The Washington Redskins opened their 2018 football season by thoroughly dominating the Arizona Cardinals, grounding them 24-6 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
After punting on their first possession they scored on their next three to take a commanding 21-0 halftime lead.
Their defense, which struggled against the run last season, showed up and nearly pitched a shutout. Arizona finally got on the scoreboard with a touchdown with 5:47 to play in the game.
The Redskins (1-0) offense boasted a new quarterback and running back and both Alex Smith and veteran Adrian Peterson delivered.
Smith orchestrated three beautiful second quarter scoring drives and finished the game 21 for 30 for 255 yards and two touchdowns.
Peterson, a late addition to the Redskins roster, started and carried the ball 26 times for 96 yards and a rushing touchdown, the 100th of his stellar career.
Both were complimented by Redskins scatback Chris Thompson, who was marvelous after coming back from a season-ending injury last season.
He sparkled on offense catching six passes for 63 yards and one touchdown and rushing for 65 yards on five carries.
Washington tight end Jordan Reed, himself slowed by injuries last season looked great catching four passes for 48 yards and one all-out diving touchdown reception.
Meanwhile, their defense held Cardinal’s star runner David Johnson to a team-leading 37 yards rushing and the entire Arizona team to 68 yards on the ground.
Their passing game was also held in check as quarterback Sam Bradford went 20 for 34 for only 153 yards and one interception.
The numbers after the game favored Washington.
429 total net yards to 213 for Arizona.
30 first downs to 14 for the Cards.
247 net passing yards to Arizona’s 145.
182 net rushing yards to 68 for the Cardinals.
Time of possession 38:08 for Washington to 21:52 for Arizona.
Washington opened the scoring going 80 yards in 11 plays concluding with a 13-yard scoring pass from Smith to Thompson giving them a 7-0 lead with 14:54 to go in the second quarter.
Their next possession was a carbon copy, a 73-yard drive in 15 plays ending with a one-yard Peterson touchdown run making the score 14-0 with 4:10 to go before halftime.
After forcing their third punt of the first half, Smith marched Washington 92-yards in 10 plays finishing with Reed’s diving four-yard touchdown reception giving his team a dominating 21-0 halftime advantage.
In the second half Washington was only able to muster a 31-yard fourth quarter field goal by kicker Dustin Hopkins good for a 24-0 lead with 12:13 to go.
But not a problem, Washington’s defense made sure that they had all of the points they needed forcing two second half punts and turnovers.
The shutout was lost after Johnson scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 5:47 to go, the Cardinals two-point conversion unsuccessful much like the rest of their game plan for their home opener. To little to late.
Arizona’s star wide out Larry Fitzgerald was also not much of a factor catching seven passes for 76 yards in a losing effort for the (0-1) Cardinals.