Redskins finally claim win
After three straight losses to open the season, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins finally claimed victory by beating the Oakland Raiders 24-14.
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Griffin threw a go-ahead touchdown pass late in the third quarter and David Amerson returned an interception for another score to help the Redskins overcome an early 14-point deficit to claim the win.
The Redskins (1-3) looked ready to extend the worst start for the franchise since 2001 when they fell behind 14-0 after the first quarter on a blocked punt touchdown and a scoring pass from Matt Flynn.
But the much-maligned Washington defense allowed the Raiders (1-3) no more points, taking advantage of an offense that was without starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor the entire game and starting running backs Darren McFadden and Marcel Reece for most of it.
Amerson started the comeback when he stepped in front of Flynn's pass to Denarius Moore and raced in for the touchdown that cut Oakland's lead to 14-10.
The Oakland offense struggled to generate much of anything without its entire starting backfield and the Raiders lost a game they led by at least 14 points after the first quarter for the first time since 1998 against Kansas City.
Flynn was sacked seven times, losing a fumble that set up Roy Helu Jr.'s 14-yard run that gave Washington a 24-14 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Ryan Kerrigan forced the fumble on his second sack and Brian Orakpo and Barry Cofield also brought down Flynn twice.
It was a rare good day for a Washington defense that allowed 1,464 yards of offense through three games.
Even the usually reliable Sebastian Janikowski was off his game for the Raiders, missing a 52-yard field goal attempt wide left midway through the third quarter after Logan Paulsen lost a fumble.
Alfred Morris, bottled up most of the game, had three carries for 29 yards on the ensuing drive before leaving with bruised ribs. Griffin capped it with a 5-yard slant to Pierre Garcon that gave the Redskins their first second-half lead of the season.
The Raiders didn't settle on a starting quarterback until Saturday night when it was determined Pryor could not go after sustaining a concussion last Monday in Denver.
Flynn got off to an early lead in his third career start with help from Oakland's special teams which came up with a blocked punt for a touchdown early in the first quarter.
Rashad Jennings burst through the middle and blocked Sav Rocca's punt in the end zone and Jeremy Stewart scooped it up for the score.
Flynn got into the act as well with an impressive 81-yard drive that featured a 34-yard pass to Denarius Moore and was capped by the 18-yard TD to rookie Mychal Rivera.
Washington's defense took over after that.