LANDOVER, Md. — Robert Griffin III went down, the ball popped out, and the Washington Redskins scored a touchdown.
Look out, New York Giants and the rest of the NFC East. If the rookie quarterback keeps getting those kinds of breaks, it'll be hard to keep him out of the title hunt for years to come.
As it is, RG3 has the Redskins within a game of first place, leading a fourth-quarter rally in a 17-16 Monday night victory over the Giants, giving Washington a three-game winning streak in which it has dispatched its division rivals — Philadelphia, Dallas, and now New York — one by one.
‘‘We know that our backs are against the wall,’’ Griffin said. ‘‘And even though we won tonight, our backs are still against the wall.’’
Griffin completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards and ran five times for 72 yards, breaking Cam Newton’s NFL record for yards rushing by a rookie quarterback.
His top target again was Pierre Garcon, who had eight receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown, showing no signs of the painful toe injury that forced him to miss six of the season’s first nine games.
Alfred Morris ran for 124 yards on 22 carries, becoming the second Redskins rookie to run for 1,000 yards. Reggie Brooks had 1,063 in 1993.
Washington also ended a 10-game home losing streak in Monday night games.
The Redskins (6-6) appeared out of the running at 3-6 a month ago, but Washington is proving it can never be counted out with Griffin on the field.
With the Giants (7-5) losing three of four and the Cowboys (6-6) also at .500, the division is up for grabs.
Eli Manning completed 20 of 33 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown for the Giants, who had won 26 in a row on the road when holding a halftime lead. They were ahead, 13-10, at the break Monday, but they failed to finish the job for the first time since blowing a 21-0 halftime lead in a 24-21 loss to Tennessee in 2006.
Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 103 yards on 24 carries, and Victor Cruz had five catches for 104 yards for the Giants.
The Giants moved the ball well all game, but the drives produced three field goals by Lawrence Tynes and only one touchdown — Manning’s 4-yard pass to Martellus Bennett late in the first half.
The game’s final score was Griffin’s 8-yard pass to Garcon early in the fourth quarter, but the Redskins’ first touchdown was one of the evening’s crazy moments.
On second and 2 from the New York 28, Griffin ran to his left and was being tackled by Stevie Brown after what would have been a 12-yard gain.
But as Griffin fell with his back to the ground, the football popped out, and went right on the fly to receiver Joshua Morgan 3 yards farther upfield. Morgan then ran 13 yards for the score.