Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III went 20-for-28, throwing for 311 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys Thursday night, thrusting the Redskins back into the playoff picture.
After losing to the Carolina Panthers in Week 9, falling to 3-6, very few even considered the Redskins playoff contenders, but Griffin feels the momentum is changing after Thursday’s win.
“It feels as if something is building,” said Griffin, CSNWashinigton.com reported. “Being 3-6, the character of your team is tested. If you don’t beat the Eagles, you’re 3-7 and you’re likely to kill your season or the morale of your team. Then we come out on Thanksgiving and really dominate the game, let (the Cowboys) back in and close it out. It was big for the mindset of everybody.”
But now the rookie quarterback stresses that they can make the playoffs and their fate is in their hands.
If Griffin continues his stellar performance for the rest of season, he will continue to rewrite the record books every week.
He broke Washington’s single-season team records for passing yards by a rookie and passing touchdowns by a rookie with his impressive performance Thursday night. Norm Snead previously held the single-season yards record, throwing for 2,337 yards in 1961. Eddie LeBaron previously held the touchdown passing mark with 14 set in 1952.
Griffin currently has 2,504 yards and 16 touchdowns for the season, but will continue to increase those numbers with five games remaining.
His four-touchdown outing Thursday allowed him to become the first player in Redskins history to pass for four touchdowns in consecutive games. Griffin is the first rookie since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to have four or more passing touchdowns in a season.
The numbers that Griffin continues to put up game after game puts his teammates at ease.
“Anytime you have a guy like him, you never worry about him,” said Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall. “You worry about the guys around him being able to keep up with the pace.”
Griffin is on pace to throw for 3,642 yards with 23 touchdowns and just six interceptions, and 934 rushing yards for the remainder of the season.
Coach Mike Shanahan understands that Griffin has the potential to reach those numbers because of his hard work and preparation to the game.
“And he knows how to avoid distractions, because he focuses on his job, and doesn’t seem to let anything bother him,” said Shanahan after the win. “And that’s why he has the success that he has, because he is very disciplined, and very determined, and he works at it.”
Griffin will have the opportunity to continue to lead the Redskins to a playoff berth as they prepare to face the New York Giants Monday night.