ST. LOUIS (FootballStL) – The Washington Redskins had the opportunity to kick a game-tying field goal from a reasonable distance to force overtime against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday – until wide receiver Josh Morgan was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Morgan was hit with the penalty when he threw the ball at Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan after making a reception on third down late in the fourth quarter. The penalty pushed the eventual field goal attempt to 62 yards which was missed by Billy Cundiff with 1:13 left.
“I just should have kept my calm. It won’t happen again,” Morgan said. “(The Rams) were doing something all game, all of them were. I should have kept my calm.”
“I didn’t say anything to him,” Finnegan said. “The game was chippy all game long. It was just a matter of him making a mistake there and getting them out of field goal range.”
Finnegan was often in the middle of the scuffles between each whistle and finished the game with an interception, five tackles and a pass deflected.
“You can’t lose your poise,” Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said. “We talked about it before the game you can’t lose your poise in those situations. When you lose your poise like that, too often it will cost you games.”
The lack of composure led to a tough call for Shanahan to make on whether to go for it on fourth down or attempt the kick.
“It was fourth and 15. I thought (Cundiff) could make a 62-yarder and kick the ball into the end zone,” Shanahan said. “At fourth and 15 it was not great odds, especially for us. I was going to do it initially but the clock was going and I didn’t have time to do it and then after the clock stopped I thought it was at least worth a shot.”
That shot was short and to the right which sealed the Rams’ first victory since November 13, 2011.