ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Just four games into his NFL career, Robert Griffin III is already carrying the Washington Redskins on his back — instead of the other way around.
The rookie from Baylor gives the Redskins hope in a way they haven't experienced in a long time. They might not win many games — or they might surprise and make a playoff push — but at least with Griffin they always feel they have a fighting chance each week, something that can't be said about some among the merry-go-round of quarterbacks the team has employed over the last two decades.
Santana Moss said Monday that he's played with a lot of them, "And the one thing that I'm sure of: That when it comes down to Robert, he just has that ..."
Moss hesitated in mid-sentence, searching for the right words.
"He's born with whatever he has," Moss continued. "It's in him. So you can be sure when something breaks down he's going to make a play in some kind of way, and I haven't played with a lot of those guys."
Griffin now has his first fourth-quarter, hurry-up-offense comeback win, driving the Redskins 56 yards to set up Billy Cundiff's field goal with 3 seconds to play in Sunday's 24-22 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"He made some plays that you always want a quarterback to make," coach Mike Shanahan said. "A lot of times they can't make those plays this early in their career."
With the headset malfunctioning, Griffin called some of his own plays during the final drive. One of the biggest gains was made with his feet, a 15-yard scramble that put the Redskins (2-2) in field goal range and saved them from a defeat that might have sent them spiraling toward another long, disheartening season.
The schedule is about to get extremely tough — the undefeated Atlanta Falcons are up next — so Sunday's game was essentially a must-win against the struggling Buccaneers (1-3). Yet the Redskins still managed to blow a 21-3 lead, falling behind on a field goal with 1:42 remaining.
Washington's two victories this season have come against opponents with a combined record of 1-7.
"If we had lost, the way it would have gone down would have been especially demoralizing," tight end Logan Paulsen said. "To be up 21-6 at halftime and then to kind of just slowly like give it away, I think that would have been a disaster. Also, being 1-3, that's pretty serious at this point in the season."