Last Thursday at the Metrodome, Robert Griffin III had an opportunity to put another fourth-quarter comeback win on his resume. Starting from the Washington 20 with his team trailing by seven and 3:36 left to play, Griffin passed for 40 yards and ran for 17 to move the Redskins down to a first and goal at the eight. But after a run and three incomplete passes—all of which found the hands of a receiver—the Redskins left Minnesota with a 34-27 loss.
It was the third time this season that Griffin has had the ball in his hands in the fourth quarter or overtime with a chance to win or tie and the first failed to do so.
Five days earlier against the Chargers, Griffin and the Redskins got the ball at their own 22 to start overtime. Needing a touchdown to close out the game and ensure that Philip Rivers and company didn’t get a shot, Griffin led a 78-yard TD drive and the won the game on Darrel Young’s four-yard run.
Against the Bears on October 20, the situation was even more desperate. They took over at their own 20 after the Bears had taken a 41-38 lead with just under four minutes left. Griffin and the Redskins converted three first downs en route to an 80-yard touchdown drive and a 45-41 win.
While Griffin and the Redskins would like to have completed the comeback last Thursday, as the saying goes, you can’t win ‘em all. And, as another saying goes, two out of three ain’t bad.
Griffin has now been successful on four of eight potential game winning or tying drives in the fourth quarter of his 24 career starts. Here is a look at his 2012 hits and misses in the clutch.
9/16/12 @ Rams—Griffin had the Redskins in position for a game-tying field goal but Josh Morgan lost his temper and was hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
9/23/12 vs. Bengals—Trailing by seven, the Redskins took over on their own two with 1:47 left. Griffin got them all the way down to the Cincinnati 19 before a sack and some penalties killed the comeback.
9/30/12 @ Bucs—The third time as a charm as Griffin got his first game-winner. Connor Barth kicked a field goal to put the Bucs up 22-21 with 1:46 left. Griffin passed for 46 yards and ran for 15 to set up Bill Cundiff’s 41-yard field goal for the win.
10/21/12 @ Giants—Griffin had two shots in this one. The first one was successful as he dropped a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss to give the Redskins a three-point lead with 1:38 left. But Eli Manning bested him with a 77-yard bomb to Victor Cruz to give the lead right back to the Giants. Griffin had 1:13 to try to work some more magic but a Moss fumble ended their chances.
12/3/13 vs. Giants—This one came early in the fourth quarter as the Redskins gook a 17-16 lead on Griffin’s eight-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon with 11:37 left in the fourth quarter. The defense and a drive that killed the last four minutes of the game preserved the lead.
Against the Ravens in Week 14 Griffin started a drive that tied the game in the fourth quarter but Kirk Cousins finished it so that drive should be credited to the backup. Also, technically, Griffin did have a chance in the playoff game with the Redskins trailing by seven in the fourth quarter. However, his catastrophic knee injury happened three plays into that possession so that one shouldn’t count on Griffin’s record either.