After scoring 21 in the first half, Washington was kept off the scoreboard in the third quarter. The quarter was seemingly headed for zeroes for both teams until Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman sparked a drive with a long pass. After Freeman hit Mike Williams with a 65-yard bomb to the Redskins' 20-yard line, the Buccaneers would score four plays later on a touchdown pass from Freeman to Vincent Jackson from 7 yards out.
Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III avoided his first interception of the game late in the quarter when Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib could not hang on to an errant pass. On the next play, the Redskins ended the quarter with a bang -- they used a double pass. Griffin caught the first pass from Brandon Banks and found Niles Paul down the field for a 30-yard gain to the Tampa Bay 37-yard line. Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano challenged the play thinking he saw an illegal forward pass, but he lost the challenge.