- John Keim, ESPN Staff Writer
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PHILADELPHIA -- As Robert Griffin III backpedaled, he knew there was one thing he couldn't afford. A sack. So with defensive end Fletcher Cox bearing down on him, Griffin threw to the back of the end zone.
It was not his best decision. It was not his best throw. But it was his last of each as corner Brandon Boykin raced to the back and intercepted it about 7 yards deep. No Redskin was in the area when he threw the ball, though receiver Pierre Garcon ran to the spot and was several yards away when it came down. The Redskins had rallied from 24-0 to 24-16. They had driven from their own 4-yard line to the Eagles' 18, where they faced third-and-1 with 40 seconds left.
Griffin's interception ended the game.
“In that situation, where you get a sack there it ends the game,” Griffin said. “I was trying to throw the ball to the back of the end zone. It didn't get to where I wanted it to go. Obviously I was on my heels and it's something I can definitely learn from.”
Griffin said he thought about throwing it to the sidelines.
“But there's a guy that comes straight at me,” Griffin said. “I'm just trying to throw as far as I can and me backing up, trying to throw it out of the back of the end zone, the distance that it was, was something I shouldn't do.”
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he did not talk to Griffin about the final play. Nor was he in a mood to discuss his overall game.
“We're all judgmental when we're losing so it's always disappointing,” Shanahan said. “Anytime you don't win you're always tough on yourself and that's what we'll do.”
Griffin completed 17 of 35 passes for 264 yards and ran 10 times for 44 yards. He was hit and fumbled at the 5-yard line in the second quarter, with the Redskins trailing 14-0. It took him a while to do anything in the passing game. At halftime he had thrown for 26 yards, but lost 22 yards in sacks. After three quarters he had thrown for 66 yards.
The Eagles did a good job taking away their favorite play off the zone read play-action fake, in which he hits a receiver on a dig route. Rather than bite on the fake the Eagles had their linebackers drop. Griffin said the Redskins' offense did not respond well.
“They did a good job shutting down a lot of the stuff we were trying to do,” Griffin said. “Obviously we ran the ball well, but when it came to the passing game a lot of times they were tit for tat. They were where they needed to be. They were taking away the routes we were trying to run. That's disheartening, but we have to make sure we come up with something to counteract that.”