The Redskins gave the visiting Miami Dolphins all they could handle in their season opener. But their longtime issues with special teams cost them. Jarvis Landry’s 69-yard punt return in the fourth quarter was the difference as the Dolphins walked out of FedEx Field with a 17-10 victory.
Kirk Cousins threw his first interception of the year in the second quarter, rolling to his right and apparently not seeing cornerback Brent Grimes, who jumped in front for the interception. But the Redskins defense stepped up. A nice tackle by Dashon Goldson on a pass to the sideline set up fourth and one. Lamar Miller tried to get the first down off left tackle but Ryan Kerrigan chased him down from the other side and made the tackle for no gain. The Redskins held on to their 3-0 lead.
After taking possession at their 12, the Redskins embarked on a magnificent drive, covering 88 yards in 17 plays, chewing up over eight minutes of clock. Cousins capped it with a four-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Reed to make it 10-0. But with less than two minutes left in the half, the Dolphins offense came to life and marched 80 yards to a three-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Kenny Stills to cut the lead to 10-3 at the half.
After the Dolphins tied the game at 10 on a field goal, the Redskins went three and out, committing four penalties in the process. Landry took Tress Way’s 54-yard punt and headed up the middle, quickly finding some open spaces. It looked like Way had a bead on him but Landry put on a move and blew past him. That put Miami up 17-10 with 10 minutes left to play.
The Redskins had a chance to respond with their next drive but Brice McCain made a circus interception of a Cousins pass intended for Pierre Garçon. The Dolphins couldn’t get much going and punted back to the Redskins with 5 minutes left to play.
The Redskins drove down to the Dolphins 20, mostly on the legs of Morris. But a Cousins pass went incomplete on third and seven setting up fourth and seven. Cousins was rushed hard and threw for Reed incomplete.
FG Forbath 45
Drive 12 plays, 53 yards, 7:21
Key plays: The Alfred Morris ran for 27 yards on 5 carries to keep the drive going. A third down conversion on a pass from Cousins to Jordan Reed kept the drive alive. A Jordan Phillips sack of Cousins in Miami territory stalled the drive and they had to settle for the field goal.
Redskins 3, Dolphins 0
Reed 4 passes from Cousins (Forbath kick)
Drive: 17 plays, 88 yards, 8:49
Key plays: After the defense stopped the Dolphins after the Cousins interception, the Redskins took over at their 12. They embarked on the longest drive they have had since 2012, with both Morris (5 carries 19 yards) and Matt Jones (6-29) picking up good chunks of yardage on the ground. A 22-yard pass from Cousins to Pierre Garçon helped things along. The score came on third and goal, with Reed hauling in the pass in the corner of the end zone.
Redskins 10, Dolphins 7
Stills 3 pass from Tannehill (Franks kick)
Drive 9 plays, 80 yards, 1:22
Key plays: Things got started with a 27-yard pass from Tannehill to Jordan Cameron. A 15-yard penalty was tacked on to a pass from Tannehill to Greg Jennings, getting the Dolphins into scoring position.
Redskins 10, Dolphins 7
FG Franks 22
Drive 10 plays, 76 yards, 4:21
Key plays: Lamar Miller runs of 13 and 17 yards got things going for the Dolphins. Miami got as close as a first and goal at the three but the defense stiffened. DeAngelo Hall made a tackle for a seven-yard loss from there and a delay of game penalty on third down made it goal to go at the 10. The Dolphins settled for three points.
Redskins 10, Dolphins 10
Landry 69 punt return (Franks kick)
Landry took Tress Way’s 54-yard punt and headed up the middle, quickly finding some open spaces. It looked like Way had a bead on him but Landry put on a move and blew past him.
Players of the Game:
Alfred Morris was a huge factor for the Redskins. He carried 25 times for 121 yards and helped the Redskins move the chains.
On defense, rookie Preston Smith got a sack and strip of Tannehill and, after a wild scramble, he recovered the fumble.
DeSean Jackson left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. He did not return.
S Duke Ihenacho left the game with a left wrist injury and went into the locker room. He did not return.
CB DeAngelo Hall left the game with a rib injury in the second quarter but he returned after halftime.
OT Morgan Moses left in the third quarter with an eye injury. He did return.
From the Locker Room: Check back later for later for notes and quotes from the Redskins locker room.