Sunday, December 9, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Redskins 31, Ravens 28
By Ashley Fox
LANDOVER, Md. -- It was a thriller at FedEx Field, and not your old-school defensive battle, either.
What it means: The Redskins improve to 7-6 and keep within striking distance of the New York Giants in the NFC East. The win is Washington’s fourth straight and puts it above .500 after 13 games for the first time since Week 16 of the 2008 season. Baltimore fell to 9-4 and has lost consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 4-6 in 2009.
The game was won basically when: After Washington held Baltimore to a three-and-out on the Ravens' first possession of overtime, Redskins backup cornerback Richard Crawford took a 56-yard Baltimore punt 64 yards to the Ravens' 24-yard line, setting up Kai Forbath’s 34-yard game-winning field goal.
Time stopped when: Robert Griffin III injured his right knee on Washington’s final drive when, after scrambling for a short gain, he was tackled by Baltimore defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Rookie backup Kirk Cousins came in for one play, then Griffin III came back, played four plays essentially on one leg, got called for intentional grounding and hobbled off the field with the help of two Washington staffers. He was flat on the trainer’s table when Cousins found Pierre Garcon in the end zone for a touchdown and then successfully ran a quarterback draw on the two-point conversion to tie the game 28-28 and force overtime.
The Redskins announced Griffin III “strained” his right knee and was doubtful to return. He did not.
Points off turnovers: Washington forced Joe Flacco into two turnovers, both off sacks. The first came on the Ravens' first possession of the second half, leading 21-14. Washington outside linebacker Rob Jackson sacked Flacco from behind. Flacco fumbled, and the Redskins recovered.
On Baltimore’s next drive, Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan hit Flacco, again from his blind side, while Flacco was in his throwing motion. The ball came out and Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher intercepted it.
However, Washington converted those two turnovers into only six points to pull to within 21-20 near the end of the third quarter.
Baltimore injuries mount: The Ravens were without linebackers Terrell Suggs (torn biceps) and, again, Ray Lewis (torn triceps), marking the first time in nine years that neither Suggs nor Lewis was in the lineup. That’s a long time. Courtney Upshaw started in place of Suggs, while Brendon Ayanbadejo started in place of Dannell Ellerbe at weakside linebacker. Tight end Dennis Pitta started for Ed Dickson.
What’s next: The Ravens host Denver at 1 p.m. next Sunday. Washington plays at Cleveland.