The Washington Redskins came into today’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers needing a win on the road to stop a two-game losing streak as the team gets into the meat of its tough schedule.
Though things certainly got interesting in the fourth quarter, a win was exactly what the Redskins earned today at Raymond James Stadium, as they dispensed of the Buccaneers, 24-22.
The fourth quarter certainly didn’t start in the Redskins’ favor.
The Redskins (2-2) got what looked like a chip-shot, 31-yard field-goal attempt for kicker Billy Cundiff, but he missed it — his third miss of the game — and gave the ball back to a Buccaneers (1-3) team looking to cut the deficit to single-digits.
Five plays and 79 yards later, that’s exactly what they did, as running back LeGarrette Blount rumbled in from two yards out for the touchdown. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, the Redskins only led by two at 21-19 with 9:41 remaining in the quarter.
The touchdown was set up by a couple of huge passes to Jackson allowed by the Redskins secondary that went for a combined 77 yards.
The Redskins went three and out on their ensuing drive, as Griffin III’s pass attempt to Santana Moss sailed on third down, leading to the punt.
The Buccaneers began their first potential go-ahead drive with 8:14 left in the game from their own 33-yard line. Two plays later, Josh Freeman found receiver Tiquan Underwood for 15 yards across the middle, and on the next play, running back Doug Martin continued the drive into Redskins territory with a three-yard run. On third down, however, Freeman tried to find Martin for a screen pass, but he was met head-on by outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan for a seven-yard loss, forcing a Tampa Bay punt.
The Redskins faced a 3rd and 10 on their next drive, and after Griffin III scanned the field for his receivers, he took off toward the sideline and the first-down marker. The ref ruled he went out of bounds after gaining nine yards, but head coach Mike Shanahan challenged the spot, arguing that Griffin III instead earned the first down. The ruling on the field stood, however, and the Redskins were forced to punt on 4th and 1 with 3:50 remaining in the game.
The Buccaneers began their second stab at a potential go-ahead drive at their own 36 with 3:38 remaining. They first went to Martin on the ground, who got seven yards to his left. The next play, a pass to tight end Dallas Clark, was good for four yards and a first down. Next, Tiquan Underwood made an amazing diving catch for 19 yards to the Redskins’ 34-yard line, putting the Buccaneers in field-goal range with the two-minute warning coming and going.
The drive ended with Connor Barth nailing a 47-yard field goal after Tampa Bay went 36 yards in seven plays to give the Buccaneers their second lead of the game, 22-21, with 1:42 remaining.
Griffin III and the Redskins’ offense started their next drive from their 20-yard line with a 15-yard pass-and-catch to Moss. On the very next play, Griffin III found tight end Fred Davis for 20 yards across the middle to the Tampa Bay 45. After a short pass to running back Evan Royster for four yards, Griffin III found wide-open real estate across the middle and rushed to the 26-yard line before spiking the ball and killing the clock with 18 seconds to go.
A false start by guard Kory Lichtensteiger backed the ball up to the 31-yard line, but on the next play, with Griffin III in the shotgun and Royster to his right, he found Moss again for a 24-yard line with seven seconds remaining. After a timeout, Cundiff got his revenge by nailing a 41-yard field goal to give the Redskins the 24-22 lead and the win.
The positives from today’s game?
– Alfred Morris topped the century mark for rushing for the first time in his short career. He also added a rushing touchdown — his fourth of the season — and did so against the league’s toughest rushing defense.
– Nine different Redskins caught passes today, and that’s without Aldrick Robinson playing.
– The Redskins gave up a lead, but they fought back and got that lead back and earned the victory in the final seconds. That’s huge for a young, scrappy team.
– Cundiff missing three field goals is never a good thing, obviously. One miss was from 57 yards, which would’ve been a career-high, but the other misses were certainly ones that an NFL kicker should be making at a successful rate. But Cundiff can certainly bounce back from this — no matter how much flack he catches from outsiders — especially considering he made the final attempt.
– The Redskins’ secondary played two and a half solid quarters against the Buccaneers, but the rest of the game made Freeman look like an MVP candidate.
CHIME IN: What are your thoughts from today’s win? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 regular season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, washington redskins
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