When Graham Gano lined up for the potential game-winning field goal over the Arizona Cardinals, many Redskins fans held their breath. When Gano's kick sailed through the uprights to give the Redskins the lead at 22-21, FedEx Field roared with approval. But then the Redskins sealed the win with an unlikely play, as Byron Westbrook forced a fumble on Chansi Stuckey and Reed Doughty recovered to seal the win.
Following a touchback on the ensuing kickoff, Arizona got the ball at the 20 with the opportunity to manufacture their own game-winning drive. Instead, Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb completed a pass to Stuckey. Stuckey was hit by Westbrook, forcing a fumble that was then recovered by Doughty. After a replay challenge decided that the play was a clear fumble, Rex Grossman led the offense back on to the field to line up in the victory formation.
The Redskins defense showed up when the team needed it most. Down two points with four minutes to play, the Redskins forced a punt from Arizona. On third down, all-world rookie Ryan Kerrigan jumped and tipped a Kevin Kolb pass that then fell incomplete.
The stage was set for Redskins quarterback Grossman to march the team down the field and win the game. Grossman did just that. Making connections with tight end Fred Davis and receiver Santana Moss, the Redskins moved the ball methodically. In what appeared to be a changing of the guard, Roy Helu got the big carries on the drive.
After a bizarre series of timeouts from both teams and then the two-minute warning, the Redskins faced a crucial third down play already within field goal range. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan called for a pass play. When Grossman threw the ball a Cardinal defensive lineman tipped the ball, a recurring event throughout the day, and the ball was almost intercepted. Instead the ball fell to the ground and set up Gano's game-winning 34-yard field goal.
The game was truly a tale of two different halves. The Redskins offense that looked so impressive in the first half slowed down in the second. Conversely, the Cardinals moved the ball much better in the second half with a renewed commitment to the run game.
We'll have more on the this game throughout the week in this StoryStream. For more on the Redskins check out Hogs Haven. For more on the Cardinals, head over to Revenge Of the Birds and SB Nation Arizona.