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(Sunday, September 30th)
Final Score: Washington 24, Tampa Bay 22
Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Billy Cundiff connected on a 41-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter to lift the Washington Redskins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24-22, on Sunday.
Cundiff missed kicks of 41, 57 and 31 yards before drilling the game-winner for Washington (2-2), which was coming off back-to-back losses.
"I was really pleased with him to miss three field goals and still keep his focus and come back and make that game winner. That says a lot about him," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said about Cundiff.
Robert Griffin III threw for 323 yards on 26-of-35 efficiency and added a rushing touchdown in the win. Alfred Morris carried the ball 21 times for 113 yards and a score for the Redskins.
Josh Freeman completed 24-of-39 passes for 299 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Buccaneers (1-3), who dropped their third straight game and are heading into their bye week.
Mike Williams had four receptions for 115 yards for Tampa Bay, while Vincent Jackson finished with six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown in defeat.
"We need to get better. I need to coach better," Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano said. "It starts with me and it goes down through the organization. We just need to get better."
Washington held a 21-6 lead at the half and the teams traded punts in the third quarter until Freeman hit Williams for a 65-yard gain on a deep ball down the right sideline to move Tampa Bay to the Washington 20-yard line.
Four plays later, Freeman found Jackson for a 7-yard touchdown on a quick slant to bring the Bucs within 21-13 with 1:56 left in the third quarter.
The Redskins seemed poised to regain their two-possession lead on their ensuing drive that stretched into the fourth quarter as they drove all the way down to the Tampa Bay 13 with the aid of a 30-yard reception by Niles Paul after Griffin lateraled the ball to Brandon Banks, who then threw it back across the field to Griffin and he made the toss to a wide open Paul.
But Cundiff missed a 31-yard field-goal attempt wide left and Freeman quickly found Jackson for a 54-yard bomb on the next play to move the ball deep into Washington territory.
LeGarrette Blount finished off the 5-play, 79-yard march with a 2-yard rumble across the goal line. Freeman, though, could not connect with Williams on the two-point conversion to keep it a 21-19 game with 9:41 left in the contest.
Tampa Bay later regained the ball at its 36-yard line with 3:38 remaining after the teams traded punts, and Freeman hit Tiquan Underwood with a 19-yard strike on the third play of the drive to move the ball to the Washington 34.
However, the Buccaneers would not record another first down and Connor Barth drilled a 47-yard field goal to put Tampa Bay on top, 22-21, with 1:42 showing on the clock.
Washington quickly moved deep into Tampa Bay territory with receptions of 15 and 20 yards by Santana Moss and Fred Davis, respectively, and a 15-yard scramble by Griffin.
After Griffin quickly made up for a false start penalty with a 7-yard pass to Moss, Cundiff atoned for his previous three misses by slipping his game- winning, 41-yard attempt inside the left upright with three seconds left.
"It was a lot of fun for us to go out there and win a game the way we did," Griffin said.
Tampa Bay took over on offense at its own 30-yard line after the teams traded punts over the first two possessions of the game and Freeman found Williams for a 20-yard gain to highlight a 7-play drive Barth capped with a 50-yard field goal.
But the Redskins answered with a 7-play, 75-yard drive to take the lead.
Morris rushed for 28 yards on four carries, and Darrel Young and Davis had receptions of 24 and 26 yards, respectively, to move the ball into the Buccaneers' red zone before Griffin broke an 8-yard run up the middle on a 3rd-and-5 at the Tampa Bay 9 on the final play of the first quarter.
Griffin was hit hard at the goal line while trying to score on the play and fumbled the ball into the end zone, but Washington's Pierre Garcon jumped on the loose ball for a touchdown and a 7-3 advantage.
After Tampa Bay was held to a three-and-out, a defensive pass interference call on the Bucs' Ronde Barber moved Washington down to the Tampa Bay 25, but the Redskins came away empty as Cundiff's 41-yard field-goal attempt missed wide right.
However, DeAngelo Hall stepped in front of a Freeman pass two plays later and returned it 13 yards to the Tampa Bay 35.
Morris then kept the drive alive with a 7-yard rush on a 4th-and-1 before Griffin capped the 7-play trek with a 5-yard run into the end zone.
Washington regained the ball at its own 40-yard line following another Tampa Bay three-and-out and the Redskins needed just two plays to score as Griffin found Leonard Hankerson for a 21-yard gain on the first play before Morris reeled off a 39-yard touchdown run with 5:15 left in the first half.
The Buccaneers were able to get their offense rolling on their next touch as they recorded a couple of first downs and moved the ball as far as the Washington 39, setting up Barth's 57-yard field goal.
Cundiff was short on a 57-yard kick as time expired in the second quarter to keep it a 21-6 game at the break.
Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather and wide receiver Aldrick Robinson both missed the game after suffering injuries in a pregame collision ... Griffin finished with 43 yards on seven carries ... Barth's 57-yard field goal set a new career-high ... The all-time series between the teams is tied, 9-9 ... Davis paced all Washington receivers with 70 yards on four receptions.
09/30 22:16:40 ET
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