The Redskins Sunday had a golden shot to top the undefeated Atlanta Falcons at home, but not only lost the game, but lost rookie QB Robert Griffin III in the process.
Griffin III was knocked out with what’s being called a mild concussion after Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon slammed him near the sideline in the third quarter as the Falcons beat Washington 24-17.
The play turned a third-and-goal from the 3 to a fourth-and-goal from the 5 late in the third quarter. The Redskins then kicked a field goal to take 10-7 lead, but it seemed the wind was out of their sails at that point.
Griffin’s replacement, rookie QB Kirk Cousins, managed one big play in his NFL debut, a 77-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss that made the score 17-14 early in the fourth quarter.
After that, it was all Atlanta, who went on three scoring drives in the final quarter with the final one being a 13-yard TD run from Michael Turner to put the Falcons ahead for good 24-17.
Griffin was 5-for-10 for 91 yards, and Cousins took over under center and threw for 111 yards, one score and two interceptions on 5-of-9 passing for Washington (2-3), which lost at home for the eighth consecutive game.
RB Alfred Morris ran for 115 yards on 18 carries for the Redskins, while Santana Moss caught two passes for 80 yards and a touchdown in the setback.
With the game tied at 17-17 and 5:40 left on the clock, the Falcons began their decisive drive on their own 31. Facing 2nd-and-9 from near midfield, Ryan stepped up in the pocket and hit Jones deep down the left sideline for 29 yards to the Washington 22.
Two plays later, Turner went off left guard for the 13-yard touchdown run, putting the Falcons ahead for good.
Cousins had two more chances to rally the Redskins, but Dunta Robinson and Thomas DeCoud picked him off to end Washington’s final two drives.
”With Robert not being in there, definitely allowed them to change up their scheme,” said Morris. ”They were flying downhill a lot faster. It definitely affected our running game. Once he wasn’t in anymore, they were just able to pin their ears back.”
The Skins are at home next week for the 4-1 Vikings.