Up 7-3 three minutes into the second quarter, the Washington Redskins let a terrific opportunity go to waste.
After having two big penalties go their way, the Redskins couldn’t convert on kicker Billy Cundiff’s 41-yard field goal attempt, which sailed wide right.
But cornerback DeAngelo Hall was right there to pick his team up.
Hall’s interception on Tampa Bay’s next drive — his 36th-career pick — got the Washington offense cookin’ once again, and on 1st and goal from the 5-yard line, quarterback Robert Griffin III turned on the burners and scored easily via the rush — his fourth rushing touchdown of the season — and extended the Redskins’ lead to 14-3 with 7:26 remaining in the first half.
Rookie running back Alfred Morris added a 39-yard touchdown run of his own on the next drive, and, at halftime, the Redskins lead the Buccaneers, 21-6.The Redskins defense stood tall on the Buccaneers’ first drive of the second quarter.
On 3rd and 5 from the Tampa Bay 25, Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman’s pass was overthrown and fell to the turf, setting up the team’s third punt of the game.
The Redskins offense was then able to take advantage of some critical mistakes by the Buccaneers on their next drive. On the first play, Griffin III dropped back and was picked up and slammed to the turf WWE style, garnering a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on the home team.
On the next play, Griffin III tried to go deep to wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who was bumped as he tried to get separation from his defender. The pass interference penalty put the ball at the Tampa 25-yard line. Three plays later, on 3rd and 11, Griffin III found receiver Leonard Hankerson for a three-yard gain across the middle, setting up a 41-yard attempt by kicker Billy Cundiff, which he missed to the right, officially wasting a golden opportunity for the Redskins.
But Hall got the interception just minutes later, setting up the Redskins’ first scoring drive of the second quarter — Griffin III’s 5-yard rush for a touchdown, which tied a Redskins’ quarterback record for rushing touchdowns in a season (four).
On Tampa Bay’s next possession, outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan got a clutch sack of Freeman on third down, setting up yet another Buccaneers punt. It was sack No. 3.5 of the season for Kerrigan thus far.
Two plays and 60 yards later for the Redskins, they were in the end zone yet again. Griffin III found Hankerson for 21 yards, and on the next play, rookie running back Alfred Morris ran 39 yards up the middle for a touchdown — also his fourth rushing score of the season — and, after the extra point, the Redskins were up 21-3.
Wow, folks — Alfred Morris is really something special. Remember, he’s doing this against the No. 1-ranked rushing defense in the NFL, allowing only 48 yards per game via the rush. The touchdown scamper gave him 72 yards in the first half alone. Also, credit the offensive line for creating a huge hole for Morris on the play. Great call by offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.
On their next drive, the Buccaneers went 41 yards in nine plays and got back on the scoreboard with a 57-yard field goal by Connor Barth — his second field goal of the game — to narrow the Redskins’ lead to 15 at 21-6 with 1:55 remaining in the half.
On the Redskins’ final drive of the second quarter, Cundiff’s 57-yard field goal attempt — which would’ve been a career-long — was just short as time expired.
It’s been a quality first half on both sides of the ball for the Redskins. Let’s see if they can keep it up in the second half and earn win No. 2 of the young 2012 season.
CHIME IN: How do YOU think the Redskins have played so far in the first half against the Buccaneers? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 regular season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, washington redskins
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