Reporting Chuck Carroll
LANDOVER, Md. (CBSDC) — After laying dormant through the first half, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins came roaring back in the third quarter only to be silenced by the Cincinnati Bengals in the game’s final stanza, falling 38-31 in the home opener at FedEx Field.
For the second time in as many weeks, the Redskins secondary had no answers as A.J. Green amassed 183 yards and a touchdown on nine catches.
Griffin spent much of the day under pressure and on the ground after Jordan Black replaced Trent Williams at left tackle.
Williams was used sparingly after sustaining a right knee injury in the first quarter. He returned late in the half and for a few plays to open the third quarter, but remained sidelined for the duration of the game.
GAME PHOTOS: RGIII Punished In Home Debut
The Bengals sacked Griffin six times with hurries on countless other plays.
He was limited to 221 passing yards behind a 21-of-33 afternoon that included a touchdown.
Alfred Morris continued to lead Washington’s ground attack with 78 yards on 17 carries. The rookie also found the end zone for the third time this season.
But it was Cincinnati’s offense that was the true story of the afternoon.
Andy Dalton passed for 328 yards and three touchdowns en route to the win. He finished the day with a passer rating of 132.9 and faced much less pressure than his rookie opponent.
The Bengals set the tone early when wide receiver Mohamed Sanu took a direct snap and connected with Green for a 73-yard touchdown on their first play from scrimmage. Safety DeJon Gomes was beaten badly off the line while DeAngelo Hall was late to help cover.
It was precursor of what was to come for Cincinnati who gashed the Redskins for 478 total yards, including 385 through the air.
Also in the first quarter, Cincinnati exploited a lack of safety help from Washington as Dalton connected with Armon Binns on a short pass to the left that quickly turned into a 48-yard score when Josh Wilson missed the sideline tackle.
Washington’s only first half touchdown came when Cincinnati was backed up to the goal line. Rob Jackson made a diving interception to pick off Dalton’s pass and rolled into the end zone for the score.
Jackson started in place of Brian Orakpo who was placed on injured reserve last week with a torn left pectoral muscle.