LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Steve Spurrier benched himself, and it
The Washington Redskins' coach let someone else call the plays
for a change -- a radical departure from his two decades of
offensive genius -- and the result was a 27-20 victory over the
Seattle Seahawks on Sunday and the end of a four-game losing
Question on the Seahawks: Will their road woes keep them out of the playoffs?
I can't believe the Seahawks lost this game. This team has been inconsistent all season and terrible on the road with a 1-3 record. They have four road games remaining and need to turn their road woes around if they want to make the playoffs.
Question on the Redskins: Will this win lessen some of the tension in D.C.?
Winning is one of the great cure-alls. The Redskins did a great job playing well against a team that most felt was its superior. The 'Skins played very good defense and kept pressure on Matt Hasselbeck.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
"Maybe I'm struggling calling plays right now. Shoot, it's not
working as well as it should," said Spurrier, who handed the
duties to offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. "He asked to do it
this week and I said OK. ... If I have to bench the play-caller,
then I can do that. I benched myself a little bit."
But Spurrier made the two biggest calls himself. The
game-winning score came when receiver Rod Gardner took a lateral
and threw a 10-yard pass to a wide open Trung Canidate with 1:57 to
play. Spurrier also went for a fourth-and-inches at his own 25 on
the game-winning drive with the score tied.
"When you've lost four in-a-row," Spurrier said, "you don't
have to play too conservatively or too careful."
The victory will calm -- at least for a week -- the turmoil
surrounding Spurrier's future. Spurrier and owner Dan Snyder have
been vilified in the national media this week for the downturn of
the Redskins (4-5).
"I'm just happy for my coaches and my owner, Mr. Snyder," said
receiver Laveranues Coles, who saved a touchdown by forcing a
fumble after a first-half interception. "He's taken such a beating
in the papers, and coach Spurrier's taken a beating. Hopefully they
can get a good night's rest tonight."
The Seahawks (6-3) blew a 14-3 first-half lead, fell to 1-3 on
the road and appeared to outthink themselves when it came to how to
beat the Redskins. Washington had allowed an NFL-high 29 sacks
entering the game because it couldn't stop the blitz, but the
Seahawks decided to bluff the blitz rather than actually do it.
As a result, the Seahawks became the first team not to sack
Patrick Ramsey this season.
"We tried to change the play, and then back out," coach Mike
Holmgren said. "And kind of keep him guessing."
The Redskins were surprised.
"We thought that would be one of the big parts of their game
plan, trying to knock Patrick around," Coles said. "But it never
really came. It was good for us."
Coles was as valuable as anybody. He caught five passes for 125
yards and a touchdown and made the play that changed the momentum
after an embarrassing start.
With the Redskins trailing 14-3 early in the second quarter,
Damien Robinson intercepted a pass and ran 26 yards down the
sideline toward an apparent touchdown. Coles caught him from
behind, stripped the ball and Randy Thomas fell on it for a
Given a second chance, Washington drove 80 yards and scored when
Coles made another outstanding play -- a tiptoe catch at the back of
the end zone for a 15-yard reception that made the score 14-10.
The Seahawks kicked a field goal on their next possession, but
the Redskins went to the two-minute offense to tie the score just
before halftime. A 31-yard pass to Coles set up a 14-yard TD throw
to Gardner, who fought off pass interference from Shawn Springs to
make the catch.
Those plays were called by Hue Jackson, who also revved up the
team with a motivational speech Saturday night. As he spoke in the
locker room, defensive end Bruce Smith walked by and rubbed
"He's the man today," Smith said. "He's the man."
Before Coles forced the fumble, the game was a disaster for the
Redskins. The defense couldn't stop the Seahawks, who drove 43 and
90 yards for touchdowns on their first two possessions. Bobby
Engram was wide open for a 5-yard score, and Shaun Alexander ran 1
yard for a touchdown set up by a third-down screen to Mack Strong.
But Washington made a comeback, and Seattle was unable to win in
the fourth quarter -- as they have done in their last four
"This was a game we should have won," linebacker Chad Brown
said. "But good teams find ways to overcome these things. We can't
live by this fourth-quarter comeback and hope the ball bounces our
Smith did not start for the second straight week, but got
one sack to move within one-half sack of tying Reggie White's
all-time record. ... The Redskins, one of the most penalized teams
in the NFL, committed a season-low four penalties. ... Washington S
Matt Bowen left the game early with a concussion.