Redskins defense helps pave way to big halftime lead

AP

The Redskins were one of the league’s worst defenses heading into Week Four, but they have ridden that unit to a 21-6 halftime lead in Tampa.

A DeAngelo Hall interception set up one touchdown and a Ryan Kerrigan sack forced a punt that preceded another as the beleaguered Redskins defenders put together an effort that has held the Buccaneers to just two field goals in the first two quarters. It’s been a strange offensive approach for the Bucs thus far as the team that entered play Sunday with the second-least passing attempts per game has gone almost exclusively to the air in their attempt to beat the Redskins.

The Bucs called passing plays on 25 of their 31 offensive snaps, but didn’t get any big plays against a Redskins secondary that lost safety Brandon Meriweather to injury during pregame warmups. The absence hasn’t hurt the team a bit thus far on Sunday, despite the best efforts of the Bucs to exploit the team’s previously leaky defensive backfield. Josh Freeman completed 13-of-22 passes for just 88 yards, numbers that speak to just how little Tampa’s been able to get going on defense this season.

Robert Griffin III tied the Redskins’ single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with his fourth of the season in the second quarter. Kerrigan’s sack killed the ensuing Bucs drive and Alfred Morris ran the ball in from 39 yards out to open up the 18-point bulge in Tampa. Morris has 75 yards on 11 carries and Griffin has completed 12-of-15 passes for 145 yards to give the Redskins good balance in their own offense.