Redskins Unable To Win For Sean Taylor

Monday, December 3rd 2007, 7:08 am
By: News On 6

The Washington Redskins remembered and honored Sean Taylor nearly every way they could think of - except by winning. Five days after Taylor died from a gunshot wound in Florida, the Redskins' defense did Taylor proud by not allowing a touchdown. With their slain safety in their minds, they built an early lead over the Buffalo Bills.

But they couldn't hold on, and a major mistake by Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs contributed mightily to a 17-16 defeat Sunday.

``I didn't show up to play this game, I showed up for a tribute for my friend, to send him out right, and we found a way to mess it up,'' said cornerback Fred Smoot, who teared up when he looked where Taylor usually plays and didn't see him.

The Redskins intentionally had only 10 men on the field for their first defensive play, leaving Taylor's spot empty.

``It was important for the team to know that Sean was with us that one last time on the field,'' said Reed Doughty, who replaces Taylor in the lineup. ``He'll always be with us, but that was special.''

Not so special was Gibbs calling consecutive timeouts while trying to ice Buffalo kicker Rian Lindell with 4 seconds remaining. That prompted a 15-yard penalty - back-to-back timeouts are illegal - and Lindell made a 36-yarder for the win.

``It was a very emotional day for everybody,'' Buffalo coach Dick Jauron said. ``I'm sure more so for them, but we have a number of players on our squad that were very close to Sean - played with him in college or in the NFL. I thought that both teams really played hard, and that would honor him. That's how he played the game. He played it all-out. It was a 60-minute game; that's how he played the game.''

Elsewhere, Miami fell to 0-12 with its worst loss of the season, 40-13 to the New York Jets.

Also, it was Indianapolis 28, Jacksonville 25; Pittsburgh 24, Cincinnati 10; Seattle 28, Philadelphia 24; San Diego 24, Kansas City 10; Minnesota 42, Detroit 10; Arizona 27, Cleveland 21; Tampa Bay 27, New Orleans 23; the New York Giants 21, Chicago 16; Tennessee 28, Houston 20; Oakland 34, Denver 20; Carolina 31, San Francisco 14; and St. Louis 28, Atlanta 14.

Week 13 began on Thursday night, when Dallas beat Green Bay 37-27. The Monday night game has undefeated New England at Baltimore.

Bills 17, Redskins 16

In front of 85,000 fans waving their No. 21 towels, Lindell kicked five field goals to lift visiting Buffalo (6-6). Lindell made a 51-yard attempt that didn't count because the Redskins (5-7) called timeout just as the ball was snapped. Washington then tried the same tactic, resulting in the 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Lindell's winner gave him a streak of 17 consecutive made field goals.

Jets 40, Dolphins 13

At Miami, perhaps the most winnable game remaining on Miami's schedule was a rout - for the Jets (3-9). Rookie John Beck threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles, leading to a touchdown and three of Mike Nugent's four field goals. In three starts, Beck has yet to direct the offense to a touchdown. Miami extended a franchise-record losing streak to 15 games, and Cam Cameron remained winless as an NFL coach.

``Getting a win against anyone is great,'' Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas said.

Colts 28, Jaguars 25

At Indianapolis, the Colts closed in on a fifth straight AFC South title after Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes. It was the second victory by the Colts (10-2) over the Jaguars (8-4) this season, essentially giving them a three-game lead with four games left. The Colts' first two TDs came in a bizarre first quarter in which there were three replay challenges - two won by Indianapolis, the other lost by Jacksonville. Manning has 23 TD passes, tying him with Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to throw more than 20 in each of their first 10 NFL seasons.

Steelers 24, Bengals 10

Hines Ward caught two touchdown passes from Ben Roethlisberger to break the Steelers' record for career scoring catches. Getting their offense back after being held to one touchdown in two games by the weak Jets and winless Dolphins, the host Steelers (9-3) shook off an early 7-0 deficit to open a two-game AFC North lead over Cleveland. The home-field win was the first in the series since the Steelers beat the Bengals in Pittsburgh 28-17 in 2004. Cincinnati (4-8) failed to become the first team to win in Pittsburgh for three consecutive seasons since Heinz Field opened in 2001.

On another rainy night, the second here in seven days for a prime-time game, the Steelers' offense and defense held up and so did their much-criticized playing field that was so bad for last Monday's 3-0 win over the Dolphins that an NFL operations official stayed in town all week to monitor conditions.

Seahawks 28, Eagles 24

At Philadelphia, Lofa Tatupu set up Seattle's first two touchdowns by intercepting A.J. Feeley twice in the first quarter, and he sealed victory with another pick at the Seahawks 4 in the final minute. Maurice Morris had a 45-yard touchdown run, Matt Hasselbeck threw for two scores and Shaun Alexander had 65 yards rushing and one TD after missing three games with a sprained knee. Playing their second straight game without injured QB Donovan McNabb, the Eagles (5-7) didn't have problems moving the ball on a cold, rainy day. But Feeley's interceptions cost Philadelphia. Brian Westbrook's 64-yard punt return put the ball at Seattle's 14 with less than 2 minutes left, but Feeley threw his fourth interception on third down.

Seattle leads the NFC West at 8-4.

Chargers 24, Chiefs 10

Norv Turner is now 1-6 as a coach against the Chiefs. San Diego (7-5) got two touchdowns and 177 yards rushing by LaDainian Tomlinson and eight sacks by the defense - three from Shawne Merriman. The visiting Chargers (7-5) have gone 6-2 and seized the lead in the AFC West. The Chiefs (4-8) have lost six of eight and five in a row. Tomlinson had only 60 yards on 13 carries in the first half, but came on after intermission with scoring runs of 31 and 28 yards.

Vikings 42, Lions 10

At Minneapolis, rookie Adrian Peterson rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns in his return from a knee injury. Aundrae Allison returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown. Improving QB Travaris Jackson was 18-for-24 for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and the Vikings (6-6) scored TDs on their first six possessions to win their third in a row and fourth in the past five games. The streak has the Vikings right in the thick of the NFC wild-card picture. The Lions (6-6) have lost four in a row. They rushed for just 23 yards on seven attempts against the league's top-ranked run defense, committed three personal foul penalties and were manhandled at the line of scrimmage.

Cardinals 27, Browns 21

Arizona turned three of Cleveland's four turnovers into touchdowns, and Edgerrin James topped 100 yards rushing for only the second time this season. Kurt Warner threw two touchdown passes and Neil Rackers kicked two field goals. Derek Anderson had two touchdown passes, but was intercepted twice and fumbled once for the Browns (7-5), who lost for just the second time in seven games. Rod Hood returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown for the first score. On the next possession, Anderson's fumbled snap led to a second score by Arizona (6-6). The visiting Browns got a controversial 67-yard touchdown pass from Anderson to Braylon Edwards and a 2-point conversion to cut the lead to 21-18 on the final play of the third quarter.

Buccaneers 27, Saints 23

At New Orleans, Devery Henderson fumbled a late, awkward toss from Reggie Bush, then backup quarterback Luke McCown drove Tampa Bay for a touchdown with 17 seconds left. The winning score was a quick 4-yard pass to Jerramy Stevens, who had to outleap Jason Craft to make the catch. The victory gave Tampa Bay (8-4) a comfortable three-game lead in the NFC South with only four games left, while the Saints (5-7) probably have to win out for a chance at a wild-card berth. Tampa Bay starter Jeff Garcia was kept out with a bruised lower back. But McCown completed his first 15 passes and wound up 29-for-37 for 313 yards and two touchdowns.

Giants 21, Bears 16

At Chicago, Eli Manning led two late touchdown drives and Reuben Droughns scored on a 2-yard run with 1:33 remaining. Manning was awful for most of the game, but delivered in the latter stages after throwing four interceptions the previous week in a loss to Minnesota. The embattled quarterback threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer, which was initially ruled incomplete, with 6:54 left to cap a 75-yard drive and pull the Giants (8-4) within 16-14. After the Bears (5-7) punted, the Giants launched a 77-yard drive that ended with Droughns running around right end. The Bears got the ball with 1:28 remaining and marched to the Giants 28, before Rex Grossman threw three incompletions.

Titans 28, Texans 20

Vince Young, who missed the previous matchup with his hometown team that Rob Bironas won with an NFL-record eight field goals, threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns in rallying the Titans, snapping a three-game skid. The host Titans (7-5) had defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth back after an injured hamstring kept him out of the three defeats. Titans end Antwan Odom knocked Matt Schaub out of the game for the second time this year, sacking him and hurting his left shoulder in the first quarter. By the time backup Sage Rosenfels settled in, it was too late for the Texans (5-7). But Mario Williams, the defensive end Houston chose to draft last year over Young, had 2 1/2 sacks.

Raiders 34, Broncos 20

Josh McCown threw three touchdown passes despite missing two series when top overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell played for the first time. Justin Fargas carried 33 times for 146 yards and a touchdown and Oakland (4-8) scored 24 points off four turnovers to snap a five-game losing streak to Denver (5-7). The Raiders also ended a 12-game home skid to AFC West rivals a week after snapping a 17-game losing streak in the division by winning 20-17 at Kansas City. Russell, the No. 1 overall draft pick out of LSU, made his long-awaited debut in the second quarter. He threw a 16-yard completion to Jerry Porter on his first play and moved Oakland downfield, but was unable to lead the Raiders to any points on his two drives.

Panthers 31, 49ers 14

Vinny Testaverde threw two touchdown passes and the Panthers snapped a five-game losing streak with their first home win in more than a year. The Panthers (5-7) ended a seven-game home slump dating to last season with Testaverde, who at 44 years, 19 days became the second-oldest starting QB in NFL history. Testaverde also became the oldest starter to win, beating his own record set seven weeks ago in Arizona - Carolina's last victory. The Panthers' defense stepped up, too, with six sacks and Richard Marshall's 73-yard interception return for a touchdown. Trent Dilfer threw for two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times and hit all day by Carolina's much-maligned defense. The 49ers (3-9) committed six turnovers.

Rams 28, Falcons 16

Gus Frerotte threw three touchdown passes in the first half, then sweated out two second-half interceptions that fueled an Atlanta comeback in the Rams' first home win this season. Frerotte fumbled a routine snap on fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the final minute of a five-point loss to the Seahawks last week at home. He needed a defensive stop after Chris Crocker's interception and 16-yard return to the Rams 33 with 5:33 left gave the Falcons a shot at the lead. Chris Redman threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter after replacing an ineffective Joey Harrington for the Falcons (3-9). Oshiomogho Atogwe intercepted an overthrown ball and returned it 27 yards to midfield with 1:31 left, and Steven Jackson scored on a 50-yard run two plays later to clinch it for St. Louis (3-9).