LANDOVER -- Washington Redskins kicker Brett Conway knew the drill.
It was only three weeks ago, against the Dallas Cowboys, that Conway had the chance to win the game with a field goal with three seconds left in regulation. But a botched hold by Matt Turk never gave him a chance.
Yesterday, it was deja vu for Conway. In his first home game back, against the Carolina Panthers, he was kicking at the same posts in the final seconds from 31 yards.
This time, however, Conway received a good hold and he converted his first game-winner since 1996, his senior year at Penn State. He made a 33-yarder that day against Michigan State with four seconds left to send the Nittany Lions to the Fiesta Bowl.
And the feelings are the same for Conway.
"When I kick the ball, I'm not nervous," said Conway, who came to the Redskins in the middle of last season after a year with the Green Bay Packers. "As soon as I see the ball go up, I'm more nervous than I've ever been in my life. All the energy comes to you."
Redskins coach Norv Turner didn't worry about his kicker, despite Conway's playing in just his 16th career game. Conway, who only kicked off for the Redskins last year, is now 6-for-6 on field-goal tries this season.
"Brett has kicked as well as any kicker I've ever been around," Turner said. "He doesn't miss. He's going to be an outstanding kicker. The first one in that situation is tough, but he nailed it."
For the second straight week, the Redskins benefited from the new instant-replay rule in the fourth quarter.
The officials overturned Brian Mitchell's fumble yesterday that would have given Carolina possession on the Redskins' 19. The change in the call allowed the Redskins a final chance with 4: 19 left in the game and the Panthers ahead 36-35.
"Brian came off and we felt that his knee was down," Turner said. "We got a good picture from upstairs, so we challenged it."
Stephen Alexander, the NFC's leader in receiving yards by a tight end, was taken off on a stretcher with 10: 38 left in the game after a defender hit him in the back on a diving catch. The move was precautionary; Alexander, who had one catch for five yards in the game, received a diagnosis of a lower-back contusion and is expected to play against the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 17.
"He had some numbness, but they said he's all right," Turner said. "He was walking around in the locker room with a big smile on his face."
The Redskins had two 100-yard receivers for just the second time in the past four seasons and the first since Nov. 22, 1998. But the impressive fact was that Michael Westbrook and Albert Connell accomplished the feat by the third quarter.
Westbrook finished with eight catches for two touchdowns and 140 yards, 19 shy of his career high, which recorded against Dallas this season. Connell had five receptions for the second straight week and was three yards off his career best with 134 yards.
The 28 points scored by the Redskins in the second quarter were the most in any quarter in club history. Brad Johnson has not thrown an interception in 122 attempts this season while tossing nine touchdown passes. The Redskins improved to 3-1 for the third time in four years and the sixth time this decade.
Pub Date: 10/04/99