Cornelius Griffin is trying to prove to everybody in the NFL that he can have outstanding seasons back to back. He's off to a great start.
In last Sunday's 9-7 win over the Chicago Bears, Griffin came up with the game's key sequence, stripping the ball from rookie QB Kyle Orton and then falling on it to end Chicago hopes.
Griffin helped make sure that the Redskins would be an opening-day winner for the fourth season in a row.
He's the same player who just about single-handedly took over the game when the Redskins edged the Bears last year at Soldier Field 13-10. Down the stretch that day, Griffin made life difficult for Chicago QB Jonathan Quinn with a pair of sacks.
Overall, Griffin had 10 tackles last year on Week 6. The Bears couldn't get him blocked that day and they couldn't stop him with the game in the balance on Sunday, either.
"Our defense played extremely well at the line of scrimmage," Joe Gibbs said of the 2005 season-opener. "I think our guys get upset when the other team even scores."
The leader on Week 1 was Griffin, even though he was up against a talented Chicago offensive front, which features Olin Kreutz at center and guards Ruben Brown and Terrence Metcalf. Griffin came up with four tackles and a sack.
In the fourth quarter, Redskins' fans gave their team a tangible home-field advantage. With the outcome in the balance, Redskins fans produced a level of noise that forced three straight Chicago false starts.
Such was not lost on the 6-3, 300-pound defensive tackle, who, like Chris Samuels, is from the University of Alabama.
"All those false starts? Our crowd was impressive," said Griffin. "They make you want to go out there and make plays."
Griffin finished the 2004 campaign with a career-high 96 tackles. Although he didn't make the Pro Bowl, he did receive some recognition as a fourth alternate. This year, he may take it a step further.
Trying to put together outstanding seasons back to back is his goal. And, once again, he's off to a great start.