Redskins, Bengals battle to tie in London
LONDON » The Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals played to a 2727 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 84,488 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.
Hopkins, whose first overtime attempt sailed smoothly through the uprights but was negated by a last-second Bengals timeout, appeared calm and unruffled in the locker room.
“It was slick out there, but that didn’t have an effect on any of my kicks,” said Hopkins, who also was badly short on a 55-yard attempt at the end of the first half.
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 teamrecord 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. Dalton also tossed a costly interception early in the fourth quarter with the Bengals driving deep into Washington territory.
THE 1997 TIES
Oddly, the last time the NFL had two ties in a season also happened in backto-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.
Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (86) runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals at Wembley Stadium in London, Sunday.