For the first time since 2008, someone in a burgundy and gold uniform returned a punt for a touchdown. Jamison Crowder scored the only first half points for the Washington Redskins with his 85 yard punt return. While the team struggled to do anything with the momentum from the return in the first half, ending the second quarter with a missed 56 yard field goal attempt, Kirk Cousins and company seemed to settle down and bounce back in the third quarter. With a little bit of luck (in the form of an interception turned fumble turned touchback) and an honorable effort from the Redskins' defense, who shut out the Ravens in the second half, the Redskins managed to pull off the win.
The defense deserves much of the credit for today's win. Even though the unit has been decimated by injuries, especially in the secondary, the players who did suit up today refused to back down after a rough opening drive in which Baltimore easily marched down the field and scored a touchdown. They embodied a "bend, don't break" mentality, giving up over 200 yards to Joe Flacco and 118 yards on the ground, but refusing to let the Ravens return to the end zone again. The team's mental toughness shined through players like Ryan Kerrigan, who had been injured all week but joined the 50 sack club at the end of the first half, and Josh Norman, who stuck it out through a seemingly painful hand injury at the end of the first half. Somewhat surprisingly, Norman wasn't particularly targeted and tested by Baltimore upon his return until the final drive when Flacco targeted Perriman for a touchdown that was overturned.
On offense, the team struggled with consistency. The couldn't cash in on several third downs, going just 3-12, but they managed to get a fresh set of downs on one of two fourth down attempts. Cousins and his crew failed to cross the goal line until the third quarter of the game, when he hit the ever-dependable Pierre Garcon for a 21 yard pass play. Jordan Reed also showed up for his quarterback, as expected, but there was no true deep threat that emerged today. Cousins overthrew several receivers on long balls, and his longest pass play was just 27 yards to Desean Jackson. Jackson had a quiet day with only three receptions.
By the numbers: Cousins (29/41, 260 yards, 1 INT, 1 TD), Jones (14 carries, 31 yards), Garcon (5 receptions, 56 yards, 1 TD), Reed (8 receptions, 53 yards) Kerrigan (1 sack), Crowder (2 returns, 1 TD), Hopkins (1/2 FG, 1/2 XP)