LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — One big play made all the difference for the Miami Dolphins. Miami fell into an early hole, put together only one touchdown drive and was dominated statistically by the Washington Redskins.
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — One big play made all the difference for the Miami Dolphins.
Miami fell into an early hole, put together only one touchdown drive and was dominated statistically by the Washington Redskins.
Thanks to Jarvis Landry, none of that mattered.
Landry returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown with 10:22 left to give the Dolphins their first lead, and Miami held on for a 17-10 victory Sunday.
Landry, in his second year out of LSU, is listed behind LaMichael James on punt returns. The decision to put him back there came just before the opening kickoff.
"Was kind of a split decision," Landry said. "LaMike kind of had his hands full with kickoff return and on the offensive side of the ball also."
Starting an opener for the first time in his four-year career at Washington, Kirk Cousins went 21 for 31 for 196 yards and two interceptions. Robert Griffin III was inactive after only recently recovering from a concussion.
Cousins' two turnovers hurt, but the Redskins were right in it until the end. Unfortunately, that's nothing new.
"We battled and came up short. I guess we're all pretty tired of that around here," Cousins said. "We've done that too many times. So eventually the tables need to turn. The tide needs to be turned. And we need a day like today to end up having us be on top at the end."
Miami trailed 10-0 in the second quarter, cut it to 10-7 at halftime and pulled even with 11:34 remaining when Andrew Franks kicked a 22-yard field goal to cap a 76-yard drive.
The Dolphins then forced a punt. Landry took the ball in the center of the field and darted up the middle, dodging would-be tacklers along the way.
"The guys did a great job on their gunner, who's the best player on their special teams unit, and gave me a lot of room to make a play in," Landry said. "The rest was the other 10 guys making it happen and seeing the hole and just going."
Miami coach Joe Philbin said: "When he caught the ball there seemed to be a lot of space. He's good in the open field; he's a tough guy to get on the ground."
On the ensuing drive, Cousins threw a sideline pass that Dolphins cornerback Brice McCain intercepted at the Miami 2.
Washington got the ball back and drove to the Dolphins 20 before Cousins threw two straight incomplete passes.
It was the story of the day for the Redskins.
"It's frustrating, because we did have some opportunities there, both sides of the ball," coach Jay Gruden said. "And we've got to punch it in."
Alfred Morris had 121 yards on 25 carries for Washington. The Redskins outgained the Dolphins 349-256 and held the ball for 37:54 compared to 22:06.
And still, they lost.
"I'm not going to be down," Gruden said. "I'm upset that we lost, but I think there's a lot of good things going on."
The Redskins played most of the game without standout wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who hurt his left hamstring chasing down a long pass on the opening play of Washington's second series.
Washington also lost starting safety Duke Ihenacho to a wrist injury.
Ryan Tannehill completed 22 of 34 passes for 226 yards for Miami.
Kai Forbath kicked a 45-yard field goal to end Washington's first possession. He subsequently missed a 46-yarder, but the Redskins went up 10-0 in the second quarter when Cousins capped a 17-play, 88-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jordan Reed.
Tannehill answered with a frenzied 80-yard drive that took less than a minute and a half, ending with a 3-yard TD pass to Rishard Matthews.
"I think the big thing was that drive before the first half," Philbin said. "We really hadn't done anything on offense in the first 27 or 28 minutes of the first half. I thought he really had good composure and made some throws on that two-minute drive."
Notes: Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall left with a rib injury but returned to finish the game. ... CB Justin Rogers hurt his foot and could be sidelined for a few days, Gruden said. ... In his debut with the Dolphins, Ndamukong Suh had a tackle and an assist. "For me, there were no jitters or nothing," he said. ... For the first time in this series since 1984, the visiting team won.