Redskins easily beat Raiders
OAKLAND – The Washington Redskins again went into the fourth quarter with a lead. Whether it was playing against JaMarcus Russell and the Oakland Raiders or their own resiliency, the Redskins were able to hold onto this lead and end a string of three straight fourth-quarter collapses.
Jason Campbell threw two touchdown passes to give Washington the lead, Quinton Ganther extended it with two fourth-quarter scores and Brian Orakpo helped secure the 34-13 victory Sunday by tying a franchise record with four sacks.
“This seemed like a long time coming,” coach Jim Zorn said. “We had been so close in the last couple games. To be able to close it out like we did today, to be able to keep that pressure on the entire game and overcome some of the adversity that was put forth, I just can’t tell you how excited I am for our players.”
The Redskins (4-9) had lost three straight, blowing leads of six, eight and 10 points. Those losses came against upper-echelon teams in Dallas, Philadelphia and New Orleans, not the bottom-dwelling Raiders (4-9).
Washington took a 17-13 lead into the fourth quarter this week, but just built on it from there.
“We’ve got a lot of heart and a lot of pride,” Campbell said. “The last couple weeks there have been opportunities for us to win all those games, and we feel like we beat our opponents, it just hasn’t come out on the scoreboard. We understand we’re not going to the playoffs, but at the same time, we’re building.”
Oakland had won two of three, led by fourth-quarter comebacks by Bruce Gradkowski, who replaced an ineffective Russell as the Raiders quarterback last month but was injured in this game.
There would be no such comeback this week. Ganther capped an 80-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 24-13. Russell threw an interception to LaRon Landry on the next play and Ganther scored on another 1-yard run four plays later.
The Redskins then teed off on Russell, getting six of their eight sacks in the second half. It was the most sacks for Washington since getting eight against Dallas in 1990. It was also the team’s most lopsided win since a 21-point victory over Dallas in Joe Gibbs’ final regular-season game in 2007.
“We had heard that Russell’s just had a tough time, and you could tell when he stepped on the field and the crowd started booing,” Washington defensive end Andre Carter said. “To go through that and play through that level of environment, I can’t imagine. But as a defense, we can’t show mercy. We’ve got to get to him, and that’s what we did.”
Russell, who lost his job last month after completing just 46.8 percent of his passes and committing 14 turnovers, entered to start the third quarter for Oakland after Gradkowski left with two injured knees.
Russell completed his first two passes to help set up a 53-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski that cut Washington’s lead to 17-13 midway through the third quarter. That was the highlight of the day for Russell, who finished 10 for 16 for 74 yards and an interception and was booed incessantly by the sparse crowd.
It was a rough day overall for the Raiders, who committed 14 penalties and lost by at least 20 points for the fifth time this season. They also assured themselves of a seventh straight losing season and have been outscored 119-23 in four games following a win this season.
“I feel for the guys here, because we don’t come into the week saying, ‘Well, we got our one, so who cares about this next one,'” cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha said. “Guys are really actually going out there saying, ‘Let’s get two. Let’s get three.’ And then for some reason it has always happened this way. You can’t put your finger on it. But this is one we thought we gonna be able to get. Guys came in confident. That second-in-a-row thing got us again.”
Campbell completed 16 of 28 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns to Fred Davis. The second TD came at the end of one particularly frustrating sequence for the Raiders late in the first half. It started when a 27-yard pass to Louis Murphy on third-and-2 was overturned by replay.
Hiram Eugene then committed a false start before the punt and a 15-yard penalty for interfering with punt returner Antwaan Randle El. A personal foul on special teams coach John Fassel moved the ball out to the Washington 40.
Four plays later, Campbell threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Davis that gave the Redskins a 17-10 lead with 56 seconds remaining in the half.
NOTES: Dexter Manley, Ken Harvey and Phillip Daniels also had four sacks in a game for Washington. … Gradkowski went 10 for 18 for 153 yards. … Raiders S Michael Huff left in the second quarter with a stinger. … Janikowski was well short on a 65-yard FG attempt at the end of the first half.
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