Four days ago against the Eagles, RG3 was perfect. He might have been even better today.
The Redskins’ rookie quarterback had a perfect quarterback rating against the Eagles in his team’s 31-6 win on Sunday as he had just one incompletion and threw for four touchdowns.
But today on one of football’s biggest stages, Thanksgiving Day in Dallas, he threw for 311 yards and four TD’s to lead the Redskins to a stunning 38-31 win over the Cowboys.
He became the first rookie quarterback ever to throw four touchdown passes in consecutive games.
"I couldn't have had a better homecoming,” said Griffin, who grew up in Copper Cove, Texas, about three hours from Cowboys Stadium. “Or, as my dad calls it, a business trip.”
Griffin certainly took care of business.
The Cowboys just don’t lose on Thanksgiving very often. Dallas QB Tony Romo had never lost on turkey day, posting a 5-0 record with a 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. But Griffin went in and, as everyone expected would be the case, the stage was not too big for him.
Against Philly Griffin’s QB rating was 158.3. Today it was “only” 132.6 as he completed 20 of 38 passes. Griffin did throw an interception, just his fourth of the year.
But on Sunday the Eagles never made a run at the Redskins. Today the Cowboys tried to rally a couple of times. And each time Griffin responded.
Three of Griffin’s four TD passes came in the first half and it looked like things were well in hand as the Redskins had a 28-3 lead at intermission.
But Dallas would not go away. They made it a two-score game with a touchdown and a field goal in the third quarter. But Griffin calmly led a seven-play, 82-yard touchdown drive.
The score came on a third and inches play from the Dallas 29. Play action sucked in the defense, leaving Niles Paul so wide open that he could catch the ball, stumble to the ground inside the five, get up, and back into the end zone. That made it 35-13 with almost 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
But the Cowboys again rallied. In the next four and a half minutes they put up two touchdowns, the second one set up by Griffin’s interception.
The Jerry World crowd was rocking as Griffin and the Redskins took over on their own 20 with 8:18 left. But the Cowboys faithful grew quieter and quieter as Griffin marched the Redskins down the field. A 23-yard strike to Santana Moss got things rolling. RG3 picked up a second and nine with a 12-yard strike to Leonard Hankerson. That pass put the Redskins in field goal range at the Dallas 32 and forced the Cowboys to starting burning timeouts.
There was never a doubt about Kai Forbath’s 48-yard field goal to push the Washington lead to 38-28 with just under three minutes to go. The Cowboys got a field goal but DeAngelo Hall recovered the onside kick and that was that.
Some drops and misfires torpedoed first-quarter drives but RG3 got things rolling in the second. Play action fooled the Cowboys and for the second week in a row Griffin launched a long touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson. This one covered 68 yards and it put the Redskins up 7-3, a lead they would not relinquish.
The Cowboys then started to come apart. Dez Bryant fumbled, DeJon Gomes recovered and the Redskins drove to a one-yard Alfred Morris plunge to make it 14-3. After a Dallas three and out, RG3 fired one to Pierre Garçon. The ball was behind the receiver—“I had to throw it there,” said Griffin—but Garçon made the grab and barely slowed down. He completed the 69-yard pass play to make it 21-3.
Romo was trying to move the Cowboys to a score of some sort before half time but Hall picked off and ran back 27 yards to the Dallas 33. Four plays later, Griffin made one of those “how did he do that” throws as he snuck the ball in to Moss near the sideline in the end zone. Moss made a heck of a play himself, snaring the ball over his back shoulder and tapping both feet down in the end zone. That made it 28-3 at halftime.
At 5-6 the Redskins are now in second place in the NFC East. If the Giants lose in Green Bay on Sunday, there will be a battle for first place between New York in the Redskins when the meet on the first Monday night in December.
"I feel the sense that something is building,” said Griffin.
Anyone who watched the RG3 today would have to agree.