Alex Smith passed for 255 yards and Adrian Peterson ran for 96 in their Washington debuts, and the Redskins drubbed the Arizona Cardinals 24-6 Sunday at State Farm Stadium.
Washington’s offensive acquisitions paid quick dividends. Quarterback Smith completed 21 of 30 passes for two touchdowns without an interception, and Peterson carried 26 times and scored a touchdown. He caught two passes for 70 yards and lost a fumble.
The Redskins (1-0), whose running game was decimated by injuries along the offensive line a year ago, gained 182 yards on the ground to 68 for Arizona.
Washington running back Chris Thompson carried five times for 65 yards and caught a team-high six passes for another 63 yards.
The result was fifth-year head coach Jay Gruden’s first opening week win.
Quarterback Sam Bradford’s debut with the Cardinals (0-1) was less inspired. He finished 20 of 34 for 153 yards and one interception. Larry Fitzgerald had seven catches for 76 yards.
The Cardinals were shut out until David Johnson (nine carries, 37 yards) bulled in from 2 yards out with 5:47 left to play, but the two-point conversion attempt failed.
After Christian Kirk returned a punt to the Washington 26-yard line, the Cardinals had a chance to pull closer, but Ricky Seals-Jones couldn’t hold Bradford’s fourth-down pass in the end zone.
Washington, which ranked 31st in third-down conversions a year ago, succeeded on 6 of 13 Sunday while the Cardinals went 1 for 8.
Smith capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive when he found Thompson for a 13-yard catch-and-run touchdown on the first play of the second quarter.
Peterson scored from 1 yard out to finish a 73-yard drive with 4:10 left in the first half, and Washington wasn’t done.
After the Cardinals went three-and-out, the Redskins took over on their 8-yard line, and Smith passed to Peterson for 18 yards to the Arizona 44 at the 2-minute warning. An unnecessary roughness penalty later gave Washington a first down on the 12, and three plays later, Smith hit tight end Jordan Reed for a 4-yard touchdown.
—Field Level Media