Redskins lose to Bucs on botched extra point attempt

The ball sails over Washington Redskins' kicker Graham Gano's head as holder Hunter Smith misses the snap costing the Redskins the game during the fourth quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland on December 12, 2010. The Buccaneers defeated the Redskins 17-16.  UPI/Kevin Dietsch Photo via Newscom

Think Mike Shanahan will try to blame Sunday’s 17-16 loss to the Bucs on Albert Haynesworth, even though the massive defensive tackle was at home suspended?

Despite getting a 173-yard rushing effort out of Ryan Torian, the Redskins found a new way to lose when a high snap slipped through the fingers of holder Hunter Smith on what should have been a game-tying extra point attempt in the final seconds of the game. Donovan McNabb had just engineered a late scoring drive that was capped on a touchdown pass to Santana Moss but due to Washington’s inability to do anything right this season, the botched extra point cost the Skins the game. Their ensuing onsides kick failed and the game was over.

This season couldn’t end fast enough for Shanahan. Everyone knew it would take a while for him to turn things around in D.C., but this season has been marred by controversy and embarrassment. No matter what side of the debate you’re on in the Haynesworth debacle, the bottom line is that Shanahan failed to perform damage control at the start of the season and now Haynesworth is at home and the Skins are still losing. He’s a lazy malcontent of a player, but Haynesworth was by far Washington’s most productive defensive lineman and Shanahan never had control of the situation. (Or maybe Haynesworth would have continued to be a pain in the ass and it wouldn’t have mattered. Whatever.)

As for the Bucs, they kept their playoff hopes very much alive and with home games coming up against the Lions and Seahawks the next two weeks, anything could happen. They certainly seem to have a better chance than the Packers, who have the same 8-5 record but have a much tougher road ahead. They’re at New England next week before hosting the Giants and Bears in the final two weeks.

Thanks to a botched extra point attempt on Sunday, the Bucs’ fairytale ride isn’t over yet.

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