SEATTLE — Fans of the Seattle Seahawks have grown accustomed to late-game comebacks, particularly during the Russell Wilson Era.
The unfamiliar part is when the other team comes from behind to win.
So Sunday proved quite an aberration as Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins engineered a game-winning drive that took just four plays and 35 seconds as the Redskins stunned the Seahawks 17-14 before 68,927 fans at CenturyLink Field.
The loss came just a week after Seattle pulled out a 41-38 victory over Houston in the final seconds.
“A really good job by (Washington) to stay in it all day long, and keep battling and hanging, and they took advantage of their opportunity when they got it and they got a great win,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
Washington running back Rob Kelley’s second 1-yard touchdown run of the game capped off the final scoring drive with 59 seconds remaining as the Redskins improved to 4-4.
A Hail Mary attempt from Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson fell incomplete on the game’s final play as Seattle dropped to 5-3.
On the game-winning driver, Cousins completed back-to-back passes of 31 and 38 yards, the second to Josh Doctson inside the 1-yard line with 1:02 to play. Three seconds later, Kelley scored to give Washington a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
“They stuck true to their game plan, they just made a play,” said Seattle’s Bradley McDougald, who started at free safety in place of injured All-Pro Earl Thomas. “It wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen through the first two quarters. They just came out and Cousins threw a great ball.”
Cousins finished 21-for-31 passing for 247 yards. He didn’t throw any touchdown passes, but he also avoided a pair of potential interceptions in the first half when Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman saw Cousins pass attempts bounce of their hands.
“We just 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 maybe you have an opportunity in the fourth quarter,” said Cousins, who was playing behind an offensive line that was missing three starters. “We found a way.”
The game-winner came just 35 seconds after Wilson hit a wide-open Doug Baldwin for a 30-yard touchdown pass with 1:34 remaining. That 14-10 advantage was Seattle’s first lead since 2-0.
The advtange was short-lived as a shocked crowd watched Cousins complete his two longest passes of the day to set up the go-ahead touchdown.
“We were up for it and it was one of those days where … on offense, defense or special teams we were a play away,” McDougald said. “And penalties definitely didn’t help us.”
Indeed, they did not. Seattle committed 16 infractions that cost them 138 yards. That included a 5-yard penalty on the kickoff that gave Washington the ball at the 30 on its final possession.
“I don’t think they changed anything (on the final drive),” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “I think they just made a couple good plays and we hurt ourselves a lot with the penalties. I’m not sure how many penalties we had, but I don’t want to take anything away from them. They earned that victory.”
It was Wagner who first gave Seattle the lead when he came untouched around the right side and sacked Cousins in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 advantage at 6:52 in the first quarter.
Kelley’s first 1-yard touchdown run of the game gave Washington a 7-2 lead with 2:52 to play in the half. The scoring drive took nearly seven minutes, encompassed 71 yards and included a pass interference penalty on Sherman in the end zone.
It was indicative of the game as a whole.
Seattle might have still led at that point, but kicker Blair Walsh — who had missed just one field-goal attempt coming into the game — missed attempts of 44, 39 and 49 yards in the first half. His final attempt came as time expired and Washington took a 7-2 lead into the intermission.
Nick Rose’s 28-yard field goal at 10:19 in the third quarter pushed Washington’s lead to 10-2. But the Seahawks answered when Wilson found Luke Willson wide open in the left flat for a 10-yard touchdown pass at 11:48 in the fourth.
Then came the go-ahead toss to Baldwin that set up Washington’s final scoring drive.
Wilson finished 24-for-48 for 297 yards with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes. He was also was picked off once in each half, but neither interception led to points for Washington.
“I felt like Russell was off rhythm all day long,” Carroll said. “It just felt like he was moving a lot. I have to see film to to tell you what’s going on with that. He competed his tail off all day long. He was all over the place out there. Unfortunately, when he’d hit a couple big plays and scrambles, we would have penalties that nullified those.”
Seattle has a quick turnaround. The Seahawks play at Arizona on Thursday night.