Posted October 20, 2013

Inspired by Robert Griffin III’s pregame speech, Redskins grab crucial win in shootout

Chicago Bears, NFC East, Washington Redskins
Roy Helu scores one of his three touchdowns against Chicago on Sunday.

Roy Helu scores one of his three touchdowns against Chicago on Sunday. (Alex Brandon/AP)

The Washington Redskins came into their game against the Chicago Bears with a 1-4 record and no margin for error. After a bye two weeks ago and a 31-16 thrashing at the  hands of the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, things looked pretty bleak for Mike Shanahan’s team. Facing the Chicago Bears this Sunday didn’t seem like a panacea, but with three touchdowns from backup running back Roy Helu and a triumphant comeback game from Robert Griffin III, the Redskins pulled out a thriller with a 45-41 victory. There were four ties in the game, and neither team led by more than seven points at any time, but it was Washington on top at the end.

Before the game, Griffin spent a little extra time talking to his teammates and trying to inspire them.

“I want you guys to listen to me,” he said, per the Washington Post. “We’ve worked hard this whole season. All the adversity we’ve been through the first couple of weeks is only gonna make our breakthrough feel that much better.

“Today we get our breakthrough. You’ve gotta see it. You’ve gotta believe. And then we’re gonna go out there and take it. When we step on this field, we come out here and do what players do: Make plays. All right? Make plays on three….”

Helu grabbed his first score with 13:44 left in the first half on a 14-yard run, tying the game at 10. HIs three-yard scoring dash with 3:10 left in the third quarter put the Redskins up 31-24, and he put in the dagger with another three-yard scoring run with 45 seconds left in the game.

Before today, Helu had scored three rushing touchdowns in his entire career. Alfred Morris, the team’s ostensible franchise back, was healthy throughout the game and actually outgained Helu, 95 to 41 yards — but Helu got all the red-zone love. Mike Shanahan has a long history of driving the fantasy owners of his teams’ running backs nuts, and this game certainly continued that trend.

Griffin appeared to have his bearings as a passer this afternoon more than he has most of this season. He completed 18-of-29 passes for 298 yards, two touchdowns and one interception (he also rushed for 84 yards). The pick was Griffin’s sixth of the season, already exceeding the five he threw in his rookie campaign, but this effort was enough to pull the game out.

“We had to win a shoot-out and that’s what we did,” he said after the game. “That’s what we talked about as a team. Whatever the situation calls for, that’s what we’ve got to do.”

The Bears had their own three-touchdown runner in Matt Forte, who gained 91 yards on 16 carries, but Marc Trestman’s offense might be in some trouble. Quarterback Jay Cutler left the game in the second quarter after he was sacked by 333-pound defensive lineman Chris Baker. Cutler suffered a groin injury, and two Bears sources told NFL.com’s Mike Silver that the injury “could be bad.”

Cutler was replace by Josh McCown, the career backup who completed 14-of-20 passes for 204 yards and a touchdown against Washington’s predictably porous pass defense. Cutler completed just 3-of-8 passes, including an interception, before he left the game.

The Redskins made plays, just as RGIII implored — and they still have life in the NFC East as a result.

13 comments
Fred24
Fred24

“I want you guys to listen to me,”, very inspirational. If his teammates were of age 7-14 years old, this would really work marvelously. 

Go to Dallas site and hear how DT Hatcher talks to his 'Band of No-Names'. 

andy10
andy10

I'd agree had we all not seen what this team did last year in similar circumstances. No one can stop the Skins offense when RG3 is healthy. The Cowboys are the Cowboys...talented, but they are the antithesis of "clutch". I still have Washington taking the East in the end. It will only take 9 wins.

Peter13
Peter13

what exactly is idiotic about this article? Because its said that they have life in the NFCE? That is a statement of fact and not opinion.. 

KevinC
KevinC

This is idiotic. They are not mathematically eliminated but they are 2-4 with  a trip to Denver coming up this week. They also have games San Diego in week 9, San Fran in week 12, KC in week 14 and three more divisional games. They'll be lucky to win 7 games, they may beat the Chargers but they don't stand a chance against any of those other teams. Meanwhile Dallas has a 1.5 game lead on them and only one really difficult opponent left, New Orleans in week 10. Dallas may implode but they'll probably get to 9 or 10 wins to take the division. 

JJRR
JJRR

@Fred24 Oh? Didn't like that speech?  How about this one? "This is our house. It’s our night. And it’s our division," Griffin yelled, via CSN Washington. "It’s our job to go win it. This is it. Put it all on the line. We’re gonna start fast and finish strong. Here ya go, work on three."

Remember?  Its the one he gave just before beating you guys to clinch the division, sweep you for the year and end your season.  

But apparently you prefer more loudness and random yelling?  That's cool, just wait for when Tony Romo has an off day, then goes to the sideline, loses his bearing and starts blaming/yelling at his receivers.  That should do it for you.  

Fred24
Fred24

@andy10The Cowboys are the Cowboys...talented, but they are the antithesis of "clutch". Meaning what exactly, And this is base on the ~1~ INT Romo has thrown (not bounced balls or Hail Mary) this season. Myths are hard to change aren't they, especially those constantly supported by an infantile national sports media, with an agenda.

ChrisKavanagh
ChrisKavanagh

@Peter13 Uh have you seen the records of the other teams in the East? Apparently you haven't because the Skins are only a game out of 1st. . .So maybe you want to re-think your "facts" before speaking.

ChrisKavanagh
ChrisKavanagh

@KevinC If they (Skins) play like they did against Chicago Offensively, they can beat anyone. I'll repeat that, they can beat anyone. I'm not saying they will win all those games you mentioned, but they certainly have the talent to do so.

Fred24
Fred24

@KevinC Dallas has a 2.5 game advantage, 4.5 - 2 =2.5. Why would Dallas implode? Give one reason why, not a hope of the media, but a real one. If anything else, with their entire defensive line on IR, they are never4 been more unified. The new names of their defense?  'Band of No Names'.

Fred24
Fred24

@JJRR @Fred24 RG3 has become a ~media~ phenomenon, and THAT is the annoying part vs, Romo who is Public Enemy #1. Gets old.

Scrappy
Scrappy

@JJRR @Fred24 Remember when he selfishly stayed on the field when he could barely walk, to lose to the Seahawks?

KevinC
KevinC

@ChrisKavanagh @KevinC Get real. They played well for half a season last year and one game this year don't make them out to be world beaters. They'll probably win 6 or 7 games this year. Their defense was awful against the Bears last week. They let up 41 points to a Bears team playing with their backup QB. What do you think those other teams will do to them? The Redskins are not a very good team.

ChrisKavanagh
ChrisKavanagh

@Scrappy @JJRR @Fred24 Selfish? How so? Most guys would have worried about their career and taken themselves out. I'd damn sure rather have a player that will fight no matter what than some selfish punk who only cares about his stats.