With the Cardinals ahead 20-13 early in the fourth quarter Washington (1-5) only needed a touchdown and an extra point to take the lead. Instead they got a fumble from wideout Andre Roberts (five catches, 55 yards) who appeared to be down before the ball came out. A review went against the Skins and the turnover, one of four in the quarter resulted in a field goal for Arizona and a 23-13 lead with 10:27 to play in the game.
The Redskins then marched 64 yards in four plays which resulted in a Pierre Garcon (four catches for 31 yards and a TD) five-yard touchdown pass to make the score 23-20 with 2:17 to play in the contest. Unfortunately for Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins (24-38, 354 yards with two TDs and three interceptions) threw his third interception of the fourth quarter which resulted in a Cardinal 28-yard return for a touchdown with 18 seconds left to play in the game, making the score 30-20.
The Cards struck first in the first quarter as the Redskins defense barely pressured Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer (28-44 for 250 yards and two touchdowns). He was able to hit Michael Floyd for a 20-yard touchdown pass to give his team a 7-0 lead with 3:08 to play in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Washington strike as speedy wideout DeSean Jackson (three catches for 115 yards and 1 TD) caught a Cousin pass in stride and dashed 64 yards for a touchdown to even the score at 7-7.
The Redskins added a Kai Forbath 28-yard field goal to take the lead at 10-7 which was set up by a 42-yard catch and run from Jackson.
Arizona responded with an 85-yard eight play drive that ended with a Larry Fitzgerald ( six catches, 98 yards 1 TD) 24-yard touchdown pass to make the score 14-10.
The Redskins then had their most impressive drive of the day as they went 55 yards in four plays in 31 seconds, ending the half with a 43-yard Forbath field goal to make the score 14-13.
The third quarter saw the Cardinals add a 33-yard field goal making the score 17-13 entering the final quarter.
Arizona added another field goal at the 12:54 mark of the fourth quarter as the Redskins defense bent but it did not break, giving them a 20-13 lead.
Then everything went wrong for the Redskins, starting with the Roberts questionable fumble at their 27-yard line. The Skins defense, which recorded one sack held Arizona to another field goal making the score 23-13 with 10:27 left to play in the game.
The next two Washington drives ended in interceptions as Cousins overthrew one pass and threw into heavy traffic with the other pickoff.
Cousins did show some resolve in coming back with his touchdown pass to Garcon to close the gap to 23-20, but shot himself in the foot by throwing his last pick into the waiting arms of defensive back Rashad Johnson who ran it back for the game clinching touchdown with 18 seconds to play in the game making the final score 30-20.
Redskins tight end Jordan Reed, who was coming back from an injury, led the Redskins with nine catches for 92 yards. Running back Andre Ellington tied fellow Cardinal Fitzgerald in receptions with six catches for 26 yards. Redskin running back Alfred Morris led Washington in rushing with 41 yards on 13 carries. The Cardinals were led in rushing by Ellington who gained 67 yards on 19 carries.
Washington outgained Arizona (4-1) in net yards 407 to their 317 but was only 2-10 on third down conversions while the Cards were 7-17 as Palmer had plenty of time to survey the field and pick out a receiver.
Cousins career record is now 1-7 and he has thrown 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in 13 games over three seasons as he has filled in for injured Redskin starter Robert Griffin III.