If every NFC East game involving Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is going to be like this, it’ll be hard for any division to wrest away the crown of most exciting.
Griffin’s divisional debut featured two touchdowns in the final 1:38 seconds with the Giants coming out on top 27-23 after a 77-yard touchdown by Victor Cruz and a fourth Redskins turnover of the day. Wide receiver Santana Moss, who caught a beautifully thrown ball from Griffin to briefly put the Redskins in the lead before Eli Manning threw one just as pretty to Cruz, fumbled after catching a Griffin pass for a first down and the Giants recovered to ice the victory.
The Redskins had only turned the ball over five times this season heading into Sunday and their inability to hold onto the ball cost them tremendously. They turned the ball over on three straight possessions in the second half, stalling an offense that rolled over the Giants in the first half. They also shot themselves in the foot with a leg whip penalty (they had a touchdown-erasing penalty in the first half as well) by tackle Tyler Polumbus that wiped out a long Alfred Morris run into the red zone. Morris fumbled on the next play, touching off the turnover string and opening up a chance for the Giants to pull into a more comfortable lead.
They couldn’t get more than seven points, however, as Manning threw a pair of picks that allowed the Redskins more chances. The Giants defense did their bit, including another strong showing from the pass rush and a much improved job against the run in the second half. The offense’s inability to capitalize and the insistence on throwing instead of running down the clock kept the Redskins alive and that looked like it might bite the Giants in the rear when Griffin converted a fourth-and-10 (the third fourth-down coversion of the day for the Redskins) by eluding Jason Pierre-Paul and firing a strike to Logan Paulsen to set up Moss’ touchdown.
Griffin’s two turnovers sting, but his overall game was still a strong one. You could say the same for Manning. He wasn’t at his best for much of the game, but he delivered the pass he needed to make and got his team to 5-2 in what should be the first of several good battles between these two quarterbacks.