Landover, MD (Sports Network) – Josh Freeman threw the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers held on for a 17-16 win over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.
Donovan McNabb hit Santana Moss for a six-yard touchdown pass in the final minute, but a botched snap on the extra point with 13 seconds left on the clock allowed Tampa Bay to seal the victory.
“We win as a team and lose as a team,” said McNabb. “We don’t point fingers nor do we blame anyone. You tip your hat off to a young team. Tampa just continues to be resillent, continues to fight.”
Freeman connected on 15-of-25 passes for 266 yards, hitting Kellen Winslow for the 41-yard go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes, then rushing for the two- point conversion. Connor Barth went three-for-three on field goal attempts for Tampa Bay (8-5), which snapped a two-game skid.
LeGarrette Blount rushed for 68 yards on 15 carries and Arrelious Benn caught four passes for 122 yards in the win.
“A big win for our football team,” said Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris. “It helps us in our race to 10 (wins). I’m pretty happy with our defense, we made some key stops … That’s the game of football, it’s the game of inches.”
McNabb threw for 228 yards on 22-of-35 passing with two touchdowns and Ryan Torain finished with 172 yards on 24 carries for Washington (5-8), which has dropped three straight. Moss caught seven passes for 82 yards.
The Bucs had a chance to go ahead in the opening minutes of the fourth after Freeman hit Benn for a 43-yard hookup down the middle of the field, setting up 1st-and-goal at the one. But Freeman fumbled on a quarterback keeper that was recovered by Washington’s London Fletcher.
Tampa Bay had the ball again in Washington territory just inside four minutes remaining when Freeman hit Winslow for the 41-yard touchdown to make it 17-10.
After the two-minute warning, the Redskins had the ball at the Tampa Bay 45. McNabb hit Keiland Williams for a 15-yard strike on the first play from the break. And after getting a 1st-and-goal on a 10-yard catch by Anthony Armstrong, the Redskins had the ball at the two with 32 seconds left.
Facing a 4th-and-goal at the six, McNabb hit Moss in the front of the end zone, but the snap on the extra point was high and bounced off of place holder Hunter Smith’s hands.
Washington attempted an onside kick, but after Tampa Bay recovered, Freeman took the victory formation and kneeled to seal the win.
The Bucs punted on their opening possession and Washington had a chance to get on the board, but on a 4th-and-6, Graham Gano’s 34-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright.
Gano had a chance to redeem himself in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but the kick went wide-left.
Tampa Bay took over at its own 20, but Blount fumbled on a rush to the right end on the fourth play of the drive. The ball was recovered by Washington’s DeAngelo Hall at the Redskins’ 46.
On the following drive McNabb hit Moss with two passes — 22 yards and 21 yards — to work the ball to the Bucs’ six. After being stopped on three plays in the red zone, McNabb connected with Logan Paulsen on 4th-and-goal at the one for the game’s first score.
Tampa Bay opened up the ensuing possession with a 64-yard Freeman-to-Benn connection, but had to settle for a 25-yard Barth field goal to cap the seven- play drive.
Gano connected on a 25-yarder in the closing seconds of the first half to put Washington up 10-3 heading to the locker room.
Washington’s Chris Wilson muffed the second half kickoff and it was recovered by Tampa Bay’s Adam Hayward at the Redskins’ 34. Barth added another field goal, this time from 44 yards out to make it a 10-6 game at the 11:54 mark.
Tampa Bay got the ball back after a Washington punt inside 10 minutes and used a 10-play drive — starting with a 17-yard catch by Benn
- to make it a one point game. Barth connected on his third field goal of the day, this time from 35 yards to account for the points.
Winslow had two receptions for 52 yards…Washington converted on 6-of-16 third down attempts, while Tampa Bay was 5-of-12…The Redskins went 2-for-2 on fourth down conversions…Tampa Bay punter Ryan Malone pegged three of his four punts inside the 20…The Bucs will now host Detroit and Seattle before heading to New Orleans for their regular-season finale…Washington will head to Dallas and Jacksonville before ending the season against division rival New York.