12.10.2012 / Blog Posts Redskins
If your fingernails are significantly shorter than they were at this time yesterday, then you’re not alone.
The Washington Redskins overcame the adversity of both losing their starting quarterback to injury and an eight-point deficit late in Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens to pull off a 31-28 overtime win at FedExField. It was the Redskins’ fourth straight win, and gives the team a 7-6 record on the year.
The Redskins seemed dead in the water late in the fourth quarter of yesterday’s game, but quarterback Robert Griffin III and the Washington offense took the field with 4:39 remaining and down 28-20 from their own 15-yard line with a chance to tie the game with a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
Griffin III slowly guided the team down the field, and with 1:56 remaining, he took off with the ball to his left and gained 13 yards before running into the Ravens’ biggest defensive player – 6-foot-4, 340-pound defensive end Haloti Ngata – in the open field. As Griffin III was trying to get down, he was hit by Ngata, and the replays showed the quarterback’s knee was whipped awkwardly as he landed.
In came backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, a rookie, whose pass attempt to wide receiver Pierre Garçon was short. But a pass interference call on Ravens cornerback Chris Johnson gave Washington a first down at its own 40-yard line.
Griffin III tried to gut it out from there and played four more snaps — two of which were completed passes for a combined 37 yards — before the pain was too much to handle. Griffin III exited the game for a final time, and Cousins took over for good.
On 2nd and 20 from the Baltimore 26, Cousins found wide receiver Leonard Hankerson for a 15-yard gain. After a Washington timeout with 36 seconds left, Cousins faced a 3rd and 5 from the 11-yard line. Lined up in the shotgun with running back Evan Royster to his left, Cousins pump faked once before scrambling to his right and throwing off his back foot to Garçon, who was open in the front corner of the end zone. He made the catch to bring the Redskins within two points at 28-26.
Forced to go for two in the situation, the Redskins elected to use the element of surprise to get the ball into the end zone. This time Cousins was lined up in the shotgun with Royster to his right. Cousins dropped back as if he was going to pass, saw the Ravens had rushed just three and took off, diving into the end zone with the ball before passionately spiking the ball to celebrate.
The play – known as a quarterback draw – worked to perfection.
The Redskins would go on to ride the momentum of the play into overtime, as cornerback Richard Crawford had a huge punt return in the period, leading to kicker Kai Forbath nailing a 34-yard field goal to defeat the AFC North-leading Ravens, 31-28.
Washington has been playing inspired football since its Bye Week, and is hoping to earn a playoff spot somehow or someway. Performances like yesterday’s are increasingly making that goal possible.
The Redskins return to action on Sunday as they travel to the banks of Lake Erie to take on the Cleveland Browns (5-8). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
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