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Chargers' poor play-calling leads to Redskins' OT win

One foot away from a season imploded beyond repair, the Washington Redskins made a stand with a little help from San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy.

With a wild 30-24 overtime victory over the Chargers on Sunday, the Redskins moved to 3-5 on the season. Washington's offense dictated the overtime session like it did most of the game, but the sequence that closed regulation is what we'll remember.

After an overturned Danny Woodhead touchdown, the Chargers had time for three plays from the one foot out to win the game. Woodhead was stuffed for no gain; then the Chargers tried to throw the ball twice despite having a timeout. Ryan Mathews is a tough short yardage back, so it's surprising he didn't get the ball so close to the win.

This looked like a matchup of two teams that can't handle success. The Redskins blew a 10-point lead with five minutes left, in part because of awful clock management. The Chargers seemed to have a thrilling victory in hand, but they couldn't finish. Now the Chargers are 4-4 with a tough closing slate.

That one foot could wind up having a big effect on playoff races in both conferences. Here's what else we learned in this one:

1. Pierre Garcon was the best player on the field Sunday. His acrobatic catches, many of them made on third down, saved the Redskins in some difficult situations. He finished with 172 yards.

2. It was a positive overall performance by Robert Griffin III, but he got hit a ton, too. All that offseason talk about "protecting himself" went out the window. He played with reckless abandon and took a pounding. His accuracy was far better overall, although he missed a few throws that allowed the Chargers to get back in the game.

3. Griffin's passes continued to get knocked down at the line of scrimmage, mostly because he locked onto his first read. If the passing game can pick it up, Washington will be dangerous on offense because its ground game looks terrific.

On NFL Network
NFL Replay
will re-air the Washington Redskins' 30-24 win over the San Diego Chargers from Week 9 on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

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4. The Redskins coaching staff made some pathetic clock management decisions late in the game that helped San Diego stay alive, and it gave them too much time to come from behind.

5. Keenan Allen had eight catches for 128 yards, yet he was a big reason why the Chargers lost. An awful drop killed one drive, and he didn't fight for the ball on a pass that wound up being intercepted. In a game without much defense, those mistakes made a huge difference.

6. Philip Rivers did not have great protection. He made some plays after the pocket collapsed, but he often was off with his accuracy. It was one of his worst games of the season.

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