BALTIMORE — Kirk Cousins began warming up his throwing arm on the sideline. Will Compton just hoped his offense had enough time to respond. But Josh Norman knew he had done just enough to save the Redskins.
It was an agonizing few minutes to find out for sure, though. Replay officials eventually overturned a touchdown pass from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to wide receiver Breshad Perriman with just 30 seconds left.
Two plays later Washington had secured a 16-10 victory on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium – one of those classic 50-50 games NFL games where the losing team wondered just exactly how it lost.
“It was like a rollercoaster,” Redskins safety Will Blackmon said. “My stomach dropped more than a few times.”
Norman undercut the route just enough for Perriman to go up and snag a beautiful throw from Flacco. But he recovered just in time and nudged Perriman out of bounds. It wasn’t obvious at first glance. The replay showed one foot in bounds. But not two.
“That’s one of the techniques in practice each and every day,” Norman said. “We got the call being out of bounds. I think that’s one of the plays we have to throw our hats off to our technique…We were able to get out of here with a win and that’s all that really matter.”
It was a close-won thing. Three times the Redskins had a chance to extend their lead. Three times they failed. But Baltimore couldn’t take advantage with a game-winning touchdown on any of its final four possessions as a beleaguered defense came through in the second half again. Last week it forced three turnovers by the Cleveland Browns. This time it held the Ravens scoreless after halftime.
It didn’t look like that was possible after Baltimore drove the ball 75 yards on nine plays for a touchdown on its opening drive. But a punt return for a touchdown by Jamison Crowder, a Dustin Hopkins field goal and a touchdown pass from Cousins to wide receiver Pierre Garcon proved just enough for a rejuvenated defense.
Now the Redskins are 3-2 and have won three in a row heading into an NFC East showdown at FedEx Field next Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-1).
“We got down. But we didn’t stay down,” defensive end Ziggy Hood said. “We dug ourselves into a hole, but we dug back out of it toward the end and we walk back out of here with a win.”
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