PHILADELPHIA — Robert Griffin III sat at his locker, still wearing his gold game pants, and tried to piece together the NFL’s complex playoff puzzle. Next to him, Rex Grossman slid a bright blue tie around his neck. Griffin and Grossman wondered aloud whether the Washington Redskins‘ heart-stopping 27-20 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday was enough to qualify them for the playoffs.
Grossman called a reporter over to get the news. It was, in fact, insufficient. The Minnesota Vikings denied Washington an early Christmas present by upsetting the Houston Texans halfway across the country. The two quarterbacks paused.
“We’re not worried about it,” Griffin said with a smile.
Why would they be? Griffin and the blue-hot Redskins need one more victory — Sunday night’s season finale at home against the rival Dallas Cowboys — to claim the franchise’s first NFC East title in 13 years, and this team seems to be flying there on a rocket ship.
Griffin threw two touchdowns in his return from the sprained right knee that sidelined him last week, and the Redskins‘ defense kept Philadelphia out of the end zone from the 5-yard line on the final two plays to escape with their sixth consecutive victory.
The elation such a victory normally elicits instead immediately yielded to a shifted focus.
Their remarkable resurgence, as it turns out, will climax on the final day of the season against their greatest rival.
If the Redskins lose to Dallas, they still could make the playoffs, but only if Chicago (9-6) and Minnesota (9-6) lose. To put it another way, Washington would be in great danger of missing the postseason.
This script is worthy of the finest playwright. In actuality, though, the Redskins have authored it with an explosive offense and opportunistic defense.
That was the case Sunday against a reeling Philadelphia team experiencing the type of dysfunction that has characterized the Redskins‘ five-year playoff drought.
Griffin was 16-of-24 for 198 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his return from a mildly sprained lateral collateral ligament. He obviously wasn’t fully healthy, but his 102.4 passer rating was evidence that didn’t matter.View Entire Story
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