BALTIMORE—It started out looking like it was going to be more of the same for the Redskins today. One of the worst rushing defense teams in the league gave up 49 yards on the Ravens’ opening drive, which was capped off with a touchdown.
Along the way the Ravens converted two of two third downs against the league’s worst third-down defense. It was 7-0 less than five minutes in and many were wondering if the Redskins were in for a long day.
But the Redskins soon shut the door. The Ravens went one for 13 on third down the rest of the way. After rushing for 74 yards in the first quarter Baltimore got just 44 more in the last three quarters of play.
Things got so bad for the Ravens offense that quarterback Joe Flacco said it was “embarrassing.”
As the Washington offense struggled to take advantage of the stalled Ravens attack, the defense kept on making big plays.
A Ziggy Hood sack, his first since 2014, stopped one drive. The Ravens had a shot at a Hail Mary at the end of the first half but Ryan Kerrigan stopped it before it got started with a sack.
Trent Murphy and Terrance Garvin split a third-down sack. The ensuing punt gave the offense good field position and they took just three plays to drive in for their only touchdown (the other came on Jamison Crowder’s punt return).
“The first drive was a little scary, here we go again,” said Jay Gruden. “But they came back and took it personal and played well. They did what it took to win.”
Quarterback Kirk Cousins also like what he saw.
“They were phenomenal today,” said Cousins. “The showed great character and toughness, both mentally and physically. The came up big us.”
They had to keep on coming up big until the very end. Trailing 16-10 the Ravens got going down the field and they moved to the Washington 23. Flacco threw to Breshad Perriman in the end zone. The receiver came down with the ball and the official called it a touchdown. But on replay review it was clear that Perriman’s second foot landed out of bounds and the touchdown was nullified.
Cornerback Josh Norman was defending on the play.
“Perriman pressed it like he was going on the fade. We were hand fighting down the field and pressing him to the sideline, which was out 12th man, and try to get him out. I nudged him a little big. We got the call of him being out of bounds. That’s one of the plays where I have to take my hat off to the technique.”
That was a first-down play. The Ravens had three more shots but they didn’t threaten the end zone and Cousins was able to take one last snap from victory formation.
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