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Special teams, defense lift Redskins over Ravens

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Breshad Perriman's 23-yard touchdown was overturned on replay review with 30 seconds remaining in the game, preserving a 16-10 victory for the Washington Redskins over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5. Here's what we learned:

1. The Ravens appeared to have the game under control after jumping out to an early lead on a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, but injuries changed the complexion of the game. Top receiver Steve Smith went down with an ankle injury late in the first quarter and never returned. By late in the second quarter, guard Marshal Yanda was forced to kick outside to right tackle, leaving only center Jeremy Zuttah in his original position among Baltimore offensive linemen. Minus Smith, the wide receivers couldn't shake free of man coverage. Unable to protect Joe Flacco against Redskins defensive linemen Ziggy Hood and Trent Murphy, play-caller Marc Trestman apparently didn't feel comfortable dialing up downfield strikes to test that tight man coverage.

Flacco's offense went in the tank from the middle of the first quarter until the final drive of the game when he converted a fourth down with his legs to reach scoring territory. Flacco unfurled a beauty over All Pro cornerback Josh Norman, but Perriman couldn't get his second foot down inbounds.

2. The Ravens can point to a series of missed opportunities, starting with the fake field goal and two potential difference-making plays that came up short for Perriman. The back-breaker, though, was an athletic C.J. Mosley interception that went from a pick-six to the Redskins' possession when the linebacker fumbled out of the end zone while reaching for the pylon.

As a former special teams coordinator, Ravens coach John Harbaugh has to be livid that a long return contributed to his team's loss for the second straight week. With five minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Redskins had just 33 yards of offense but 130 yards on returns -- including Jamison Crowder's 85-yard touchdown on a punt return.

3. The Ravens can bemoan their lack of luck for the injuries and miscues, but Trestman should face criticism for his mind-boggling dereliction of the running game. Impressing for the second straight start, Terrance West gashed Washington's feckless run defense for 60 yards on five first-quarter totes. Trestman promptly called pass plays on eight of 10 second-quarter plays, ignoring his lone source of offense. West remained effective in the second half, rushing for 39 yards on five sparse carries.

West's fantasy owners have no reason to fear Kenneth Dixon at this point. The rookie was slow and hesitant in his debut, managing -1 yard on three carries.

4. High winds were a factor in Baltimore. A gust was to blame for Redskins kicker Dustin Hopkins' missed extra point in the first quarter. The Ravens failed on a fake field goal shortly thereafter, opting against a 36-yard kick in the high winds. Washington was thwarted on a 4th-and-1 run at Baltimore's 21-yard line, opting for Matt Jones over Hopkins in that situation.

5. The Ravens haven't enjoyed an impact wide receiver of Perriman's length (6-foot-2, 215 pounds) since Michael Jackson 20 years ago. If Smith's injury forces him to miss extended time, Flacco will need Perriman to realize the potential he flashed on Sunday.

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