Page last updated on Sun Dec 21 11:30:19 EST 2014
12/04/2012 1:17 AM EST
RG3, Redskins closing in on Giants with 17-16 win

AP Sports Writer

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Robert Griffin III went down, the ball
popped out, and the Washington Redskins scored a touchdown.

Look out, New York Giants and the rest of the NFC East. If
Griffin keeps getting these kinds of breaks, it'll be hard to
keep him out of the title hunt for years to come.

As it is, RG3 has the Redskins within a game of first place
after leading a fourth-quarter rally in a 17-16 Monday night
victory over the Giants.

Washington has a three-game winning streak in which it has
dispatched each of its division rivals - Philadelphia, Dallas
and now New York - one by one.

"We know that our backs are against the wall," Griffin said.
"And even though we won tonight, our backs are still against the

But it'll be hard to count them out whenever he's on the field.
It was his sixth game with a 100-plus passer rating, his eighth
without an interception - and his second in which one of his
fumbles turned into a Redskins score.

On the way to the turf after a 12-yard run, Griffin was stripped
by Stevie Brown - but the ball flew right to teammate Joshua
Morgan 3 yards upfield. Morgan then ran 13 yards for a
first-quarter touchdown no one would ever diagram on a

"We didn't run it in practice because we wanted to save it for
the game," Griffin said with a grin. "I knew he was going to be
there for it. ... Joshua did a good job being in the spot where
he was supposed to be."

By Griffin's reckoning, the Redskins (6-6) are also where
they're supposed to be after they appeared out of the running at
3-6 a month ago. One of Griffin's goals this season was to win
more games than last season's 5-11 team.

"You can put a check by that one, but there's a lot more goals
that this team is stretching for and striving for," Griffin

A division title, for instance. With the Giants (7-5) losing
three of four and the Cowboys (6-6) also at .500, the NFC East
is up for grabs.

"They've got a great opportunity to win the division," Giants
defensive lineman Justin Tuck said, "just like we do. ... We let
one slip away tonight, but if we handle business, we'll still
win this division."

Griffin also broke another record, running for 72 yards to get
to 714 for the season, passing Cam Newton for most by a rookie

Griffin completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards and a go-ahead,
8-yard touchdown to Pierre Garcon in the fourth quarter. He
finished with a 101.9 QB rating.

Washington also ended a 10-game home losing streak in Monday
night games, another sign that Griffin has a knack for winning
on a big stage.

"If he stays healthy, he's going to be a havoc on defenses for a
long time," Tuck said.

Garcon finished with eight receptions for 106 yards, showing no
signs of the painful toe injury that forced him to miss six of
the season's first nine games.

Alfred Morris ran for 124 yards, reaching 1,106 for the season
to break Reggie Brooks' franchise rookie rushing record of
1,063, set in 1993.

Eli Manning completed 20 of 33 passes for 280 yards and a
touchdown for the Giants, who had won 26 in a row on the road
when holding a halftime lead.

They were ahead 13-10 at the break Monday against the Redskins,
but they failed to finish the job for the first time since
blowing a 21-0 halftime lead in a 24-21 loss to Tennessee in

Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 103 yards on 24 carries for New York.
Victor Cruz, who caught the game-winning score when the teams
met in the Meadowlands in October, had five catches for 104
yards for the Giants.

The Giants moved the ball well all game, but the drives produced
three field goals by Lawrence Tynes and only one touchdown -
Manning's 4-yard pass to Martellus Bennett late in the first

There was also some mayhem after another Redskins fumble, this
one by Morris in the third quarter. New York defensive tackle
Linval Joseph yanked at Redskins center Will Montgomery's leg
while players were fighting for the ball in a pile. Montgomery
kicked at Joseph in response, and Joseph stomped at Montgomery.
Joseph and a Redskins player were whistled for offsetting
unnecessary roughness penalties.

"I was just trying to get my leg loose," Montgomery said. "And
he ended up kicking me or stomping me or whatever he did."

Joseph said he acted because he saw Montgomery dive into a
Giants player, and that he was kicked by Montgomery in the
groin. He said he went to stomp on Montgomery but stopped

"It took me everything not to kick him back because I didn't
want hurt the team, and I didn't want to get fined and none of
that," Joseph said. "I started, then I stopped."

Notes: Redskins coach Mike Shanahan got his 171st win (regular
and postseason), tying him with Redskins' Hall of Fame coach Joe
Gibbs for 12th all time. ... New York S Tyler Sash left the game
with a hamstring injury, and RT Sean Locklear was carted off in
the fourth quarter with a knee injury. ... The Giants were
uncharacteristically penalty-prone, getting flagged nine times
for 73 yards. ... The Redskins have won three division games in
three weeks for the first time since 2005.


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