RG3's 'pitch' perfect play; was it a fumble return for a TD...or planned?
Heading into Monday night, one of the biggest storylines was that the Giants would be the first team to have seen Robert Griffin III twice. Therefore, they could scheme better, right?
The media consensus was that Griffin's multiple weapons would still prove difficult to scheme. Little did anyone know (including RG3, despite want he'll tell you) Griffin had a little trick up his arm sleeve.
The Giants, specifically Osi Umenyiora, Prince Amukamara, Stevie Brown, Corey Webster and Jason Pierre-Paul hadn't game-planned for RG3's most elusive move to date…the 'perfect' pitch play.
In the first quarter with roughly 4:30 on the clock, as Griffin is rushing down the left side, Umenyiora goes for the tackle, but misses. Stevie Brown eventually takes down RG3. As Griffin slid to avoid the tackle, he fumbled the ball in the air and wide receiver, Josh Morgan, without missing a step up catches the ball for a 13-yard touchdown.
It's a play that NFL.com dubbed, 'RG3's bail out' and it would become Morgan's first TD as a Redskin.
The Redskins would take a 7-3 lead and Griffin's 'larger than life' persona would reach new heights. The twittersphere erupted with parodies of the Dos Equis Man a.k.a. 'The Most Interesting Man in the World,' memes noted, "I don't always fumble the football, but when I do…It's for a touchdown." Keep in mind, While Philip Rivers leads the league in fumbles with 11, Griffin is not far behind with 10, alongside Michael Vick (through 9 games) and Mark Sanchez. The difference being burgundy and gold's signal caller has only lost 2 of them.
Naturally, 'The Most Interesting Man in the Football,' jokingly said the play had gone down as planned,
"It was totally by design. I knew Josh [Morgan] was going to be there ready for that touchdown so that's what we did. We held it in practice because we wanted to save it for the game. I just knew that he was going to be there ready for it. Josh did a good job of being in the spot he needed to be."
Josh Morgan caught on to the 'ruse' a little later in the line of questioning. He said they had practiced the option, but not the way the play went down, but when asked if RG3 said anything to him after the touchdown, Morgan responded: "It worked out like we planned, we didn't need to talk about nothing," he laughed, "I kept my pitch [open] on the option and we got it into the end zone."
Even the stoic Mike Shanahan couldn't help but have a little fun with the play.
"I can't believe he fumbled that one ball to Josh [Morgan]. Everybody thought was an accident, but he's worked on that during the week (laughs). I thought it was a great job there…sometimes you gotta get a little bit lucky."
Luck. Sounds like a scientific way to stop someone, but it was actually the word Justin Tuck used to describe how to stop RG3.
Griffin, pressed again about the play, stuck to his story.
"It was a pitch to Josh. I knew he was going to be there so I’m going to stay with that story."
All comments with tongue planted firmly in cheek, of course.
The smile still on his face, he said, "God's on our side…"
Heavenly luck or not, RG3 has probably never been more relieved to raise his finger to the sky after a touchdown during his signature celebration.