Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Ride is Over...

...but it was fun while it lasted.

The Redskins late-season surge ended with a 35-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks yesterday. Though they lost by 21 points, the game was much closer than the score indicates.

Both teams found yardage hard to come by, but the Seahawks were able to turn an early advantage in field position into 13 points in the first 3 quarters.

Down 13-0 as the 4th Quarter started, Todd Collins found Antwaan Randle-El for a 7 yard touchdown pass to bring the Redskins within 6. Suddenly, Safety LaRon Landry invoked images of the fallen Sean Taylor, intercepting a Matt Hasselbeck pass 2 plays later to set up a 30-yard Collins-to-Santana Moss touchdown, and give the Redskins a 14-13 lead.

The Redskins got a gift when Nate Burleson failed to catch the ensuing kickoff and the Skins recovered. However, the drive stalled and the normally-reliable Shawn Suisham missed a 30-yard field goal by mere inches. The Seahawks moved down the field, but Landry picked off his second pass of the day, but the Redskins failed to move the ball, and poor punt by Derrick Frost allowed provided the Seahawks with both good field position and momentum. Seattle promptly drove down the field and scored a touchdown with a 2-point conversion to take the 21-14 lead with just over 6 minutes remaining in the game.

Todd Collins tried to will the Redskins back down the field, but overthrew Santana Moss on a long sideline pass, and Marcus Trufant picked off the floater and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown. With 27 seconds left, Collins was intercepted again by Jordan Babineaux, who returned the pick 57 yards for the final score.

Collins should be lauded for his efforts, and went 29-50 for 266 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. Clinton Portis found no room to run, gaining 52 yards on 20 carries, but added 28 yards on 4 receptions. Antwaan Randle-El caught 10 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, and Moss added 6 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. All-Pro TE Chris Cooley had a quiet afternoon, snagging 5 catches for 46 yards.

Credit the Redskins for not giving up when down, just like they never gave up when they were sitting with a record of 5-7 and playoff hopes were bleak. This team has shown a lot of heart and character throughout the season, and should be a strong contender next year with a mature Jason Campbell and a young-but-battled-tested core of players.

In last night's other playoff game, the Jacksonville Jaguars upended the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-29 in an incredible game that saw the Steelers come back from 18 points down in the 4th Quarter to take the lead, only to have Jacksonville kick the game winning field goal with 37 seconds left.

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