LANDOVER, Md..–Rookie backup quarterback Kirk Cousins came in for an injured rookie quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III late in the fourth quarter; tossed a touchdown and engineered a two-point PAT conversion to tie the score at 28. This ultimately led to the Washington Redskins’ 31-28 win over the Baltimore Ravens in overtime on Sunday Dec. 9 at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
Griffin was hit hard by Ravens lineman Haloti Ngata and injured his right knee after running down field late in the fourth quarter. He limped off the field for a play, and then returned two plays later to complete a pass down field to receiver Santana Moss. But RGIII’s knee was injured more than he initially thought so the rookie QB limped off the field again, allowing Cousins to come in and save the day.
Cousins then completed a pass to Skins receiver Pierre Garcon to push Washington into the red zone; a couple of plays later, Cousins found Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown to cut the Ravens lead to 28-26. Cousins then ran in for the two-point conversion to tie the game at 28.
The Ravens received the ball to start overtime but went three-and-out and punted it to Washington reserve cornerback Richard Crawford, who ran it back all the way into the Ravens red zone, setting up the easy 35-yard game-winning field goal made by Kai Forbath.
Most Outstanding Player of the Game:
Cousins deserves a ton of praise for coming off the bench cold and throwing a game-saving touchdown, then tying the score with the two-point conversion run. But the workhorse for the ‘Skins was rookie running back Alfred Morris, who ran for 119 yards on 21 carries, including a short touchdown run. Morris eclipsed the Redskins’ record for the most carries by a rookie with 251 carries so far this season. He also owns the franchise record for rookies with 1,127 yards, along with eight rushing touchdowns.
Unsung Hero of the Game:
The ‘Skins kicked an easy field goal to win the game without having to do much of anything on offense during the overtime period, thanks to Crawford’s long punt return. This was Crawford’s first game on punt return duties. He deserves to keep the position for the remainder the season after breaking loose to set up the game-winning field goal.
More Game Notes:
Redskins’ rookie sensation, Robert Griffin III made a few big plays today but he was contained for the most part against the Ravens’ 24th ranked defense. Griffin completed just 15-of-26 passes for 246 yards, one touchdown and a passer rating of 102.4. He ran for 34 yards on seven carries before getting injured.
‘Skins receiver Pierre Garcon caught five passes for 87 yards and a clutch fourth quarter touchdown.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco had a decent performance, completing 16-of-21 passes 182 yards and three touchdowns, all thrown in the first half. Unfortunately, Flacco’s second half wasn’t as impressive as he fumbled after being sacked on a blown block by left tackle Michael Oher, and then tossed an interception after being rushed on a blitz in the third quarter.
Ravens running back Ray Rice ran for over 100 yards for the first time since week 5 of this season; he finished with 121 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
Veteran Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin caught three passes for 78 yards, including two touchdowns; tight end Dennis Pitta led the Ravens with five catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Perry Green’s Take:
The Ravens have now lost two straight games, falling to 9-4 overall. They have a tough schedule for the final four games of the season, including opponents like the Denver Broncos (10-3 overall), the New York Giants (7-5 overall) and the Cincinnati Bengals (7-5 overall). They’ll have to do some soul searching and find out how to win games again or face the risk of blowing their chance of winning the AFC North division. Flacco and the offense has to show some consistency on offense, but really they’ll need to show some grit on defense. This year’s defensive unit has been a pure embarrassment when it comes to the traditional standards of Ravens defense. They just allowed backup quarterbacks beat them in the fourth quarter in back-to-back weeks, something most would have thought impossible to do against the Ravens’ defense in the past. They’d better get it together quickly or watch their chances of competing for the Super Bowl fade.
As for the Redskins, another win makes it four straight for the burgundy and gold as they’re now at 7-6 overall on the season. They’ve managed to keep their playoff hopes alive after a 3-6 start to the year. If they can keep winning, they may overtake the NFC East division and reach the postseason for the first time since 2007. Griffin’s injury will hurt them if he can’t play in their next game, but they can still win with a ground-and-pound game led by Alfred Morris. They’ll need their defense to step up and make some big plays to pull it off.
The Baltimore Ravens will take on the Denver Broncos Dec. 16 in Baltimore, Md., while the Redskins travel to Cleveland, Ohio to take on the Browns (4-8 overall).
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