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National Football League
Washington 31, Cleveland 20
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 2, 2016
Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland
Temperature: 67°
Head Official: Jeff Triplette
Attendance: 76249

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Washington Redskins kicked just one field goal Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

That's a sure sign of progress.

Kirk Cousins threw three touchdown passes, Jordan Reed had nine catches for 73 yards and two touchdowns and the Redskins defeated the Cleveland Browns 31-20 on Sunday at FedEx Field.

A Washington team that began the day having scored touchdowns on only 21.4 percent of their trips inside the red zone, scored four touchdowns in five drives past the Browns 20.

"We executed better," head coach Jay Gruden said after Cousins threw touchdown passes of 8, 9 and 5 yards, and Matt Jones scored from one yard out.

Jones rushed for 117 yards -- topping 100 yards for the first time this season -- and a score as Washington (2-2) picked up its first home win after two losses.

"Looked like he was running with more power and conviction," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said.

Cousins completed 21 of 27 for 183 yards with one interception.

"It's just what we needed to do," Cousins said after the defending NFC East champions evened their record. "It's a step in the right direction ... Now we go forward."

The winless Browns (0-4) turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions in the second half -- twice in Redskins' territory -- leading to 14 Washington points.

"Obviously it was the turnovers today," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "And as I talked to our team I think that's the key to our season. Can't turn the ball over."

Isaiah Crowell rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Cody Kessler, in his second career start, was 28 of 40 for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

It was the third straight week the Browns lost a game that was close in the fourth quarter.

"There's no moral victories anymore when you do it three times in a row and we've just got to take the next step as a team and turn one of these into a win," offensive lineman Joel Bitonio said.

Leading 20-17 late in the third quarter, the Browns drove inside the Redskins 20 and appeared on the verge of taking a 10-point lead. After Crowell ran 14 yards to the 16, fullback Malcolm Johnson -- getting his first carry of the day with Duke Johnson being examined on the sideline -- fumbled and Washington recovered at the 9.

Jones carried four times for 36 yards and caught a 16-yard pass as Washington drove 91 yards in 5:28. Cousins capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Chris Thompson, giving the Redskins a 24-20 lead with 10:39 left in the game.

On their next possession, Cleveland was again driving, but Johnson lost a fumble at the Washington 43. When the pile was cleared, Johnson appeared to be standing with the ball.

Jackson said he was told the play was reviewed upstairs and the result was Redskins' ball.

After Tress Way's punt pinned Cleveland at its two, Kessler's second down pass to Pryor was picked off by Josh Norman at the 25. It was Norman's first interception as a Redskin.

Four plays later, Jones scored from the 1, and the Redskins led 31-20 with 4:25 left.

The game was supposed to feature Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III taking on his former team, but the injured Griffin was only a spectator.

Washington took the opening kickoff and went 75 yards in 12 plays. Cousins, who hit on all seven of his passes on the drive, finished it with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Reed.

After a Cleveland punt, Cousins threw long for DeSean Jackson on first down. A pass interference call on Jordan Poyer gave the Redskins a 50-yard gain to the Cleveland 30.

Eight plays later, Cousins scrambled to and found Reed crossing the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown.

"I think Kirk made a great play on off schedule on the second one," Gruden said. "He bought time, two hands on the ball and kept his eyes down the field, and Jordan did a great job getting open."

Cleveland answered with an 81-yard drive to get on the board. Crowell carried six times for 40 yards, including fighting his way in from the 2 for a touchdown to pull the Browns within 14-7.

They got the ball right back when Jamar Taylor intercepted Cousins on first down and returned it to the Washington 12. On third down from the 9, Kessler waited and finally found Pryor on a crossing route for the touchdown to tie it.

Cody Parkey's 45-yarder gave the Browns a 20-17 lead early in the third quarter.

NOTES: Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan (left elbow) left in the second quarter. LB Su'a Cravens left in the third quarter with a concussion. ... Browns TE Randall Telfer (ankle) left in the third quarter. C Austin Reiter, who was recently signed off the Redskins practice squad, started and suffered a left knee injury. He was on crutches after the game. ... With nine Sunday, Reed has 207 career receptions. He reached 200 in his 38th game, the fewest ever by a tight end, surpassing Kellen Winslow Sr. (39 games). ... Cleveland S Ibraheim Campbell (hamstring), questionable during the week, was out. Pro Bowl CB Joe Haden (groin) returned after missing one game. ... Browns RG Alvin Bailey, who was arrested for driving while impaired early Monday morning, was benched. C John Greco moved to RG. ... Redskins WR Pierre Garcon had four catches, giving him 502 for his career.
Top Game Performances
Rushing
Cleveland   Washington
Isaiah Crowell Player Matt Jones
16 Attempts 22
120 Yards 117
7.5 Avg Yards 5.3
1 Touchdowns 1
19 Long 25
Receiving
Cleveland   Washington
Gary Barnidge Player Jordan Reed
7 Receptions 9
57 Yards 73
8.1 Avg Yards 8.1
0 Touchdowns 2
13 Long 26
Team Stats Summary
 
  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sck FF
Cleveland 380 163 217 2 2 1 3.0 1
Washington 301 145 156 4 1 1 1.0 2
Upcoming Games
  • Washington will play their next game on the road against Baltimore. The Redskins have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .500 after a loss.
  • Cleveland will play their next game at home against New England. The Browns have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.