OK, now we can say it.
RG3 is back.
This time, it wasn’t for just a stretch of a game or a mixed bag or some nice stats in a loss. Robert Griffin III ran and passed from beginning to end and led the Washington Redskins to a 45-41 win over the Chicago Bears.
“We had to win a shootout and we did,” said Griffin.
The Redskins were able to fire the last shot of the shootout thanks to a 12-play, 80-yard drive that started after the Bears had scored a touchdown to take a 41-38 lead with just under four minutes left to play. It took one play for the Redskins to get into Bears territory as Griffin found Jordan Reed over the middle and the rookie tight end rolled for 26 yards to the Chicago 49. In all, Griffin completed 5 of 7 passes on the drive for 58 yards. The last pass was for 10 yards to Jordan Reed to the three yard line, converting a third and four, the third third-down conversion of the drive. Roy Helu Jr. capped off the drive by smashing it into the end zone from there. The Redskins held off a desperation Chicago drive and walked off with the win.
“Very confident,” said Griffin when he was asked what the mood was in the huddle at the start of the winning drive. “Told the guys we have to have positive plays. Get positive yards on each play and if we don't, make up for it on the next play. Just take it one play at a time and when you have those crucial third-down situations, we had guys step up and make plays for us.”
It was the third fourth-quarter, game-winning drive of Griffin’s career.
Griffin passed for two touchdowns on the day. His first one went to Reed just before halftime. On third and goal at the three, Griffin dropped a couple of steps and lofted the ball to the corner of the end zone.
“It was a fade and the safety was playing inside leverage on me,” said Reed. “I just gave him a little jab step inside and Rob threw a perfect, easily catchable ball.”
That gave the Redskins a 24-17 halftime lead. Early in the fourth quarter the Bears scored on one of Matt Forte’s three rushing touchdowns. The Redskins retook the lead with a five-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a play that reminded Griffin of some of the plays the team made during it’s seven-game winning streak that got them into the playoffs last year.
Griffin wasn’t specific but it appears that he went off script during the play.
“I just had a feeling in that situation,” he said. “You can talk to [offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan] about the play call, I don't know if I went about it the right way. He called the play. I had a thought, I went with my instincts and gave [wide receiver Aldrick Robinson] a chance to make a play for me.”
What he did was drop back to pass from the Chicago 45-yard line. He launched the ball to Robinson, who was in the end zone surrounded by defensive backs Charles Tillman and Chris Conte. It looked like either one of them could make the play but Conte ran into Robinson and fell to the ground and Tillman couldn’t quite get to the ball as it descended into Robinson’s arms for the TD.
“Al made a great play, when I saw him catch it, it was a feeling of last year,” he said.
“The mojo was definitely working today.”
Griffin finished the day completing 18 of 28 passes for 298 yards and the two TD’s. He did throw one interception to Tillman and ended up with a passer rating of 105.2. Griffin ran for a season-high 84 yards on 11 attempts.