Best and worst moments from the Redskins’ tie against the Bengals in London


Josh Norman walks off the field after the Redskins tied the Bengals. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

Best and worst moments from the Redskins’ 27-27 tie against the Bengals at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Best show: While many of the NFL’s previous 17 regular season games in London had been damp squibs, Sunday’s contest was a bloody thrill, warts (22 combined penalties, dreadful kicking, turnovers), tie and all.

Worst kicks: The kicking display by Dustin Hopkins and Mike Nugent was an insult to the 84,000 fans in the Wembley Stadium crowd, many of whom were likely wondering at what point the game would go to penalty kicks and why Americans insist on calling this sport football. Hopkins, who had missed two field goals all season, missed two more against the Bengals, including a 34-yarder with 2:11 remaining in overtime. Cincinnati might have won in regulation if Nugent hadn’t bent a third-quarter extra point like Beckham.

Best scrum: The Redskins had another opportunity to win the game after Hopkins’s miss in overtime, when Chris Baker and Will Compton combined to force a fumble on a quarterback sneak by Andy Dalton. Rookie Anthony Lanier recovered the fumble at the Cincinnati 48-yard line with 1:02 remaining.

Worst penalty: A 14-yard completion to Pierre Garcon on Washington’s ensuing drive was negated by a questionable offensive pass-interference call, the Redskins’ 15th penalty of the game. Redskins Coach Jay Gruden got conservative after the call. Facing third and 19 two plays later, the Redskins used their first timeout with 30 seconds to play. An eight-yard completion set up fourth and 11 at the Cincinnati 48, but Gruden let the clock run down to two seconds before using another timeout. Kirk Cousins’s Hail Mary heave as time expired landed out of bounds.

Worst tie, er “draw”: The NFL has had at least one tie in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1997. That was also the year of the Redskins’ only other tie since 1971, when Gus Frerotte head-butted a retaining wall against the Giants. Sunday’s result may have left some fans wanting to do the same.

    Being a #redskins fan requires banging your head repeatedly

    — Michael Jaffe (@mjaffeumd) October 30, 2016

Best defensive stand in overtime: With the Bengals facing third and eight at the Washington 40-yard line and needing only a field goal to win the game, the Redskins sacked Dalton to force a punt.

Best defensive stand in regulation: After Hopkins tied the game with a 40-yard field goal, the Bengals’ offense had two timeouts and 1:07 to drive for a potential game-winning score. If you had flashbacks to last week in Detroit, when the Redskins failed to protect a late lead in a similar situation against the Lions, you weren’t alone, but Washington’s defense was up to the task Sunday. Duke Ihenacho broke up a deep pass intended for A.J. Green that would’ve put the Bengals in field goal range, and rookie Su’a Cravens came up with his first career sack on third down, forcing a Bengals punt with 11 seconds remaining.

Worst Halloween costume change: With an assist from Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, who lined up opposite him on both sides of the field, Green was The Invisible Man in the first half, with one catch for 10 yards. The NFL’s second-leading receiver transformed into Superman at halftime and eclipsed 100 yards receiving for the fourth time this season. Green’s 40-yard catch with Norman draped all over him set up a go-ahead touchdown run by Jeremy Hill with 6:54 to play. Green finished with nine catches for 121 yards.

    Are you kidding, @ajgreen_18?!?

    Wow. 😯 #WASvsCIN

    — NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2016

Best interception: With the Bengals in the red zone and looking to add to their 20-17 lead early in the fourth quarter, Compton mucked up those plans with his second career interception. A Kendall Fuller blitz off the edge forced a hurried throw from Dalton, whose first interception in 165 attempts gave Washington a chance to take the lead.

Best duo: Cousins made the most of the opportunity, leading the Redskins 83 yards on seven plays, including a 33-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder. Cousins was 38 for 56 for 458 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, while Crowder led the Redskins with nine catches for 107 yards. Cousins joined Sonny Jurgensen and Mark Rypien as the only Redskins quarterbacks with at least two games of 400 passing yards.

    The @Redskins take the lead!

    Cousins + Crowder = 33-yard TD! #WASvsCIN #HTTR

    — NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2016

Worst deficit: The Bengals scored touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half, including a one-yard run by Dalton on a naked bootleg that gave Cincinnati a two-score lead.

Best response: Washington needed less than three minutes to answer, as Jordan Reed capped a 91-yard touchdown drive with a 23-yard touchdown reception. Reed wasted little time making his presence felt after missing the previous two weeks with a concussion. He caught a seven-yard pass on Washington’s first play from scrimmage and finished with nine catches for 99 yards.

    Welcome back to the end zone, Jordan Reed. #HTTR #DCtoUK #WASvsCIN

    — Washington Redskins (@Redskins) October 30, 2016

Worst non-calls: The Redskins’ touchdown drive included a 38-yard completion to DeSean Jackson, who headed to the locker room to be evaluated for a possible concussion after appearing to take a helmet-to-helmet hit from Bengals safety George Iloka. Jackson was diagnosed with a “head contusion” and later returned to the sideline. Officials also missed a blatant facemask on Crowder’s touchdown catch.

    DeSean Jackson is questionable for return after taking this scary hit. #RedskinsTalk

    — CSN Redskins (@CSNRedskins) October 30, 2016

    Missed a face mask there on Crowder. Should be applied on the kickoff, but it went uncalled.

    — michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) October 30, 2016

Worst lead, considering the stats: As was the case two weeks ago against the Eagles, the halftime scoreboard didn’t reflect the Redskins’ first-half domination. When Hopkins’s 20-yard field goal gave Washington a 10-7 lead with 8:17 remaining in the second quarter, the Redskins were outgaining the Bengals 210-38 and had run 32 of the game’s 42 plays. Washington entered halftime with a 226-82 advantage in total yards and a nearly 10-minute advantage in time of possession, but it only had a three-point lead after Hopkins was short on a 55-yard field goal attempt as the second quarter expired.

Worst drops: Norman, who forced a fumble in the first half that was negated by a Bashaud Breeland holding penalty, dropped two potential interceptions, including one that he probably could have returned for a touchdown on the Bengals’ first possession of the second half. Dalton would make Norman and the Redskins pay later in the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tyler Eifert that gave Cincinnati its first lead.

    It's @AndyDalton14 and @EiferTy85…
    And a 15-yard @Bengals TOUCHDOWN.#WhoDey #WASvsCIN

    — NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2016

Best distribution: Cousins said earlier this week that he goes where his reads take him and isn’t concerned about giving all of his receivers an equal number of touches. On Sunday, Cousins’s reads in the first half took him all over the field. At halftime, Cousins was 20 for 27 for 189 yards and an interception, with at least two completions to six different receivers.

Best dance: Baker spoiled a Cincinnati second-quarter drive with a nine-yard sack of Dalton and celebrated by hitting the Milly Rock, his favorite sack dance. Two plays later, Nugent missed a 51-yard field goal to preserve the Redskins’ 10-7 lead.

    Who’s having a fun day at @[email protected]‘ @cbaker92redskin is! 💃#WASvsCIN — #OnlyInTheNFL (@NFLUK) October 30, 2016

Best drive: Washington was 3 for 3 on third down during its 15-play, 80-yard opening drive, which took 7 minutes 22 seconds. Rookie running back “Fat Rob” Kelley, who started in place of the injured Matt Jones, capped the Redskins’ brilliant first possession with a four-yard touchdown run. Kelley finished with 87 yards on 21 carries.

Worst kickoff-return coverage: Alex Erickson returned Hopkins’ ensuing kickoff 65 yards, giving the Bengals excellent field position at Washington’s 36-yard line.

Worst defense: Seven plays later, Giovani Bernard tied the game with an eight-yard touchdown run. The short field didn’t help, but the Redskins’ defense offered little resistance against the Bengals’ rushing attack, which accounted for all but 11 yards on the short scoring drive.

    Give the ball to @g_bernard25…
    Get SIX points!#WhoDey #WASvsCIN

    — NFL (@NFL) October 30, 2016

Best block: Ryan Grant pasted an unsuspecting Bengals defender during the Redskins’ second drive with a huge block. The play resulted in a 23-yard completion to Garcon.

    Ryan Grant really isn't on the team to be a receiver. He's here to block.

    And this is why… BOOM.#Redskins

    — Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoRCC) October 30, 2016

Worst missed opportunity: The Redskins’ second drive ended without points after Kelley slipped while making a cut and was stopped for no gain on fourth and one from the Bengals’ 18-yard line.

Best paint job: Houston Bates was in the Halloween spirit.

    Houston Bates is the Ultimate Warrior for Halloween

    — Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) October 30, 2016

Best or worst winning record: London is a long way to travel for a tie, but at 4-3-1 entering the bye week, the Redskins did manage to reach the halfway point of the season with a winning record for the first time since 2008. Still, it’s going to be a long fortnight of what-ifs.

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