Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III expertly manufactures game-winning drive against Buccaneers

It may be Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's first year in the NFL, but the rookie looked...

It may be Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III's first year in the NFL, but the rookie looked like a seasoned veteran marching down the field for a game-winning drive against the Buccaneers on Sunday. (JASON REED/Reuters file photo)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:01 AM ET

You'd think Robert Griffin III had been expertly leading his Washington Redskins to comeback victories in the two-minute drill for years.

But Sunday's 24-22 win on a hot, humid day against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was actually his first one.

And probably not his last.

The Bucs had taken a 22-21 lead with 1:42 remaining on a 47-yard field goal from Connor Barth.

But Griffin needed only six plays to move the ball 56 yards from his own 20 to set up Billy Cundiff's game-winning 41-yard field goal with three seconds left.

The six plays by Griffin:

• 16-yard pass to slot receiver Santana Moss;
• 20-yard pass to tight end Fred Davis;
• four-yard pass to running back Evan Royster;
• 16-yard impromptu scramble after he couldn't find a receiver open;
• spike of the ball to stop the clock;
• After a false-start penalty, seven-yard pass to Moss.

Field goal. Ball game.

Griffin was 26-of-35 on the day for 323 yards. He was sacked only twice after eating Bengals tacklers all game last week.

Fellow rookie Alfred Morris, Washington's new star running back, had his first 100-yard game — 113 yards on 21 carries.

After a slow start, Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman got hot, finishing 24-of-39 for 299 yards and a touchdown.

CUNDIFF KICK TO WIN ... IS GOOD!

Billy Cundiff. Field-goal try. To win it.

Where have we heard that before? Why last January, of course, in the AFC championship game.

Then a Baltimore Raven, Cundiff missed a 32-yarder — hooking it left — that would have sent his team to the Super Bowl.

The Ravens cut him at the end of training camp, whereupon the Washington Redskins immediately signed him.

Cundiff rewarded the Redskins' faith by booting a game-winning, 41-yard field goal with three seconds left to beat the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 24-22.

Never mind that he nearly hooked it left.

BENGALS DUO SLAYS JAGUARS

The Andy Dalton-to-A.J. Green show only gets better in Year 2.

For the third consecutive week, the Bengals' pass duo got hot in a Cincinnati victory.

Sunday, the Bengals crunched the host Jacksonville Jaguars 27-10.

Green caught six passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.

Dalton completed 20-of-31 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns against only one interception.

On the season, the duo has connected 27 times for 428 yards and three scores.

All that talk about a sophomore jinx for the two second-year men? Forget about it. These guys are good.

On the other side of the ball, the Bengals defence had by far its best performance of the year.

It's clear that the Jaguars offence is about as putrid as last year's version. The key to defeating it is two-fold: stuff running back Maurice Jones-Drew, then bring the house in blitzing second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

The Bengals' banged-up and previously abused defence held Jones-Drew to just 38 yards rushing on 13 carries and sacked Gabbert six times.

Last week, the Bengals' defence similarly roughed up Washington Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III.

Without a rushing attack, an offence such as Jacksonville's can still move the ball, but the Jaguars do not possess that kind of an offence because Gabbert is not that kind of quarterback.

He had another sub-par day completing 23-of-34 passes for only 186 yards.

Jacksonville had only 212 yards of total offence.

BRONCOS BUST RAIDERS

With three of their next four games on the road — against the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati Bengals — Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos knew they just had to defeat the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

That they did. Impressively. To improve to 2-2, tied for the lead in the up-and-down AFC West.

The Broncos pasted the visiting Oakland Raiders 37-6 — the largest margin of victory for Denver in this rivalry since the 1960s.

Manning was the sharpest he has been as a Bronco — completing 30-of-38 passes for 338 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Denver led 10-6 at the half after having squandered two scoring chances with dumb mistakes — an inexplicable fumble by wideout Demaryius Thomas on his way to the end zone for a long touchdown and a totally botched fake field goal.

But then Manning rode the Broncos to scores on every second-half possession.

Broncos running back Willis McGahee rushed for 112 yards as Denver put up 501 total yards on an increasingly shell-shocked Raiders defence.

Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer and running back Darren McFadden are big-time talents, but with that awful offensive line of theirs they could do little.

Palmer was 19-of-34 for 202 yards. Darren McFadden had 34 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Both will be seeing orange in their sleep for the next week as Broncos defenders were in their faces all game long.

CARDINALS SINK DOLPHINS

If the Arizona Cardinals can score 24 points, other NFL teams seemingly don't have a chance.

The Cards defence still hasn't surrendered that many points in a game since last October after handing the visiting Miami Dolphins their second overtime loss in as many weeks, 24-21.

The Cards (4-0) appeared to be done, trailing 21-14 with 2:51 left, when rookie Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill — who'd played outstandingly in only his fourth NFL game — got popped hard by Arizona linebacker Daryl Washington. Tannehill fumbled and Arizona recovered.

Cards quarterback Kevin Kolb then took two bad sacks before suddenly playing like an All-Pro. He passed Arizona right down the field for an overtime-forcing touchdown pass to his favourite target of the day, Andre Roberts.

In overtime, Jay Feely kicked a 46-yard field goal to give Arizona its eighth consecutive win at home, dating back to last season.

By the way, who says the Dolphins don't have any wide receivers?

Brian Hartline caught 12 passes from Tannehill for a club-record 253 yards and one touchdown, while Davone Bess hauled in seven for 123 yards.

Tannehill was 26-of-41 for 431 yards against a defence that, in the previous two weeks, had prevented both New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Philadelphia Eagles pivot Michael Vick from playing remotely as well.

Had new head coach Joe Philbin's surprisingly game Dolphins won their last two overtime games, they'd be 3-1. As it is, they're 1-3.

BREES, TANNEHILL SET MARKS

An old guy and a rookie rewrote NFL passing records Sunday.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees now has tossed at least one touchdown pass in 47 consecutive regular-season games after tossing three against the Green Bay Packers.

Brees ties the NFL record set by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas.

Meantime, in Arizona, Ryan Tannehill of the Miami Dolphins threw for more yards in a road game than any rookie quarterback in NFL history — with 431.

Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers last year was the only NFL rookie ever to throw for more yards in a game with 432 against Green Bay.

Tannehill's total Sunday tied for the sixth most in Dolphins history and was the most for any Miami quarterback not named Dan Marino.

No Dolphins rookie QB ever had completed 26 passes in a game until Tannehill did Sunday.


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