The Redskins will not end September without a win.
Nor will they enter October without a good deal of hope when it comes to defending their NFC East title.
The Redskins’ 24-14 victory at Oakland on Sunday leaves them just one game out of the division lead after Dallas fell at San Diego. The Eagles — winless since beating Washington in Week One — are also 1-3 after a lopsided loss at Denver. The Giants are alone in last at 0-4 after a 24-point defeat at Kansas City.
Washington’s defense, panned for its play in the first three games, helped key the victory at Oakland. Outside linebackers Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan each had two sacks, as did defensive lineman Barry Cofield.
The Raiders scored the game’s first 14 points, but they struggled thereafter. Quarterback Matt Flynn threw an 18-yard first-quarter TD pass to tight end Mychal Rivera, but he also had an interception returned for a score by Redskins cornerback David Amerson.
Washington took the lead for good on a five-yard TD pass from Robert Griffin III to Pierre Garcon late in the third quarter. Griffin III had a solid game, completing 18-of-31 passes for 227 yards and the touchdown. Once again, he was not much of a rushing threat, gaining 10 yards on three carries.
Both teams lost running backs to injury. Raiders tailback Darren McFadden departed with a hamstring injury, while Washington’s Alfred Morris left with a rib ailment. The Raiders also lost their fullback, Marcel Reece, to a knee injury.
Roy Helu Jr., who replaced the injured Morris late in the third quarter, had a 14-yard fourth-quarter TD run to give Washington its final points with 6:59 left. Helu’s touchdown came two plays after Flynn was sacked by Kerrigan, who caused a fumble recovered by Cofield.
The Raiders put together one nice drive after falling behind by 10, but they were stopped on a 4th-and-1 play at the Washington 17 when Flynn fumbled with less than four minutes left. The Raiders had two timeouts left.
Oakland (1-3) faces San Diego on Sunday, Oct. 6. Washington has its bye in Week Five.