Draw fitting ending for NFL game in soccer-centric England as American Football tours UK again
Second tie in two weeks as NFL roadshow falls to an anticlimax
Disappointment, confusion and anger were among the emotions expressed after the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals travelled across an ocean and showed Londoners firsthand that American football too can have anti-climactic draws.
Washington kicker Dustin Hopkins missed a 34-yard field-goal attempt late in overtime and the Redskins and Bengals settled for a 27-27 tie on Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London.
“I don’t know how to react. I didn’t think it was possible to tie. I know there was a tie last week in Arizona, but I was like, ‘how the heck did they tie’?” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “Now we know.”
A game which evolved into a second-half shootout ended with a scoreless overtime in a sport where, unlike soccer, draws are rare.
The Redskins drove from their 22-yard line to the Cincinnati 16 and Gruden called for Hopkins on third down with 2:13 remaining in overtime. He appeared to win it, but Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had called timeout before the snap. On his second attempt, Hopkins was wide left.
The Bengals (3-4-1) then drove to near midfield, but on third-and-1 from their 46, Will Compton forced an Andy Dalton fumble. Washington couldn’t get within field-goal range and Kirk Cousins’ Hail Mary attempt fell far short.
Washington (4-3-1) tied it at 27-27 on Hopkins’ 40-yard field goal with 1:08 left in regulation.
Cousins threw for a career-high 458 yards on 38-of-56 passing, with two touchdowns and one pick.
Jamison Crowder had nine catches for 109 yards a touchdown. Jordan Reed, returning after missing two games with a concussion, had nine receptions for 99 yards and a score.
The Redskins were penalised 15 times for 106 yards. Five were called on cornerback Josh Norman, four for illegal use of hands, and three were accepted by Cincinnati.
“Who is official 88?” Norman said, referencing official Brad Freeman’s number.
“He sucked. Just to be honest with you. I’m to going to be straightforward. He was terrible and I feel he like should be reprimanded. I feel like some of the plays that was going on out there, it was terrible.”
Dalton wasn’t particularly sharp, completing 27 of 42 passes for 284 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Bengals rushed for 152 yards.
“Obviously not winning the football game is a disappointment,” Lewis said. “We had opportunities on both sides of the football to win the football game. For the time, energy and everything invested in it, that’s what you want to get.”
Added Dalton: “Feels more like a loss than anything.”