From: Las Vegas
Robert Griffin III leaves his mark in New Jersey.
I always judge the mark of an incredible play in an NFL game by the reaction it gets in the NBC viewing room on the fifth floor of our Rockefeller Center building in Manhattan. And when Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III had a 4th-and-10 with 2:07 left at the Meadowlands, his team down 20-16 to the Giants, this is the sound I recall hearing from the likes of Rodney Harrison, Tony Dungy, Dan Patrick, Mike Florio and a score of other football wackos in the room as Griffin took the snap, looked for a receiver, found them covered, then rolled left, Giants chasing him -- "Getridofit! ... Noooooo! .... Whoaa!!! ... Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!''
Sounded louder than "Born To Run" at a Springsteen concert. Somehow, some way, as the law was closing in, Griffin, stumbling forward, threw a low 19-yard strike to tight end Logan Paulsen. "Even though you don't know what's going to happen, you have some kind of feeling that something good is going to happen,'' RGIII said. "That's the way I try to play. No matter what's called I always feel like it's going to work. If it doesn't work, we will make it work some way or another.''
Watching this game, I kept thinking how glad I was that Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen paid whatever it is they paid to deal for Griffin. And whatever it is, it'll be worth it. He's one of the great, special players to come into the league in the 29 seasons I've covered it. No play's ever over. Though he's running for his well-being on 10 or 12 plays a game, he still leads the NFL after seven games of his rookie year with a 70.4 percent completion rate. Once he gets the kind of protection Shanahan and Allen will build for him, he'll be better, and the Redskins will be competing for championships. That's right -- plural.
"I'm pretty mad at the football gods for putting him in the NFC East,'' Justin Tuck of the Giants said. "To face that guy twice a year is going to be a headache. He takes away from your enthusiasm for the game a little bit, when you play a play perfectly and he still has 4.3 speed to run by guys and make plays.''
Tuck's GM, Jerry Reese, has the right idea taking all those defensive linemen high in drafts. He shouldn't stop. They need to come in droves at Griffin, because he'll tire them out. Three plays after the miracle 4th-and-10 conversion, Griffin threw the go-ahead touchdown pass, a perfect 30-yarder right over Santana Moss' shoulder. I thought that was the ballgame.
And yet, there's Eli to win another game late. Eli Manning is decidedly the anti-RGIII, a pocket guy who can escape trouble but not make a living at it. What Manning does is precisely what he did after Griffin strafed the Giants: He threw a perfect arcing shot to Victor Cruz, splitting two Washington defenders, for a 77-yard winner. Manning is amazing. Fourth quarter after fourth quarter -- Patriots, Niners, Packers, Redskins, whoever -- it doesn't matter. There is no quarterback in the NFL in the same league as Manning when the game's on the line. And for a kid, Griffin's pretty clutch himself.
So get used to this. Manning's had a good rivalry with Tony Romo, and an OK rivalry with Michael Vick. But Manning-RGIII could really be special. Manning's 31. Griffin's 22. I hope Sunday was the first of about 20 meetings in the regular season and postseason between them.
Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/10/21/week-7/index.html#ixzz2A38l2yh0