It looked like the Redskins were finally ready to break through. They had not had the lead in a game since the end of their last win on Oct. 2. But they were in great position to do so with a first and goal at the Miami 10, trailing 13-9 early in the fourth quarter.
The drive started in the third quarter after the Redskins defense forced its only series of three plays and a punt of the game. Brandon Banks got things going with his first impact play in what seems like forever, a 22-yard punt return to the Redskins 41. Most of the ground to the doorstep of the goal line was covered by Rex Grossman passes to Leonard Hankerson.
On the first play of the drive, Grossman, the surprise starter, found Hankerson for 17 yards to the Miami 42. A few plays later, Grossman converted a third and ten at the 32 by finding Hankerson down the middle for 22 yards to the 10.
After a couple of nice throws, however, the quarterback known as Bad Rex reared its ugly head. On first down, he went back to pass and had plenty of time to throw. He tried to throw to Jabar Gaffney inside the five. Everyone on the defense knew that because Grossman looked at Gaffney through the receiver’s entire pattern. Linebacker Karlos Dansby, who had done nothing sneakier than drop into his zone, easily picked off the pass at the five and returned it to the 19.
“I’ve got to be more careful with the ball, first down in the red zone, crucial point in the game,” said Grossman in one of the more obvious statements of the day.
The game wasn’t over at that point. There were still almost 12 minutes left in the game and according to Advanced NFL Stats the Redskins still had a 26 percent chance of winning the game. However, that probability diminished with each play of the Dolphins’ game-clinching 10-play, 81-yard touchdown drive that ensued. It was officially over with just over six minutes left when Reggie Bush scooted through the defense for 18 yards and a touchdown to make it 20-9.