LANDOVER, Md. -- Robert Griffin III vowed to run safer this season. He also said when situations called for him to take a chance he would take it.
That’s what happened Sunday in the Washington Redskins' 30-24 overtime win versus the San Diego Chargers. Late in the third quarter with the Redskins facing a third and 9 from the Chargers’ 46, Griffin scrambled around the right end. He could have run out of bounds to save himself but opted for the hard route, one that ended with him getting crunched. But also the option that Washington the first down.
“You just have to make a decision,” Griffin said. “A lot of people criticize me for that type of stuff all the time and I could have gone out of bounds and we could have been short of the first down. I saw an opportunity to fly, so I got my wings and tried to fly. I hit the ground pretty hard, so you know people, we really can’t fly. No matter how much we dream about it, but I saw the opportunity and at that point in the game I thought we needed it and that’s why I took it.”
The Redskins ended up scoring a touchdown on that drive to take a 21-14 lead early in the fourth quarter.
“I thought that was the play of the game,” Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said of Griffin’s dive. “We needed to get that first down. He gave up his body and he didn’t care about getting out of bounds. He just cared about finding a way to keep the drive going and that’s what you have to do every once in a while. A guy says, ‘Hey, we need this play,’ and he made it happen.”
It enabled Griffin to bounce back after a mediocre first half in which he completed 10 of 15 passes for 112 yards, but no touchdowns and an interception. He completed 13-of-17 for 179 yards in the second half.
“I thought he was cool, calm and collected out there,” Shanahan said. “He played hard and competed. It wasn’t a perfect game but I was proud of how he bounced back [from Denver]. The one run was typical of his mindset going into the game. You don’t see very many players make that play.”