The Falcons entered the fourth quarter trailing 10-7 but outscored the Redskins 17-7 in the final stanza and left FedEx Field as the only 5-0 team in the NFL (the 4-0 Houston Texans play Monday night). Washington fell to 2-3 and suffered its eighth consecutive home defeat.
The Redskins play at home again Sunday, but won’t find out until later this week whether they will host the Minnesota Vikings with Griffin in uniform.
Griffin was running wide when Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon’s shoulder slammed into the left side of Griffin’s helmet. In the minutes that followed, the quarterback didn’t know the score of the game or what quarter it was, Shanahan said.
“We knew he had a mild concussion, at least according to the doctors. It feels good right now, a lot better right now,” Shanahan said after the game. “But that was the situation and why he didn’t go back into the game.” Griffin was sent home, not to a hospital.
Both teams entered the game with a demonstrated ability to put points on the board. The Falcons ranked third in the NFL, averaging 31 per game and the Redskins were fourth at 30.8. But neither offense got in gear during the first quarter.
The Falcons managed only 70 yards on three possessions and never ventured across midfield. Washington, meanwhile, mustered only 30 yards and went 0 for 2 on two third down conversion attempts in the first quarter.
The Redskins got on the board first, but the points came from their defense. Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan leaped to snag a Ryan screen pass and rumbled 28 yards for a touchdown. It was the second interception and touchdown of Kerrigan’s career; as a rookie last season, he deflected and intercepted a pass in his first career game and scored against the New York Giants.
The play also marked Washington's third defensive touchdown this season. The last time the Redskins had at least three defensive touchdowns in one season was 1999, when they totaled four. But they have lost all three games when the defense scored.
“We definitely felt like we gave them too many chances,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “We had an interception for a touchdown, but you would like more. I know it’s hard to say, but you want to keep asking for more. More from me, more from all the guys in this locker room.”