The Washington Redskins secondary did little to quiet concerns they were incapable of preventing the big play.
The Cincinnati Bengals had touchdown passes of 73 and 48 yards in the first quarter to dampen the excitement surrounding Robert Griffin III’s home debut as they cruised to a 24-10 halftime lead at FedEx Field.
Marvin Lewis’ visiting squad outplayed Washington in nearly every facet of the game, out-gaining their hosts by 215 yards in the first half.
In stark contrast to one week ago against the St. Louis Rams where Washington scored on a fumble recovery, the Bengals dialed up a gimmick play to score a 78-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage.
With quarterback Andy Dalton split wide right, receiver Mohamed Sanu took the direct snap and connected with A.J. Green for a 73-yard touchdown. Safety DeJon Gomes was beaten easily off the line and DeAngelo Hall was late to help cover.
Later in the quarter, Cincinnati exploited a lack of safety help from Washington as Dalton connected with Armon Binns on a short pass to the left that quickly turned into a 48-yard score when Josh Wilson missed the sideline tackle.
Washington’s only first half touchdown came when Cincinnati was backed up to the goal line. Rob Jackson made a diving interception to pick off Dalton’s pass and rolled into the end zone for the score.
Jackson started in place of Brian Orakpo who was placed on injured reserve last week with a torn left pectoral muscle.
Washington would put offensive points on the board until Billy Cundiff drilled a 36-yard field goal with 31 seconds left in the half.
The Redskins held their collective breath as Griffin was driven to the ground by Carlos Dunlap who was credited with a sack fumble.
Left tackle Trent Williams was also shaken up in the first half. Williams suffered a right knee injury in the first quarter and wasn’t able to return until late in the second quarter after heading into the locker room for treatment.
Jordan Black was routinely beaten by Bengals rushers in his absence.
Cedric Griffin also sustained a hamstring injury in the first quarter.