ASHBURN, Va. -- For those watching on television, it appeared the Washington Redskins scored their final touchdown on fifth down.
For the players on the field, there was no such confusion.
When Anthony Armstrong caught a pass at the 2½ on the next play, officials awarded a first down. The game's official statisticians, apparently unaware of the first-down ruling, awarded Armstrong only a 9-yard gain that would have created a second-and-1, throwing off the reporters in the press box as well as the announcers on the Fox broadcast.
Head referee Pete Morelli told a pool reporter after the game that one of the down markers was changed to "2" on the sidelines, but it was quickly corrected to a "1."
"Believe me, there was no confusion to anybody except the people that were in the press box and the people watching on TV," coach Mike Shanahan said. "Because on the sideline it said first down right away. On the field, the one thing we look at is the markers on the sideline. Both markers said first down."
Any chance that the so-called "fifth down" would turn into a full-blown controversy was negated when the Redskins botched the extra point that would have sent the game to overtime.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press