This was a particularly important game for Gibbs and the Redskins because, after they had righted the ship following their 0-5 start, they were beginning to sink again. They had lost two in a row and the same doubts that were there at the beginning of the year were starting to creep back in. The Eagles were the defending NFC champs and had handled the Redskins easily in their previous meeting. The win, lucky as it was, propelled the Redskins to a streak of 31 wins in 34 games.
RFK Stadium- With 54 seconds left, nobody was hoping more than Mark Moseley that something would go awry with the Eagles' 24-yard field goal try. The Redskins veteran kicker had flat out missed two extra point attempts earlier in the game and the Eagles would take the lead on a chip shot for their kicker Tony Franklin.
The first PAT shank came after Joe Washington's six-yard touchdown run to open the scoring. After that, the Eagles dominated the game for the next two quarters, but were only able to put 13 points on the board, failing on an extra point themselves when Dave Butz and Dallas Hickman blocked Franklin's attempt after Philly's second touchdown. "It bounced off my head," Butz said, "and Dallas put it away."
For the game, the Eagles outgained the Redskins 416-176 with Ron Jaworski throwing for 266 yards and Wilbert Montgomery rushing for 116.
But Jaworski threw three interceptions to help the Redskins stay close. The third pick, in fact, gave the Redskins the lead. Monte Coleman grabbed a tipped ball on a screen pass intended for Booker Russell and raced into the end zone untouched. The play was an indication of how the team's fortunes had turned from earlier in the season. "Either Russell or a lineman had tipped it and it fell right into my hands," said Coleman. "If I had stayed on the sideline, he (Jaworski) might have had a chance, but when I cut against the grain, there was no way."
No way, unless a penalty nullified the play and a yellow flag rested on the field. "I dropped my head at first," Coleman said, "and said 'Oh, no!'"
The call, though, was against the Eagles and the Redskins held an improbable 15-13 lead with 6:39 left in the game. The lead stayed right there as Moseley again shanked the extra point. "There's no reason to miss an extra point," said Moseley. "I don't know why I missed them."
No matter what the reason, the misses opened the door for the Eagles to take the lead after Jaworski drove them into field goal position in the last minute. The attempt would be from 24 yards, virtually automatic for the Franklin's powerful leg.
The snap looked good, but Franklin never got the kick off as holder John Sciarra couldn't hold on to the ball. He picked it up off the ground and scrambled to try to find a receiver, but the Redskins buried him at the 23. Washington killed the final seconds.
"The snap was perfect," said Sciarra. "I think I was trying to place the ball down a little too soon. It all happened so fast. My teammates were counting on me. I let them down and I feel really bad." From the Redskins' perspective, better him than Moseley.
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