With less than two minutes remaining and limited weapons, quarterback Kirk Cousins orchestrated a game-winning drive featuring two big throws punctuated with a Rob Kelley touchdown.
The Redskins defense had just allowed a 30-yard go-ahead touchdown to the Seahawks. After holding a lead for the majority of the game, Washington could only rely on their offense -- saddled with just one minutes and 34 seconds, a patchwork offensive line and limited weapons -- to bail them out with a game-winning drive.
That's exactly what they got.
Struggling to find a rhythm throughout the fourth quarter, taking on sacks and negative plays and cornering themselves into long down and distances, the offense remained undeterred. Quarterback Kirk Cousins made two gusty passes, relied on his receivers to catch them and led the team to a 17-14 victory through the adverse conditions inside of CenturyLink Field.
The drive began inauspiciously, with an incompletion to wide receiver Josh Doctson that sailed out of bounds. Already without tight ends Jordan Reed and Niles Paul, the offense was also limited on this final opportunity losing tight end Vernon Davis, who had injured his hand and was forced to the sideline. Then Cousins went to work.
He floated a high pass to his right, leading wide receiver Brian Quick to open field and letting him turn his head around and find the football for a 31-yard completion.
With the defense on its heels, Cousins went right back to another deep throw, this time to his left targeting Doctson again, who beat cornerback Shaquill Griffin and dove forward, catching the ball and cradling it above the turf, sliding forward for 38 yards and nearly crossing the goal line before being touched.
"It was great blocking by the O-line, a great pass by Kirk [Cousins] and I just had to finish it," Doctson said.
After a brief review, which spotted the ball just outside the goal line, Davis convinced head coach Jay Gruden to let him back in the game and he helped block for running back Rob Kelley, who punched in his second one-yard touchdown of the game to give the Redskins the lead with just less than a minute to go.
"I could see that once the ball was in the air, he tracked it and you can tell when he is going to go get it," Gruden said of Doctson's catch. "If he has a good beat on it and he times it, he is going to go get it. To give him those opportunities and see him make those plays is just going to add to the confidence level of not only Josh but to Kirk throwing it to him. It's a win-win situation and obviously it won us a big game today."
The defense held steady in the final minute, forcing the Seahawks, without any timeouts, into a Hail Mary finish, which safety DeAngelo Hall made sure didn't end with a Seahawks touchdown, wrestling the ball away to ensure victory.
Check out the photos of the postgame celebration after the Redskins' victory over the Seahawks.
"He's going to always be Kirk, he's going to always come out every Sunday and perform," Davis said. "I'm not surprised at Kirk, because just like Josh Doctson, Kirk does it all the time. It's just all predicated on timing and everyone being on the same page. If we're not on the same page, then it's not going to work out for Kirk. The offensive lineman have to pass protect, make their blocks. Tight ends, wide receivers have to run and get the correct depth. They make plays for him. If we're making plays for him, he's going to lead us no matter what."
The fourth-quarter comeback victory was the seventh of Cousins' career and his first of the season. It was also the11th time that Cousins has engineered a go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter of a Redskins victory. Cousins also ensured his two receivers made some of their own history.
Doctson set a career high with 59 receiving yards and matched his career high with three receptions while Quick, not featured much throughout the year to this point, added season highs in receptions (three) and receiving yards (49).
"It was big, especially for us," Fuller said of the go-ahead touchdown impacting the defense. "Because, just kind of feeling like we gave up the game and then for them to pick us up emotionally, physically, spiritually, pick us up and go down and score, make two big plays was definitely big."
After not being able to bring down a potential game-winning pass against the Chiefs several weeks earlier, Doctson's diving grab proved he was capable of making plays at crucial moments.
"He's a first-round guy," cornerback Josh Norman said. "That's a first-round guy and that's a first-round catch. He said he was going to do that…and lo and behold, it just seems like him and them deep balls, they're like married couples. It seems that he's always there for that, and he's done it in practice, so it's nothing surprising to me that he came back and the lord granted him with a second chance, a second opportunity, he saw that thing in the air, that looks like the angels pushed him forward a little bit, that man speeded up. He's got another gear to him. He got up under that ball and caught it, secured it and he was down at the one.
"Fat Rob came in on that next play and knocked it in. Nothing sweeter than that, just to see your guys have your back."