Griffin was named Wednesday evening to the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster, along with special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander and left tackle Trent Williams, both of whom also were first-time selections. Rookie running back Alfred Morris and 15-year veteran linebacker London Fletcher were selected as alternates.
Griffin becomes the first rookie quarterback in Redskins history to receive the honor and only the second rookie quarterback in NFL history, after Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins in 1983, to make the squad as an original pick. (Four other rookie quarterbacks have made the Pro Bowl as alternates.)
Griffin also becomes the first Washington quarterback since Brad Johnson in 1999 to be named to the Pro Bowl. That season, Johnson led the Redskins to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title.
The Pro Bowl will be Jan. 27 in Honolulu. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers was named the NFC starter in front of Griffin and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.
With one regular season game left in his rookie campaign, Griffin has passed for 3,100 yards and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions, earning the league’s second-highest quarterback rating, at 104.1. He also has rushed for 750 yards and six touchdowns, becoming only the second quarterback in league history to pass for at least 3,000 yards and rush for 750. Philadelphia’s Randall Cunningham was the first, in 1990.
With Griffin at the helm, the Redskins have compiled a 9-6 record — their best in five years. The team is on a six-game winning streak that marks a dramatic turnaround from last season’s 5-11 campaign. Making plays passing and running, Griffin has sparked a once-anemic offense that now ranks fifth in the NFL with 384.7 yards and 27.2 points a game.
“I love the way Robert has handled himself,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said of the second overall pick in last April’s draft. “He hasn’t handled himself like a rookie. He’s handled himself like a veteran. The way he works, the intangibles, how hard he works, how important football is, that’s all the things you look for in a quarterback, and he has all those things.”
If Griffin and his teammates can beat the visiting Dallas Cowboys in the regular season finale Sunday night, Washington would earn its first 10-win season since 2005, capture the NFC East crown for the first time since 1999 and return to the playoffs after a five-year hiatus that includes last-place finishes in the division each of the last four years.
Although honored by the Pro Bowl selection, Griffin said those are the only accomplishments he truly cares about.
“You can’t play down those kind of things, but I’ve always said my whole football career that you don’t play for awards. Those just come,” Griffin said. “You don’t say you’re going to win the Heisman. You don’t say you’re going to be MVP. You go out and prove it on the field and if everyone feels that way, then they’ll give you that award.”