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Cundiff comes through for Redskins

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TAMPA, Fla. -- Billy Cundiff turned from goat to hero with one swift kick.

Cundiff atoned for three earlier misses by booting a 41-yard field goal with three seconds

left Sunday to lift the Washington Redskins to a 24-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III drove the Redskins to the winning score after the

Buccaneers had overcome an 18-point deficit to go ahead 22-21 with 1:42 left on Connor Barth's

47-yard field goal. Griffin completed three straight passes on the final drive and had a 15-

yard run to shatter Tampa Bay's hopes for a come-from-behind win.

Cundiff had missed from 31 yards earlier in the fourth quarter and from 41 and 57 yards in

the first half.

"That happens in the National Football League," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "But for

him to miss those three field goals and still keep his focus and come back and make that game-

winner says a lot about him."

What made the winning drive more impressive was that Griffin was forced to call his own

plays because the headset in his helmet wasn't functioning properly,

"Not too many rookies can do that," Shanahan said.

Griffin finished 25 of 35 for 323 yards and no interceptions. He also ran for a 5-yard

touchdown in the second quarter when Washington (2-2) opened a 21-3 lead.

"You try to rise to the occasion," Griffin III said.

Redskins rookie running back Alfred Morris also had a big day with 113 yards on 21 carries

and a 39-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Barth boomed a 57-yard field goal with 1:55 left in the second quarter to cut the Buccaneers' deficit to 21-6 at halftime.

The Buccaneers (1-3) started their comeback in the third quarter with a 7-yard touchdown

pass from quarterback Josh Freeman to Vincent Jackson. Tampa Bay closed to 21-19 with 9:41 left in the game on LaGarrette Blount's 2-yard touchdown run. A potential two-point conversion

failed.

Freeman was 24 of 39 for 299 passing yards and two of his receivers had 100-yard games.

Jackson finished with 100 yards through the air and Mike Williams had 115.

The Bucs struck first on the opening possession with a 50-yard field goal by Barth. But it

was all Washington the rest of the first half.

The Redskins took the lead on their next possession when Griffin III fumbled in the end zone

but teammate Pierre Garcon recovered, putting Washington up 7-3. It was Garcon's first game

back since suffering a foot injury in the opening week.

Then Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Williams picked off Freeman. Two penalties later by

Bucs defensive line and Griffin III ran virtually untouched into the end zone for his 5-yard

touchdown.

"We didn't play what I envision as Buccaneer football -- smart football. We had penalties,"

Bucs coach Greg Schiano said. "There are certain penalties that I can live with, but there are

others that are inexcusable, and we had a couple of those today."

On Washington's next possession, Morris' gashing 39-yard run gave the Skins an 18-point

lead. Barth answered by nailing a career-best 57-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, Freeman fired a 65-yard bomb to Williams before throwing a 7-yard strike to Jackson in the end zone, making it 21-13.

Blount, who had been relegated to just seven touches for the season, pulled Tampa Bay to 21-19 when he punched it in from 2 yards in the fourth quarter.

In the end, the Redskins' offense did just enough to let Cundiff get his moment of

redemption.

"I'm happy for him as a fellow kicker," Barth said. "You have to give Washington credit, and

they put it in when it (counted)."

NOTES: Former Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris returned to Raymond James Stadium. Morris, who was fired after last season, now coaches defensive backs for the Redskins. ... Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather collided with wide receiver Aldrick Robinson during pregame warm-ups and both were inactive for the game. Meriweather appeared to reinjure his left knee that he hurt in the first game of the season. Third cornerback Cedrick Griffin (hamstring) also was inactive. ... Buccaneers kicker Connor Barth now has 25 consecutive field goals, the longest streak in the NFL. ... Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson became the first Tampa Bay players with more than 100 yards receiving in the same game since 1992. ... Redskins kicker Billy Cundiff may or may not have a job on Monday -- despite the winning kick Sunday -- after his three misses. "Obviously if you miss too many, your employment's not very long," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said after the game.
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