Final Score: Washington 31, Baltimore 28 (OT)
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Robert Griffin III apparently isn't the only
rookie quarterback on the Washington Redskins' roster capable of producing a
Replacing an injured Griffin, Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to
Pierre Garcon with 29 seconds left in the fourth quarter before running in the
game-tying 2-point conversion, and the Redskins later came through with a
thrilling 31-28 overtime triumph over the Baltimore Ravens at FedEx Field.
Richard Crawford, another member of Washington's 2012 draft class, came
through with a pivotal 64-yard punt return in overtime to set up Kai Forbath's
third field goal of the afternoon -- a 34-yard kick 3:23 into the extra
Griffin completed 15-of-26 throws for 246 yards and a touchdown before being
forced out by a right knee sprain on the eventual tying drive, while fellow
rookie Alfred Morris rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries to
help the resurgent Redskins (7-6) to their fourth consecutive win.
"It was a great victory," said Garcon. "A lot of guys stepped up. Kirk stepped
up great, ran the ball well, did a lot of great things. The defense played
well in the second half and in the first half, and Kirk gave us a chance and
it came through when we really needed it."
Joe Flacco threw three first-half touchdown passes -- two of which went to
Anquan Boldin -- and Ray Rice put up 121 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20
attempts for Baltimore (9-4). Still, the Ravens suffered their second straight
defeat following a four-game win streak and missed out on a chance to secure a
The Ravens still hold a two-game lead over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati atop the
AFC North with three to play after both the Steelers and Bengals lost on
"Yeah, it's always tough to lose when you have games won," said Rice. "But we
do still have a bright future in front of us. Hats off to the other team over
there, they won. Needless to say, we don't have to worry about them -- they
are not in our division -- but we would have liked to get this win today."
Flacco finished an efficient 16-of-21 for 182 yards with one interception in
Griffin appeared to twist his right knee after taking a hard shot from Ravens
defensive lineman Haloti Ngata while scrambling for a first down with the
Redskins trailing 28-20 and time winding down. The rookie sensation briefly
returned after one play to complete a pair of throws, including a 22-yarder to
Garcon that brought Washington to the Baltimore 16 with around a minute left
in regulation, but limped off for good after throwing the ball away while
under pressure on the next snap.
"I was trying to make a play," said Griffin about the injury. "I got outside
and turned inside, and once I turned inside, I said 'Oh lord, here we go,' and
got down. I protected myself in that regard. It was just a freak play. My leg
got hit while I was going down and after I was already down, my leg got hit
again. It was a pretty painful experience, but I will be alright."
On came Cousins, who connected with Leonard Hankerson for 15 yards before
lofting a fade pass that Garcon came down with in the right corner of the end
zone to cut Washington's deficit to 28-26.
The Redskins then lined up for the necessary 2-point try, with Cousins taking
the snap from a shotgun formation and weaving his way across the goal line to
bring on extra time.
"That was a great play call," said Redskins center Will Montgomery. "I think
that was the last thing (the Ravens) were expecting. They actually dropped one
of their defensive ends in coverage. It kind of opened up the middle."
Baltimore would get the ball first in OT, but Washington forced a swift three-
and-out and a punt from Sam Koch, which Crawford fielded at his own 12 before
finding a seam down the middle before finally being taken down inside the
Ravens' 25-yard line.
"It was kind of like the Red Sea [parting]," said Crawford. "I saw where I had
to go and I just ran that way. I credit my teammates for blocking. I've just
got to finish it and score next time."
Morris ran twice before head coach Mike Shanahan summoned Forbath, who
completed the improbable comeback by splitting the uprights from 34 yards out.
Baltimore claimed a 21-14 lead by capitalizing on a Washington turnover in the
second quarter, and later extended the margin to eight when Rice's 7-yard run
with 4:47 to go accounted for a 28-20 advantage.
Morris had the ball jarred lose by Ma'ake Kemoeatu deep in Washington
territory with the contest locked at 14-14 in the second quarter, with Paul
Kruger returning the miscue to the Redskins' 14. Three plays later, Flacco
fired a 14-yard bullet to Dennis Pitta on a 3rd-and-10 to send the Ravens in
Washington would inch closer on a pair of long field goals from Forbath in the
third quarter, one from 48 yards out and the other a 49-yarder. Both kicks
came as a result of Flacco turnovers, the first a fumble on a sack by Rob
Jackson and the other an interception by London Fletcher that thwarted a drive
inside the Redskins' 10-yard line.
The Ravens' defense would clamp down afterwards, however, while the offense
scored its first points of the second half with an 8-play, 62-drive
highlighted by Flacco's 28-yard hookup with Boldin on 3rd-and-4 that gave
Baltimore a 1st-and-goal.
Rice punched it in on the following play to give Baltimore a 28-20 lead with
under five minutes remaining in regulation.
The Ravens nearly came up with a game-sealing miscue on the ensuing kickoff,
when David Reed pounced on a fumble by Washington's Niles Paul but was ruled
to be out of bounds while making contact with the ball.
The close call set the stage for a dramatic 13-play, 85-yard series capped by
Griffin, who completed 73 percent of his passes with a 9-to-1 touchdown-to-
interception ratio over Washington's three recent wins, continued his
outstanding play during the early portions of this game as well. The former
Heisman Trophy recipient was a sharp 6-of-8 for 122 yards in directing
touchdowns on the Redskins' initial two drives to stake his team to a 14-7
Washington moved 80 yards in 10 plays on the opening possession, which began
with a 29-yard burst from Morris and later featured a 23-yard screen to Garcon
to the Baltimore 1. Three plays later, Griffin found Josh Morgan on a
secondary read in the end zone for a 4-yard score for the first points of the
Baltimore struck back quickly on its first touch, with Rice ripping off
consecutive runs of 46 and 12 yards to get the Ravens into the red zone before
Flacco capped the 5-play sequence by hitting Boldin along the right sideline
for a 19-yard touchdown just past the midway mark of the quarter.
The Redskins countered with an 8-play, 83-yard march that contained three big
Griffin passes -- a 31-yard strike to Santana Moss, a 29-yarder to Hankerson
and a 21-yard delivery to Morgan in which the wideout bulled his way to the
Ravens' 1. Morris plowed across the goal line on the following snap to put
Washington ahead 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Flacco and Boldin would again team up to pull Baltimore even, with the veteran
receiver beating DeAngelo Hall for a well-executed 31-yard score less than
five minutes into the second quarter. Flacco went 4-of-5 for 61 yards in
engineering the 9-play, 77-yard series.
Reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Terrell Suggs did not play for
Baltimore due to a torn biceps sustained during last week's loss to
Pittsburgh. It marked the first time since Suggs entered the NFL in 2003 that
both he and Ray Lewis (triceps, IR) were both inactive in the same game ...
Morris' 100-yard effort was his sixth of the season, and the last 12
Washington players to eclipse the century mark in rushing yards in a game have
all been rookies (Morris six times, Griffin once, Roy Helu three times in
2011, Evan Royster twice in 2011) ... Boldin had his first multi-touchdown
game since hauling in three scores against Cleveland on Sept. 26, 2010 ...
Linebacker Jameel McClain (neck) and guard Marshal Yanda (sprained ankle) both
exited the game with injuries for Baltimore.
12/09 20:41:47 ET
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