Revisited, Week 4: Tale of two halves, but a win vs. Bucs

July 8, 2013

Billy Cundiff kicks a game-winning 41-yard field goal, but it was the only attempt he made that day, and one of his last kicks as a Redskins (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Casually looking back at games from last season:

Although I’d rewatched this game closely before, my recollection of it at this point is mostly vague. I remember it as Robert Griffin III’s first successful late comeback, and a game in which Washington evened its record at 2-2. But cast against the backdrop of the entire season, when so many of the games have moments that stand out vividly — the run again Minnesota, the late-game breakdown against the Giants, Thanksgiving vs. Dallas — I struggled for one in this one.

After rewatching this game though, there was a lot I’d let slip. This was the game in which Billy Cundiff lost his job, essentially, although he wasn’t cut until after the following week’s game against the Falcons. Cundiff actually hit the game-winner with seven seconds left, but his misses earlier in the game (and some shaky defense) are what made that necessary.

Griffin orchestrated the game-winning drive almost flawlessy — hitting Santana Moss in the middle of the field, Fred Davis wide open and sitting down in a zone, throwing a checkdown to Evan Royster, scrambling and taking a big hit, and, after a false start, completing one more pass to Moss to set up the 41-yard game-winner.

I looked back to see if Doug Martin, then little-known rookie, now known beast, had given the Redskins much trouble. His best run was probably one called back in the second quarter, and he finished with eight carries for 33 yards.

Alfred Morris was very good in this game, a 39-yard touchdown run the major highlight. Logan Paulsen comes in motion on the play and throws the key block, and Morris makes two defensive backs miss with nifty footwork.

That play put Washington up 21-3, but they let Tampa Bay come back to take a one-point lead late, partially because Cundiff missed field-goal attempts from 41, 57 and 31 yards. Although Griffin passed for 323 yards, did not turn the ball over and essentially ran for two touchdowns on QB draws (technically, he fumbled one as he was crossing the goal line that Pierre Garcon recovered for a TD), the defense let Josh Freeman pass for 299 yards.

Freeman guided a comeback, hitting Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams (each went over 100 yards receiving) with some easy-looking throws in the second half.

A couple other things: E.J. Biggers, in the Bucs’ secondary in this game but now a Redskins cornerback, had a pass breakup and was running stride for stride on deep coverage on different fourth quarter plays.

And Griffin took some hits in this game, most notably a body slam from safety Mark Barron on a first-quarter option play. But he was fine after it, throwing a ball with his feet on the 32 that fell incomplete at the 7 (61 yards) two plays later. Griffin took the aforementioned shot and fumbled on a 10-yard QB draw, although that play is a nice weapon near the goal line. The second time they ran it, he scored untouched. This was also the game with the Brandon Banks throwback to RGIII, who tossed to Niles Paul for a big gain.

In the end it was a win, but the tale of two halves nature of it meant the Redskins were still a work in progress.

Your call: What stands out in your memory about the Week 5 loss to the Atlanta Falcons? It was the first time the Redskins saw RGIII injured, and it was a tie game late. Share with us in the comments.

What we said then: Gamer | Box | Best and Worst | Photos | Sheinin on game-winning drive

Afternoon reading from around the web:

Redskins host grand opening at Richmond training camp site

Report: Redskins sued by former player over alleged Gregg Williams bounty scandal

Hogs Haven previews the Redskins’ 2014 spending spree

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag.

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @john_keim | @D3Keith | @Insider | @PostSports

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