Vikings vs. Redskins: Robert Griffin III's Brilliance Makes 'Skins a Contender

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 14:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins is tackled by Erin Henderson #50 of the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at FedExField on October 14, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III continued his magnificent rookie conquest on Sunday versus the Minnesota Vikings, leading the Washington Redskins to a decisive 38-26 upset.

As long as Griffin III is commanding the offense, Washington is an incredibly dangerous squad. Now at 3-3, the Redskins are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for second in the NFC East.

RG3 had 320 total yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. He did throw an interception, but that pales in comparison to his fourth-quarter heroics.

After Minnesota cut the Redskins' lead to five with two consecutive scores in the fourth quarter, Griffin III decided he had seen enough.

With 2:56 remaining in the game, Griffin III did this:

Just when you think he can't get any better, the rookie signal-caller delivers a massive play exactly when his team needed it. He carries himself like a veteran, backing up that fact with dynamic runs like that.

First-year players aren't always mentally, or physically, equipped to carry a franchise, but Griffin III is clearly different. He's picked up Mike Shanahan's system quickly, and he's got the perfect players in place around him.

It's one thing for a rookie to have one good game, but this is becoming commonplace for the Redskins' quarterback. He's completing nearly 70 percent of his passes on the season, with a passer rating of 101.0 on the year.

That's just not normal.

When you pair RG3 with breakout rookie ball-carrier Alfred Morris and a handful of reliable receivers, you have yourself a dangerous offense. Add in one of the league's better run defenses, and you have yourself a dangerous sleeper in the NFC.

The Redskins must travel to face the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers in their next two games. Going on the road against those two squads will provide a more accurate idea of what Washington is working with.

Where this team goes moving forward is tough to gauge, but a few things are certain. Griffin III is the most exciting player in the NFL right now, and he's leading a team that has lost three games by a combined 17 points (including one to the undefeated Atlanta Falcons).

The Cowboys, Eagles and Giants all have their flaws, and none of them have a player like Griffin III. Picking one of those squads to win the division is easy, but it should get less obvious every week.

Washington may not have the best all-around team, but it has one very special player on its hands. If his electric play continues, don't sleep on the 'Skins.