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For Redskins, No Late-Game Heroics This Time


For the second week in a row, the Redskins gave themselves a chance to win a game on the final possession.

The offense had just narrowed the Indianapolis Colts' lead to 27-24 after quarterback Donovan McNabb connected with running back Keiland Williams on an 8-yard touchdown pass. The defense then forced Colts quarterback Peyton Manning into three straight incomplete passes.

The Redskins got the ball back with 2:13 left in the game.

Momentum, not to mention a raucous FedExField crowd, was on their side.

Time for more late-game heroics?

After completing a quick 5-yard pass to wide receiver Anthony Armstrong, McNabb was sacked by defensive linemen Robert Mathis and Eric Foster, forcing a 3rd-and-10.

On third down, McNabb's short pass to Williams across the middle was incomplete.

On fourth down, McNabb opted to go deep to Armstrong, but the pass was overthrown.

"I thought we had the momentum," McNabb said. "We were able to sustain a good drive and get in position to either tie or win. You start things out with a completion and get things going, and then you kind go on a downfall from there."

The Redskins were able to get the ball back at their own 20-yard line with 32 seconds left. No time outs, though.

McNabb threw a deep pass to wide receiver Joey Galloway down the left sideline. Galloway was in double coverage and Colts safety Aaron Francisco made a leaping interception.

"They kind of went into a prevent defense," McNabb said. "They knew that we didn't have any time outs and we would have to get completions on the sideline. That's why I tried to take a shot, and it was a great [interception] by Francisco.

"You get in that situation, you wish you had a time out or a big play to get things going. With that pass, I thought we'd get things going on the sideline and get another play."

A week ago, the Redskins scored 10 fourth quarter points and a game-winning field goal in overtime to beat the Green Bay Packers 16-13.

That's what made the Redskins' failure against Indianapolis disappointing.

"That's what we have to work on," head coach Mike Shanahan said. "Any time you get the opportunity to put the game away and you get the ball on the last drive of the game, you want to be able to capitalize. We just couldn't get it done."

Throwing deep may not have been McNabb's best option on his last two throws.

"[The Colts] don't give you very many big plays and if they do it is quite unusual," Shanahan said. "It's a bend-but-don't-break defense…We've had a lot of big plays throughout the year and we knew this was going to be a game that we had to really out-execute them. We didn't do as well as we should have."

McNabb finished the game with 29-of-45 passes for 246 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked three times.

Even with bouts of inconsistency, the Redskins' offense is coming along, McNabb said.

"I saw a lot of great things," he said. "This was a team fighting and we sustained a long drive and got into the end zone. We had confidence coming back out. In the last two drives, we were not successful, but I think those are things we'll be able to capitalize on next time knowing what we need to do."

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