While the Redskins were outgained by nearly 200 yards on Sunday afternoon, Washington made key plays late against the Seahawks to secure a 17-14 victory in Seattle.
Battered and bruised, the Washington Redskins had few believers entering Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks. The team was without four of its five starting offensive linemen, tight ends Jordan Reed and Niles Paul, slot receiver/punt returner Jamison Crowder and defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis.
Washington was also playing in front of the Seahawks' 12th Man against a squad that entered Sunday's game riding a four-game winning streak. Ultimately none of those obstacles stopped the Redskins from a 17-14 victory.
"The guys are feeling great. To come here and get a win in this place is a great tribute to them. They showed a lot of mental toughness today," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. "Things didn't go our way early but the defense and special teams kept us in the game. It was just a total team victory. The pass rush, the coverage, the defense was outstanding.
"Offensively we sputtered, we couldn't run the ball, we couldn't protect and couldn't do a lot of things. When it counted and they took the lead, Kirk [Cousins] had two outstanding passes and the guys made plays. I'm just very proud of all those guys."
Indeed, the Redskins struggled early on the offensive side the ball. Washington's first five possessions netted just 16 total yards. The third possession was easily the worst, lasting just one play that resulted in a safety of Cousins.
Midway through the second quarter, though, the Redskins final got some offensive movement off a 13-play drive that went 71 yards. Rob Kelley capped off the drive with a one-yard plunge into the end zone.
Then early in the third quarter, the Redskins extended their lead to 10-2 off a Nick Rose 28-yard field goal.
It would be the last points the Redskins would score until the last minute of the game, as Seattle stormed back to take a 14-10 lead after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. But the Redskins took back the lead for good with 59 seconds left, as Cousins engineered a four-play, 70-yard touchdown drive highlighted by two 30-plus-yard completions.
"It's a team game. It's not over until it's 0:00, and you know we gave up that one, but our offense – that's where complimentary football comes in – our offense stepped up and made a 70-yard drive to win the game against the Seahawks," said safety D.J. Swearinger. "It's incredible. It's great for the offense's confidence and for us to go out there and win the game at the end of the game on a Hail Mary, it's speaks a lot of value for our team and where we can take this team. I'm looking forward to getting back to work, grinding and getting another 'W.'"
The Seahawks, of course, had one final chance at either tying the game or even winning it in the final minute. The probability of either outcome increased when Russell Wilson pushed Seattle into Washington territory with less than 30 seconds left on the clock.
Check out the photos of the postgame celebration after the Redskins' victory over the Seahawks.
But a sack of the mobile quarterback stopped the clock with four seconds left at the Redskins' 46-yard line. Wilson dropped back in hopes of another heroic game-winning throw, but his last attempt was forced incomplete.
"It was a sigh of relief," said cornerback Josh Norman. "I mean, everybody coming in here and cheering, everybody joyous. It was just [like], 'Gosh, man, finally, we catch a break somewhere.' But it started with the physical style playing of football. There's no substitute for it, you've got guys out there buying into that. You see what happens when you play that type of ball all the way down to the last seconds of the game. You're going to come up with something. You're going to come up victorious, and that's what we did."
Linebacker Will Compton was disappointed that the Redskins allowed Wilson to connect with Doug Baldwin for a wide-open 30-yard touchdown after the two-minute warning, but knew the defense would be ready to flip the script on the Seahawks' final drive.
"Hats off to everybody. Hats off to the D-line, keeping those guys off of us, us linebackers. Credit the secondary, always being on the same page, understanding the adjustments that we needed to make," said Compton, who finished the game with eight tackles along with three passes defensed and an interception.
While the Redskins were able to score the key upset victory, they still have three tough games looming for the rest of November.
First is a tilt with the 6-2 Minnesota Vikings at FedExField before facing the 6-2 New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. To round out the month is a Thursday Night Football showdown with the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
All three games will be good tests at determining the Redskins' standing as a potential playoff team. Sunday's victory was a good start.
"I feel like we can build on this," said tight end Vernon Davis. "We can take this and carry it over into practice, and then in practice we can continue to add and just keep getting better, staying positive and keeping the same enthusiasm we've had since the beginning of the season and just going and winning games."