The Washington Redskins on Sunday won their first home game of the season in three tries, hanging on after blowing a double-digit lead to top the Cleveland Browns, 31-20.
The game had been billed as Robert Griffin III’s return to Washington after the former Redskins franchise quarterback parted ways with the team in March, but Griffin’s shoulder injury suffered in the Browns’ opening-week loss relegated him to watching from the sidelines.
Kirk Cousins, Griffin’s successor in Washington, threw three touchdown passes, including two early to tight end Jordan Reed, and running back Matt Jones got loose for 117 rushing yards as the Redskins climbed to 2-2 on the season.
Reed made his 200th career reception during the game, reaching the milestone faster than any tight end in league history, passing Kellen Winslow Sr.
But despite Washington jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first half, the Browns (0-3) clawed their way back into the game, tying it at the half and taking a three-point lead into the fourth quarter.
But Cousins led the Redskins on a 10-play, 91-yard drive that culminated in a 5-yard TD pass to running back Chris Thompson to reclaim the lead. After Josh Norman picked off an errant Browns pass deep in Cleveland territory, Jones ran for a 1-yard score a few plays later to put the game away.
“I like the way this team rebounded after being down 0-2 [on the season],” said Washington head coach Jay Gruden. “I like the character of this team.”
Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson agreed.
“We still have a lot to accomplish this year,” said Jackson, who was relatively quiet Sunday with just one reception. “It’s just the first quarter of the season but we showed today that we have the character to come back and we showed what this team is made of.”
Washington travels up I-95 to M&T Bank Stadium next week to face the Baltimore Ravens (3-1) on Oct. 9.