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Washington denies Russell Wilson a dramatic comeback, jumps into final playoff spot

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LANDOVER, Md. - Washington coach Ron Rivera went charging into the locker room after a dramatic 17-15 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, but he first stopped to egg on the fans who lined the tunnel to cheer the team.

"Let's [freaking] go!" Rivera yelled several times.

When he reached the locker room, he wasn't done yet.

"Everything we need is in this room!" Rivera shouted to his team. "Everybody in this room we need! We've got to work together, stay together and be the team that we can [freaking] be."

At some point, perhaps Rivera and the Football Team will quit digging 2-6 holes to start the season. Until then, they've gotten really good at climbing out of them.

"I'm super proud of this team," tight end Logan Thomas said. "I think you see who we are, as people - it shows up in our play."

Washington survived the final minutes after being unable to put the game away because kicker Joey Slye was injured in a bizarre point-after attempt at the end of the first half.

With Slye (hamstring) unable to kick, punter Tress Way and backup quarterback Kyle Allen worked on an emergency field goal operation on the sideline, but Rivera was told by his assistants it wasn't reliable enough to call on with the game on the line.

Instead Washington had to go for it twice on fourth down in the final minutes, converting the first time but failing on the second, a touchdown catch by Thomas that was overturned on review.

That left Wilson with a 97-yard field and about two minutes to go to work. He scored the touchdown, but couldn't get the conversion, as it was intercepted by Kendall Fuller.

"That was a little scary, because you've seen Russell do that throughout his career," quarterback Taylor Heinicke said. "And of course, he goes down and scores a touchdown."

Seattle then appeared to convert the onside kick that followed, but it was overturned on an illegal formation call, ending the game after a second attempt was recovered by the Football Team.

Slye was injured at the end of the first half when his extra point was blocked and returned by Seattle, a two-point conversion the other way that left the game tied 9-9.

But in the second half, Washington turned to a formula that has become reliable over the past few weeks, using its ground game to eat up big chunks of the clock.

Washington ended up holding the ball for more than 41 minutes, the third-longest time of possession in the NFL this season.

With the win, Washington is now 5-6, and if the playoffs started today, they would be the No. 7 seed in the NFC - the final team in.

A short week ahead will bring questions about the kicking situation, given that Slye may not be available, and running back, after J.D. McKissic left the game late with a neck injury after a two-touchdown outing. McKissic was with the team in the locker room, and he appears to have avoided serious injury.

If Washington needs defensive help, perhaps it can turn to the fans - after Seattle scored the game's first touchdown, receiver Gerald Everett attempted a leap into the stands at FedEx Field, and was shoved back onto the field by a Washington fan in the front row.

The announced paid attendance of 52,680 was on par with the rest of the season, but it appeared many fans didn't make the trek to suburban Maryland on a Monday night.

They missed a dramatic win, an emphatic yell from Rivera, and a December that arrives with fresh hope that it might be a relevant one for Washington.

mphillips@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6546

Twitter: @michaelpRTD

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