LANDOVER, Md. -- For the fourth time in five weeks, the nerves mounted along the Washington Redskins sideline as the game once again came down the final snap. They're finding all sorts of ways to win -- except, that is, by taking a knee.
This time the shouts of exultation had to wait until Graham Gano's 33-yard field goal sailed through the uprights 6:54 into overtime. It gave the Redskins a 16-13 win over the Green Bay Packers and an unexpected 3-2 record for a team that won only four games last season.
It's almost too much to take.
The Redskins beat Green Bay, but the Packers lost more than a game at Landover. Read More>>
"You wish you could do something different, man," receiver Santana Moss said, shaking his head. "But I'll take 'em. As long as they're Ws out there, I'll take 'em."
Washington has had two games go to overtime and two that ended on passes thrown into the end zone by the opposing team at the end of regulation. This one came after the Redskins were thoroughly dominated for much of the afternoon, the defense allowing 427 yards and the offense allowing Donovan McNabb to get sacked five times. They also overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
But the Redskins have come out on top more often than not, a switch universally attributed in the locker room to new coach Mike Shanahan.
"These are the games," fullback Mike Sellers said, "we didn't win in the past."
And these are the games the Packers (3-2) aren't supposed to lose, not if they're going to keep their Super Bowl aspirations intact. They were coming off a two-point win over Detroit that had no one in the locker room celebrating, and that followed a three-point loss to Chicago in which they had a team-record 18 penalties.
Already banged up coming into the game, Green Bay also had Donald Lee (shoulder), Jermichael Finley (knee), Ryan Pickett (ankle), Clay Matthews (hamstring) and Derrick Martin (knee) leave with injuries. After the game, the Packers revealed Rodgers suffered a concussion.
"It's just one of those seasons, and we've still got to focus in, and we've got to keep clicking. I still think we can be the team that we want to be. It's the 'Year of the Takeover' still," said Finley, using the nickname he has given this season. "It ain't changed just 'cause of one loss."
The Packers moved the ball well early, but couldn't convert their yards into points, leaving them with a tenuous 13-3 lead entering the fourth quarter. A 48-yard touchdown pass from McNabb to a leaping Anthony Armstrong got Washington within three, and Gano tied the game with a 45-yard field goal with 1:07 remaining.
|Green Bay Packers|
|The Packers should have won this game going away considering they kept the Redskins to 13 points in regulation. But the Packers' offense was terrible on third down and was plagued by several drops by the receivers. The Packers should be better than this.|
|By Greg Bedard|
|The Redskins' defense did a nice job with its adjustments, staying creative with their looks and then getting a little more aggressive with their blitzes. It worked, as Aaron Rodgers hesitated at times. The offense generated little until the fourth quarter.|
|By John Keim|
Give us your grades on Twitter
The Packers had time to drive for a winning score in regulation, but Mason Crosby hit the left upright from 53 yards with 1 second left.
In overtime, Rodgers' downfield pass was picked off by a diving and rolling LaRon Landry at the Packers 39-yard line. Two short passes, a holding call on linebacker Brady Poppinga and a pass interference penalty on Charles Woodson moved the ball to the 22, helping Gano get in easy range.
How much did the tide turn? The Redskins punted on seven of their first eight possessions, while the Packers' last seven possessions ended with four punts, two missed field goals and an interception. Green Bay was also hurt by nine penalties for 63 yards.
"We just keep hearing the whispers: 'We can't beat this team.' 'We can't beat that team.' 'We're not playing great.' 'We're not doing this,"' Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "We're just going out there, taking care of business."
McNabb finished 26 for 49 for 357 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Moss caught seven passes for 118 yards. Ryan Torain ran for 40 yards on 16 carries starting for Clinton Portis (out with a groin injury). Landry had a hand in two turnovers, forcing a fumble on Green Bay's first drive before his interception on the Packers' last drive.
Rodgers completed 27 of 46 passes for 293 yards, surpassing 10,000 yards for his career, and a 5-yard pass to Donald Lee in the first quarter accounted for Green Bay's only touchdown. Brandon Jackson ran for a career-high 115 yards on 10 carries, including a 71-yard first-quarter run that set up the touchdown.
The Packers had one first-half drive end when Lee was stripped from behind after making a catch. Another made it to Washington's 1-yard line early in the second quarter, but three attempts couldn't move the ball that final yard. Rodgers' pass to rookie tight end Andrew Quarless was broken up in the end zone on fourth down.
"I think we all know yards don't mean anything," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's about points."
- Redskins DL Albert Haynesworth was not with the team. He was in Nashville mourning the death of his half brother, who died in a motorcycle accident on Thursday.
- Washington hadn't beaten Green Bay at home since a 38-21 victory at RFK Stadium in 1979.