Redskins beat Cardinals in game full of miscues

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- In the final 30 seconds, the Arizona Cardinals used three quarterbacks, scored a touchdown, failed on a

2-point conversion, recovered an onside kick and barely -- just

barely -- missed a 55-yard field goal.

It was only after Neil Rackers' kick sailed wide left that the

Washington Redskins could take a deep sigh, digest all that

happened and realize that, despite their effort, they had not quite

found a new way to blow a ballgame.

The Redskins beat the Cardinals 21-19 on a Sunday afternoon that

degenerated into a series of unfortunate events. The winning team

had 160 total yards and was on the wrong side of nearly every

statistic except two of the big ones: turnovers and penalties.

"Any team can come back and beat you at the end of the game if

you give them the amount of chances we gave those guys," Redskins

cornerback Fred Smoot said. "Put it like this: We're lucky to get

out of here with a victory."

The box score will show Clinton Portis with a pair of short

touchdown runs for the Redskins (4-2), who, after this effort,

can't be too excited about playing unbeaten New England next. The

Cardinals are 3-4 heading into their bye, a good piece of timing

since it will probably take two weeks to figure this one out.

"A lot of people are going to say, 'Same old Cardinals,'"

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "That to me wasn't the same old

Cardinals. Those guys didn't quit. We obviously didn't make enough

plays to win. We made too many mistakes."

To be sure, no one expected a classic. The Cardinals showed up

with a one-armed quarterback and two backups who barely knew the

play book, while the Redskins had to patch together a starting

offense after injuries to three linemen last week.

But that didn't do much to explain the combined 15 penalties for

128 yards. Or the blocked punt by the Cardinals. Or the blocked

extra point by the Redskins. Or the end-of-first-half mini-melee

that included the bizarre sight of Cardinals lineman Elton Brown

getting yanked to the ground in a wrestling-style takedown by an


Three of the game's six touchdowns were the product of

interceptions, but the Redskins actually put together a decent

drive in the third quarter to take a 21-6 lead. Safety LaRon Landry

(late hit) and linebacker London Fletcher (taunting the bench) then

let the Cardinals back in by committing dead-ball fouls on third

downs during a long drive that eventually resulted in a touchdown.

Then came the real fun. Kurt Warner, who started despite a torn

elbow ligament that made it awkward to hand the ball off, drove the

Cardinals from Arizona's 29 to Washington's 1 in the final minutes.

Then -- surprise -- Tim Rattay entered and threw a 1-yard touchdown

pass to Leonard Pope to make the score 21-19 with 21 seconds to


Whisenhunt said the Cardinals had planned all game to use Rattay

in goal-line situations because Warner's bulky brace made it

difficult to work in tight quarters. The second surprise came when

the shotgun snap on the 2-point conversion went straight to

receiver Anquan Boldin, who scrambled to the right, found nowhere

to run and threw feebly toward Larry Fitzgerald. Landry caught the

ball instead.

"When those plays work, they're great. When they don't work,

people are going to question them," Whisenhunt said. "Anquan is

an outstanding football player. When you put the ball in his hands,

your chances of success go up greatly."

Still, the Cardinals recovered the onside kick and marched to

the 37 before Rackers, who ended the first half by getting into a

face mask tug-of-war with cornerback Carlos Rogers after the

blocked extra point, nearly ended the game with a winning kick.

"There's a lot of nerves going on," said Redskins center Mike Pucillo, who started at center in place of Casey Rabach as part of

Washington's latest injury-induced line shuffle. "We all felt it

shouldn't have been that close. We always want to go out there and

put games away."Game notes
Warner went 27-of-41 for 282 yards with two touchdowns and

two interceptions, one of which was returned 27 yards for a

touchdown by Fletcher. ... The Redskins used a defensive lineman,

Lorenzo Alexander, as an extra blocker near the goal line. ...

Boldin, who had missed the previous three games with a hip injury,

caught eight passes for 29 yards. ... Injuries: Rogers (sprained

knee), Smoot (hamstring), Cartwright (quad) and Arizona T

Mike Gandy (right calf). ... Gibbs is 13-0 at home against the

Cardinals. ... Arizona's Edgerrin James (83 yards rushing) is 10

yards short of 11,000. ... Two police officers on motorcycles

collided while escorting a Cardinals bus to the game, shutting down

traffic for hours on a busy interstate. Neither officer was

seriously hurt.