- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Washington Redskins‘ defense has tried it all early on this season in attempting to slow down opponents. Again, Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals, it failed.

With Andy Dalton picking apart the secondary, Robert Griffin III and the Redskins couldn’t keep up, losing 38-31 in their home opener at FedEx Field.

Dalton threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns, and that didn’t even count Cincinnati’s first play from scrimmage, in which receiver Mohamed Sanu found A.J. Green for a 73-yarder.

It didn’t get much better. The Redskins trailed 24-10 at halftime, as the offensive line without Trent Williams couldn’t keep Griffin off the ground.

With some offensive adjustments to start the second half, the Redskins scored 17 unanswered points. Wide receiver Brandon Banks saw his role increase as part of an option attack that tied to score at 24-24. 

A couple of key decisions early in the fourth quarter started things tumbling badly. The Redskins punted at the Cincinnati 44 on fourth-and-1 instead of going for it. Then, on the punt, the ball bounced at the goal line, and coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to challenge cost the Redskins their final timeout.

The Bengals proceeded to march down the field and take the lead. Not long after, they added some insurance. The Redskins‘ last-ditch drive was unsuccessful as they dropped to 1-2 this season.

Griffin finished with 221 yards passing and a touchdown, and he also led the team in rushing with 85 yards and a score.

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