Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry, left, intercepts Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, right, during overtime Sunday at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. / Corey Wilson/Press-Gazette
Redskins 16, Packers 13
Green Bay 7 3 3 0 0 — 13
Washington 0 3 0 10 3 — 16
GB — D.Lee 5 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick), 8:59.
GB — FG Crosby 52, 7:30.
Was — FG Gano 26, :13.
GB — FG Crosby 36, 7:34.
Was — Armstrong 48 pass from McNabb (Gano kick), 11:35.
Was — FG Gano 45, 1:07.
Was — FG Gano 33, 8:06.
A — 87,760.
First downs 17 21
Total Net Yards 427 373
Rushes-yards 17-157 21-51
Passing 270 322
Punt Returns 5-75 3-47
Kickoff Returns 5-68 4-66
Interceptions Ret. 1-64 1-0
Comp-Att-Int 27-46-1 26-49-1
Sacked-Yards Lost 4-23 5-35
Punts 6-47.3 8-44.6
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 9-63 4-28
Time of Possession 32:40 34:14
RUSHING — Green Bay, Jackson 10-115, Rodgers 4-30, Kuhn 3-12. Washington, Torain 16-40, McNabb 4-10, K.Williams 1-1.
PASSING — Green Bay, Rodgers 27-46-1-293. Washington, McNabb 26-49-1-357.
RECEIVING — Green Bay, Jackson 5-25, J.Jones 4-65, Driver 4-58, Quarless 4-51, Nelson 3-42, Jennings 2-22, D.Lee 2-22, Kuhn 2-5, Crabtree 1-3. Washington, Moss 7-118, Cooley 7-69, Torain 4-27, Armstrong 3-84, Galloway 3-28, Sellers 1-22, K.Williams 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Green Bay, Crosby 48 (WR), 53 (WL). Washington, Gano 51 (WR).
Packers linebacker Clay Matthews: "We could very easily be 5-0. We're losing games that I don't think we should lose. We're getting hit with injuries, but at the same time guys need to step up."
Packers defensive end Ryan Picket: "You go out there and you watch players play their hearts out, making plays, doing everything it takes ... and then to let it slip away from us at the end is just painful."
Redskins kicker Graham Gano on his game-winning field goal: "I didn't really see it go through at all. Coaches had been telling me to keep my head down. That is a key factor in whether I make or miss a kick. My whole thought process going out there was just keep my head down and follow through and just stay square, the normal things that help me make a field goal. It helped a lot. I didn't see the ball go through until it hit the net."
Tramon Williams, on losses to the Bears and Redskins this season: "I'm confident that we’re going to bounce back. I don't think it’s anything we need to panic over. Obviously we know we were better than those teams."
James Jones, on the receiving corps' poor play: "It's tough to put your finger on the problem... Maybe it was us turning our heads away from the ball trying to make a big play. You can't make any plays without the ball."
Jermichael Finley, on whether the Packers' goals have changed: "It ain't changed just because of one loss. It’s the NFL, things change every Sunday. We've got to keep fighting and keep pushing toward our goal."
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, on the victory: "Unless you have a lot of character on your team, usually you don't win games like that, too many mistakes, especially early. As I told our football team, we're very proud of the way they handled themselves, the way they kept on fighting -- no finger pointing."
Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers on Washington quarterback Donovan McNabb's scrambling outside the pocket and completing deep passes: "It’s what you work on all week, because you know basically (McNabb) has got those kind of abilities, he's done that his whole career, he can buy time and then launch the ball up the field. You know you're going to be defending that, and I thought for the most part other than twice they got behind us."
Capers on McNabb's resilience: "He's been a winner for a long time. Those guys find a way to make key plays at key times in the game, and that's what he did today. What you can't do is keep giving guys opportunities. Our guys fought hard, give (the Redskins) credit, they made key plays."
Kicker Mason Crosby on how he'll try to shake off missing a 53-yard field goal that would have won the game: "Just get back to work. Get back to working out tomorrow and back to kicking on Wednesday. I hate missing, it's one of those -- game winner or not I'll evaluate and look at the film and take it as that."
LANDOVER, Md. — All that mattered was Donovan McNabb found a way to win and the Green Bay Packers didn’t.
Yards, quality of play, in most ways it’s easy to argue the Packers played better football than McNabb’s Washington Redskins on Sunday.
Yet after Mason Crosby knocked a 53-yard field goal off the left upright in the final seconds of regulation and Aaron Rodgers threw an interception in overtime, it was Washington and its quarterback who walked off FedEx Field with the 16-13 victory.
The dejected Packers were left with defeat plus an injury list long on quality and quantity as they head into the guts of their 2010 schedule.
“Outplayed them easily,” cornerback Tramon Williams said. “But ya gotta outscore people, you can’t just out-play ’em. That’s the problem.”
The problem is the Packers are 3-2, a game behind the 4-1 Chicago Bears in the NFC North Division and, far more importantly, are hitting a more challenging stretch of their schedule with several of their most important players possibly sidelined for at least a week.
It starts at the top with Rodgers, who sustained a concussion while getting hit on his overtime interception. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he had to miss next week’s home game against Miami.
There also were injuries to playmaking tight end Jermichael Finley, whose strained hamstring tendon knocked him out on the game’s second play, and indispensable outside linebacker Clay Matthews, who reinjured the hamstring that sidelined him for most of training camp. It’s unclear how long either will be out, but considering neither returned after getting hurt, the short-term prognosis doesn’t look promising.
Depending on the severity of the injuries, the Packers face a potentially severe test of their depth and resolve. After Miami this week, they have a home game against NFC North Division rival Minnesota, play the swaggering Jets in New York and then return home against NFC contender Dallas before hitting their bye.
“You have to work your way through points in the season like we’re facing right now,” defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “That’s where the character of your team comes out. You get a loss today, a disappointing loss, so we have to go back to work and figure out a way to come back next week and find a way to win.”
The Packers didn’t find a way Sunday despite putting up the kind of numbers that often make for lopsided games.
After three quarters, they had a huge edge in yardage (336 to Washington’s 181). Their defense, with Charlie Peprah a new starter at safety and Pat Lee the new No. 3 cornerback, had put in a winning-type performance in pressuring McNabb (four sacks, 70.8 passer rating going into the fourth quarter).
Yet on the scoreboard, the Packers’ lead was only 13-3 with 15 minutes to play.
“They’re still in the game,” Williams said. “They’re still going to be in their game plan, they’re not going to change anything. You’re not putting the pressure on them at all, especially a team who that’s what their game plan is, to stick to the end and try to win.”
The Packers can look back to any of several reasons for finishing on the losing end. The biggest was coming up empty after having a second-and-goal at Washington’s 1 early in the second quarter.
Coach Mike McCarthy turned down the sure field goal and a 10-0 lead to go for it on fourth-and-1, then saw a bootleg pass fail when linebacker Lorenzo Alexander played it perfectly, keeping his face on rookie tight end Andrew Quarless’ back while breaking up Rodgers’ throw in the end zone.
Conventional wisdom in the NFL is to take the field goal early in the game and go for the touchdown late.
“I thought it was a good call (on fourth down),” McCarthy said. “Frankly, it was probably a down late, I wish I had called the naked (bootleg) on third down.
“But it’s all play calling. The way our defense was playing, after taking the timeout, it really resulted in getting the field goal on the next series. So to me, I really think it’s a wash. The way our defense was playing, where the ball was at, I thought it was the right decision (to go for the touchdown).”
There also were Crosby’s two missed field goals, a 48-yarder wide right late in the third quarter, then the 53-yarder that hooked into the left upright with 1 second left in regulation.
And there were the astounding, drive-killing seven dropped passes — four by Donald Driver, two by James Jones and one by Jordy Nelson.
“I think that was the biggest factor in this game,” Driver said, “because Aaron put the ball where it needs to be put.”
But another factor was McNabb’s incredible ability to win when his team appears a little overmatched. The 12-year pro showed why he has a .651 winning percentage, third-best among active quarterbacks, in rallying Washington from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Though he doesn’t have great weapons in the passing game, McNabb kept plays alive with his scrambling, and twice beat Peprah downfield with big plays outside the pocket.
On the first, he found receiver Santana Moss behind Peprah for a 52-yard gain that set up a field goal at the end of the second quarter. The second was a 48-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Armstrong, who went over Peprah for the score that cut the Packers’ lead to 13-10 with 11:35 to play in the game.
McNabb and Rodgers had below-average passer ratings (75.7 for Rodgers, 75.0 for McNabb), and each had one interception.
But Rodgers’ pick came with the game on the line in overtime. On a third down, he threw behind and was intercepted by safety LaRon Landry at the Packers’ 39, which set up Graham Gano for his game-winning 33-yard field goal.
“McNabb has been in the league for a long time,” safety Nick Collins said. “He feels he can go out there and throw 100 bad balls, and one play is going to come open. He stuck with his game plan.”