Botched Snap Leads to Bizarre 17-16 Loss to Buccaneers


When Donovan McNabb hit Santana Moss for a six-yard touchdown pass with 9 seconds left to play, the feeling was the Redskins had done what they needed to do to push the Tampa Bay Bucs to overtime.

Not quite.

In a loss that will be relived for a long time to come, a botched snap on the extra point allowed Tampa Bay to seal a 17-16 win over the Redskins at FedEx Field, sending the Skins to 5-8 on the year, losers of three in a row.

With rain falling, Nick Sundberg pushed a slightly high snap to holder Hunter Smith, and the ball sailed through his hands and kept on bouncing, preserving the Tampa Bay win and sending Skins fans home irate.

That was far from the only mishap for the Redskins though in the one-point loss. The team, which has lost five of six and dropped four straight at home, had more mistakes that could have easily turned the game around. They wasted a career-best 172-yard rushing day by Ryan Torain, with 158 yards coming in the first half.

Kicker Graham Gano hit the left upright from 34 yards in the first quarter, then badly pulled his kick wide left from 24 yards in the second quarter. Redskins linebacker Chris Wilson also fumbled away a squib kickoff to start the second half, with no Buccaneers player anywhere near him.

“I could have been the difference in that game,” said Gano. “I just have to stay confident and move on to next week.”

Josh Freeman threw the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and connected on 15-of-25 passes for 266 yards, hitting Kellen Winslow for the 41-yard go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes, then rushing for the two- point conversion.

Connor Barth went three-for-three on field goal attempts for Tampa Bay (8-5), which snapped a two-game skid. LeGarrette Blount rushed for 68 yards on 15 carries and Arrelious Benn caught four passes for 122 yards in the win.

McNabb threw for 228 yards on 22-of-35 passing with two touchdowns and Moss caught seven passes for 82 yards.

The Bucs had a chance to go ahead in the opening minutes of the fourth after Freeman hit Benn for a 43-yard hookup down the middle of the field, setting up 1st-and-goal at the one. But Freeman fumbled on a quarterback keeper that was recovered by Washington’s London Fletcher.

Tampa Bay had the ball again in Washington territory just inside four minutes remaining when Freeman hit Winslow for the 41-yard touchdown to make it 17-10.

After the two-minute warning, the Redskins had the ball at the Tampa Bay 45. McNabb hit Keiland Williams for a 15-yard strike on the first play from the break. And after getting a 1st-and-goal on a 10-yard catch by Anthony Armstrong, the Redskins had the ball at the two with 32 seconds left.

Facing a 4th-and-goal at the six, McNabb hit Moss in the front of the end zone, but then it was that all routine extra point that killed a shot for the game to go in the extra period.

Washington attempted an onside kick, but after Tampa Bay recovered, Freeman took the victory formation and kneeled to seal the win. The Skins will look to rebound next week as they take on the Cowboys in Dallas.


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