Mon, Jan 07, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Seahawks send Redskins packing

AP , SEATTLE

A Seattle Seahawks fan cheers before the game between the Seahawks and the Washington Redskins before the NFC Wild Card game at Qwest Field on Saturday in Seattle, Washington.

PHOTO: AFP

The Seattle Seahawks rallied to oust sentimental favorites the Washington Redskins 35-14 in the NFL wild-card playoffs on Saturday.

Later, the Jacksonville Jaguars overcame a fourth-quarter collapse to edge the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-29, becoming the first team ever to beat Pittsburgh twice at home in the same season.

The Redskins rode the passion and momentum of the last month one more time, overcoming a 13-point, second-half deficit.

Then the Seahawks came back with three touchdowns of their own. Matt Hasselbeck hit D.J. Hackett with a 20-yard scoring pass, and Marcus Trufant and Jordan Babineaux picked off Todd Collins' first interceptions in a decade, returning them for touchdowns.

Seattle, improving to 8-1 at home, will travel to the Green Bay Packers next Saturday.

"I think two teams that cared a lot slugged it out," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "And we won it."

The Redskins go home with their four-game winning streak over, their mission to play and win for slain teammate Sean Taylor coming to an emotional end.

"I can't believe it's over with for us," Washington linebacker London Fletcher said. "It just seemed our story was going to be written all the way to the Super Bowl for us."

It took two-and-a-half quarters for the Redskins to get going, but for a while they seemed impossible to stop. Down 13-0, they practically ran downfield with the no-huddle offense behind mothballed quarterback Collins to score their first touchdown. Then came an interception by LaRon Landry, who took over at free safety after Taylor's shooting death in November, to set up another TD that gave Washington a 14-13 lead with 12:38 to play.

But two special teams gaffes kept the Seahawks going. Shaun Suisham was wide left on a field goal from 30 yards after Seattle returner Nate Burleson misjudged a kickoff that was recovered by the Redskins. And a 33-yard punt by Derrick Frost gave Seattle good field position to set up the go-ahead touchdown.

As they have over the second half of the season, the Seahawks preferred the pass over the run. Hasselbeck finished 20-for-32 for 229 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Hackett caught six passes for 101 yards. Partick Kerney and Leroy Hill were among Seahawks defenders who made life miserable for the Redskins. Collins was sacked three times and hit repeatedly.

Collins went 29-for-50 for 266 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Clinton Portis, who had at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each game of the Washington winning streak, ran 20 times for 52 yards and caught four passes for 28 yards.

In Pittsburgh, Josh Scobee kicked a 25-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining to cap Jacksonville's comeback after squandering an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Jacksonville appeared to be done after Najeh Davenport's second 1-yard touchdown run of the game gave the Steelers a 29-28 lead with about six minutes remaining. But quarterback David Garrard, not a great runner, found a seam on a convert-or-else fourth-and-2 play and rambled 32 yards to the Steelers 11 with 1:56 left.

The Steelers rallied from 15 points down to tie Jacksonville late in the Jaguars' 29-22 win at Heinz Field on Dec. 16 but couldn't close the deal.

Jones-Drew, escaping Jaguars star Fred Taylor's shadow in a performance with great plays, scored on a 43-yard swing pass after one of Roethlisberger's interceptions and a 10-yard run that provided the 18-point lead. Jones-Drew's 96-yard kickoff return the first time Jacksonville touched the ball set up Taylor's 1-yard touchdown run and immediately answered the Steelers' opening-possession 80-yard touchdown drive.

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