*Late in the fourth quarter, running back Doug Martin looked to seal the game with a touchdown. But cornerback Bashaud Breeland saved the game by keeping him out of the end zone. *
The game was going to be over.
With a little more than four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, and with the Buccaneers leading the Redskins by three points, Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin burst through the right side of his offensive line and scampered into open field, every step looking like a nail getting pounded deeper into the Redskins' coffin.
Check out these top photos from the Washington Redskins 2015 Week 7 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct. 25, 2015, at FedExField.
But, never giving up on the play was cornerback Bashaud Breeland -- originally lined up on the opposite side of the field -- who had changed course and begun sprinting at full capacity. With a perfect angle towards Martin, he pushed him out of bounds at the Buccaneers' 5-yard line, preventing a foreboding 10 point lead.
The 49-yard rush play took a toll. Breeland injured his hamstring and was eventually ruled out for the rest of the game, forced to watch from the sideline. There, he saw his defense respond to his unrelenting hustle, limiting the Bucs to just a field goal and opening the door for the offense to complete the team's 31-30 comeback victory.
"I just wanted to go get him," Breeland said. "I just tried my best to go get him."
Breeland wasn't sure when he pulled his hamstring – whether it came in pursuit or during the tackle – but said he was feeling pretty good by his locker, still waiting to get it diagnosed by a doctor.
"He gave his all," nose tackle Terrance Knighton said. "He got hurt on that play. And that's the type of team we have. He gave us a chance. He could have gave up on that play, let that guy score, the game would have been over. But he gave us a fighting chance. Guys rose up."
Breeland's never-quit mentality seemed to have rubbed off on the defense during the following three plays.
"That kind of stuff right there — that's something to build off of, I think," safety Dashon Goldson said. "We're going to continue to get better, correct what we've got to correct, but when you've got a team that can fight like that, that's big."
To head coach Jay Gruden, the last of Breeland's 13 tackles was probably the most impactful play of the afternoon.
"At the end of the day, they score there, the game's over," Gruden said. "That shows what kind of guy he is. I talk about Breeland being an ultimate competitor. If he takes that one play off, or one instance and they go up by 10, the game's over, most likely. And he hustled, got them down at the five. We got a big stop, held a field goal, we go down and score... when you see effort plays like that, they stand out and make your team better in the long run."