When the final gun sounded, Robert Griffith III could only gaze with envy in the direction of victorious quarterback Eli Manning, who was being mobbed by his New York Giant teammates.
Despite his own late heroics, RG3’s efforts had just been overshadowed by Manning, whose legacy of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat continued to grow on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
On this particular afternoon, The Kid was good. But the NFL’s reigning Captain Comeback was better.
“(Manning) did a good job leading his team to victory today,” Griffin told reporters, all the while attempting to digest the 27-23 loss to Manning’s Giants. “When the game is on the line, you want the ball in your hand, no doubt about it.
“He made the play to win it.”
There will be plenty of days for The Kid to get retribution against Manning, aka Captain Comeback. With the Giants and Redskins playing twice per season as part of their bitter NFC East rivalry, these two talented quarterbacks will be facing off for years to come.
If you are a fan of the sport who has no allegiance to either of these teams, the prospect of seeing The Kid and Captain Comeback going head-to-head well into the future is a juicy one indeed, especially after watching the thrilling theatre these men showcased late in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 20-16 with just 2:07 remaining, the Redskins appeared to be toast when a number of Giants pass rushers, including sack-master Jason Pierre-Paul, had RG3 cornered on a fourth-and-10 play deep in Washington territory.
Or so they thought.
Slithering his way through the sea of blue shirts, Griffin unleashed an incredible off-balance throw that was caught by Logan Paulsen for a 19-yard gain and a first down.
Imagine that. A potentially game-saving completion from The Kid to a third-string tight end.
Three plays later, RG3 hit Santana Moss for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 1:27 left on the clock to put the visitors up 23-20, leaving The Kid euphoric.
Advantage to The Kid.
Not for long, though.
Having got the ball back, it was time for Captain Comeback to do his thing.
Indeed, on the first play from scrimmage, Manning electrified the stadium by hitting Victor Cruz for a 77-yard scoring strike, a stunning play that gave the Giants yet another come-from-behind triumph.
Why label Manning as Captain Comeback? Because this marked the eighth game-winning drive for Manning in the fourth quarter or overtime since the start of last season. In addition, he’s done it twice in the Super Bowl, the game’s biggest stage.
Right now, there simply is no one better in crunch time.
“He’s done it so many times,” veteran Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty said of Manning. “He is probably the most deadly quarterback in the fourth quarter.”
This time, it was Manning’s favourite target, Cruz, who thrust the final dagger into the Redskins.
“I kind of threw it high and deep and saw the coverage and was hoping Victor saw it the same way I did,” Manning said. “I didn’t see the ball get caught. I heard the cheer and that was a good sign. I got up in time to see him run into the end zone.”
It was a bitter pill to swallow for RG3, who passed for two touchdowns, 258 yards and ran for 89 more. But his rivalry against Manning is just getting started.
And while his team didn’t come out ahead, The Kid certainly left a strong impression on the defending world champions, who wish he would have been drafted into another division.
“I’m pretty mad at the football gods for putting him in the NFC East,” Giants defensive end Justin Tuck said. “To face that guy twice a year is going to be a headache.
“It’s hard to game plan that guy. He takes away from your enthusiasm for the game when you play a play perfectly and he still has 4.3 speed to make plays. I don’t think there is anybody in the league just like him.”
“If I was going to run an offence and they asked me Vick, Cam Newton or RG3, I’m taking that guy hands down.”
Heady praise for The Kid, even in defeat.
Imagine what they’d be saying about him had the Redskins won?
Redskins tight end Fred Davis tore his left Achilles tendon and is out for the remainder of the season ... According to New Jersey State Police, a man has was hurt after falling more than 20 feet from an escalator as he exited MetLife Stadium after the Giants victory on Sunday. The man was airlifted to Hackensack University Hospital and was in critical condition Sunday night.
CHARGERS IN A STICKY SITUATION
Just call it Stickum Gate.
Back in 1981, the NFL banned a product known as Stickum and other similar adhesive substances after seeing the likes of Raiders teammates Fred Biletnikoff and Lester Hayes slather their hands, arms and jerseys with the sticky goo in order to help better control the ball.
Now, 31 years later, the league acknowleged on Sunday that it is investigating a report suggesting the San Diego Chargers allegedly used the banned substance.
According to FoxSports.com., a Chargers’ equipment manager came onto the field with a banned substance on hand towels during Monday night’s game against the Denver Broncos in San Diego.
If the league determines the Chargers used the substance, they could be fined or lose a draft pick.
The story, broken by the website’s Jay Glazer, goes on to say that the equipment manager then refused to allow the towels to be examined by Jeff Bergman, one of the game officials. When Bergman and his fellow zebras then ordered him to empty his pockets, it was revealed that the equipment manager was in possession of clear- or flesh-coloured sticky tape.
Interestingly, the Chargers followed up the allegations with a vanilla statement late Sunday afternoon.
“We are aware of the (NFL’s) inquiry and are co-operating fully with the League,” the statement said.
Hardly a declaration of innocence, is it?