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Redskins Clip Seahawks In OT, 20-17

Nick Novak's 39-yard field goal sailed through the uprights and the celebration was on.

The Redskins had defeated the Seattle Seahawks 20-17 in overtime before a capacity crowd at FedExField, improving to 3-0 on the season.

It was another fantastic finish for the Redskins, who have won three games by a total of six points.

"It was a great effort, a gutsy effort by this team," head coach Joe Gibbs said. "We've played three games and they've all come down to the last play."

Added H-back Chris Cooley: "The biggest thing for us right now is we are finding ways to win games. We are coming together as a team."

In overtime, the Redskins won the coin toss and marched downfield on 11 plays, never letting the Seahawks have a chance on offense. Two key plays stood out: quarterback Mark Brunell's 18-yard scramble and Santana Moss's 30-yard reception.

Moss's catch put the Redskins in field goal range.

"It was a timing route and I think because of two weeks ago, they were very conscious of not letting Santana get behind them," Brunell said. "They had a safety back deep and the corner was on him real tight. Santana runs that route very well. When he catches it, with his speed, he can turn it into a big gainer."

After a delay of game penalty, Novak nailed the game-winning field goal. It was easily the rookie kicker's biggest field goal in his career.

"This tops any game-winner I've ever had because it's the NFL," said Novak, who had a knack for clutch kicks at the University of Maryland last year.

In regulation, the Redskins had dodged a potential game-winning field goal by the Seahawks.

With the score tied at 17-17, the Redskins had the ball with just over a minute to play. Clinton Portis reached for a Brunell pass, but the ball bounced off his hands and up into the air. Seahawks' cornerback Kelly Herndon caught it for the interception, giving the offense the ball at the Redskins' 34-yard line.

Seattle had a chance to win the game with one second remaining on the clock, but kicker Josh Brown's 47-yard field goal attempt plunked off the left crossbar.

Overall, the Redskins produced their best all-around effort of the season, with contributions from the offense, defense and special teams.

Brunell guided the offense to an efficient afternoon. He completing 20-of-36 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns, one to Robert Royal and the other to Mike Sellers. Portis rushed for 90 yards on 25 carries.

Moss was a key factor again. He logged a team-high six catches for 87 yards, including the 30-yarder in overtime.

Defensively, the Redskins contained running back Shaun Alexander for most of the game and put solid pressure on quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Middle linebacker Lemar Marshall led the team in tackles with seven and logged a sack.

At the game's outset, the Redskins took the opening kickoff and put together a seven-minute opening drive. Brunell completed a key third-down pass to James Thrash, while Portis converted a 4th-and-inches play at the Seahawks' 20-yard line.

However, Brunell was sacked for an eight-yard loss, forcing the Redskins to settle for a field goal. Novak's 39-yard attempt appeared to be low and was blocked by the Seahawks.

Seattle recovered the blocked field goal at midfield. Hasselbeck threw in the direction of rookie cornerback Carlos Rogers, making his first NFL start, on the Seahawks' first two offensive plays and converted a first down. But the Redskins' defense stiffened, forcing Seattle to settle for a field goal.

Brown connected on a 53-yarder to give the Seahawks an early 3-0 lead.

Midway through the second quarter, the Redskins put together another time-consuming drive midway through the second quarter. The Redskins' offensive line protected Brunell better, giving the veteran quarterback plenty of time in the pocket.

Brunell spread passes around to David Patten, Moss, Chris Cooley and Robert Royal. Cooley converted a 3rd-and-2 with an 11-yard reception, then followed it up with a 17-yard catch.

On 3rd-and-7 at the Seahawks' 10-yard line, Moss caught a key 8-yard pass for a first down. Two plays later, Brunell found Royal in the left corner of the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown. Royal leaped past a Seahawks defender to haul in the catch and give the Redskins a 7-3 lead. The score completed a 16-play, 85-yard drive.

Near the end of the first half, the Seahawks moved into Redskins territory again. But the Redskins' defense, spurred on by a raucous FedExField crowd, rose to the challenge.

Hasselbeck was pressured, first on a safety blitz by Ryan Clark and then on a cornerback blitz by Shawn Springs. Both passes fell incomplete. After a false start penalty pushed the Seattle into a 3rd-and-15, safety Matt Bowen batted down a pass in the flat to Shaun Alexander, forcing the Seahawks to punt.

Early in the third quarter, the Seahawks were again thwarted on a scoring opportunity when Lemar Marshall came in on a linebacker blitz and sacked Hasselbeck. The play forced Seattle into a field goal. But Brown's 47-yard field goal attempt was wide left.

The Redskins took over and would take advantage of a pass interference penalty to get into scoring position again.

After Portis ran for 13 yards, Brunell threw down the middle of the field to Moss. The pass was incomplete, but Seahawks' safety Michael Boulware was called for interference, giving the Redskins a 1st-and-goal at the Seahawks 4-yard line.

On the next play, Brunell found Mike Sellers in the left flat for a 4-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead. It was Sellers' first NFL touchdown since the 2001 season, when he was a member of the Cleveland Browns.

The Seahawks responded with a touchdown drive of their own. Hasselbeck led the Seattle offense on an 8-play, 85-yard drive, keyed by a 34-yard gain by Alexander. The 5-11, 225-pound running back followed that run up with a three-yard touchdown run, narrowing the Redskins' lead to 14-10.

Later, Novak connected on a 40-yard field goal to give the Redskins a 17-10 edge. But there was plenty of time remaining for a Seattle comeback. Hasselbeck capped a 14-play, 91-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Jackson.

The game was tied 17-17. Close games are becoming a regular occurrence for this team.

So far this season, the Redskins wouldn't have it any other way.

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