Instant Analysis: Redskins 31 Ravens 28

Instant Analysis: Redskins 31 Ravens 28
December 9, 2012, 5:00 pm
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Mike Shanahan reacts to win over Ravens

Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garçon and forced the Ravens to overtime by sneaking up the middle on the two point conversion.

After stopping the Ravens on their first possession in overtime, Richard Crawford returned the ensuing punt 64 yards to the Ravens' 24-yard line. Washington then clinched the victory, 31-28, when Kai Forbath connected on a 34-yard field goal in the extra session.

Forbath's third field goal of the game gave the Redskins their fourth win in a row. They improved to 7-6.

But the game’s result wasn’t the primary concern for the Redskins. Griffin is the Redskins’ most important player and he finished the afternoon standing on the sideline. The early diagnosis, according to the team, was a right knee sprain.

Griffin was hurt when he was hit while scrambling by Haloti Ngata and the quarterback’s leg bent awkwardly. Griffin returned briefly, but hobbled to the sideline.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Joe Flacco connected with Anquan Boldin along the sideline for a 28-yard gain down to the Redskins’ seven-yard line. One play later, Ray Rice burst through the middle of Washington’s to put the Ravens ahead 28-20. 

The Redskins’ rally began, oddly enough, when Griffin left the game. Griffin’s backup delivered in his first action since the Atlanta game as Cousins went 2 for 2 for 26 yards.

Making the comeback seem even more improbable was the way in which the first half ended. The Ravens’ offense looked virtually unstoppable and had jumped out to a 21-14 lead at halftime behind Flacco’s three touchdown passes.

Facing a Redskins’ secondary hobbled by injuries (DeAngelo Hall) and depleted by a suspension (Cedric Griffin), it was no surprise that Joe Flacco took aim downfield. 

Flacco’s first two touchdown passes were to Anquan Boldin, who beat cornerback DeAngelo Hall on each of them. Hall sprained his ankle against the Giants on Monday.

Flacco’s third touchdown pass came midway through the second quarter, when he found tight end Dennis Pitta open for a 14-yard score that gave the Ravens a 21-14 edge. The Ravens’ three-play drive was set up by Morris’ fumble deep in Washington’s end. Morris also fumbled against the Giants, bringing the rookie’s total to four.

The Redskins’ Griffin and Morris led offense was productive in the opening two quarters against a Ravens’ defense that was missing Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis. Griffin tossed a touchdown pass to Josh Morgan (his first receiving score of the season) and Morris ran in another from a yard out.

The Redskins pulled to within 21-20 in the third quarter on field goals by Kai Forbath, who remained perfect by connecting on field goals 48 and 49 yards. Forbath improved to 13 for 13, including 8 of 8 on kicks from 40-49 yards.

The Ravens all-time lead in the series with the Redskins is down to just one, three games to two.