The last time the Washington Redskins tasted victory was on Oct. 2 against the St. Louis Rams. Down 17-14 midway through the fourth quarter, Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman hooked up with wide receiver Anthony Armstrong for a 50-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-19 to recapture the lead for good and ended the team’s six-game losing streak against the Seahawks in Seattle, 23-17.
Clearly, after a spirited, impressive performance in a losing effort against the Dallas Cowboys in overtime at FedEx Field last Sunday, the question for the Redskins was, can they capitalize on their momentum against the Seahawks?
The burgundy and gold answered the call—with some usual drama.
Out the gate, the Redskins did something they have not done all season: scored a touchdown on their opening drive. With a heavy dose combination of Grossman and tight end Fred Davis, Washington marched down the field to cap a 14-play, 80-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to Davis to take an early 7-0 lead.
Coming into the contest against the Seahawks, the Redskins scored a total of three points on their opening drives.
After an uncharacteristic, successful first quarter, the Redskins reverted to their old ways of two weeks ago, as they hurt themselves to allow the Seahawks to have some life.
Grossman’s pass, intended for wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, was picked off by Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner to set up a 20-yard touchdown pass to running back Marshawn Lynch from quarterback Tarvaris Jackson to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.
On the Redskins next possession, Gaffney caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Grossman, but the play was nullified after review due to an illegal touch pass by Gaffney, who stepped out of bounds before the catch. Washington eventually attempted a field goal to take a 10-7 lead, only to have the kick blocked by Seattle defensive end Red Bryant.
After a testy matchup between the Redskins and the Seahawks in the first half, Washington’s struggles continued, as their offense had a total of 32 yards and Grossman took a pounding. The Seahawks (4-7) went on to score 10 more unanswered points against a tired Redskins defense.
Apparently, the Redskins (4-7) do not play well from behind, and entering this matchup, the Seahawks won 16 consecutive games when leading after the third quarter, the third longest streak in NFL.
Washington did not get that memo.
Grossman took charge of the huddle and led his team down the field after completing four out of five attempts for 42 yards. On 3rd-and-3, Redskins rookie running back Roy Helu took a quick-toss from Grossman to the outside and hurdled over defensive back Roy Lewis to sprint towards a 28-yard touchdown run to make it a 17-14 game with 9:57 remaining.
Helu had a career-high of 108 rushing yards on 23 carries. Helu also pitched in with seven receptions for 54 yards.
Most specifically, a rested Redskins defense had something to play for and launched a series of blitzes, which were not disguise, as they sent eight men on 3rd-and-6, which ended with a devastating sack by Redskins safety LaRon Landry.
Moreover, the Redskins offense did not come out sharp on their next series. Grossman committed an intentional grounding penalty, which forced them to be faced with 3rd-and-19. Against intense pressure from the edges, Grossman stepped into the pocket to throw 50 yards down the field to Armstrong, who caught the eventual go-ahead winning touchdown pass (Armstrong’s second score of the season).
The Redskins special teams kicking game haunted them last Sunday against the Cowboys as kicker Graham Gano missed two field goal attempts; his second attempt would have won the game in overtime.
Consequently, the Redskins offensive line—on special teams—allowed Bryant to block another field goal, this time an extra point. The block made it a three-point game as opposed to a four-point game; that gave the Seahawks an opportunity to even the contest with a field goal and not be forced to score a touchdown.
The Redskins defense at this point of the game was motivated and aggressive as they manhandled the Seahawks down the stretch.
Washington later added three more points, which capped 16 unanswered points of their own, and cornerback DeAngelo Hall intercepted a pass from Jackson to help seal the game.
Grossman finished 26 of 35 for 314 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Redskins has committed at least two turnovers in ten consecutive games.
Game Notes: Redskins vs. Seahawks via press release
- The Redskins snapped a six-game losing streak with a 23-17 win against the Seattle Seahawks.
- Rookie running back Roy Helu established career highs in carries, rushing yards and touchdowns, rushing 23 times for 108 yards with a touchdown. Helu—who entered the game leading the NFL in receptions by a rookie running back—also had 54 receiving yards on a team-high seven receptions.
- Helu’s 108-yard day was the Redskins’ second 100-yard rushing performance of the season (Ryan Torain: 135 yards at St. Louis in Week 4). The Redskins are 2-0 this season when producing a 100-yard rusher.
- Helu scored the first touchdown of his career on a 28-yard run in the fourth quarter. On the play, he established the longest run of his career and pushed him past his previous single-game career high in rushing yardage (74 vs. Arizona in Week 2).
- Helu’s touchdown was the first rushing touchdown scored on the Seahawks since the second quarter of their Week 4 game against Atlanta, more than 29 quarters ago.
- Quarterback Rex Grossman finished the game with a season-high 314 passing yards, the fifth 300-yard passing effort of his career and his first since posting 305 yards in the season opener vs. the New York Giants on Sept. 11.
- Grossman connected with tight end Fred Davis for a two-yard touchdown pass on the Redskins’ opening drive. The touchdown was the team’s first on an opening drive this season. The Redskins’ most recent opening drive touchdown had been on Nov. 28, 2010, when Davis caught a 10-yard touchdown on the team’s opening drive against Minnesota in Week 12 last season.
- The touchdown reception was Davis’ third of the season and 12th of his career. Grossman completed 8-of-9 passes for 79 yards on the drive.
- The touchdown drive took 14 plays, tied for the team’s longest scoring drive of the season. The Redskins had a 14-play drive vs. Arizona in Week 2 that culminated in a 26-yard field goal from Graham Gano.
- Grossman threw for two touchdowns on the day, giving him 10 for the season and 50 for his career.
- Grossman completed 16-of-19 passes for 175 yards in the first half. His 84.2 completion percentage in the first half was the highest first-half total of his career, beating his previous high of 81.8 percent, set vs. San Francisco on Oct. 29, 2006, as a member of the Chicago Bears.
- Anthony Armstrong caught his second touchdown of the season on the 50th reception of his career, hauling in a 50-yard go-ahead touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
- The Redskins held the edge in time of possession, 33:20-26:40. The Redskins are 4-0 this season when winning the time of possession battle.
- The Redskins netted 416 yards on offense, their second-highest total of the season (455: Week 2 vs. Arizona). The Redskins are 2-0 this season when posting at least 400 net yards of offense.
- The Redskins outgained the Seahawks in net yardage, 172-23, in the first quarter. The 149-yard first quarter advantage for the Redskins was the team’s biggest since outgaining the Chicago Bears by 149 yards in the first quarter of the team’s Week 7 game last season.
- The Redskins scored 16 points in the fourth quarter. It was the fourth time since 2000 the Redskins have scored at least 16 fourth-quarter points and the first time the Redskins have done so in a come-from-behind victory.
- Safety LaRon Landry recorded his first full sack of season. He now has 1.5 for the season and 5.5 for his career.
- Fullback Mike Sellers caught his first pass of the season, recording a 15-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
- Punter Sav Rocca’s first punt of the game went into the end zone for a touchback, his first of the season, snapping a streak of 44 punts without a touchback since joining the Redskins.
- Rocca had one punt downed inside the 20, giving him 21 on the season and tying him with St. Louis’ Donnie Jones for second-most in the NFC.
- Linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Stephen Bowen combined for a key fourth-quarter sack that resulted in a turnover on downs with less than three minutes remaining. Orakpo is now tied with linebacker Ryan Kerrigan for the team lead with 6.0 sacks. Bowen added to his career-high single-season total in sacks and now has 5.0 for the season.
- Cornerback DeAngelo Hall recorded the 34th interception of his career, tying him with Nate Clements for seventh-most among active players.
- Linebacker London Fletcher played in his 219th consecutive game, which is tied with Tampa Bay CB Ronde Barber for the most among active non-specialists. Fletcher and Barber have now passed Clyde Simmons (1987-2000) for the fourth-longest consecutive games played streak by a defensive player since 1970.
- Rookie running back Evan Royster played in his first career NFL game and rushed once for three yards.
- With Royster’s appearance, 10 of the Redskins 12 draft picks from the 2011 NFL Draft have played this season. The Redskins are the only NFL team to have 10 picks from the 2011 NFL Draft play this season.
- Head coach Mike Shanahan earned his 156th regular season win as an NFL head coach.
- The win improved the Redskins to 3-1 against NFC West opponents this season, including wins against Seattle, St. Louis and Arizona. The Redskins have now won their last six regular season meetings with the Seahawks.