Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals battle to 27-27 tie in London
LONDON– The Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals played to a 27-27 draw Sunday in London as the NFL got its second tied game in a season for the first time since 1997.
The sold-out crowd of 84,000 at Wembley Stadium left deflated and even puzzled as the regulation-time shootout between Kirk Cousins and Andy Dalton turned into an overtime comedy of errors.
“It definitely feels more like a loss than a win, because we moved the ball so well and had so many opportunities to win,” Cousins said.
Washington (4-3-1) appeared to have the game won with 2:13 left in overtime, but Dustin Hopkins hooked his 34-yard field goal attempt wide left.
The Redskins got the ball back with 1:11 remaining when Dalton fumbled at the Bengals 47 on a quarterback sneak. Cousins couldn’t connect downfield and tossed his final desperate pass tamely into the sideline to preserve the draw. Cincinnati is 3-4-1.
The unlikely result came one week after the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals tied 6-6 .
“Obviously not winning the game is disappointing,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “We had opportunities on both sides of the ball to win it.”
Cousins finished with 38 completions for a season-high 458 yards on a team-record 56 attempts, with touchdowns to Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder. He also threw an inconsequential interception on a deep ball.
Dalton completed 27 of 42 for 284 yards and a touchdown to Tyler Eifert, who saw his first significant game action following offseason back surgery. Eifert made nine catches for 102 yards, while A.J. Green generated 121 yards on nine catches.
THE 1997 TIES: Oddly, the last time the NFL had two ties in a season also happened in back-to-back weeks. In Weeks 12 and 13 of the 1997 season, Baltimore and Philadelphia tied 10-10, followed seven days later by Washington and the New York Giants’ 7-7 draw.
At first, it looked as if both teams might have forgotten to pack their defenses.
Washington took its opening possession 80 yards on a 15-play drive capped by Robert Kelley’s juking 4-yard run. It was the first NFL rushing touchdown for Kelley, an undrafted rookie from Tulane starting in place of an injured Matt Jones.
Cincinnati immediately responded with a 66-yard kickoff return by Alex Erickson up the right sideline. Giovani Bernard took a draw 8 yards to the end zone to tie the score 7-7 with about four minutes still left in the opening quarter.
It wasn’t only Hopkins ruing his errors. The Bengals’ Mike Nugent had a chance to tie at 10, but his low-trajectory 51-yarder spun wide left. Nugent has often struggled from long range throughout his 12-year career. He has yet to convert a field goal beyond 47 yards this year, and fell to 0-for-3 from 50 yards or more.
Nugent then missed his first extra point of the season, wide left following the Bengals’ go-ahead drive of the second half.
“We missed a PAT, we missed a field goal, and those things eventually came back to hurt us,” Lewis said.
WATCH THOSE HANDS: Redskins’ star cornerback Josh Gordon was called four times for illegal use of hands. It’s a shame for Washington that those hands weren’t as sticky to the ball.
Gordon dropped two great interception opportunities while jumping routes on short sideline throws to A.J. Green. The first hit him squarely in both hands on the Bengals 39 near the end of the first half, the second was in Redskins territory during the Bengals’ opening drive of the second half. A pick then would have stopped the Bengals from seizing the lead barely a minute later.
Both teams have byes.