Griffin was hit hard in the second half during Redskins loss (US Presswire)
LANDOVER, Md. - After
the Atlanta Falcons knocked Robert Griffin III out of the game, Matt
Ryan kept throwing and throwing and throwing until he finally scraped up
enough points to give his team its first 5-0 start in franchise
Michael Turner ran 13 yards for the go-ahead score with
2:46 to play, and Ryan completed 34 of 52 passes for 345 yards Sunday as
Atlanta beat Washington 24-17, handing the Redskins their eighth
consecutive home loss and leaving their Heisman Trophy winner woozy.
Gonzalez caught 13 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown on a day when
the Falcons' usually powerful offense was just a bit out of sync,
producing lots of numbers without much payoff against one of the worst
secondaries in the NFL.
Julio Jones had 10 receptions for 94
yards, including an 18-yard catch with both feet barely inbounds that
gave Atlanta the lead early in the fourth quarter.
injured early in the second half while trying to scramble for the end
zone on third-and-goal from the 3. As he went down, he took a solid hit
to the helmet from the upper body of linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
Clearly rattled, the No. 2 overall draft pick had his head examined on
the sideline before being taken to the locker room.
Shanahan said Griffin suffered a "mild concussion." Team spokesman Tony
Wyllie said the quarterback was examined by an independent neurologist
before being sent home from the stadium and will be evaluated again
Griffin's susceptibility to injury was a concern when he
was hammered hard while carrying the ball frequently in the option in
the Redskins' first three games, but Shanahan went with a more
conventional approach in the last two games. Griffin did not have a
designed run on Sunday, yet he nevertheless had to leave a game for the
first time in his young career.
Griffin was 10 for 15 for 91 yards
when he was hurt. The play after his injury, Billy Cundiff converted a
23-yard field goal that gave the Redskins (2-3) a 10-7 lead.
Cousins, a fourth-round pick from Michigan State making his NFL debut,
entered in place of Griffin and went three-and-out in his first
possession. The Falcons then took advantage of Sav Rocca's shanked punt
to drive 47 yards for a touchdown on Jones' catch.
gave the Redskins the lead again about a minute later, when Santana Moss
ran deep down the middle without a defender anywhere near him. The
77-yard pass made the score 17-14 early in the fourth quarter.
then cobbled two scoring drives that gave the Falcons the win. Matt
Bryant's 53-yard field goal with 7:42 remaining tied the score, and a
29-yard pass to Jones was the key play in a 69-yard drive that led to
Turner's decisive touchdown.
Cousins had two more chances to rally
the Redskins, but he was intercepted twice in the final two minutes. He
finished 5 for 9 for 111 yards.
Alfred Morris ran for 115 yards on 18 carries for Washington.