Robert Griffin III was a one-man show as he led his team in rushing with 85 yards and a score on 12 carries while completing 21 of 34 of his passes for 221 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 38-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at FedEx Field.
After a solid 1-1 record, the Washington Redskins (1-2) appeared to have serve notice to the league that they were ready to take the next step — this season. So, expectations were in high entering the team’s home opener. However, the whirlwind of the Bengals probably made the Redskins’ notice unnoticeable as they were victimized by big play after big play Sunday.
“It’s something we have to work on, obviously,” said Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan. “We gave up a big one on a blitz — just missed a tackle right there. Sometimes you have to take some chances. Obviously, we wound up giving them a big play. I was pleased with some of the things we did — the way we fought back.
“It looked like we had momentum going and then obviously couldn’t finish it,” he continued. “They came back and did a good job moving the football. We’ve got some work to do on both sides of the football. It’s disappointing when you get back and you put yourself in position to win it and you don’t obviously win the football game.”
After Cincinnati lighted things up on offense with 17 unanswered points to take a 24-7 lead towards the end of the second quarter, Washington was brought within 14, as kicker Billy Cundiff nailed a 36-yard field goal.
RGIII was pressured heavily in the first half, causing him to not produce positive results. At the start of the second half, Griffin III started to roll and used his legs to extend plays to create opportunities for his teammates.
The result – 14 unanswered points (17 total) were produced and the Redskins were tied with the Bengals, 24-24.
Shortly after, the Bengals turned the heat up on Griffin III and the Redskins again. The Bengals took over and never looked back. Despite being pushed and knocked around, RGIII had an opportunity to be a hero in his debut in Washington, but the Bengals shut it down.
Due to the Redskins’ contest against the St. Louis Rams, the bluepoint to stop RGIII is to pound on him. The Bengals tried that approach, but Griffin III did not allow the physical play to discourage him as he would not back down from anyone.
“One is too many, to be honest. I’m not trying to be funny,” said Griffin III. “As a quarterback, you’re a stationary target most of the time. Even when you’re a mobile QB, the teams are still going to come after you even more because they feel like if they get a sack on a mobile quarterback, it counts as more. That’s just their mindset when they go into the game.
“Like I said, one is too many, but the one thing I won’t do personally is quit or play scared,” he added. “I’ve never played scared in my life so it doesn’t matter how many times I get hit. I’m going to continue to get back up. Even if they have to cart me off the field, I’m going to get off that cart and walk away.”
The Redskins extended their consecutive games home sellout streak to an NFL-high 369, including postseason games. The team has sold out all 151 preseason, regular season and postseason games at FedExField.
The Redskins rushed for 213 yards, the highest rushing total of the Mike Shanahan era. The previous rushing yardage high for a Shanahan-coached Redskins team was 196, set in Week 4 at St. Louis last season.
The 213 rushing yards are the most for the Redskins since compiling 296 rushing yards at the New York Jets on Nov. 4, 2007, a span of 74 regular season games.
With the 213-yard effort, the Redskins have rushed for 150 or more yards in three consecutive games for the first time since posting four 150-yard rushing games from Weeks 4-7 of the 2008 season.
Sunday marked the 49th time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger that the Redskins have rushed for 200 or more yards in a regular season game.
The Redskins have now scored 99 points in the last three games, the team’s best three-game scoring output since the final three games of the 2005 season, when the team scored 101 points.
Washington scored 21 points in the second half. Including both halves of the season opener at New Orleans and the first half at St. Louis last week, the Redskins have now scored 20 or more points in a half in three consecutive games for the first time since the final three weeks of the 2005 season (28-point first half vs. Dallas on Dec. 18, 2005; 21-point first half vs. New York Giants on Dec. 24, 2005; 21-point second half at Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 2006).
After forcing two turnovers, the team has now forced multiple tunrovers in four consecutive games, dating back to last season. This is Washington’s longest streak of consecutive multi-turnover games since a six-game streak in Weeks 3-8 of the 2010 season.
Punter Sav Rocca had his first punt downed at the Bengals’ one-yard line. Among punters with a minimum of 40 punts, Rocca led the NFL in percentage of punts downed inside the 20-yard line last season (42.42 percent).
On the ensuing drive, linebacker Rob Jackson, who made his first career start, intercepted a pass in the Bengals’ end zone for the first interception and first touchdown of his career.
The interception return for touchdown was the Redskins’ first since Sept. 11, 2011, when linebacker Ryan Kerrigan scored on a nine-yard interception return.