Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said the team has video showing that Alstott was on the ground six inches shy of the goal line.
"He didn't get in," defensive end Phillip Daniels said. "I saw his elbow hit before the line, and that's all I needed to see. They only showed the (replay) angle from the left side. They needed to show the middle end-zone angle. When he hit, the ball hadn't made it across yet."
Coach Joe Gibbs, of course, is turning in that play to the league for review along with the offside call on the blocked extra point that set up Alstott's "did he or didn't he?" play.
"The center kinda picked the ball up, and we felt like we kind of got off right on the money," said Gibbs, who doesn't regret taking special teams coach Danny Smith's advice to go for the block that would have prevented overtime. "You can play for overtime, but ... I kind of like to go for it and be aggressive. In this case, you can say that it bit us."
Gibbs also sent to Park Avenue the play on which Simeon Rice picked off Mark Brunell's pass (because Juran Bolden had grabbed the jersey of intended receiver Santana Moss) and the play on which the officials wouldn't let him challenge Joey Galloway's 34-yard catch (because they, incorrectly the Redskins believe, ruled that the receiver had been forced out of bounds by Pierson Prioleau).
All of this hasn't lessened Gibbs' support for replay.
"If we didn't have it, I'd really be concerned," Gibbs said. "At least this way, if it's something that's obvious, we're going to get an overturn."
--Mark Brunell is in his 12th NFL season, but the quarterback still has trouble holding onto the ball when sacked. Brunell fumbled on five of the 12 sacks he suffered during the past five games.
"Your quarterbacks are always the guys who turn the ball over because they're not used to running with it, and most of them aren't in a position where they're defending themselves," coach Joe Gibbs said. "Mark really moves and tries to get out of there. We need to eliminate the turnover thing, (but) there's nobody else that I would want in there."
Brunell is disappointed by his fumbles.
"I have to tuck it away," he said. "Many times, you can sense when somebody is coming at you, and in that case, you're looking to throw and the ball is exposed. But you have to do whatever you can to get that thing in your body, and you hope it doesn't come out."
--Despite allowing five "explosion" pass plays of at least 24 yards to a weak Buccaneers offense, a week after surrendering four such plays to the Eagles, Gibbs isn't going to ask defensive boss Gregg Williams to ratchet down the blitzes that can leave holes in the coverage.
"Our deal is to be aggressive," Gibbs said. "You try to go within reason. ... We need to stay aggressive."
--DT Joe Salave'a forced Bucs rookie RB Cadillac Williams to fumble on the first play of the second half. Amazingly, it was the first forced fumble of Salave'a's seven-year career.
--Backup RB Ladell Betts sprained an MCL knee ligament against Tampa Bay, leaving his status for Sunday's game at Oakland in question. WR James Thrash would replace Betts as the primary kickoff return man with Rock Cartwright serving as the backup to starting RB Clinton Portis.
--Director of sports medicine Bubba Tyer termed FS Sean Taylor's injury "a mild high ankle sprain," making it more severe than your garden variety sprain. Coach Joe Gibbs was still somewhat optimistic that Taylor would return to practice this week after missing the first game of his two-year career in Tampa.
--DT Cornelius Griffin's hip flexor kept him out of consecutive games for just the second time in his six seasons. Griffin did some light running last week, but coach Joe Gibbs wasn't upbeat about him returning to action this week.--DT Cedric Killings practiced all last week but was inactive for a third straight game. The ankle he sprained on Oct. 16 in Kansas City can't be 100 percent because the defensive coaches aren't high on undrafted rookie Aki Jones, who took Killings' place.
Report Card vs. Bucs
PASSING OFFENSE: B-minus -- QB Mark Brunell was his usual accurate self for most of the night (23-for-35, 226 yards) and his two interceptions were at least partly the fault of WRs Santana Moss and David Patten. However, Brunell also coughed up the ball both times he was sacked. LG Derrick Dockery recovered one of the fumbles, but Brunell's turnovers led to 14 Tampa Bay points, equaling the points he produced on passes to RB Ladell Betts and TE Mike Sellers. Moss made a spectacular, 42-yard sideline grab in the third quarter but was otherwise relatively quiet (three other catches for 37 yards) for a third straight game. Patten emerged a little with three catches, while WR James Thrash had one.
H-back Chris Cooley led the way with six catches but had just 42 yards until his 24-yard grab in the final minute. Sellers' 7-yard catch gave him the team TD lead with six. TE Brian Kozlowski had an 18-yard grab. TE Robert Royal had a pair of 1-yard grabs. The line only allowed the Bucs' potent pass rush to get to Brunell twice, both early on.
RUSHING OFFENSE: A-minus -- RB Clinton Portis' first carry as a Redskin was a 64-yard touchdown jaunt against Tampa Bay in the 2004 opener, and he ran wild in the early going again Sunday. Portis cut back with precision for 98 yards on nine carries in the first 16 minutes. He was a pedestrian 14 for 44 the rest of the way, although he did contribute a critical two-point catch on what looked as if it would be the winning touchdown. Betts carried four times for 25 yards on that drive after catching a 17-yard touchdown in the third quarter. The line gave Portis and Betts plenty of room to run and only committed one penalty, a holding call on Dockery.
PASS DEFENSE: D -- CB Walt Harris and SS Pierson Prioleau -- filling in for the injured Sean Taylor -- got beaten for touchdowns. They joined rookie CB Carlos Rogers in getting toasted on big passes. All of this against a near-rookie passer playing without injured No. 2 WR Michael Clayton. DEs Phillip Daniels and Renaldo Wynn both knocked down passes. DE Nic Clemons was penalized for a late hit on QB Chris Simms. The pass rush was non-existent. MLB Lemar Marshall wound up once in a bad mismatch with speedy WR Joey Galloway.
RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Playing without top DT Cornelius Griffin for virtually a third straight game, the line controlled the trenches against Tampa Bay's running game, which averaged a paltry 2.3 yards per carry. DT Joe Salave'a forced Cadillac Williams to fumble on the first play of the second half, and Demetric Evans, filling in for Griffin, jumped on the ball. LB Marcus Washington led the defense with six tackles, but also gave the Bucs a first down by jumping offside on third-and-4. LBs LaVar Arrington and Marshall weren't their usual active selves. SS Ryan Clark got run over by Mike Alstott on the decisive two-point conversion.
Rock Cartwright congratulates Ladell Betts
after Betts' kickoff return for a touchdown
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- Betts returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. The coverage units shut down the Bucs. K John Hall made field goals of 33 and 40 yards. P Derrick Frost was fine. But all of that is balanced by the gamble to try to block the extra point that would have forced overtime. The Redskins got the ball, but they also jumped offside, and that penalty prompted Bucs coach Jon Gruden to go for the victory, which he got.
COACHING: B-minus -- Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is starting to pay the price for his risk-taking in passing situations. He probably should've backed off with Taylor absent. Special teams coach Danny Smith's choice to go for the block on the final extra point can also be questioned. And Gibbs could've come up with a more imaginative call on third-and-2 when Portis was stopped for a yard as the Redskins tried to run out the clock. On the other hand, the offense had plenty of creative runs and passes that worked against a stout Bucs defense, while Washington's run defense was super despite not having Griffin. And special teams clearly won its battle until the final minute.