LANDOVER, Maryland, Dec 4 (Reuters) - With the Washington Redskins riding a three-game winning streak and back in the playoff hunt, Robert Griffin III is not about to quibble about his statistics.
The rookie quarterback was outgained by his New York Giants counterpart Eli Manning by 117 yards through the air on Monday but all that mattered to Griffin was the final score.
Washington 17 New York 16.
"Stats don't really matter," Griffin said. "We won the game and made plays in crucial situations. The offensive line stepped up big when we needed them to. We won the game.
"We played more physical and that was the key."
Just a month ago, the Redskins lost at home to the lowly Carolina Panthers, prompting head coach Mike Shanahan to say his players would play the rest of the season competing for next year's roster spots.
Whether that was merely a motivation ploy Shanahan is not saying but three straight victories later the Redskins are at 6-6 and sitting in second place with Dallas in the NFC East.
The Redskins showed their mettle by grinding down the last 3:51 of the game with a drive that kept the Giants' offense off the field.
"Everybody knows how important winning is and we've lost a number of games in the fourth quarter, games that we had a chance to put away and didn't do it," said Shanahan.
"We put this game away and it took a lot of people working extremely hard to do it.
"We've got a lot of inexperienced guys that are more experienced right now and getting better. Hopefully we can just keep this going."
Griffin competed 13 of 21 passes for just 163 yards but he ran five times for another 72 yards. The Redskins outgained the Giants on the ground 207-117.
Since the Carolina loss Griffin said the key difference is the team's "mindset".
"Each individual guy has to go out and dominate his position," he said. "If every guy on your team dominates the guy in front of him then you should never lose. That's what the guys are doing."
Washington are now one game behind the Giants (7-5) with four left to play in the regular season. Next up for the Redskins is the Baltimore Ravens (9-3) in Landover.
The Giants were in the NFC East driver's seat but now find themselves in a dogfight. It does not get any easier with New Orleans coming to town on Sunday.
"We have some tough teams to face but that is what will make it exciting," said Manning. "We have to play better football and find a way to win games."
Giants coach Tom Coughlin was exasperated following the loss to the Redskins.
"We aren't going to beat anybody with 16 points," he said with a sigh. (Eduting by Peter Rutherford)