ASHBURN -- At the end of the Redskins' win over Tampa Bay, quarterback Robert Griffin III jogged around the field, taking a victory lap and slapping hands with fans. It's a wonder some of his teammates weren't waiting in line as well.
After four games, they're as pleased as anyone that Griffin is with the Redskins (2-2). All he has done so far is complete 69.4 percent of his passes, throw for 1,070 yards and four touchdowns and rush for 252 yards and four touchdowns. He has thrown only one interception.
And he just led a game-winning drive in Sunday's 24-22 win over the Buccaneers.
|Coach Mike Shanahan said the Redskins will not audition any kickers this week after Billy Cundiff missed three field goal attempts Sunday. Cundiff made the game-winning 41-yarder with three seconds left in the 24-22 victory and might have saved his job in the process. One of Cundiff's misses came from 57 yards -- he has missed 13 of his last 15 kicks from beyond 50 yards. But in the last four years he has made 80 percent of his kicks under 49 yards, which is far from elite. Cundiff is third in the NFL with 64 percent of his kickoffs ending in touchbacks.|
|Safety Brandon Meriweather reinjured the PCL and MCL in his left knee and won't play Sunday vs. Atlanta, Shanahan said. He will be re-evaluated next week. Meriweather was involved in a pregame collision with receiver Aldrick Robinson two hours before the game in Tampa Bay. Meriweather was scheduled to make his debut after missing the first three games because he had sprained the knee. Robinson suffered a concussion and was checked out by a doctor Monday. He must pass a series of tests before he can return.|
|Left tackle Trent Williams' ability to play an entire game with a bruised bone in his right knee impressed Shanahan. "It says a lot about him," Shanahan said. "He played at a high level, one of his better games. ... Says a lot about his leadership skills as a captain. You could see how excited he was at the end of the game. It was special."|
His teammates aren't mesmerized by Griffin, but they are a bit wowed.
"He's the real deal," Redskins end Stephen Bowen said. "I'm happy he's on our side."
Said Redskins receiver Santana Moss: "I couldn't sit here and tell you why and how, but I'm glad he can."
There's a long way to go in Griffin's development, but after four games he's fourth in the NFL with a 103.2 passer rating. He is third with 8.63 yards per pass attempt.
In the final drives of the last three games combined, Griffin has completed 11 of 13 passes for 104 yards and run four times for 57 yards.
"I would hate to play against him, especially his rookie year playing like this," Bowen said. "He never gets flustered. He plays better under pressure."
Then Bowen added what could be a warning for other teams: "He's going to get better."
The encouraging part for Washington is that it did not need Griffin to execute many option looks Sunday -- he ran a season-low seven times for 43 yards. He was lined up under center in a traditional look more than he had been in the first three games.
"That's what wins games in the NFL," Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said.
Griffin executed the play-action throws well, a big reason he completed 26 of 35 passes for 323 yards. He also called a couple plays on the final drive after the headsets malfunctioned.
"He played his best game," Shan?ahan said. "He handled himself extremely well, made some plays that you always want a quarterback to make. A lot of times they can't make those plays this early in their career. The two-minute drive, some play-action passes, the quarterback keeps, I thought were exceptional."
Griffin stood in against the blitz. In the second quarter, on one of the few times Tampa Bay sent extra defenders, two linebackers came clean through the left side. Griffin hesitated, let the receiver clear and stood in and delivered a good pass to Leonard Hankerson, who dropped the ball. Griffin zipped in two completions to receiver Joshua Morgan from the pocket in the second half on a slant and on an out. Griffin limits turnovers in part because he rarely forces passes and often does a good job placing the ball where only his man has a chance, as on the out pattern to Morgan.
"I would have thought he'd have more mistakes," Alexander said. "He's impressed me."
This is what the players said they've seen since spring workouts.
"Right now he's showing us week in and week out what type of guy he is, what type of player he is," Moss said. "It's nothing that should surprise us no more."