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Redskins Rally to Stun Packers 16-13 In Overtime

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Lovely day to hang around the house. Which is exactly what the Redskins did.

The Green Bay Packers, with plenty of chances to pack one way, instead got sent packing. The Redskins hung in, hung on and hung around and eventually hung a 16-13 overtime defeat on the Green Bay Packers.

LaRon Landry's interception in the extra period positioned the Redskins for a short drive and Graham Gano's 33-yard field goal with 8:06 gone in overtime allowed the Redskins to hang on to the top spot in the NFC East with their third victory of the season.

"I just made a great read on the ball and broke on it," Landry said, actually not sounding boastful but a little bit proud. "It was either going to be a big hit on the receiver or an interception."

The latter, please. On a platter.

Seen this before? The win over the Dallas Cowboys came down to the last play. So did last week's against the Philadelphia Eagles. So did the loss in overtime to the Houston Texans. Shakespeare wished he had this many dramatic endings.

Beating the Packers (3-2) seemed improbable early and even impossible as the first half unfolded. The Redskins trailed 10-0 midway through the second quarter and could not stop Green Bay's offense or its pass rush. The Redskins punted the first five times they had the ball before kicking a field goal just before halftime and looked dreadful in every aspect.

Coach Mike Shanahan acknowledged the lopsided direction in which the game seemed headed as the first quarter ended.

"I looked up the scoreboard and they had 200 yards and we had 20," he said. The actual numbers: 209-24. The Packers gained 218 more in three-plus quarters.

"The first half was really tough for the defense," Landry said. "We made a lot of adjustments at halftime."

The defense tightened and so would the Packers. After scoring their final points on their first series of the third quarter, they endured a pair of missed field goals that were sandwiched around three consecutive punts. Mason Crosby, who made a pair of field goals, missed from 48 and hit the upright from 53 with one second remaining in regulation.

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In overtime, the Redskins stopped the Packers twice. Brian Orakpo's second sack forced a punt but the Redskins couldn't sustain anything and punted it back. Then Landry made the signature play, with a diving interception.

Aided by two penalties on their final drive, the Redskins wiggled into position for Gano to win it and he did.

"I'm glad I had the chance to redeem myself, glad to get another opportunity," he said, recollecting an earlier miss from 51 yards.

Redemption was everywhere. Donovan McNabb, generally erratic throughout, hit Anthony Armstrong for a 48-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to cut Green Bay's lead to 13-10. That, he said, opened up other receiving options and enabled the club to get Gano in position for the tying 45-yard field goal with 1:07 left.

All this last-second stuff?

"Hopefully we won't have to do it too much anymore," McNabb said after leading his 24th career game-winning drive.

He absorbed five sacks while completing 26 of 49 passes for 357 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Three of the sacks were in the first half.

The Packers contributed to their own downfall. They elected to go for a touchdown on fourth and one from the Redskins 1-yard in the second quarter. They gambled on doubling a 7-0 lead when the safe play would have been a field goal and a 10-0 advantage over a team that had run only 11 plays on three possessions, all of them ending with punts. Lorenzo Alexander broke up the pass attempt in the end zone and the Redskins could at least exhale.

Through four games this season, the Redskins had not scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter. All they had to show for a game's worth of fourth quarters was a field goal. In this one, they scored twice.

Armstrong's leaping grab in the end zone narrowed the gap and Gano's 45-yard field goal eliminated it.

"Unless you have a lot of character on your team, you don't win football games like that," Shanahan said.

Character works. Playmakers work, too.

Even after losing the toss in overtime, the Redskins survived two Green Bay possessions and won. Then Landry stepped up with his takeaway and the Redskins not only stole but were safe at home.

Landry had already begun thinking about next Sunday's prime-time game against the Indianapolis Colts. No slow starts, no rallies, no drama. That's the Landry list for the next one.

"Peyton Manning is a phenomenal quarterback," he said. "We've got to take it from the jump. Halftime might be too late."

Sometimes it gets late early. Sometimes, the Redskins just hang around and make things happen in the cool of the evening.


Larry Weisman, an award-winning journalist during 25 years with USA TODAY, writes for Redskins.com and appears nightly on Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet. Read his Redskinsblitz blog at Redskinsrule.com and follow him on Twitter.com/LarryWeisman.

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