Griffin III's late runaway overwhelms Vikings

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 15, 2012 - 6:57 AM

The rookie quarterback capped off a Redskins victory with a sensational scoring run.

LANDOVER, MD. - Twenty minutes after Sunday's magic show ended, a jubilant crowd bounced out of FedEx Field, still feeling compelled to praise the afternoon's headliner.

The chants were loud. They were impassioned. And they left the visiting Vikings with a pounding headache.

"RG3! RG3! RG3!"

Indeed, Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III stole the show in his team's 38-26 victory, boosting his already sky-high popularity across the D.C. area.

For three hours, Griffin had all eyes on him yet showed extraordinary poise.

He was sharp with his throws and electric with his runs.

Most of all, he seemed to create an energy within his team and among the boisterous crowd. So much so, in fact, that Vikings star Adrian Peterson congratulated the 22-year-old quarterback after the game and walked away a believer.

"Looking into his eyes, he's got the heart of a champion," Peterson said of Griffin. "It's easy to see he's a great player. He's been blessed."

Like any grand finale at a David Copperfield show, Griffin's final trick Sunday appeared as effortless as it was breathtaking.

With 2 minutes, 56 seconds left, the Redskins clung to a five-point lead and faced a critical third-and-6 at their own 24-yard line.

And then came the snap and an aggressive Vikings blitz that never got home.

Linebackers Chad Greenway and Jasper Brinkley were knocked off course. Griffin saw an opening and darted through.

"We were putting a little pressure on him," Greenway said. "And he escaped. Really nothing more to say."

Cornerback Chris Cook, in coverage on Josh Morgan, was sealed by a block.

Safeties Harrison Smith and Jamarca Sanford were each a degree or two off in the angles they took in pursuit.

Suddenly Griffin sliced to the left sideline and seemed to hit a moving walkway.

The final 65 yards of his sprint created a celebratory mosh pit across the stadium.

"There aren't a lot of guys who play that position who can break a 76-yard run and not get caught," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "That creates some issues for any defense. [He's] a heck of a young player."

Griffin had a hand in 36 of the Redskins' 55 plays. He ran 13 times for 138 yards and two scores. He also completed 17 of 22 passes for 182 yards, including a TD toss of 6 yards to fullback Darrel Young.

Early on, Griffin continually pinpointed passes to open receivers cutting toward the middle of the field, a vulnerability in the Vikings defense that the Redskins exploited time after time on four consecutive scoring drives.

Washington also addled the Vikings with heavy doses of play-action and a multitude of zone read looks.

"Sometimes it can be tough," Greenway said. "It's a little bit of smoke and mirrors with all their fakes and stuff. ... When they're carrying out the fakes, you've got to play the run. And as a linebacker, it's tough to do both. You've got to read your keys and play ball. You're not going to get them all obviously. So credit them for a good scheme."

Still, for as electrifying as Griffin's performance was, the Vikings also left Washington kicking themselves for a flood of squandered opportunities.

The offense marched into the red zone on its first three possessions and, after 13 minutes, held an eye-popping 146-7 advantage in total yards. Yet all three of those drives stalled, resulting in field goals.

"If you go back in time, I've said it after at least four games," Peterson said. "We have to turn those threes into seven. Today it finally came back and bit us."

The Vikings were also bitten badly by a pair of Christian Ponder turnovers. Ponder's final stats (35-for-52, 352 yards, two TDs) might look nice in the boxscore. But the fumble he lost deep in Vikings territory in the second quarter positioned Washington for a gimme TD drive: one play, 6 yards.

Worse, Ponder's interception early in the fourth was returned 24 yards to the end zone by former Vikings safety Madieu Williams on what the quarterback called "a fluke play."

It was certainly Ponder's worst and most costly throw, a good 5 feet over Michael Jenkins' head.

"The ball just slipped out of my hands, just sailed," Ponder said.

With that, the hopes of a fourth consecutive victory for the Vikings slipped away as well, the evening ultimately punctuated by that Griffin dash and the chants that might still be echoing through FedEx Field.

"RG3! RG3! RG3!"

Dan Wiederer • dan.wiederer@startribune.com

  • WEEK 6 REDSKINS 38, VIKINGS 26

    Week 7: Noon Sunday vs. Arizona • Mall of America Field • TV: Ch. 9 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

    SOMEBODY ... STOP HIM

    Dec. 1, 2002: Michael Vick set an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback as Atlanta beat the Vikings 30-24 at the Metrodome. Vick's 46-yard TD dash in overtime capped a 173-yard day.

    Sunday: Washington's Robert Griffin III ran for 138 yards -- fifth-highest total for a QB in NFL history -- against the Vikings, sealing the game with a 76-yard scoring dash. The scoring run was longest for a QB since Kordell Stewart had an 80-yarder for Pittsburgh on Dec. 22, 1996.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 37 FINAL
Carolina 19
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Ottawa 12:30 PM
NY Islanders
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close