Last night, the Redskins lost a 27-10 second-half lead and lost their first game of the season, 30-27 in overtime to the Houston Texans. After going back over the game and looking at video, I've identified 13 key plays that changed the course of the game from a sure Redskins win to an epic collapse. A full list of the plays, with the game situation, video (where available), and explanations of their significance, is after the jump.
1. Situation: Texans face third-and-15, own 44, 52 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Score: Washington 27, Houston 10. Play: Foster rumbles for 50 yards Facing a third-and-15 at their own 44 with the crowd on their feet, the Texans appeared to be one stymied possession away from giving up the ghost of this game. Instead, the Redskins overpursued on a pass rush, and Arian Foster, who'd been quiet up to that point, hustled past Phillip Buchanon and Lorenzo Alexander and scampered for 50 yards to the Washington 6. The perfectly set-up screen pass was the Texans' longest play of the game, a play Brian Orakpo later called "a huge turning point," and quieted FedEx Field for the first time all afternoon.
2. Situation: Texans face first-and-goal, WAS 6, 23 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Score: Washington 27, Houston 10. Play: Walter brings Houston closer. A beautifully executed bootleg by Schaub to find Kevin Walter for the touchdown. Note how Walter brushed past Lorenzo Alexander, who was overplaying the run, to get wide open in the flat just in front of Reed Doughty, who was caught in no-man's land.
3. Situation: Redskins face first-and-10, own 20, start of the fourth quarter. Score: Washington 27, Houston 17. Play: LJ goes backwards. For the rest of the plays, go to the SOURCE: TBD