The first-ever game for the Washington Redskins in London ended with a franchise result not experienced in nearly 20 years, though a common outcome in European sports. The scenario also surely left the Ashburn crew feeling like they let one get away across the pond.
Dustin Hopkins' field goal with 1:07 remaining in regulation forced overtime, but then missed a possible game-winner from 34 yards as the Redskins and Bengals finished a mistake-filled contest tied at 27-27. Washington enters the Week 9 bye with the odd 4-3-1 record after its first tie since Nov. 23, 1997. Gus Frerotte's head remembers that one.
Kirk Cousins completed 38 of 56 passes for 458 yards, two touchdown passes and one interception. Both touchdown passes -- 23 yards to Jordan Reed and 33 to Jamison Crowder -- came in the second half after Cincinnati scored 14 straight points for opened a 20-10 lead. He led the Redskins to a staggering 546 yards compared to 415 for the Bengals and directed a drive that setup Hopkins' final attempt.
Washington won the turnover battle (2-1) with Will Compton forcing a Dalton fumble near midfield late in overtime. They also benefitted from Cincinnati kicker Mike Nugent missing an extra point and quarterback Andy Dalton never taking the game over with his arm.
Here's a six-pack of initial takeaways:
* Some penalties were legit and some were not (see Pierre Garcon's offensive pass interference wiping out a good gain in overtime), but the Redskins were flagged a whopping 15 times for 106 yards. Those were just the calls accepted by the Bengals. Cornerback Josh Norman was flagged five times, four for illegal hands to the face. Whatever is said during Tuesday's practice, the lone one of the week before the players hit the road, you can bet there will be plenty of chatter about the flags.
* Concussion talk dominated from start to finish. Reed and Norman were cleared to play and play they did. Reed had nine receptions for 99 yards including the spectacular catch-and-run touchdown in the third quarter. Combined with Vernon Davis (5-93), who had the offense's longest play with a 44-yard deep catch, Washington's tight ends went 14 for 192. Wow. The not cool part of the concussion talk involved DeSean Jackson, who left the game in the second half after a clear helmet-to-helmet hit that did not draw a flag. The team said Jackson was indeed being evaluated for a concussion. He was shown on the sideline after leaving the game.
* Norman did have all those penalties. He also easily could have had two interceptions -- possibly both for return touchdowns -- and arguably a third while battling Bengals star A.J. Green. He also forced fumble that Washington recovered only to lose because of a suspect defensive holding penalty on Bashaud Breeland. Overall, Green won the battle, finishing with nine receptions for 121 yards. He hauled in a 40-yard catch over Norman, who was flagged on the play for pass interference, that set up Jeremy Hill's one-yard TD run for a 27-24 lead in the fourth. Then again, Green only caught half the passes thrown his way and was largely quiet for long stretches of the game. Norman, who played one week after suffering a concussion and with a lingering wrist injury, also appeared to deal with some leg issues. Coming up with one of those interceptions might have changed the outcome. Who knows. Though Norman didn't travel when Green started from the slot, this one-on-one battle was wild.
* Declaration No. 1: Jamison Crowder (9-107-1) is the best wide receiver on the team
* Declaration No. 2: Robert Kelley should start for the Redskins when they return in Week 10. We'll get to the final stats from his his first career NFL start in place of the injured Matt Jones n a moment. "Fat Rob" impressed with his consistent ability to make something out of nothing as the Bengals defense invaded the backfield throughout. The undrafted rookie's nifty 4-yard run broke open the scoring and gave Kelley his first career rushing touchdown. At one point he was 10 for 29 and was lucky to get the 29. Yet Kelley kept grinding and finished 21 for 87. The knock on Alfred Morris last year involved his lack of shiftiness when defenders closed in. Kelley's vision and cutting ability allowed him to turn likely losses into gains.
* The Redskins led 10-7 at halftime, but left oodles of points on the board in the first half even beyond Dustin Hopkins missing a 55-yard field goal attempt at the end of the half. Washington dominated in total yards (226-82), plays from scrimmage (41-20) and time of possession (19:29 - 10:31) while converting 60 percent (6 of 10) of their third down chances. After dominating early with an 80-yard touchdown drive on the opening drive:
- Stopped on 4th and 1 from inside the Bengals 20 as Kelley slipped running outside
- 20-yard field goal after driving 77 yards to the Cincinnati 2-yard line
- Cousins threw a deep interception on third-and-long after Washington started at its own 41
- Missed field goal
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