The Union Recorder

Local Sports

October 8, 2012

With RG3 out, Ryan leads Falcons past Redskins

LANDOVER, Md. — While Matt Ryan was on the field leading another late comeback, Robert Griffin III was hidden from view, getting treatment for a concussion that changed the game.

The Atlanta Falcons are off to the best start in franchise history and are the only 5-0 team in the NFC, with Ryan blazing the trail with consecutive come-from-behind, fourth-quarter wins.

The defense is chipping in as well, knocking the Washington Redskins' No. 2 overall draft pick from the game in the third quarter Sunday in a 24-17 victory.

"This team's got a whole different attitude about going out there," Atlanta receiver Roddy White said. "And expecting to win."

A week after pulling out a two-point win over the Carolina Panthers, Ryan and the offense didn't have their usual fluid passing game — they scored just seven points through three quarters — but the early season MVP candidate cobbled together a trio of scoring drives in the fourth.

Julio Jones dexterously got both feet inbounds for an 18-yard catch just beyond the pylon. Matt Bryant stayed perfect on the year with a 53-yard field goal. Michael Turner ran 13 yards for the go-ahead score with 2:46 to play. The defense gave up a long touchdown pass by Griffin's replacement, Kirk Cousins, but redeemed itself by intercepting the fourth-round draft pick twice in the final two minutes.

But the play of the game was made by Sean Weatherspoon, who made the hit that took Griffin out. Scrambling on third-and-goal, Griffin fell forward near the sideline. His helmet slammed into Weatherspoon's upper body, an undisputed clean hit.

"It felt like a good play," Weatherspoon said. "I think it gave us a little energy."

Once he got to the sideline, Griffin didn't know the score or the quarter, according to coach Mike Shanahan. Team spokesman Tony Wyllie said the Heisman Trophy winner was examined by an independent neurologist before being sent home and will be evaluated again Monday. Griffin also got a cut on his chin.

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