Redskins show up late to stun Seahawks, 23-17
Roy Helu's hurdle gave Washington the kind of spark a team riding a six-game slide needs when it's down 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Helu's leaping 28-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter pulled the Redskins within three, then Grossman hit Anthony Armstrong on a 50-yard touchdown pass on third-and-19 minutes later as the Redskins rallied to stun the Seattle Seahawks 23-17 on Sunday.
Seattle led 17-7 early in the fourth quarter, then watched the lead get whittled away in a hurry by Grossman, who was brilliant early, shaky in the middle and then great again in the closing minutes. Washington (4-7) snapped its longest losing streak since dropping the first seven games of the 1998 season.
''That was one of the most impressive runs I'd ever seen, to be able to hurdle somebody and keep moving, it was awesome,'' Grossman said. ''That was the play that really got us going there in the fourth quarter and got us the win.''
The highlight was Grossman's toss to Armstrong, who outmaneuvered Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner and hauled in the pass in the corner of the end zone to give Washington a 20-17 lead with 6:18 remaining.
The touchdown came one play after Grossman was called for intentional grounding while getting driven to the turf. Grossman stepped up in the pocket to avoid the pass rush then unloaded his toss for Armstrong. It was Armstrong's first catch since Week 7 at Carolina, his sixth of the season and his only one on Sunday.
But Helu's leaping touchdown run was equally important for the Redskins. After Seattle took its 10-point lead, the Redskins immediately answered with their most impressive drive since a dominating first quarter. And the capper was a moment that will forever be in Helu's highlight reel.
On third-and-3 at the Seattle 28, Helu took a quick pitch out of the shotgun, sprinted into an opening, hurdled over Seattle defensive back Roy Lewis and through the tackle attempt of safety Kam Chancellor on his way to the touchdown run. It was the high point of Helu's first 100-yard game, rushing 108 yards on 24 carries.
''I (saw) that I could get around and right, I think where their DB was, was the first down marker and I just wanted to make sure I got it,'' Helu said. ''I didn't care if their safety came over and killed me in the air I just knew I was going to get that first down from forward progress ... and I ended up breaking a tackle.''
Helu's touchdown was followed by three critical holds by Washington's defense. Seattle had consecutive three-and-outs, hampered on each drive by costly penalties. When Seattle's defense held and forced a punt with 2:42 left, the Seahawks were backed up again by an unnecessary roughness flag on Browner during the punt.
It didn't matter. On fourth-and-5, Seattle QB Tarvaris Jackson was sandwiched by LaRon Landry and Brian Orakpo for a 9-yard sack. Graham Gano kicked a 25-yard field goal for the final margin after having a 23-yarder blocked earlier in the game.
''That was our strongest finish that we've had,'' Washington defensive tackle Barry Cofield said.
Grossman threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Fred Davis as part of Washington's nearly perfect first quarter, threw a pair of interceptions in the second and third quarters, then led two touchdown drives in the fourth after Seattle took its lead. He finished 26 of 35 for 314 yards and was 7 of 9 passing in the fourth quarter.
The loss all but ended what little hopes the Seahawks (4-7) had of getting back into the NFC playoff picture and now they must regroup for a home game Thursday night against Philadelphia.
Marshawn Lynch rushed for 111 yards and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, but Seattle saw its chance at the first three-game win streak under coach Pete Carroll crumble under too many mistakes.
Jackson was 14 of 30 for 144 yards and was intercepted in the final minute by DeAngelo Hall. Along with the continued penalty problems, the Seahawks twice were forced to use timeouts because of communication problems with having the wrong personnel on the field.
Seattle was flagged nine times, while Washington had 10 penalties in a game that was chippy throughout and required the teams to be separated during the coin toss.
''It just comes back to discipline. We've just got to be more disciplined,'' Chancellor said. ''We got to start at practice. We get penalties in practice and it shows in the game. So we just got to start at practice and be penalty-free in practice so it can carry over to the game.''
It didn't help that the Seahawks' offense disappeared in the closing minutes. The quarter actually started well for Seattle with Jackson finding Golden Tate on a 15-yard TD pass with 12:45 left to give Seattle its 10-point advantage.
Nothing good happened for Seattle from there.
The Seahawks ran 13 offensive plays on their final four possessions. No play went for more than 11 yards. Seattle failed to pick up any first downs and had three penalties, two sacks and a turnover.
''We have some issues that we have to keep working on. We have such a fast turnaround right here that we won't be able to dwell on this very long. We'll barely be able to touch on this thing on Monday and then we get onto game week for Thursday night,'' Carroll said. ''The lessons are hard and this is how it goes. You've got to get through it and you've got to grow from it.''
Notes: Washington FB Darrel Young and Seattle WR Sidney Rice both left with concussions and did not return. ... Seattle starting WRs Rice and Mike Williams were held without a reception. ... Washington's 172 yards of offense in the first quarter was its most in a first quarter since 1999 against Philadelphia. ... Davis' touchdown catch was the first time Washington scored a TD on its opening drive this season.
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