Landover, MD, United States (4E Sports) – Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III hit wide receiver Pierre Garcon with the go-ahead eight-yard touchdown heave, lifting the Washington Redskins to a 17-16 victory over NFC East rival New York Giants in Monday Night Football at FedEx Field.
Griffin completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown to lead the Redskins (6-6) to their third straight win and hand the Giants their fifth loss in 12 outings.
The No. 2 overall pick added 72 ground yards on five carries to break Carolina Panthers playmaker Cam Newton’s record for most rushing yards by a rookie quarterback in a single season with 707.
The victory has tightened the playoff scenario in the NFC East. The Giants are leading the division but the Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys are a half-game behind with identical 6-6 records.
Running back Alfred Morris ran for 124 yards on 22 carries to become the first Redskins rookie to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season since Clinton Portis did it in 2008. He also broke Reggie Brooks’ record for rushing yards in a season by a Redskins rookie.
Washington is now the first team in NFL history with a rookie quarterback to pass for 2,000 or more yards and a rookie running back to run for 1,000 or more yards.
Garcon finished with 108 yards on six carries and a touchdown and Joshua Morgan ran a fumble for a 13-yard touchdown for the Redskins.
Eli Manning completed 20 of 33 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown pass to wide receiver Martellus Bennett, who finished with 82 yards on five catches.
Victor Cruz led the receiving corps with 104 yards on five receptions, running back Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 103 yards on 24 carries and Lawrence Tynes kicked field goals from 35, 39 and 40 yards for the Giants.
The Giants took a 3-0 lead behind Tynes’ 39-yard field goal but the Redskins took the upperhand, 7-3, when Morgan caught Griffin’s airborne fumble and then ran 13 yards for a touchdown.
In the second quarter, the Giants took a 10-7 lead on Manning’s touchdown pass to Bennett before Kai Forbath tied the count with a 33-yard field goal.
Tynes then gave the Giants a 13-10 lead at the break with a 40-yard field goal and a 16-10 advantage with a 35-yarder in the third period. He also had a critical miss, however, that along with several penalties cost the G-Men a chance to win.