First Look: The Washington Redskins

The Redskins completed their improbable comeback from the brink of disaster by crushing the Dallas Cowboys 27-6 at rainy FedEx Field on Sunday for their fourth consecutive victory, earning the NFC's sixth seed and a matchup on Saturday at Seattle against the Western Division champion Seahawks.

As their victory became assured, the Redskins were thinking of Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor, who was murdered last month and buried four weeks ago Monday.

"Look at the final score, (we won by) 21 points," said middle linebacker London Fletcher. "Sean's death brought us closer together. We're like family right now. We played with our angel out there."

Washington (9-7) is the NFC's hottest team, beating playoff qualifiers Dallas and the New York Giants this month along with Minnesota, which just missed postseason. The Redskins beat pushed the Cowboys, Giants, NFC South champion Tampa Bay and NFC North winner Green Bay to the wire during the season. In contrast, Seattle (10-6) hasn't beaten a winning team since topping the Buccaneers in their opener, was crushed by AFC North winner Pittsburgh and lost to Cleveland, which just missed qualifying.

The Redskins are also confident because many of them remember beating the Seahawks 20-17 at home in 2005 and leading them 3-0 on the road in the playoffs that season with MVP Shaun Alexander done for the game with a knee injury before rookie cornerback Carlos Rogers' drop of an interception that would've made it 10-0 turned the tide. Seattle rallied to win 20-10.

Those 2005 Redskins had won six in a row, but the offense had barely shown a pulse in the wild-card victory at Tampa Bay and the defense had allowed 20 points in each of the last two regular season games. The 2007 Redskins outscored Chicago, the Giants, Vikings and Cowboys 115-53 the past four weeks.

"You lose four games in a row and you're just looking for a win," said Reed Doughty, who became a starter after Taylor sprained a knee in the first of the four straight losses on Nov. 11 to Philadelphia. "You're not going to win four in a row unless you get the first one."

Washington is hitting on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Todd Collins has been terrific since replacing the injured Jason Campbell against the Bears. Receiver Santana Moss, running back Clinton Portis and tight end Chris Cooley are hot. The run defense has shut down the Bears, Vikings and Cowboys while the pass defense frustrated the Giants. Cornerback Shawn Springs has four interceptions during the four-game winning streak, doubling his total from the previous two-plus seasons.

"We came out today focused and wanted to make sure we didn't let it slip away," said defensive end Phillip Daniels after the Redskins held the Cowboys to 147 yards, one rushing yard on 16 carries and seven first downs. "This is probably the best (during the streak) we've played in the four years I've been here. If we continue to play like this, no telling how far we can go."

PLAYER NOTES

--OT Chris Samuels sprained a finger.
--WR James Thrash sprained an ankle.
--OT Stephon Heyer suffered a mild sprained knee.
--LB Randall Godfrey suffered an abdominal sprain.
--WR Reche Caldwell had two catches for 34 yards, giving him 15 catches for 141 yards during the past six games after he barely saw action and didn't have a catch during his first nine games with Washington.


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