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On a third-and-1 at the Denver 44 late in the first quarter, Griffin wasn’t ready for the snap from center Will Montgomery. Instead of continuing a drive, the play was dead on arrival for no gain as running back Roy Helu fell on it. The Redskins had to punt again. It was an inauspicious start redeemed only by that final drive.

Then came the key moment: Denver had tied the game at 21 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Griffin, on an uneven day, on the road with a hostile crowd bearing down on him, needed an answer. He didn’t have one.

Instead, a pass to a wide-open Josh Morgan over the middle was too far behind him. A significant gain became simply an incomplete pass. The next play was a long bomb to Garcon, who had a slight step on two defenders. The ball sailed well over his head. On the third-down play, a better throw with defenders in Griffin’s face, Aldrick Robinson dropped the ball. It would have been a first down. It wasn’t.

“There’s always plays out there, but on the football field you only get one chance to really capitalize on what’s taken,” Garcon said. “The best players capitalize, the not-so-great players don’t capitalize.”

Griffin would have one last, realistic chance after Denver took a 28-21 lead. But one play after Alfred Morris fumbled only to see the Redskins recover, Griffin wasn’t so lucky. He was hit in the backfield by Denver linebacker Von Miller and fumbled. Derek Wolfe recovered and the Broncos quickly kicked a short field goal to make it a 31-21 lead. There would be no more chances for Griffin.

In the end, he finished 15-for-30 with 132 passing yards and that one touchdown to Hankerson. But Griffin was a non-factor running the ball with seven yards on five carries. He also fumbled twice, losing one, and was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter.

“It’s always rough to describe how you play after a loss,” Griffin said. “For me, I’ve just got to find a way to do more. That’s the way I approach it.”