Redskins Lose Game, RG3; NLDS Series Tied 1-1
October 9, 2012
By Ceci Ferrara
It was a nasty game, right down to the weather.
Amid dropping temperatures, cloudy skies, and intermittent rain, the Redskins dropped their eighth straight home game, failing to bring down the undefeated Atlanta Falcons.
At first, it seemed like the Redskins had a shot—their defense kept Atlanta scoreless throughout the first quarter. But they couldn’t contain Matt Ryan, or his choice receiver, Tony Gonzalez, for long, with Ryan completing 32 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns. His lone mishap, an interception, led Ryan Kerrigan to score Washington’s first points of the game.
Late in the third quarter, the worry that Washington’s offensive line wasn’t doing enough to protect RG3 came to fruition when he took a hard hit by Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. Griffin landed face first in the grass and looked to be knocked unconscious at first. While he did walk off the field, he ended up leaving the game and was later diagnosed with a ‘mild concussion’. His performance before his exit had been subpar, going 10-of-15 for 91 yards, and no scores.
Backup QB Kirk Cousins took over under center and threw for 111 yards, including two interceptions and the touchdown that put the Skins up 17-14 late in the fourth quarter. But the Falcons were quick to answer, scoring a field goal to tie it. With the Skins unable to convert on third downs, the Falcons got the ball back and, with 5:40 left on the clock, Ryan drove his team down the field from their own 31, finishing the drive with a touchdown to go 24-17.
Cousins got one last chance, but was intercepted to end the game.
Afterwards, the missed field goal by Billy Cundiff, an easy 31-yarder and his fourth miss in two games, was cited as one the main missed opportunities by the Redskins to turn the game in their favor. As a result, the Redskins are reported to be working out kickers this week in an attempt to find someone with a more reliable leg.
The Falcons remain undefeated at 5-0, while the Redskins fall to 2-3 and now have to wait one more week to try and break their eight-game losing streak at FedEx Field. Griffin is still questionable for next week’s game, though teammates who saw him Monday said he looked “fine.”
The Nats proved they could handle the postseason on Sunday, as they held off the world-champion defending Cardinals 3-2 to take Game 1 of the National League Division Series.
Unfortunately, Game 2 was a different story.
While the Nats scored the first run of the game in the top of the second, the Cardinals were quick to answer with four of their own. The Cards then added two homeruns in the third and fourth to make it 7-1, but back to back homers by Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche in the fifth inning quickly cut the lead to 7-3 and put them right back in the game.
But not for long.
Despite the Nats adding another run in the top of the 7th on a sac fly by Zimmerman, they were unable to contain St. Louis, who saw Carlos Beltran clinch home runs in both the sixth and eighth innings, padding the score 12-4.
It was a poor outing for the Washington pitching staff, who gave up 12 runs on 13 hits over eight innings. By contrast, the Cardinals pitchers gave up just four runs on 10 hits over nine.
The Nationals now head to Washington to play out the rest of the best-of-five series. Here’s hoping home-field advantage helps them in their quest to stay alive in the postseason.