Robert Griffin III showed on Sunday that he had, indeed, fully recovered from a dislocated ankle suffered Week 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In his first game action in seven weeks, Griffin III was able to throw, throw with authority and run around with ease against the Minnesota Vikings defense.
But one aspect – and one aspect alone – will eat at Griffin III about his performance on Sunday: his team didn't get the win.
The Redskins couldn't hang on to their late lead, as they fell to the host Vikings, 29-26, at TCF Bank Stadium.
"Not good enough to win, that's all that matters," Griffin III said when asked about his performance after the game. "We lost the game. Guys fought really, really hard, but we know how bad we need wins right now and we didn't come out here and do it today."
Griffin III suffered the ankle injury in the first quarter of the Week 2 game against the Jaguars, and quickly ditched his cast and crutches as he worked his way back to the practice field. At first, he was seen working on the side with the team's trainers before getting the chance to run the Redskins' scout team offense and, eventually, was sharing first-team reps with backup Colt McCoy.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden announced late last week that Griffin III was his likely starter for Sunday's game, and said the third-year pro out of Baylor "came in and competed" against the Vikings.
"I thought he gave us a good chance to win," Gruden said. "Threw some good balls, took some sacks that maybe he shouldn't have taken, missed a throw or two."
Overall, Griffin III was sacked five times by the swarming Minnesota defense, a staple of first-year head coach Mike Zimmer, a longtime defensive coordinator in the NFL.
"From a protection standpoint, we got to do a better job," Gruden said. "We got to be more firm up the middle. They had some good blitzes like we knew coach Zimmer would have, [and] got to us a couple times."
Overall, Griffin III completed 18-of-28 passes for 251 yards with one touchdown and one interception each.
The interception came at a critical juncture in the second quarter. On 1st and 10 from the Washington 39, Griffin III, lined up in the shotgun, tried to find receiver Andre Roberts, when, as Gruden said, he tried to "throw an out-breaking route on the inside."
At the time of the pick, the Redskins led 10-0 with 1:04 left in the first half. The Vikings took advantage of the prime field position and were able to score a touchdown with a 20-yard touchdown pass just four plays later to go into halftime down just 10-7.
"I just threw it inside. Point blank, period," Griffin III said of the interception. "Andre ran a great route, just left the ball inside, didn't come out of my hand right, went and caught it, doesn't matter. At the end of the day, I can't let that happen."
Griffin III also saw some success on Sunday – particularly to wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Jackson finished with four catches for 120 yards and a touchdown, as he broke free on that scoring play on a 1st and 10 from the 13 with 7:28 left in the third quarter to give the Redskins the lead back at 17-14. It was Griffin III's first touchdown pass of the season and his first since Week 14 last season.
Overall, Griffin III – who also added 24 rushing yards on Sunday – said Minnesota presented a "good test" for the Washington offense.
"With everything that they do – the double-A blitzes and overload blitzes, bluffing and running the coverage – it's a really good defense," Griffin III said. "Collectively, I thought we played well, did a good job on offense, but not good enough to win the game. That's all that matters."
Griffin III said, like usual, he'll look at the tape and try to immediately correct his mistakes in time for the Redskins' next game Nov. 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField.
"I have to play better for [a win] to happen, regardless of any box score or any stats," he said. "I know that I can play better, I know that we can play better, and we'll do that after this bye week."