Robert Griffin III

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III scrambles against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Quarterback Robert Griffin III completed 6-of-8 passes for 112 yards in limited play as the Washington NFL franchise beat the Cleveland Browns, 24-23, on Monday Night Football at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

Griffin and Washington’s starting offensive unit played the entire first quarter of its Week 2 Preseason Matchup with Cleveland. Griffin started the game in great rhythm with his receivers, connecting on his first five passing attempts. He left the game after just three series played, finishing 6-of-8 for 112 passing yards, including a 49-yard bomb caught by receiver Andre Roberts. But Griffin also tossed an early interception during the first quarter to Browns cornerback and Prince George’s County, Md. native Joe Haden.

The score was tied at zero when Griffin and the starters left the game. Washington’s defensive starters performed well against Cleveland’s offense. The Browns alternated veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer and rookie Johnny Manziel with their starting unit, and both quarterbacks struggled throwing the ball. Hoyer finished 2-of-6 for just 16 yards, while Manziel completed 7-of-16 for 65 yards and a touchdown pass to Dion Lewis.

Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan (91) sacks Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel (2) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)

Both of Washington’s backup quarterbacks, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy, threw touchdown passes in the second and third quarter to help Washington take the lead.  Washington led, 24-17, late in the fourth quarter but Browns third-string quarterback Connor Shaw took over, completing 8-of-9 passes for 123 yards, including a 45-yard deep touchdown pass as the game clock expired.  Shaw’s touchdown bomb cut Washington’s lead to 24-23 with the opportunity to tie the game with a successful extra-point kick. But the Browns elected to go for the two-point conversion to try to win the game. The try was unsuccessful and Washington held on to the victory.

During the third quarter, TV cameras caught Manziel flipping his middle finger at Washington’s bench. The former Heisman trophy winning quarterback may face a fine for his actions.

Washington will next face the Baltimore Ravens in week 3 of the NFL preseason on Aug. 23 at M&T Bank Stadium. Kickoff is at 7:30 a.m.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor