LANDOVER, Md. — Robert Griffin III threw for one touchdown and had a fumble turn into another score, and the Washington Redskins pulled within one game of the NFC East lead with a 17-16 win over the New York Giants on Monday night.
The Redskins improved to 6-6 with their third consecutive victory, tied with the Dallas Cowboys and on the heels of the Giants, who have lost three of four to fall to 7-5.
Griffin completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards and ran five times for 72 yards, breaking Cam Newton’s NFL record for yards rushing by a rookie quarterback.
Griffin lost the ball on one of his runs, but it flew into the arms of teammate Joshua Morgan, who ran it in for an early touchdown.
Alfred Morris, another Redskins rookie, had 22 carries for 124 yards and became only the second Washington rookie to top 1,000 yards rushing. Reggie Brooks did it 1993.
With the Redskins trailing 3-0 after Lawrence Tynes’ 39-yard kick on the Giants’ opening possession, the hosts went ahead by going 80 yards on only four plays – including a wacky one for the score.
On second-and-2 from the New York 28, Heisman Trophy winner Griffin ran to his left – his only rush of the first half – and was being tackled by Stevie Brown after what would have been a 12-yard gain. But as Griffin fell with his back to the ground, the ball popped out, and went right to Morgan 3 yards farther upfield.
Morgan raced 13 yards and broke through two would-be tacklers at the goal line for the TD with a little under 4½ minutes left in the first quarter.
It’s the second time this season a fumble by the man known as RG3 was picked up and taken into the end zone by a Redskins receiver. Pierre Garcon did it in a victory over Tampa Bay on Sept. 30.
The Redskins will face Baltimore at home next week. The Giants will play host to the New Orleans Saints.