The Washington Redskins extended their winning streak to three games with a 17-16 home win over the Giants, pulling within one game of first-place New York in the National Football Conference’s East division.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III threw the go-ahead touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon with 11 minutes, 37 seconds remaining last night in Landover, Maryland, while fellow rookie Alfred Morris rushed for a game-high 124 yards on 22 carries.
The Redskins now have a 6-6 record after a 3-6 start, pulling even with the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East behind the Giants (7-5) with four weeks left in the National Football League’s regular season. Washington also avenged a 27-23 road loss to the Giants on Oct. 21, when New York scored a 77-yard touchdown pass with 1:13 remaining.
“We let one slip away last time so we wanted to prove that we could come out here and not just contend, but go out and win,” Griffin, this year’s No. 2 draft pick, said in a televised interview after his “Monday Night Football” debut.
Griffin completed 13-of-21 passes for 163 yards and also rushed for 72 yards on five carries. He now has 714 rushing yards on the season, an NFL record for a rookie quarterback. Morris is the second Redskins’ rookie to rush for 1,000 yards in a season, joining Reggie Brooks, who had 1,063 in 1993.
The first-year duo helped the Redskins end a 10-game losing streak in nationally televised Monday night games.
“I couldn’t wait,” Griffin said. “I was eager, anxious, whatever you want to call it. I was ready to go succeed. These guys stepped up big and I couldn’t be any more proud.”
The Redskins took a 7-3 lead with 4:16 left in the first quarter as receiver Joshua Morgan scooped up a fumble after a 12-yard run by Griffin and raced 13 yards into the end zone.
The Giants went back in front 10-7 on Eli Manning’s 4-yard second-quarter touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett and took a 13-10 lead into halftime as the teams exchanged field goals in the final minute of the opening half.
New York pushed its advantage to 16-10 on a third-quarter field goal by Lawrence Tynes, before being limited to 17 offensive yards in the final quarter.
The Redskins marched 86 yards for the go-ahead score, with Griffin connecting with Garcon from eight yards out, and sealed the win by running out the final 3:51 on the clock.
“We settled for too many field goals and had some costly penalties,” Manning, who passed for 280 yards and a touchdown, said at a news conference. “We weren’t able to get much going. We had two drives in the fourth quarter and we have to drive the ball and get points in those circumstances.”
The defending Super Bowl-champion Giants host the New Orleans Saints Dec. 9 before road games against a pair of division-leaders in the Atlanta Falcons (11-1) and Baltimore Ravens (9-3). The Redskins host the Ravens next week and then have road games against the Cleveland Browns (4-8) and Philadelphia Eagles (3-9).
“We’ve got some tough teams to face, but that’s going to make it exciting,” Manning said. “These next four games are going to be big games and we’ve got to play better football and find ways to win games.”
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