It was just four short years ago that Robert Griffin III took the NFL by storm with his big smile and dazzling play on the field. After one season as the starter for the Washington Redskins, it seemed as though he was poised to contend for the MVP award each year. The 2012 Rookie of the Year was everything the Redskins wanted in a quarterback, but injuries derailed that narrative fairly quickly. That’s not to say he didn’t have some memorable moments in his time with the Redskins, though. Now that he’s a starter once again – this time with the Browns – these are the top five moments of his career as an NFL starting quarterback.
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A three-touchdown second quarter on Thanksgiving
The month of November during his rookie year was a great one for Griffin, tossing eight touchdowns and just one pick in three games. The highlight of that month came on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys, when he threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter. It gave the Redskins a 28-3 halftime lead over Dallas before the Cowboys rallied back to make things interesting, but Washington held on, 38-31, behind RG3’s 333 total yards and four TD passes.
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Winning six straight games to make the postseason
The Redskins didn’t have overwhelming success with Griffin under center for most of his rookie season, but the dazzling playmaker turned it on in the final six weeks. Griffin led the Redskins to six straight wins to close out the 2012 season, which landed them in the playoffs. During that stretch, RG3 had 12 touchdown passes and just two interceptions while adding 286 yards on the ground to go along with 1,207 yards through the air.
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NFL debut against the Saints
Griffin made his NFL debut against the Saints on September 9 at the Superdome in New Orleans. It’s one of the toughest places to play, particularly for a rookie quarterback looking to get his feet wet. All Griffin did was complete 73 percent of his passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns without a single pick. He finished with a passer rating of 139.9 – the second-highest of his career – en route to a 40-32 shootout win.
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A perfect passer rating against the Eagles
Everyone knew just how great Griffin was at escaping the pocket and gaining yards on the ground. But on November 18, 2012 against the Eagles, he showed off his arm. Griffin posted a perfect passer rating of 158.3 thanks to 200 yards, four touchdown passes and just one incompletion in the Redskins’ 31-6 win. He also added 84 rushing yards. He impressively completed 14 of 15 passes and posted the highest yards per attempt of his career (13.3).
Getty ImagesPatrick Smith
A 76-yard TD run to seal a win over the Vikings
The longest run of Griffin’s career came at a crucial time. In the fourth quarter of Week 6 back in 2012, Griffin broke off a 76-yard gallop to the end zone down the left sideline, essentially sealing the Redskins’ 38-26 win over the Vikings. It was arguably the best play of his career thus far and one that won’t soon be forgotten.