Big 2nd quarter lifts Redskins to dominant win over Cards
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — For the last few minutes of the first quarter and all of the second, Washington’s offense couldn’t be stopped.
Whether it was Alex Smith passing or Adrian Peterson and Chris Thompson running, the Redskins simply dominated Arizona up front and the 24-6 Washington victory on Sunday was even more dominant than that score would indicate.
“Our O-line set the tone early,” Smith said, “especially with the way we were running the football. I mean, anytime you’re moving the chains like that, it’s easier to get into a rhythm and I thought we did that there in the first half.”
Washington had consecutive touchdown drives of 80, 73 and 92 yards to lead 21-0 at halftime.
The first-half statistics were grossly one-sided.
Washington outgained the Cardinals 261 yards to 36 and had a 22-2 advantage in first downs. The Redskins controlled the ball for 22:57 to Arizona’s 7:03.
“That was about how you draw it up,” Washington linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. “I don’t know how many snaps we played in the first half (14 for the Redskins defense), but it wasn’t a lot. Kudos to our offense for keeping us off the field.”
Smith, acquired from Kansas City in the offseason, finished 21 of 30 for 255 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions in his Washington debut.
Peterson rushed for 96 yards on 26 carries. Thompson gained 65 yards in just five attempts, and caught a 13-yard touchdown pass.
“I think any time you win on the road first game of the year, whenever you win on the road, you’ve got to say everybody played pretty darned well,” coach Jay Gruden said. “Especially the quarterback and safety on defense, middle linebacker. I thought they all played extremely well.”
Here are some things to consider from Sunday’s Redskins victory over Arizona.
CHORUS OF BOOS: The Cardinals, in the debut of new coach Steve Wilks, were showered with boos from the home crowd as they left the field.
“We heard them booing,” Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “I mean, we didn’t give them nothing good to watch today.”
Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald agreed.
“They pay a lot of money,” he said. “They work extremely hard to build up to buy those tickets and they expect to see good football and they didn’t see that today. Next time we come back here, we owe it to them to perform a lot better and give them something to be happy about and cheer for.”
PETERSON’S MILESTONES: Adrian Peterson, with 96 yards rushing, moved past Marshall Faulk and Jim Brown into 10th on the NFL career yards rushing list with 12,372. He needs 368 to pass Tony Dorsett for ninth place.
Peterson’s 1-yard scoring run was his 100th career rushing touchdown, tying Faulk and Shaun Alexander for seventh on the career list.
His performance came just two weeks after he signed with the Redskins.
“God has really gifted me with tremendous talent,” Peterson said. “The Redskins saw that. Other teams had the opportunity, but for whatever reason, things didn’t work out. They worked out the way they were supposed to. I was ready.”
JOHNSON’S DEAL: David Johnson was in no mood to talk about his new contract after what he considered a poor performance.
Johnson signed a three-year extension Saturday night worth $39 million with $30 million guaranteed.
He had a pair of good early runs but the team had to go away from the ground game after falling so far behind. Still, Johnson was very self-critical.
“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Johnson said. “I missed a couple holes and I didn’t help out Sam (Bradford) with the blocking. I didn’t play my best game.”
Johnson rushed for 37 yards on nine carries and caught five passes for 30 yards.
REDSKINS 2-0? Washington took care of one issue by getting Gruden his first season-opening win as Redskins coach (in five tries).
Now, the team will try to go 2-0 for the first time since 2011 when it plays its home opener against Indianapolis on Sunday.
“You guys kept reminding me all week about the thing, the 0-4 start,” Gruden said. “Now it’s time to put back-to-back games together. We have to play a tough Andrew Luck-led Colts team next week at home, and we have to do a better job for our home crowd.”
INJURIES: Washington lost a pair of wide receivers to ankle injuries, rookie Cam Sims and Trey Quinn. Arizona starting right tackle Andre Smith left with an elbow injury in the fourth quarter.
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