Riding a three-game winning streak over division opponents, the Redskins have risen from last in the NFC East to just one game out of first place.
“I can’t say it enough times; it’s just the mindset of the team,” Griffin III said after the Monday Night Football win against the Giants. “I think that guys are studying harder, making sure they’re playing harder.
"I see it in practice and it makes a big difference on game day.”
Griffin III has enjoyed his best three-game stretch since the team’s bye week. En route to his first three-game winning streak, he has thrown for 667 yards with nine touchdowns.
Last week against a Giants’ defense that is tied for ninth in total sacks on the season, the offensive line did not yield a sack the entire game.
Griffin III credited his offensive line that stepped up to the challenge of facing some of the best defensive linemen in the game.
“I’m proud of them,” Griffin III said. “I’m glad they stepped up big this year when we needed them to, not only in the running game but also in pass protections. It’s been great.”
The offense is likely to be tested this Sunday against a Ravens’ defense that continues to perform well, even with several star players out of the lineup.
The Ravens are 4-1 after the team’s Week 8 bye, as the defense has allowed an average of just 16.2 points per game. The lone loss came against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday, on a last-second field goal as time expired.
The Ravens are undefeated in the last 15 games following a loss, dating back to Week 5 of the 2009 season.
“As a fan of the game when you watch the NFL, you can see the intensity they play with and certainly on film, you can see it as well,” Griffin III said. “They bring it physically every game. They’ve always had great personnel and then, [safety] Ed Reed, he’s the top of that defense.”
Reed has played safety for the Ravens for his entire 11-year career. He is an eight-time Pro Bowler, a member of the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and holds the NFL record for interception return yards.
“He’s the best safety to ever play, or one of the best to ever play,” Griffin III said. “You respect that. I respect him as a player. I’m going to be aware of where he’s at. It’s nothing to fear. But he covers a lot of ground. He does a lot of unconventional things.”
Head coach Mike Shanahan agrees that Reed is a player the Redskins will certainly watch for. He said that Reed is the type of player that is so good as reading offenses that he knows what is coming next.
“Usually the great players are not only great athletes but great students of the game,” Shanahan said. “He is a guy that I think is very well prepared and he knows what is going to happen before it happens, which is why he has so many picks.”
Griffin III is likely to always keep an eye on Reed in the passing game; however decision making has not been an issue for him this season. Griffin has only thrown four interceptions this season, a number tied for lowest in the league amongst other full-time starting quarterbacks.
“I just don’t force things. Trust the system that you’re within so that you can go out and work through the system,” Griffin III said. “God’s blessed me with a decision-making ability to know when to put things into those tight windows and when not to.”
Although Griffin III acknowledges that Reed is one of the most talented defensive backs to ever play in the NFL, he knows that Reed must be also know where Griffin III and the rest of the Redskins’ playmakers are as well.
“You’ve just got to be aware of where he’s at just like he’s got to be aware of where I am and Alfred [Morris] and everyone else,” Griffin III said. “I stay really aggressive and try to play fearless all the time without being dumb at the same time. I try to make sure I’m conservative when I have to.”