THE JAY GRUDEN GAME OF THE YEAR: If we have to blanket coaches for their motivation and game plan, we're giving all of our attention to offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Gruden called multiple wildcat-like formations, both of which resulted in touchdowns. Mohamed Sanu threw a 73-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage (more on that in a minute) and BenJarvus Green-Ellis took a direct snap in the second quarter, breaking into the endzone for a one-yard touchdown. During a 15-play possession in the second quarter, Bengals suddenly changed the pace of the drive, going from a methodical drive to a hurry-up no huddle offense that clearly put the Redskins on their heals. Unfortunately the drive stalled and ended without points following a fake field goal to Kevin Huber.
However at one point Cincinnati's offense lacked rhythm in the third quarter, losing a fumble that was bookended by three and out possessions. It was like a racecar losing pressure in the right front tire. Yet a quick pit stop later and the Bengals recovered, largely resetting by depending on A.J. Green, who posted nine receptions for 183 yards receiving and a touchdown on the afternoon. Jermaine Gresham's refuse-to-go-down touchdown reception and Andrew Hawkins' 59-yard reception in the fourth quarter eventually gave the Bengals enough points to withstand the Redskins onslaught late in the game.
THE MOST UNLIKELY PLAY CALL GIVES CINCINNATI EARLY LEAD: Following a 31-yard kickoff return to the Bengals 27-yard line, the Cincinnati Bengals offense takes the field. And trickery was the call for the first play of the game. Mohamed Sanu takes the shotgun snap, fakes the handoff and launches the football down the middle. A.J. Green, easily beating safety DeJon Gomes and cornerback DeAngelo Hall, snags the perfectly thrown football on his vertical route, completing the 73-yard touchdown pass. My notes at the time:
From Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Thomas Howard, on Injured Reserve and watching the game from home:
The Cincinnati Bengals take a 7-0 lead on the first play from scrimmage.
THE LAST TWO GAMES BY ANDY DALTON (BOTH WINS):
MISSED TACKLES SHOWS UGLY HEAD EARLY: After offensive coordinator Jay Gruden shocked the world on the first play from scrimmage with a Mohamed Sanu 73-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green, the Washington Redskins take advantage from the horrible tackling by the Cincinnati Bengals defense. On consecutive runs by Alfred Morris, the Redskins move the football 22 yards to their own 39-yard line.
Yet the possession faltered on a fumble by Robert Griffin III, forced to recover ten yards behind the line of scrimmage. RGIII throws a series of short passes, reaching their own 41-yard line, but falling well short of a first down.
MICHAEL JOHNSON AND THE CINCINNATI BENGALS PASS RUSH: Though it wasn't necessarily a spotlight of Cincinnati's win on Sunday, considering the defense allowed 31 points, it was an undertone that enabled Cincinnati's defense to set the table for the Bengals offense. Sure the defense gave up 31 points. But hey. They didn't give up 38.
All told the Bengals defense generated six quarterbacks, three by Michael Johnson, one by Geno Atkins and another by Carlos Dunlap. All told Johnson generated seven hits on the quarterback, Dunlap posted three hits, a forced fumble and recovery that led to a touchdown and Geno Atkins recorded two tackles for loss.
ANDY DALTON PICK-SIX TIES THE GAME AT SEVEN: After Cincinnati's defense forced the Redskins to punt on their first possession of the game, Washington punter Sav Rocca rolls the kick to the Bengals own one-yard line. BenJarvus Green-Ellis runs directly into a mass of bodies for a limited gain on first down. On second down Andy Dalton takes the snap and looks to Green-Ellis out of the flats on the left. Defensive end Ryan Kerrigan takes advantage of the pump fake, nailing Dalton as he throws the football. The wobbly pass comes out of his hands, an effect of the hit, behind Green-Ellis and intercepted by Rob Jackson who rolls into the end zone for a touchdown. The Redskins tie the game at seven.
BENGALS OFFENSE MOVES BUT STALLS: Jermaine Gresham unfortunately punished the Bengals for calling a two on the cadence, flagged for a false start putting the Bengals into first and 15 at their own 13. Then Gresham made up for the mistake, a story of redemption that ESPN probably won't highlight but will be tattooed into our hearts. On second and 12 from the Bengals 16-yard line with over ten minutes remaining in the first quarter, Andy Dalton nails an Gresham down the seam for a nice 22-yard gain. Following another limited gain between the tackles, Josh Wilson is called for a pass interference putting Cincinnati to their own 48-yard line.
Dalton takes the first down snap, pump fakes and scrambles out to the right. A.J. Green's route is redirected to the right sidelines and Dalton, on the run, accurately hits Green on the 14-yard pass and the first down. Eventually the possession stalled. Following a two-yard by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, an incomplete on a deep pass to Jermaine Gresham, Dalton was sacked on third and 12, forcing the Bengals to punt.
BENGALS DEFENSE FORCE A THREE AND OUT: Once Cincinnati's third possession stalled, Kevin Huber sent a 37-yard punt to Washington's 10-yard line with over seven minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Bengals defense forced a quick three and out, as such is the first half story. On first down Geno Atkins beats the backside guard, dropping Alfred Morris for a no-gain. On second down Michael Johnson destroyed left tackle Jordan Black into the backfield, forcing Morris to cut inside where Johnson made the tackle after the two-yard gain. Robert Griffin III tried throwing a missile to the right sidelines, but Leonard Hankerson bobbled the football out of bounds. Redskins punt.
ARMON BINNS 48-YARD TOUCHDOWN GIVES BENGALS 14-7 LEAD: The Cincinnati Bengals defense forced a quick three and out against the Redskins offense, allowing Andy Dalton and company to take possession at their own 42-yard line. For the first time this year, Bernard Scott lines up in the backfield, takes the pitch to the left and loses eight yards a running play. Nice.
Obviously 18 yards for a first down is going to be a struggle. So Andy Dalton takes the second down shotgun snap, looks upfield and does his RGIII impression, picking up 17 yards on the scramble to Washington's 49-yard line. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the obvious recipient for a third and short situation. Right? Andy Dalton hands off to Andrew Hawkins, in motion from right to left, picking up 11 yards down the left sidelines and the first down to the Redskins 38-yard line.
An offensive holding on Jeff Faine and incomplete sets up a second and 20 at Washington's 48-yard line. Dalton takes the shotgun snap, flips the football to Armon Binns on the ten-yard out near the left sidelines. Josh Wilson misses the tackle and Binns sprints down the sidelines unopposed and scores on the 48-yard touchdown. Bengals take a 14-7 lead.
THE MICHAEL JOHNSON SACK MACHINE POSSESSION: Taking a seven-point lead with over three minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Redskins offense takes the field at their own 20-yard line. Robert Griffin III kicks off the possession with a quick wide receiver screen to Joshua Morgan, who picks up 11 yards to the Redskins 31-yard line.
Michael Johnson. Screw that, he thinks. His philosophy is that wide receivers can't hurt if the quarterback doesn't throw. On first down Johnson fought through a tight end block during a Griffin pass, pulling Griffin down during the quarterback sack. Johnson sped-rush beyond backup tackle Jordan Black for a massive hit on the quarterback, his second quarterback in as many plays. The Redskins tried a running back screen, but falling well short of the first down.
THE QUESTIONABLE FAKE FIELD GOAL CALL: A short punt following a minimal Redskins possession of four yards puts Cincinnati at their own 26-yard line with just over one minute remaining in the first quarter. Following another limited three-yard run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, A.J. Green secures a bobbled football on a five-yard reception setting up a third-and-two from their own 34-yard line as the second quarter begins. For the second time this afternoon, Dalton gives the football Andrew Hawkins on an end around. After forcing multiple Redskins defenders to miss tackles, Hawkins picks up five yards and the first down. A.J. Green picks up another first down on second and eight, flaring out into the right flats, recording 12 yards on the reception to Washington's 47-yard line.
Eventually a minimal Bernard Scott run and an incomplete to A.J. Green, the Bengals have third and eight from the Redskins 45-yard line with 12:50 remaining in the second quarter. Dalton takes the shotgun snap and flips a strong pass down the middle of the field to Jermaine Gresham, picking up 15 yards and the first down. Now the Bengals go into no-huddle mode, quickly springing to the line of scrimmage with Brian Leonard in the backfield, gashing across the line of scrimmage for an 11-yard gain with 12:01 remaining in the second. Dalton flips a quick pass to Armon Binns, waiting for the football at the line of scrimmage, picking up six yards near the left sidelines. Brian Leonard generates another first down on a seven-yard run setting up first and goal from the Redskins six-yard line.
Bernard Scott takes the first down handoff, finds a gap through the line of scrimmage but is stoned after the one-yard gain by London Fletcher. Dalton faked the handoff on second down but quickly absorbed on a Perry Riley quarterback sack, setting up a third and goal from the 14-yard line. Dalton takes the shogun snap, looks downfield but falls well short of a touchdown following a nine-yard Jermaine Gresham reception to the five-yard line. Mike Nugent sets up for a 23-yard field goal. Instead they called a fake field goal to Kevin Huber, who tries running upfield but losing a yard on the weird play-call. What the f...
That's three points lost on the board.
REDSKINS CAN'T FIND RHYTHEM: While the world remains perplexed on a fake field goal that forced Kevin Huber to run the football, the Redskins start their next possession at their own six-yard line. After the Redskins gladly accept a pass interference on first down with 9:29 remaining in the second quarter, pushing their offense to 21-yard line, Robert Griffin III is slammed into a pile of humanity by Robert Geathers. On second down Alfred Morris targets the left edge with the football, but Geno Atkins deconstructed Morris on the run for a one-yard line. The possession ends following a poorly thrown football by Griffin with Carlos Dunlap in his face, forcing the Redskins to punt.
MIKE NUGENT CONVERTS 47-YARD FIELD GOAL: The Cincinnati Bengals defense has played their best football thus far in the first half against the Washington Redskins, forcing another punt with over eight minutes remaining. An eight-yard return establishes the Bengals at Washington's 49-yard line. Andy Dalton rolls out right on first down, connects with Armon Binns on the run for a 9.99 yard-gain setting up second and one. BenJarvus Green-Ellis slides to the right and finds four yards and the first down.
Unfortunately an offensive holding on Andrew Whitworth puts the Bengals behind schedule. Following a five-yard run by BenJarvus-Green Ellis an incomplete pass to Andrew Hawkins (nice play by linebacker Perry Riley), the Bengals have third and 15 with over five minutes remaining. Dalton takes the shotgun snap, who feels pressure and begins to slide to the left. Gresham takes the reception over the middle for 12 yards to the Redskins 29-yard line.
Mike Nugent crushed the 47-yard field goal, giving the Bengals a 17-7 lead with 4:36 remaining in the second.
CARLOS DUNLAP FUMBLE LEADS TO BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS TOUCHDOWN: After taking a 17-7 lead with over four minutes remaining in the second quarter, Alfred Morris gains three yards up the middle, setting up a second and seven from Washington's 23-yard line. Robert Griffin III takes the shotgun snap and runs down the line of scrimmage on a designed run/option play. Carlos Dunlap powers into the backfield, destroying Griffin forcing the fumble. Dunlap sprints after the rolling football, recovering it at Washington's 12-yard line.
Following an 11-yard end around by A.J. Green to the one-yard line, BenJarvus Green-Ellis lines up in shotgun with Andy Dalton wide right. Green-Ellis takes the direct snap, runs to the right edge and powers into the endzone for a touchdown. The Bengals take a 24-7 lead with 3:13 remaining in the second quarter.
BILLY CUNDIFF CONVERTS 36-YARD FIELD GOAL AFTER BENGALS STONES OFFENSE: The Cincinnati Bengals have taken a 24-7 lead and Jeromy Miles is so excited about it, that during the ensuing kickoff following BenJarvus Green-Ellis' touchdown, Miles was called for an offsides, forcing the Bengals to rekick. What should have been a touchback, turned into a 55-yard kickoff return by Brandon Banks to the Bengals 48-yard line with 3:03 remaining in the first half.
And it was nearly a three and out. The Bengals deflected the first two passes setting up a third and ten with 2:50 remaining in the first half. The third down coverage was good, however Griffin found a gap in the middle and scrambled for 11 yards and the first down. Evan Royster picked up another 12 yards prior to the two minute warning to Cincinnati's 25-yard line.
The Bengals defense toughens up.
Griffin tries a running back screen to the right, but the defense sniffs out the screen for a one-yard loss. Adam Jones easily recognized a wide receiver screen on second down and destroyed Santana Moss, forcing the incomplete and securing a third and 11. Griffin runs a designed quarterback third down draw, falling three yards short of the first down marker thanks to a nice hit by linebacker Vinny Rey. Billy Cundiff converts the 36-yard field goal but the Bengals are holding onto the 24-10 lead heading into half time.
REDSKINS CUT INTO CINCINNATI'S LEAD FOLLOWING ALFRED MORRIS TD: The Washington Redskins opened the second half after deferring the coin toss before the start of Sunday's game. The Redskins called consecutive runs, gaining five yards though Geno Atkins stoned Alfred Morris on second down for a no-gain. Robert Griffin III takes the third and five snap out of shotgun and converts the first down to Washington's 39-yard line on a 14-yard Fred Davis reception.
The Redskins picked up a first down on a 12-yard reception by tight end Fred Davis, followed by an Evan Royster 9.9999 yard run up the middle, which was converted into a first down following a five-yard Alfred Morris on the next play, compounded by an Adam Jones a horse collar.
Now the Redskins are marching down the field, reaching Cincinnati's 20-yard line in no-time. Morris picked up another six yards, followed by a first down run by Robert Griffin on a designed run towards the left sidelines, to Cincinnati's seven-yard line.
It was too easy.
Morris takes the handoff around the right edge, avoids the Robert Geathers attempted tackle that Morris easily spins away from, scoring a touchdown and reducing Cincinnati's advantage to seven points.
BENGALS OPEN SECOND HALF WITH THREE AND OUT (AND NEAR PICK): The Washington Redskins open the second half with a 65-yard touchdown drive that went nine plays and 4:37, capped by a seven-yard touchdown run by rookie running back Alfred Morris. Billy Cundiff crushes the ensuing kickoff through the back of the endzone, putting Cincinnati's offense at their own 20-yard line with 10:23 remaining in the third quarter.
It was nearly a disaster.
Following a quick hitch to A.J. Green for eight yards, a second down pass deflected off Jermaine Gresham's hands, nearly intercepted. Gresham followed that up with a terrible block that enabled the Washington Redskins to limit BenJarvus Green-Ellis' attempt to a one-yard gain on third and two.
ROBERT GRIFFIN III AND THE REDSKINS TIE THE GAME AT 24: Clearly momentum is being established on the wrong side of the field. After containing the Redskins offense without a touchdown in the first half, Washington opened the second half marching down the field with an impressive touchdown drive. Then the Bengals offense goes three and out. Momentum is clearly shifting. The question is how much Cincinnati can limit the damage.
On first down Robert Griffin III faked the handoff and found a wide open Leonard Hankerson, exposing a huge cap in the coverage for the 23-yard reception. On the following play Alfred Morris pounds his way up the middle for a 13-yard gain and RGIII fakes a handoff and pitches the football to Brandon Banks for another 21-yard gain to the Bengals 29-yard line with over seven minutes remaining.
To answer the above question. No much.
Carlos Dunlap drives his blocker back on the following play, wrapping Morris' leg and commanding that the running back cometh down for a one-yard loss. On second and 11 Morris picks up a limited four yards, setting up third and seven at Cincinnati's 26-yard line with just under six minutes remaining. Griffin holds onto the football during a designed run, sprints around the left edge and picks up nine yards and the first down.
The defense is reeling, on their heels. First down at the Bengals 17-yard line, Robert Griffin pitches the football, after taking a shot from Manny Lawson to Brandon Banks. The scat-back/receiver drops it and picks up the lucky bounce in stride, picking up five yards. Griffin hands off to Morris on the following play, picking up the first down following a six-yard run.
Following a timeout by Washington, something that will bang them later, the Redskins setup first and goal from the Bengals six-yard line. Griffin keeps the football on a designed sweep to the left, falling shy of the endzone on the three-yard gain. They call a similar play to the right, except Griffin throws the football and hits Santana Moss near the front right pylon for the touchdown, tying the game at 24.
BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS RECORDS FIRST FUMBLE: Insane. The Cincinnati Bengals at one point owned a 17-point lead late in the second quarter. After two Washington Redskins possessions (along with a three out by the Bengals), the game is tied at 24. On first down from their own 20-yard line, Andy Dalton throws the football down the right sidelines on a back-shoulder pass to A.J. Green, generating 27 yards on the play.
On the following play the unthinkable happens. BenJarvus Green-Ellis fumbles for the first time in his NFL career at the Bengals 47-yard line, where the Washington Redskins recover with under two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Following a no-gain pitch to Brandon Banks on a nice tackle by Vontaze Burfict, Michael Johnson beat Jordan Black to record his third quarterback sack of the afternoon.
Carlos Dunlap nearly chopped the football out of Robert Griffin's hands on the following play, but the quarterback threw a poor pass downfield for an incomplete, forcing the Redskins to punt.
REDSKINS OFFENSE CALMS DOWN: The Cincinnati Bengals offense has unfortunately taken a sudden liking to three and outs, recording two on their last three possessions and the Bengals defense is looking to experiment, finally forcing one after consecutive touchdown possessions tied the game at 24. Unfortunately Cincinnati's offense went three and out again late in the third quarter, giving the Redskins the football with :04 remaining in the third quarter at their own 47-yard line.
Following an incomplete pass and minimal Alfred Morris gain up the middle, the Redskins establish third and eight from the Redskins 49-yard line. Griffin keeps the snap, sprints around the left edge and falls inches short of the first down. Washington decides to go for it on fourth and one when the Bengals call a timeout with 13:41 remaining in the game. After the time out expired, the Redskins changed their minds, punting the football. Honestly. Good use of the time out.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
BENGALS TAKE 31-24 LEAD ON A SERIES OF BIG PLAYS: After an official review with 13:27 that led to Washington's final timeout during a punt debating placement of the football (one the one, or a touchdown?), Andy Dalton takes the first down snap from their own 20-yard line, quickly generating a 12-yard pass to A.J. Green on the receiver's hitch to the right. On the ensuing play Orson Charles runs down the seam and though Andy Dalton throws the football a little high, Charles jumps over the coverage and hauls in the 25-yard reception. His first of his career.
On first down from Washington's 44-yard line, A.J. Green sprints down the right sidelines, clearly beating his coverage while Andy Dalton places a perfectly thrown floater, leading the wide receiver. Green hauls in the 32-yard reception to the Redskins 13-yard line and DeAngelo Hall added to the gain with a face mask, further pushing the Bengals offense to the six-yard line.
This offense didn't waste time. It goes back to the evolving bag of plays being called from offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. Andy Dalton hits Jermaine Gresham, catching the football two yards shy of the goalline. Instead of going down and living for another day, Gresham powers his way through the defense into the endzone, giving the Bengals a 31-24 lead with 11:24 remaining in the game.
DEFENSE STALL ANOTHER REDSKINS POSSESSION: Now that the Cincinnati Bengals defense has reestablished some control on the Redskins defense and the Bengals offense striking with a seven-point lead, Cincinnati can take advantage of a little established momentum. On first down from their own 20-yard line with 11:19 remaining in the game, Robert Griffin III ran an option on consecutive plays, pitching on both downs and picking up 13 yards combined.
Washington, first down from their own 33-yard line, hands off to Alfred Morris, drilled by multiple defenders but still generating four yards. Griffin from pistol formation, overthrows Leonard Hankerson on second down and Michael Johnson tips the football at the line of scrimmage, forcing the Redskins to punt.
There's that Johnson fellow again.
BENGALS EXTEND LEAD FOLLOWING ANDREW HAWKINS 59-YARD TOUCHDOWN: The Bengals offense risked several throws, rewarded with big gains on their previous possession leading to a score that took the lead. Why not do it again, keeping the momentum with something that works against a very questionable secondary. A recovering defensive effort forced another three and out against the Redskins offense, allowing the Bengals to open another possession with 9:09 remaining in the game from their own 28-yard line. Following a two-yard A.J. Green reception with a pass that forced the receiver to fall down, BenJarvus Green-Ellis cut deep into the line of scrimmage, picking up nine yards and the first down.
A minimal gain by BenJarvus Green-Ellis wasn't anything unlike the rest of Green-Ellis' efforts all afternoon. Though the Redskins were clearly defending first against the run, allowing smashed eggs to cater the wall of passing defense. And it shows. On the next play Andy Dalton flings the football deep, leading Andrew Hawkins on a post over the middle. From inpulse to warp factor 10. Hawkins leaves a trail of smoke from blazing feet, recording a 59-yard touchdown to give the Bengals a 38-24 lead with 7:08 remaining in the game.
REDSKINS CHIPPING INTO THE BENGALS LEAD: Now as obsessive fans with weak hearts about to pop out of our chests, can breath a little easier. At one point the Washington Redskins wiped out a 17-point Bengals lead, claiming a huge chunk of the momentum in the third quarter. Then the fourth quarter started and the Bengals recovered. That's basically your second half theme. Following consecutive possessions that resulted in two touchdown and a Bengals 14-point lead, the Redskins start from their own 10-yard line, thanks to a personal foul during the ensuing kickoff.
Sn incomplete pass, a Fred Davis 16-yard reception and six-yard gain by Roy Helu and offensive tackle Jordan Black was called for an offensive holding, pushing Washington's offense back to their own 22-yard line with 6:03 remaining in the game. The Redskins recovered on a massive 29-yard reception by Fred Davis, shedding off a terrible tackling effort by Reggie Nelson. Leonard Hankerson picked up nine yards on second down to Cincinnati's 35-yard line with five minutes remaining.
Eventually the Redskins would score a touchdown on a quarterback keeper from the one-yard line after a series of terrible Rey Maualuga missed tackles and wide open receivers. Bengals holding onto a 38-31 lead.
BENGALS FAIL TO KILL THE CLOCK: The Redskins aren't closing shop just yet. After a 12-play touchdown drive, reducing Cincinnati's advantage to seven points, the Redskins kick an onside with 3:35 remaining in the game. Why so soon? They've used their allotment of second half timeouts early, with a failed challenge that used the team's final timeout earlier in the quarter. Billy Cundiff drills the football into the ground and the Redskins recover the kick. Unfortunately the Redskins were called for an illegal touch because the football didn't go ten yards, giving Cincinnati the football at Washington's 44-yard line. Again. Though it could have been challenged, the Redskins were out of timeouts and thus no challenge.
Now the Bengals shift into a mode to kill the clock with 3:30 remaining in the game. BenJarvus Green-Ellis pounds the football on consecutive downs, picking up six yards combined setting up third and four from Washington's 38-yard line. Dalton hands off to Green Ellis, falling two yards short of the first down as the clock hits the two minute warning.
It's fourth and two from Washington's 38-yard line. Do the Bengals attempt the 53-yard field goal or pound the football one more time? Cincinnati's offense tried getting Washington to jump of sides. They didn't. So the Bengals decide to punt the football with 1:57 remaining in the game.
WILD CONCLUSION TO THE GAME: A tremendous 39-yard punt by Kevin Huber, compounded by a great effort from Andrew Hawkins, the Redskins are force to start their final possession of the game at their own two-yard line. They almost pulled it off, despite having no timeouts with 1:47 remaining in the game. The Cincinnati Bengals defense is clearly playing a preventative defense underneath, which allowed the Redskins to gain 23 yards combined on consecutive passes to their own 25-yard line with 1:07 remaining in the game. In truth it's not a bad exchange. Twenty three yards consumed 40 seconds, and thus the perentages work well for Cincinnati, defending 75 yards with just a minute remaining.
Robert Griffin III avoids Carlos Dunlap's pass rush, steps up into the pocket and picks up 10 yards. As he was stepping out of bounds, Terence Newman was flagged for a personal foul, giving Washington 15 yards on a silver plater, reaching midfield. Griffin completed a 12-yard pass to Robinson, followed by a 19-yard scramble, heading out of bounds with :29 remaining in the game.
Griffin takes the shotgun snap and at this point, this author is freaking out just a little. As Griffin scrambles to the right, Carlos Dunlap collides with the quarterback. It forces Griffin to redirect into Geno Atkins for the quarterback sack. Griffin spiked the football.
However things went bat-crazy. A false start made the Bengals run onto the field believing that a ten-second run-off essentially gave Cincinnati the win. Unfortunately the clock was already stopped, thus no run-off required. Suddenly things went slightly out of hand and eventually Mike Shanahan was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Once things were squared away, including the false start, the Redskins had third and 50 from their own 41-yard line. Griffin chucked the football deep, but the pass was incomplete and the Bengals won.
THE COIN TOSS
The captains for the game were defensive end Michael Johnson, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, center Jeff Faine, safety Reggie Nelson and running back Cedric Peerman, who called heads on the coin toss. It was tails. Washington deferred the opening kickoff giving Cincinnati the ball first.
THE INJURIED RETURN
Three key contributors who spent the first two weeks on the inactive list with injuries, returned on Sunday.
Where some key players return, a key starter in the Bengals secondary sat against the Redskins on Sunday. Leon Hall sat during two practices on Sunday with a calf. Though listed as questionable, Hall never touched the field during pregame warmups and was listed as out when the inactive list was released.
Other inactives includes tight ends Donald Lee and Richard Quinn, wide receivers Marvin Jones and Ryan Whalen, defensive tackle Brandon Thompson and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.