Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that he settled for a field goal within the final two minutes of play rather than going for a touchdown on fourth and goal from the Detroit 3-yard line so his team could have a chance to remain in the game.
The Redskins, after falling behind 27-17, got the ball back with just less than four minutes to play and reached the 3-yard line before Robert Griffin III threw three straight incompletions.
On fourth and goal from the 3, Shanahan sent John Potter on for a 21-yard field goal that he made, cutting the score to 27-20.
Ideally, Shanahan would’ve preferred to score a touchdown and then need only a field goal to tie the game. The coach could have tried for one more touchdown pass, but had the Redskins failed, they wouldn’t have even had much of a chance to get the ball back.
“When you’re all of a sudden missing on three downs and now you’re forced to kick another field goal with a two-score game, and you want to be back in the game, you know you have to get the onside kick to have a legitimate chance with the time to score a touchdown,” Shanahan said.
The Redskins attempted an onside kick, and Niles Paul recovered it – but the ball hadn’t traveled the required 10 yards. The Lions got the ball and the defense held, but Washington had only 38 seconds to go 80 yards and score. A Hail Mary pass from Robert Griffin to Pierre Garcon fell incomplete.
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● Mike Shanahan speaks with reporters Monday at 3 p.m.; Next week’s opponent, the Oakland Raiders, plays later in the evening against Denver on Monday Night Football.
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