SEATTLE (AP) — The comeback by Kirk Cousins topped any late rally Russell Wilson tried to engineer, and suddenly injected some hope into Washington’s season that was trending toward trouble.
Cousins drove Washington 70 yards in 35 seconds, capped by Rob Kelley’s 1-yard touchdown run with less than a minute remaining, and the Redskins rallied late to stun the Seattle Seahawks 17-14 on Sunday.
“On offense it was a lot of adversity. The injuries made things tough,” Cousins said. “We felt like we had to keep grinding, and you never know when your defense is able to keep you in the game, your special teams, that you may have an opportunity in the fourth quarter.”
Seattle (5-3) took a 14-10 lead with 1:34 remaining after Russell Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a 30-yard touchdown pass after the Seahawks had scuffled on offense all day. But Cousins had an unexpected answer.
Taking over at his 30-yard line, Cousins hit Brian Quick for 31 yards and Josh Doctson for 38 on consecutive throws to get to the Seattle 1 with 1:02 left. Doctson beat rookie Shaquill Griffin down the sideline and made an impressive diving catch. Kelley bulled his way in from the 1 on the next play for his second touchdown.
“It was good, but also, he’s Russell Wilson. He’s known for coming back,” Kelley said. “It was like, ‘Uh, oh, let’s calm down, let’s chill out for a minute or so.’ It was kind of awkward, you just know how good those guys are when they’re in the same situation we were in.”
Wilson did his best but couldn’t match his magic from last week against Houston, when he threw for a franchise-record 452 yards and put together a winning touchdown drive in the final minute. Wilson was 24 of 45 for 297 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He got Seattle to the Washington 38 in the final 30 seconds. Instead of spiking the ball, Wilson tried to run a play and was sacked by Terrell McClain back to the Redskins 46. After a lengthy review, Seattle had the ball with 4 seconds left after Washington (4-4) called time out to get organized.
Wilson’s desperation toss on the final play in the direction of Jimmy Graham and Tanner McEvoy fell incomplete and Seattle saw its four-game win streak snapped.
“We made this so hard on ourselves,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Washington coach Jay Gruden warned his defensive players this week that with so many injuries on the offensive side it was incumbent on them to keep Washington in the game. They accomplished that task, and combined with Seattle’s mistakes, allowed Cousins the chance at the end.
“You play with confidence, you feel good about yourself, good things are going to happen,” Washington defensive lineman Ziggy Hood said.
Kelley finished with two touchdown runs, while Cousins was 21 of 31 for 247 yards. He was responsible for a fumble in the first half, but otherwise took care of the ball against Seattle’s standout defense. He also withstood six sacks and a number of other quarterback hits behind a makeshift offensive line of backups and rookies.
“This lets everyone know we can definitely win in the most hostile environment. … If we can play under these conditions it means we can go anywhere. We can play home, we can play away, we just have to be poised, we have to be disciplined,” Washington tight end Vernon Davis said.
Seattle was undone by its mistakes. The Seahawks committed 16 penalties, failed to find much rhythm on offense and saw kicker Blair Walsh miss three first-half field goals inside 50 yards. Walsh was 12 of 13 on the season, but missed from 44, 39 and 49 yards, the last on the final play of the first half.
“This is the first time this year where I haven’t really come through and I got to remember that,” Walsh said. “As much as it sucks and as much as I want to be there for my teammates and help us win, I’ve got to remember I’m capable of doing good things here.”
Those misses and two failed 2-point conversion attempts got the better of the Seahawks thanks to Cousins’ heroics at the end.
Washington was minus six starters, including three on the offensive line, yet became the first non-NFC West team to win in Seattle since Week 6 of the 2015 season, when Carolina beat the Seahawks.
While Washington had a larger quantity of key injuries, Seattle was without three very important pieces. Safety Earl Thomas (hamstring) and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (oblique) were inactive because of injuries. The Seahawks lost running back Eddie Lacy in the first quarter to a groin injury after Lacy was expected to be the featured back Sunday.
Redskins: Washington returns home to host Minnesota.
Seahawks: Seattle has a short week and faces division foe Arizona on the road on Thursday night