Robert Griffin III barely let the ball hit the ground Sunday.
Fifteen attempts, 14 completions. Touchdown passes of 6, 49, 61, and 17 yards — one in each quarter. The highest possible passer rating of 158.3.
The Redskins finally found the formula for beating a rookie quarterback: force turnovers and have your own rookie play better. The Washington defense got three takeaways and four sacks, and Griffin threw for 200 yards and ran for 84 in a 31-6 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Landover, Md.
The win snapped the Redskins’ three-game skid as well as a remarkable eight-game losing streak against rookie quarterbacks that began in 2006.
Nick Foles’s first drive as an NFL starting quarterback ended with a pass tipped to DeAngelo Hall for an interception. On Foles’s second drive, he threw into double coverage — right to safety Brandon Meriweather.
Foles, starting for the injured Michael Vick, completed 21 of 46 passes for 204 yards. And the Eagles (3-7) didn’t play any better with a new quarterback, their six-game losing streak their longest in any one season since 1994.
The victory allows Washington, despite a 4-6 record, to consider itself a contender in the weakened NFC East for at least a few more days. The Redskins have a short week before heading to Texas for a Thanksgiving game against the Cowboys.
Griffin completed passes to nine receivers. He has only three interceptions in 277 attempts this season; Foles already has three in just 78 attempts.
‘‘Nothing’s going to change; Robert’s going to go out there and be special,” said Santana Moss, who leaped between two defenders and fought his way into the end zone for the 61-yard score in the third quarter. “That’s the gift that he has, he’s a special guy.”
Cowboys 23, Browns 20
Dan Bailey kicked a tying 32-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation in Arlington, Texas, and drilled a 38-yarder in overtime to lift Dallas and send Cleveland to its 12th consecutive road loss. The Cowboys overcame a 13-0 halftime deficit and an up-and-down game from Tony Romo to improve to 5-5.
Romo completed 35 of 50 passes for 313 yards, and his 28-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant put Dallas ahead, 17-13, with 6:46 left in the fourth quarter. But he also was sacked a career-high seven times (for 56 yards) and lost a fumble in Cleveland territory right after Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden turned the ball over to Dallas.
Cleveland (2-8) took Romo’s gift and drove to the Dallas 6 for a first down. Three Trent Richardson runs got the Browns to the 1 before Weeden’s fourth-down pass went incomplete. Weeden got his touchdown, however, with 1:07 remaining, hitting Benjamin Watson from 17 yards for a 20-17 lead.
Broncos 30, Chargers 23
Peyton Manning (270 yards, three touchdown passes) tied John Elway for second on the all-time list for victories by a starting quarterback with his 148th, but the star of Denver’s home victory was Von Miller, who had three sacks and forced two Philip Rivers fumbles.
The Broncos (7-3) own a three-game lead in the AFC West. San Diego (4-6) didn’t make a push until falling behind, 24-9, midway through the third quarter — with its defense doing the scoring to that point.
Danario Alexander leapt over cornerback Chris Harris for a 21-yard touchdown to pull the Chargers within 30-23 with 1:24 left, but the Broncos recovered the onside kick. After a punt, Elvis Dumervil sacked Rivers to seal Denver’s fifth straight win.
Buccaneers 27, Panthers 21
Josh Freeman’s third touchdown pass of the day covered 15 yards to Dallas Clark in overtime, giving surging Tampa Bay (6-4) its fifth win in six games. Freeman also hit Vincent Jackson on a 24-yard score and 2-point conversion to knot the game at 21 with 12 seconds left in regulation in Charlotte, N.C.
Carolina (2-8) appeared to have the game in hand after a 29-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Brandon LaFell put the Panthers ahead, 21-10, with six minutes left in the game. But after a 40-yard field goal by the Bucs’ Connor Barth, the Panthers’ offense couldn’t put the game away and had to punt.
Freeman led Tampa Bay 80 yards on seven plays in 50 seconds, despite not having any timeouts. His touchdown pass to Jackson was perfectly thrown between three defenders. Freeman finished 25 of 46 for 248 yards. Newton was 16 of 29 for 252 yards and a score.
Falcons 23, Cardinals 19
Matt Ryan threw a career-high five interceptions and host Atlanta finished with six turnovers, yet the Falcons still improved to 9-1 with an ugly win over Arizona. Michael Turner scored the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run with 6:40 remaining, and the Cardinals (4-6) dropped their sixth straight game.
Ryan turned around his bad day by completing four passes for 64 yards on the deciding drive, the last a 9-yarder to Tony Gonzalez on third and 5 from the 10. Turner scored on the next play.
Arizona lost despite taking a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. The Cardinals tried to bolster their anemic offense by switching quarterbacks, replacing John Skelton with rookie Ryan Lindley, but had only 178 total yards.
Packers 24, Lions 20
Green Bay (7-3) moved a half-game behind first-place Chicago in the NFC North with its fifth straight win. Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to Randall Cobb with 1:55 left in Detroit.
Matthew Stafford couldn’t put the Lions (4-6) ahead on either of their last two drives in a game he’d like to forget. Stafford threw two interceptions — one returned 72 yards by safety M.D. Jennings for a touchdown in the third quarter — and lost a fumble, and missed many receivers badly while finishing just 17 of 39.
Saints 38, Raiders 17
New Orleans completed its long climb to .500 as Lance Moore caught two of Drew Brees’s three touchdown passes and Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception for a score in Oakland, Calif. Once 0-4, the Saints (5-5) had another strong performance, reaching the end zone on their first possession and never looking back.
The Raiders (3-7) lost their third straight, and their 135 points in those defeats is their most in a three-game span since 1961. Carson Palmer threw a pair of early interceptions; Jenkins turned the first into a 14-0 lead, and Roman Harper picked off the other in the end zone.
Bengals 28, Chiefs 6
Andy Dalton passed for two scores and ran for a third, BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown, and Cincinnati had its way at a half-full Arrowhead Stadium after the dreadful Chiefs (1-9) took an early 3-0 lead.
Cincinnati (5-5) has won two in a row following a four-game skid. Kansas City, meanwhile, has lost seven straight games, with this one being the fourth by at least two touchdowns.