Redskins top Packers, 16-13, on Graham Gano's field goal in overtime
Monday, October 11, 2010; 8:57 AM
Even with so much going wrong early Sunday afternoon, with the offense stalling and the defense seemingly helpless at times against the Green Bay Packers, the Washington Redskins' expectations did not change.
"Seems we been there, pretty much, every game this season," cornerback Carlos Rogers said. "Why today be any different?"
The Redskins again pulled out a close win, a 16-13 victory in overtime on a 33-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano to complete their late rally. The Redskins twice trailed by 10 points.
Gano's third field goal of the game and second after halftime capped the comeback and provided the latest of the Redskins' heart-stopping moments in the first five games before an announced crowd of 87,760 at FedEx Field. Although Gano missed a 51-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter that would have tied the score at 13-13, he made his next two high-pressure kicks and Washington won another contest in which the outcome was undecided until the final play.
"I was glad I had the chance to redeem myself on that," Gano said. "I was just glad to get another opportunity."
Fourth-year strong safety LaRon Landry, playing the best football of his career, made it happen by picking off Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the Packers 39-yard line in overtime. Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had a big second half to lead the comeback, quickly completed two passes, including one to tight end Chris Cooley that resulted in a 30-yard gain after Cooley broke two tackles and eluded another defender.
Green Bay committed two penalties on the drive to help the Redskins, who moved the ball into the middle of the field and called timeout to give Gano a chance to end the game. He did, with the successful kick with 8 minutes 6 seconds remaining in the extra session. The Redskins improved to 3-2 and remained tied atop the NFC East.
Battered throughout the game by Green Bay's NFL-leading pass rush, McNabb finished with 357 yards passing. His outstanding deep pass to wide receiver Anthony Armstrong early in the fourth quarter resulted in a 48-yard touchdown that Armstrong leaped high in the air to corral. That helped the Redskins cut the Packers' lead to 13-10.
Armstrong (three receptions, 84 yards) provided McNabb with another target to complement top wide receiver Santana Moss, who had seven catches for 118 yards.
"Unless you have a lot of character on your team, you usually don't win games like that," Coach Mike Shanahan said. "Too many mistakes, especially early. As I told our football team, I'm very proud of the way they handled themselves for the way they kept on fighting. No finger pointing. At any point in the game, you could tell that they were all going in the same direction."
Despite being outgained in total offense, 427-373, the Redskins completed a long climb after appearing frequently overmatched at the outset against the high-powered Packers (3-2). Green Bay failed on downs on fourth and goal at the Redskins 1-yard line in the first half and missed two field goal attempts after halftime, including a potential game-winner in the final seven seconds of the game. Running back Brandon Jackson had 115 yards for the Packers on only 10 rushes.
Though Washington again overcame its problems and found a way to win, the process is becoming nerve-wracking, players said.