Griffin came up with some of his old magic to make a huge play on a quick touchdown drive that put the Redskins up 24-14 with 6:59 to play.
Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan forced a fumble by Raiders quarterback Matt Flynn, and nose tackle Barry Cofield recovered at the Oakland 42.
On first down, Griffin spun away from a Raider, sprinted to his right and hit backup running Roy Helu Jr. for a 28-yard gain to the Raiders’ 14. Helu, who took over in the fourth quarter after starter Alfred Morris suffered a rib contusion, bolted 14 yards for a touchdown on the next play.
“I talked to our offensive line, told them to give me a little time because we had a deep concept going,” Griffin said. “Came out of it and No. 1 and 2 weren’t there, so I had to pull it down and try to get to No. 4. They did a good job of holding up on that play and then Helu actually did a great job running an off-schedule route as well. The backside corner blitzed. That’s what made me have to step up and move out. Rolled out of it and threw it to Helu. He made a good catch and a good play down the sideline.”
In the first half, Griffin had most of his success running a no-huddle attack that they used after going nowhere in their first three drives and falling behind 14-0.
The hurry-up offense seemed to jump-start the Redskins, as they drove 73 yards in 11 plays but settled for John Potter’s 25-yard field goal. On the drive, Griffin hit wide receiver Leonard Hankerson on a pair of 15-yard passes, the second one giving Washington a first down at Oakland’s 39.
“It just gives you a little spark,” Griffin said of the no-huddle. “I’ve run that no-huddle a lot, at all levels of football, high school and college and then here. It was a spark for us. It caught them off guard. Our team did a good job executing it. It’s a curve ball you can throw every now and then.
“When nothing’s going your way, you’ve got to try something. We went to it and it worked. The guys responded to it well. It kind of tired their defense out a little bit. we were able to move the ball more consistently and convert third downs. So that was a good thing.”
Three plays later, Griffin rolled left and threw back over the middle to hit wide- open tight end Niles Paul for 16 yards to the 6. Griffin had plenty of running room in front of him, and he undoubtedly would have taken off last year. Griffin showed post-surgery good sense and got the ball to a teammate.
“He’s a little bit different than last year,” said Raiders safety Charles Woodson. “I think the brace is probably a little bit cumbersome for him. He’s probably not as mobile or fast as he was without it. But they made enough plays during the game to come up with a win.”