It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
Robert Griffin III and his Redskins were down 3-0 when they first got the ball. His third pass was intercepted to set up another field goal to make the score 9-0. The offense failed to convert on its first four third-down situations, dragging their league-worst percentage in that category down even further.
That nine on the scoreboard for the Vikings was looking ominous as it looked like the Redskins were headed for their ninth straight loss at home.
The finish was much better. You can tell by what they were saying about RG3 after the game.
“He’ll make history in this league.”—Trent Williams
“He’s a heck of a young player.”—Vikings coach Leslie Frazier
“He can always keep you in games and make big plays when you need them.”—Lorenzo Alexader
“RG3! RG3! RG3!”—The crowd at FedEx Field.
The Redskins roared back from that 9-0 deficit to score 24 unanswered points. Griffin passed for one touchdown and ran seven yards for another. The Redskins led 24-9 with 9:37 left in the third quarter and, after trading a field goal for a Madieu Williams touchdown interception return, 31-12 with 12:40 left to play.
Bu the Vikings were not done. Christian Ponder threw two touchdown passes to make it a one-score game at 31-26 with 3:31 left to play. The Redskins took the kickoff and faced a third and six at their own 24.
The Redskins needed a play and Griffin, who was questionable for the game after suffering a concussion a week earlier against the Falcons, made one.
Minnesota figured that Griffin would pass and they rushed six. The rookie quarterback took off towards the left sideline. He got the first down easily and instead of continuing to run out of bounds he took off down the sideline.
He got a block from Josh Morgan about 15 yards downfield and he easily averted a diving tackle attempt as he accelerated past midfield. Griffin rolled into the end zone to complete the 76-yard touchdown run and jumped into the adoring crowd.
“He saw a hole and took off and the rest is history,” said Mike Shanahan. “Great job by him looking at the front and seeing that rushing lane and taking advantage of it.”
Griffin ignored some voices in his head that, after the hit he took last week, were telling him to go out of bounds. “I took off running, got to the sideline, [and] thought I was going to run out of bounds because everybody’s been telling me that lately. I felt like I had the guy outflanked so I just took off running.
“The rest is history.”
Indeed it is history. It was the longest touchdown run ever by a Redskins quarterback and tied for the third-longest TD run by any Redskin.
Griffin set the frachise record for most yards rushing by a quarterback in a game with 136, breaking his own mark of 82 he set in Week 2 of this year. He also now holds the team mark for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season. Griffin now has 379, breaking Joe Theismann's record of 314 in 1984.
Griffin jumped into the crowd in the end zone, creating another iconic image to go along with his “Griffining” pose from his first game.