Both defenses were on top early in the game, but the Cardinals drew first blood when Carson Palmer lifted the ball down the middle of the field for Michael Floyd, and he made an impressive leaping catch for a 20-yard touchdown.
Washington hit back almost immediately with a simple pass play over the middle of the field as Kirk Cousins fired to DeSean Jackson, and the receiver found a crease in the defense and ran all the way for the 64-yard score.
Another big gain from Jackson put the Redskins on the move again into the red zone, but they failed to punch the ball in for seven-point score and were forced to settle for a 28-yard field goal from Kai Forbath.
The Cardinals regained the lead at the end of the second quarter when Palmer hit Larry Fitzgerald on a slant route over the left-side of the field and he shrugged off a defender to run in for the touchdown.
Forbath added another field goal just before the whistle to reduce his side's deficit to a single point.