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Robert Griffin III debut: Redskins rookie quarterback leads team to first win

Griffin threw for 320 yards and rushed for 42 more in his debut. Photo: Associated Press
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What did you think of RGIII's performance? In ONE WORD, describe Griffin's debut in the comments.

Robert Griffin III has been the talk of the D.C. football world since the Washington Redskins took him #2 overall in this past April's NFL Draft. Fans patiently had to wait for several months, though, to step on the field and play a game that mattered.

RG3 finally got his chance on Sunday in New Orleans. Two touchdowns, 320 passing yards and a 40-32 victory later, the buzz is only louder.

In short, the precocious rookie did not disappoint.

Griffin announced his arrival to the National Football League with 3:28 left in the first quarter. After starting the game by going 6-for-6 on his first drive, Griffin hit a fellow newcomer, wide receiver Pierre Garcon, with a laser-like pass.

Eighty-eight yards later, Garcon was in the end zone. Laying on his back on the turf staring at the ceiling, Griffin crossed himself, pumped his fist and got up to celebrate.

"He lived up to all of the hype. He's as good as advertised," Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. "I mean, how many great plays did he make out there?"

RG3 didn't throw an incompletion until early in the 2nd quarter and finished 19-for-26 with 320 yards and two touchdown passes. He also added 42 rushing yards. The ball Griffin threw for his first TD was given to him after the game, and the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor cradled it while talking about what it meant to him to play so well in his NFL debut.

As time whittled away and Saints fans headed for the exits at the Superdome, a chant of "R-G-3!" echoed around the cavernous stadium.

"You can win a high school state championship and a bowl game in college, but to play in the NFL, the pinnacle of it all, and win your first game against a Hall of Famer in Drew Brees, it's at the top," Griffin said. "After the game, (Brees) told me he was proud of me. That's big for him to say after he just lost the game."

Griffin also connected with Aldrick Robinson early in the second quarter for his second touchdown strike.

"Robert did an unbelievable job to play the way that he did in his first game in the National Football League," said Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, marveling at "the poise that he played with and some of the throws that he made."

Meanwhile, Griffin took to Twitter after the game, but it seems clear that the Heisman Trophy winner remains focused on building a winner in Washington.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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