Redskins blow 10-point lead, fall 17-10 to Dolphins
LANDOVER, Md. - The Washington Redskins found some positives in a disappointing opener that had a familiar ring to it.
Washington bolted to an early lead, dominated the statistics and was tied with Miami in the fourth quarter Sunday.
And then, to the dismay of the Redskins and their fans, Jarvis Landry returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown to give the Dolphins a 17-10 victory Sunday.
Being resilient in defeat is not what Redskins coach Jay Gruden wants, but he was pleased with his players' performances.
"I'm not going to be down," the second-year coach said. "I'm upset that we lost, but I think there's a lot of good things going on."
Starting an opener for the first time in his four-year career at Washington, Kirk Cousins went 21 for 31 for 196 yards and two interceptions. He takes over for Robert Griffin III, who was inactive after only recently recovering from a concussion.
Cousins' two turnovers hurt, but the Redskins were right in it until the end. Unfortunately, that's nothing new.
"We battled and came up short. I guess we're all pretty tired of that around here," Cousins said. "We've done that too many times. So eventually the tables need to turn. The tide needs to be turned. And we need a day like today to end up having us be on top at the end."
Washington led 10-0 in the second quarter and 10-7 at the half, but did not score over the final 30 minutes despite getting into Miami territory on four different series.
"We didn't capitalize offensively," said Alfred Morris, who ran for 121 yards. "We've got to find a way to score more."
Miami pulled even with 11:34 remaining when Andrew Franks kicked a 22-yard field goal to cap a 76-yard drive.
The Dolphins then forced a punt. Landry took the ball in the center of the field and darted up the middle, dodging would-be tacklers along the way.
"The guys did a great job on their gunner, who's the best player on their special teams unit, and gave me a lot of room to make a play in," Landry said. "The rest was the other 10 guys making it happen and seeing the hole and just going."
On the ensuing drive, Cousins threw a sideline pass that Dolphins cornerback Brice McCain intercepted at the Miami 2.
Washington got the ball back and drove to the Dolphins 20 before Cousins threw two straight incomplete passes.
The Redskins outgained the Dolphins 349-256 and held the ball for 37:54 compared to 22:06.
And still, they lost.
Washington played most of the game without standout wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who hurt his left hamstring chasing down a long pass on the opening play of Washington's second series.
Washington also lost starting safety Duke Ihenacho to a wrist injury.
Ryan Tannehill completed 22 of 34 passes for 226 yards for Miami.
Kai Forbath kicked a 45-yard field goal to end Washington's first possession. He subsequently missed a 46-yarder, but the Redskins went up 10-0 in the second quarter when Cousins capped a 17-play, 88-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Reed.
Tannehill answered with a frenzied 80-yard drive that took less than a minute and a half, ending with a 3-yard TD pass to Rishard Matthews.
"I think the big thing was that drive before the first half," Miami coach Joe Philbin said. "We really hadn't done anything on offense in the first 27 or 28 minutes of the first half. I thought he really had good composure and made some throws on that two-minute drive."
Notes: Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall left with a rib injury but returned to finish the game. ... CB Justin Rogers hurt his foot and could be sidelined for a few days, Gruden said. ... In his debut with the Dolphins, Ndamukong Suh had a tackle and an assist. "For me, there were no jitters or nothing," he said. ... For the first time in this series since 1984, the visiting team won.
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