Usually, a game-winning play is something tangible. A touchdown catch, a field goal, maybe an interception; something that at the very least shows up in the box score. But when the official scorekeeper marked it down, his notes didn't include the name of the guy the Redskins are crediting with ending the game
Brian Orakpo didn't a record a sack on that play, but it was the holding penalty that he drew on Alex Barron that brought the game to a close. As Matt Terl reports, the other guys in the locker room recognize that, and are giving Orakpo the appropriate credit.
"You're either gonna hold him or he's gonna get the sack," Chris Wilson said. "The man went to the Pro Bowl last year. The man would've had four sacks if he wouldn't've gotten those holding penalties."
Kedric Golston reached the same conclusion, after noting his belief that all three of Alex Barron's holding penalties were against Orakpo. "Rak was doing all he could to win," he said, "and the guy had to hold him to stop him. That's a win in our book -- if he wouldn't've held him, it would've been a sack."
Orakpo himself wishes that the play in question, as well as the other holding penalties he drew on Barron throughout the night could have ended with sacks. But he also sees the importance of the holding calls, particularly when they have that much of an impact on the outcome of the game.
"That has to be five sacks out there with them penalties like that," Orakpo joked. "Let me get a sack, please!"
Then he turned serious. "Obviously I'm disappointed with not finishing the play," he said, "but I couldn't finish the play. At the same time, man, winning is all that matters. I don't care about my stats, let the game speak for itself."
It's true, game-winning holding penalties aren't as sexy as a game-winning sack might have been. And he certainly won't get the same credit in the media or among fans as he would have had he taken Tony Romo to the ground himself at the end of the game. But as Orakpo pointed out, winning is all that matters.