by Chuck Carroll

LANDOVER, Md. (CBSDC) — The Washington Redskins playoff hopes are firmly alive following a thrilling 17-16 win over the New York Giants Monday night at FedEx Field.

Robert Griffin III’s Monday Night Football debut has proven to be record-setter on many levels. He surpassed Cam Newton’s NFL record for most rushing yards by a rookie quarterback.

Alfred Morris, the Robin to Griffin’s Batman, broke Reggie Brooks’ franchise record 1,064 rookie rushing yards set in 1993. Morris’ 124-yard effort gives him 1,106 on the season.

And for the first time in the Mike Shanahan era, the Redskins have won three games in a row.

More importantly for Washington, they pull within one game of New York for the NFC East lead and the Seattle Seahawks for a wild card spot in the playoffs.

Washington first found the end zone with what will become a crown jewel of the highlight reel.

Griffin’s first quarter fumble went directly into the arms of Joshua Morgan who returned it 13 yards for a Redskins touchdown, giving the team their first points of the half. The score was upheld on review.

Sometimes it better to be lucky than good.

Statistically, Griffin did not have his best outing. He finished the night 13-of-21 passing for 163 yards and a touchdown. The Baylor-product also rushed for 72 yards on five carries.

Pierre Garcon, who continues to recover from an ailing toe, was on the receiving end of the score and 106 of Griffin’s passing yards.

Jim Haslett’s defense, which has yield 400 or more yards as a matter of routine, limited the Giants to 390 yards on the night. Eli Manning passed for 280 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

Victor Cruz, Martellus Bennett and Hakeem Nicks each had five receptions with the former two accounting for the bulk of yardage.

Cruz finished the night with 104 yards while Bennett added 82 yards and the score.

Ahmad Bradshaw added 103 yards on the ground, but was shut out of the end zone.

Washington will host the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday as they kickoff the final quarter of their season. The Redskins the travel to Cleveland and Philadelphia before hosting the Cowboys to cap off the year.

New York arguably has the more difficult road to travel. Tom Coughlin’s squad will host a backpedaling Drew Brees and New Orleans Saints club next week before embarking on a two-game road swing with stops in Atlanta and Baltimore. Their season ends at home against the lowly Philadelphia Eagles.

Follow Chuck Carroll on Twitter.


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