Redskins' stop at 1-yard line results in 10-3 win

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December 21, 2008 4:53:13 PM PST
Jim Zorn sure didn't look like the worst coach in America on Sunday. Instead, he's the coach who got his Washington Redskins turned around a week too late - with a stop at the 1-yard line on the game's final play. As Reggie Brown caught the ball near the goal line, cornerback Fred Smoot lifted him into the air, and safety LaRon Landry supplied the shove that kept the Eagles receiver out of the end zone. With no timeouts remaining, Philadelphia couldn't stop the clock as the last seconds ticked away on the Redskins' 10-3 victory.

Washington stymied an Eagles team that was averaging close to 33 points during a three-game winning streak, and Clinton Portis scored his first touchdown in eight weeks in a win that offered the Redskins a consolation prize on the day they were mathematically eliminated from the postseason.

The Redskins (8-7) had lost three in a row and five of six after a 6-2 start, prompting Zorn last week to say he felt "like the worst coach in America." His two days of soul searching didn't do much to help his struggling offense - Washington scored only one touchdown for the fourth straight week - but the defense kept Philadelphia out of the end zone. It was the Eagles' first game without a touchdown this season.

The Redskins entered the weekend needing the unlikeliest set of circumstances to make it to the postseason, so it was no surprise that they were formally knocked out when Atlanta beat Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Eagles (8-6-1) were left ruing a chance to stay ahead of Dallas and Tampa Bay (both 9-6) with one week to play. Philadelphia has a must-win game at home against Dallas in next week's season finale.

A game dominated by defense will be remembered for the game's final drive.

The Eagles started at their own 9 with 3:48 to play. McNabb completed his next five passes in what was by far Philadelphia's best possession of the day. But the Eagles had to use their last timeout to set up a fourth-and-4 play at Washington's 23 with 27 seconds left.

McNabb converted with a pass to Brian Westbrook that put the ball at Washington's 18. After spiking the ball, McNabb threw the pass to Brown, who had no chance to get into the end zone because of the solid tackle by Smoot and Landry. The call was upheld by a video review.

McNabb finished 26-of-46 for 230 yards. Washington's Jason Campbell was 18-of-33 for 144 yards, while Portis ran for 70 yards on 22 carries.

The Redskins led 10-0 in the third quarter after a series of events not seen much this season. A defense that has struggled to create takeaways gave the offense a short field when Jason Taylor knocked the ball away from McNabb. London Fletcher returned it to the Eagles 18, and five plays later Portis scored from 1 yard out for his first rushing touchdown since Oct. 19.

Taylor had two sacks in the game, more than doubling his season's output. He has 3½ this year.

The Eagles' only score followed another unusual sight - big defensive lineman Lorenzo Alexander trying to cover Westbrook down the left sideline. Westbrook caught the pass and kept running for a 47-yard gain to the Redskins 12 - while Alexander tumbled to the ground with a hamstring injury. Four plays later, David Akers kicked a 22-yard field goal.


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