straight and four of five. Coach Mike Shanahan spent days doing damage control after making comments that sounded as if he were throwing in the towel on the season. And fans, growing restless with Shanahan’s lack of success (he’s 15-27 in Washington), lit up phone lines on sports talk radio to blast the leader of Washington’s football operation.
If ever the Redskins needed a victory, it was this week. Fortunately for them, Griffin started strong and got better. The Redskins raised their level of play to try to keep pace. Washington rediscovered a pass rush and totaled four sacks. The secondary, which benefited from finally having safety Brandon Meriweather in the lineup, had two interceptions.
Facing a bad opponent definitely helped. The Eagles (3-7) dropped their sixth straight and are alone at the bottom of the shaky NFC East. But the Redskins have squandered opportunities against other struggling teams.
Griffin made sure they didn’t stumble against the Eagles. It was definitely another performance worth reviewing.
Don’t tell, show
Anyone can talk a big game. Griffin’s coaches and teammates respect him, in part, because he backs up his words with big plays.
After saying the Redskins (4-6) have a chance to make the playoffs, the recently elected team captain completed 14 of 15 passes to nine receivers. Griffin’s six-yard touchdown pass to Darrel Young early in the first quarter gave the Redskins the lead for good.
In the second quarter, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan drew up a nifty play (the Redskins faked a handoff to Alfred Morris and an end-around to Brandon Banks) that resulted in a 49-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson. Santana Moss beat double coverage in the third to haul in a 61-yard touchdown pass.
In the running game, Griffin doesn’t get as many designed carries as he once did. When Griffin does run, however, he produces.
Standout Eagles defensive ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole had a rough time trying to contain Griffin in the pocket. On two scrambles, Griffin had 10- and 23-yard gains. He also rushed for 28 yards in the fourth quarter on a play that left the Eagles gasping for air and shaking their heads. Three plays later, Griffin teamed with Logan Paulsen on his final touchdown pass.