Needing a spark early in the game after going down 7-0, Redskins returner Jamison Crowder gave Washington a big boost with an 85-yard punt return for touchdown.
The Washington Redskins were long overdue for a punt return for touchdown, having not recorded one since the 2008 season.
The team's punt return for touchdown drought – which spanned back to Oct. 26, 2008 when Santana Moss scored on an 80-yard return against the Detroit Lions – was the longest in the NFL.
On Sunday, though, that all came to an end when Jamison Crowder fielded a route punt against the Baltimore Ravens straight up the opposition's gut for an 85-yard touchdown.
"When I caught it, I ran to the left and saw there was a crease," Crowder said. "It might have be Deshazor [Everett], a couple guys were on their blocks really well. I saw a crease, I was like, 'I'm going to hit it. I'm going to go with it.' I was able to break a tackle or two, run and score."
Indeed, Crowder was able to take advantage of good blocks from Quinton Dunbar and Will Blackmon to get into open space.
From there, all the second-year Duke product could think about was making "the right cut."
"Sometimes you have so much space and so much room, you can make the wrong cut and get bottled up by defenders," Crowder said. "That time, I was like, 'Make sure I make the right cut.' Just try to stay vertical, and I was able to do that."
After a diving play by Niles Paul helped get two Ravens off track, so much so that they would collide, Crowder juked Baltimore punter Sam Koch, the final roadblock before the end zone.
While Crowder also became the youngest player for the franchise to score a punt return touchdown since Brian Mitchell in 1991, it continues an upwards trend for the 23-year-old on punt return.
He's already set a career-high punt return four times this year after averaging only five yards per return during his rookie year.
Crowder credits that to the entire special teams unit.
"From my perspective, it's just the guys blocking a lot better," Crowder said. "Last year, we had a mixture of pains. Sometimes I'd make the wrong cut, other times guys were in my face. This year, our guys have been doing a really good job of holding up. I'm able to catch the ball and have a lot of yardage even before the first defender is down there. So they've done a really good job of blocking."
Crowder's touchdown was the first of two on the day for the Redskins, as Kirk Cousins would later find Pierre Garçon for a score in the third quarter.
Getting ahead 16-10 at that point, Washington's defense would shut out Baltimore's offense in the second half, ensuring the Redskins would go above .500 for the first time this year.
"We started out 0-2. A lot of people already wrote us off. Any time you can win, it's good," Crowder said. "Obviously right now we have things to work on, continue to get better. You can't complain about winning, you just have to get better."