TAMPA—A day that began about as poorly as possible ended far better for the Redskins at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday.
Safety Brandon Meriweather and wide receiver Aldrick Robinson were involved in a violent collision during pregame warmups, dealing the visitors’ a significant blow before the game had even begun. Meriweather had been expected to make his season debut after missing the first three weeks with a knee injury.
That initial adversity, though, gave way to an uneven performance by the Redskins, who received strong performances from Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris and a clutch kick from shaky Billy Cundiff in the final seconds to secure a 24-22 victory.
The win halted a two-game losing streak for the Redskins (2-2), while the Buccaneers (1-3) lost a third consecutive game.
Cundiff missed from 31, 41 and 57 yards, dropping him to 1 for 5 since the opener. But the veteran was on-target from 41 yards with three seconds remaining.
The Buccanners had battled back from a 21-6 halftime deficit behind Josh Freeman (299 yards passing), Mike Williams (115 yards receiving) and Vincent Jackson (100 yards). They took a 22-21 lead with 1:47 left to play on a 47-yard field goal by Connor Barth.
But the Redskins had just enough to time – and Cundiff had just enough nerve.
Griffin finished 26 of 35 for 323 yards and rushed for his fourth touchdown of the season, tying him for the Redskins’ season record for quarterbacks. Morris, meantime, rushed for 113 yards on 21 carries, including a 39-yard touchdown run in the first half.
With the help of a 65-yard completion and a 54-yarder on back-to-back drives, the Buccaneers scored on consecutive drives spanning the third and fourth quarters to trim their deficit to 21-19. They could have pulled even, but Freeman’s two-point conversion pass fell short.
The Redskins’ offense stalled on their next two drives and the Buccaneers seized the opportunity, taking one point lead on Barth third field goal of the day.
But Cundiff made sure it wasn’t enough.