The Washington Redskins used an 85-yard punt return by Jamison Crowder and an uncharacteristically strong performance by their defense to beat the Baltimore Ravens 16-10 on Sunday.
It was the third straight win for the Redskins (3-2), who came in with the league’s 29th-ranked defense. Washington allowed a touchdown on the game’s opening drive and smothered the Ravens (3-2) the rest of the way.
The game wasn’t decided until the final minute, when an apparent 23-yard touchdown catch by Baltimore’s Breshad Perriman was overturned by replay. Perriman got his right foot down in the end zone, but his left foot was out of bounds.
Crowder scored Washington’s first TD with a sensational run through the middle of the Baltimore punt return team in the second quarter.
The Redskins went ahead 13-10 in the third quarter with a 50-yard drive following a wind-shortened punt by Sam Koch. Kirk Cousins connected with Crowder for 23 yards before lofting a 21-yard pass to Pierre Garcon, who got behind Jimmy Smith and caught the ball in the left side of the end zone.
The definitive momentum shift occurred minutes later. With the Redskins operating from near their own 3, Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted a pass by Cousins at the 13, but lost control of the football while reaching for the end zone. The ball rolled out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback, and the Redskins subsequently moved 72 yards for a field goal and a 16-10 lead.
Playing in a stiff wind, neither team got much from its kicking game. Dustin Hopkins missed an extra point for Washington and came up short on a 56-yard field goal try.
Baltimore opted to try a fake field goal in the second quarter, and failed. Later, Koch got off a 36-yard punt that didn’t rise more than 20 feet off the ground.
The Ravens have lost two in a row – both at home – after opening with three straight wins. All of their games have been decided by six points or fewer.
Baltimore scored a touchdown on its opening possession for the first time this season, on a 7-yard pass from Joe Flacco to tight end Crockett Gillmore.
Crowder responded with the Redskins’ first punt return for a touchdown since 2008. But the conversion attempt clanged off the left upright.
A field goal by Justin Tucker made it 10-6 in the second quarter. The Ravens had a chance to add to the lead after recovering a fumble by Matt Jones at the Washington 15, but a fake field-goal attempt went awry.
Redskins: CB Josh Norman missed part of the second quarter with an undisclosed injury. OT Morgan Moses was taken out with a head injury that was not deemed to be a concussion.
Ravens: Baltimore played most of the game without receiver Steve Smith, who sprained an ankle late in the first quarter and did not return. The Ravens also lost offensive tackle Rick Wagner (thigh) and endured a second straight game without rookie tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot).
Redskins: Top draft picks Josh Doctson (Achilles) and Su’a Cravens (concussion) were on the inactive list. Also inactive: starting CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle).
Ravens: CB Shareece Wright was inactive. He started the first four games, but struggled in the last three. Ravens say Wright had back spasms recently, but he practiced all week.
Redskins: Jones ran for 31 yards on 14 carries and lost a fumble for the first time this season.
Ravens: Terrance West peeled off a 35-yard run on the opening possession, Baltimore’s longest of the season. He finished with 95 yards on 11 carries.