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Redskins-Chargers: What we learned

The SportsXchange

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Washington Redskins nearly blew a 10-point lead in the final 6:59 of regulation on Sunday. But they forced overtime with a goal-line stand in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter, then beat the San Diego Chargers 30-24 when Darrel Young scored his third touchdown of the game on the Redskins' first possession of the extra period.

Washington took the overtime kickoff and drove 78 yards in 10 plays, finishing off the game-winning drive when Young scored on a 4-yard run, with 8:59 remaining.

"The way we won the game can be a turning point for us," said Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, whose team is 3-2 since a 0-3 start and trail NFC East-leading Dallas by two games.

The Chargers were in position to win the game in the final minute of the fourth quarter. Washington led 24-21 when Philip Rivers' 6-yard pass to running back Danny Woodhead was initially called a touchdown. After reviewing the replay, however, officials ruled Woodhead went out of bounds just inside the 1-yard line, where the Chargers had the ball with a first down.

Woodhead's first-down run was stopped and two pass attempted resulted in incompletions.

San Diego settled for Nick Novak's tying, 19-yard field goal with four seconds left, putting the game into overtime.

"Those are the plays that you have to make to be able to win in this league," said Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, with whom Rivers failed to connect on second down from the 1.

The Chargers, who were coming off consecutive victories followed by their bye, fell to 4-4. They trail Kansas City (9-0) and Denver (7-1) in the AFC West heading into next week's against the visiting Broncos.

"We have to prove we can come back after a loss," said rookie receiver Keenan Allen, whose 16-yard touchdown catch from Rivers (29-of-46, 341, two touchdowns, two interceptions) completed a 77-yard march and brought San Diego within 24-21 with 4:10 left.

Then came the 91-yard drive that nearly resulted in the game-winning touchdown.

But the Redskins were ready for the pass plays on second and third down.

Griffin rebounded after being battered and off-target in Denver the previous Sunday. Although his ninth pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, Griffin completed 23 of his other 31 attempts for 291 yards.

What the Chargers said

"It was all there for us to win. They out-executed us on three plays." -- Coach Mike McCoy on San Diego failing to score a touchdown after having first-and-goal at the 1 with 21 seconds left in regulation.

What the Redskins said

"Defenses will definitely be more aware of DY, the three-touchdown fullback." -- Quarterback Robert Griffin III on fullback Darrel Young, who scored three touchdowns after having scored just four times in his previous 52 career games.

What we learned about the Chargers

1. San Diego came in ranked 23rd on defense, allowing 378.6 yards per game. Washington racked up 500 yards Sunday.

2. The Chargers fell to 0-3 in overtime since the 2008 playoffs.

What we learned about the Redskins

1. Washington had converted 40 percent of its third downs before Sunday when it converted 12 of 17 (71 percent).

2. Washington improved to 5-2 in overtime under coach Mike Shanahan.
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