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WP: Redskins Lose 24-21 in OT, Spoiling Another Big Comeback


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Redskins Lose 24-21 in OT, Spoiling Another Big Comeback

By Joseph White

Associated Press

Sunday, September 21, 2003; 8:09 PM


The New York Giants blew another fourth-quarter lead. This time, they recovered to win in overtime.

Matt Bryant kicked a 29-yard field goal 4:15 into the extra period Sunday to give the Giants a 24-21 victory over the Washington Redskins, putting the two teams in a tie for first place in the NFC East.

The Giants led 21-3 at halftime, but a mistake-filled second half and bad clock management late in the game allowed Washington to tie it on John Hall's 34-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in regulation.

Kerry Collins threw three touchdown passes, completing 24 of 39 passes for 276 yards. Tiki Barber ran for 126 yards, and the defense held the Redskins without a touchdown until late in the third quarter.

The Redskins (2-1) dug themselves in a hole with a franchise-tying 17 penalties for 142 yards, including nine in the first half, while the Giants returned the favor after halftime with 11 of their 15 penalties, allowing Washington to rally.

The Giants committed a holding penalty on the kickoff return to start overtime and had to begin the drive at their own 6. But a 15-yard run by Barber, a 14-yard pass to Jeremy Shockey and a 27-yard gain after a catch in the flat by fullback Jim Finn moved New York into range for the winning field goal.

The Giants, rebounding from a demoralizing 35-32 overtime loss to Dallas on Monday night, improved to 2-1.

The Giants led 21-18 and had a chance to kill the clock when they got the ball with 2:27 remaining in regulation, but an incomplete pass and Brian Mitchell's decision to run out of bounds on third down stopped the clock twice for the Redskins. Washington got the ball back on its own 28 with 2:01 to play, leaving time to move downfield for Hall's tying field goal.

Penalties have been a major problem for the Redskins from the first week of preseason, but they overcame them in narrow victories over the New York Jets and Atlanta to start 2-0 for the first time in 12 years.

The final 3:05 of the first half was downright stupefying, containing a head-scratching series of miscues that left the Giants seemingly in control of the game. New York had a third-and-29 and tried to concede by running draw plays, but an offsides penalty and an unsportsmanlike penalty on linebacker Jeremiah Trotter gave the Giants a first down.

From there, Collins and Barber led a methodical two-minute drill that ended with a 5-yard scoring pass to Ike Hilliard with 19 seconds remaining, his second TD catch.

The Redskins, who overcame a 17-0 deficit to beat Atlanta last week, started this comeback by capitalizing on a big Giants mistake -- a roughing-the-passer call on William Joseph -- to complete an 89-yard drive on Darnerien McCants' 4-yard reception, making it 21-10 in the third quarter.

A 6-yard scoring pass to Rod Gardner -- plus McCants' leaping catch on a 2-point conversion after a good scramble by quarterback Patrick Ramsey -- cut the lead to 21-18 with 2:27 left in regulation.

In the first quarter, a Redskins drive was halted deep in Giants territory when Laveranues Coles dropped two balls and a taunting penalty negated a big gain by McCants.

Washington scored first on a 42-yard field goal by Hall, but it came after a 30-yard touchdown pass to Gardner was negated by a holding call on Chris Samuels. Gardner made a nice juggling catch, but Samuels wrapped his arm around Kenny Holmes' neck from behind.

Collins responded by going 6-for-7 for 60 yards on New York's next drive, capped by a a 5-yard touchdown pass to Hilliard. The big play was a 19-yard pass to Hilliard against cornerback Fred Smoot, who started the game just three days after being hospitalized with a concussion following a collision in practice.

The Giants made it 14-3 when Collins, given plenty of time to throw, waited for Amani Toomer to get open deep downfield against three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. Toomer made the catch, broke from Bailey's grasp and ran the final 10 yards for a 54-yard touchdown.

Coles finished with 105 yards on seven catches, giving him three consecutive 100-yard games to start the season. Ramsey was 23-for-45 for 348 yards.

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