The Washington Football Team broke a two-game slide and dispatched the visiting Cincinnati Bengals 20-9 on Sunday at Landover, Md., in a game marred by a left knee injury to Bengals' rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow was carted off the field after the injury early in the third quarter. He went down after getting hit below the waist while another defender hit him high from the opposite side on a throw.
Players from both teams offered words to Burrow as he was treated and taken off, including Washington quarterback Alex Smith. With the game still in progress, Burrow tweeted: "Thanks for all the love. Can't get rid of me that easy. See ya next year."
Smith, just two years removed from his own gruesome leg injury, completed 17 of 25 passes for 166 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first home start this year for Washington (3-7), which pulled to within a half-game of the Philadelphia Eagles for the top spot in the NFC East.
Washington's win was the first for the division in nine head-to-head matchups against the AFC North in 2020 (1-8).
Washington rushed for 164 yards, led by Antonio Gibson's 94 yards on 16 carries. Terry McLaurin had five catches for 84 yards.
Burrow completed 22 of 34 passes for 203 yards and a touchdown for Cincinnati (2-7-1) before his injury. He did not take a sack.
Ryan Finley replaced Burrow for the Bengals, but Cincinnati faded after the injury. Finley finished 3-of-10 for 30 yards and an interception. The Bengals finished with 272 total yards, amassing just 17 yards on five possessions after the injury. Finley was sacked four times.
Six plays after Burrow's injury, Washington took the lead for good when Smith flipped a 3-yard touchdown pass to Steven Sims Jr. for a 14-9 edge with 8:58 left in the third quarter.
Dustin Hopkins added 32-yard and 50-yard field goals as Washington extended the lead to 20-9 with 9:44 remaining.
Cincinnati dominated the first half but settled for a modest 9-7 lead at the break. The Bengals held nearly 2-to-1 edges in yards (247-125), plays (42-23) and time of possession, but scored a combined six points on three red-zone trips.
Burrow found A.J. Green with a 5-yard touchdown at the 7:32 mark of the second quarter, but Randy Bullock missed the PAT, and Cincinnati pulled to within 7-6. Bullock hit a 53-yard field goal with 1:39 left in the half for the 9-7 lead. The touchdown was Green's first of 2020.
Bullock also missed 34-yard and 58-yard field goals, after both hit the right upright. Burrow lost a fumble at the Washington goal line, thanks to No. 2 overall pick DE Chase Young's big hit, to scuttle another scoring chance early in the second quarter.
Washington took a 7-0 lead on its second possession. Smith's 42-yard deep ball to Terry McLaurin set the stage for Gibson's 1-yard scoring plunge with 1:38 left in the first quarter.
--Field Level Media