Highlights: Franchise wide receiver Michael Westbrook not only proved he could play hurt (floating cartilage in his knee), catching four passes for 59 yards, but he also threw the key block on Terry Allen's 14-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that gave the Redskins a 23-14 lead in an eventual 27-26 loss to the Arizona Cardinals that eliminated Washington from playoff contention Sunday.
Brian Mitchell, who criticized his teammates last Monday on his radio show, backed up his talk with five kickoff returns for 141 yards, two punt returns for 32 yards and two receptions for 35 yards.
Lowlights: A game filled with controversial calls helped usher the Redskins from the playoffs, completing one of the biggest second-half collapses in NFL history. Washington went from a 7-1 start to playoff elimination with one week remaining in the season. The Redskins have lost six of their last seven games.
Gus Frerotte set up the first Arizona touchdown in the second quarter when he fumbled a snap from center at the Washington 37-yard line. Tackle Eric Swann recovered for the Cardinals and rambled 11 yards before lateraling to linebacker Jamir Miller, who went the final 26 yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 Cardinals lead. Replays showed that Swann's knee was down when he lateraled and the play should have been called dead at the 26.
What's new: Norv Turner said he would be sending the replays of questionable calls in Sunday's game to NFL headquarters but he isn't expecting to receive any apologies from the league.
"This is just something we do every week," Turner said. "Who needs to make a judgment on a call that is obvious like the one where Swann's knee is down? It was there for everyone to see. Our organization has been in favor of instant replay, but it's a question of how do you do it."
Regarding any future plans for revamping the team, Turner said he would not even consider any moves until after Sunday's game against Dallas.
Next game: The Redskins (8-7) will entertain the NFC East-champion Cowboys (10-5) Sunday at 4 p.m. in Washington's last game at RFK Stadium. The team will begin play in a new stadium near Landover next season.
Cowboys coach Barry Switzer said he is treating this week like a bye week since his team can go no higher or lower than the third seed in the NFC playoffs.
What Norv Turner said: "I'm disappointed that we had a number of injuries that prevented us from playing as well as we could have in the last seven games. I felt like our players did the best they could. And there were so many different ways we could have won those two overtime games against Arizona and San Francisco at home but we didn't."
Pub Date: 12/17/96