LANDOVER, Md. -- The last time he started and finished a game the Washington Redskins won felt like a long time ago. Then again, that’s because it was.
Robert Griffin III hadn’t played an entire game in a Redskins victory since a Week 9 win in 2013 over San Diego. He started a Week 2 win over Jacksonville this season but only lasted two series before dislocating his left ankle.
So until Saturday's 27-24 win over Philadelphia, it had been nine games in which Griffin started and played the whole game since his team had won.
“It really isn’t about me,” Griffin said. "This win’s about this team, and we’ve been through the ringer a little bit this year. We’ve been through a lot of adversity, a lot of mess. Guys have responded. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Griffin completed 16-of-23 passes for 220 yards and an interception against the Eagles. He connected on passes of 51 and 55 yards to receiver DeSean Jackson. Another pass to Jackson in the end zone resulted in a pass interference penalty. At times Griffin hung in the pocket more than he had in the past. Redskins coach Jay Gruden pointed out Griffin’s 14-yard pass over the middle to receiver Andre Roberts on third-and-7 on the first series. Another time Griffin hung in and made a nice throw on a deep out that Roberts jumped for but dropped.
“The line gave him good protection, too,” Gruden said. “It works hand-in-hand. ... It was great to see Robert compete and play and he looked like he had a lot of fun out there and the players responded to him. It’s huge to get a win for him.”
Yes, not every player loves Griffin. But they love production and they love winning even more. It’s why you didn’t hear anything on this topic when Griffin was starring in 2012.
On the game-winning drive, Griffin only needed to complete one pass, but it was a hitch to Pierre Garcon, who broke a tackle and turned it into a 23-yard gain. A roughing-the-passer penalty added 15 more yards.
In the huddle before that drive started, fullback Darrel Young said he told Griffin, “Hey, this could be a chance to get people off your back a little bit. Go get this win, do something good.” Sometimes the smartest play is an easy one, and that’s what Griffin made in throwing it to Garcon.
“Those things are great and you feel that joy inside when you go get those wins, but you cherish those moments late in games when you can make a play,” Griffin said.
The win changed the mood, and that’s how narratives change, too.
“He’s the ideal quarterback,” Jackson said. “Has a lot of talent, he’s young. He just suffered some unfortunate injuries. ... He works hard, so a lot of characteristics, everything is there to be that guy. He just needs to be consistent. He needs to stick with it. Even when it’s not going right, he still has to stick with it.”