Mark Sanchez hit Santonio Holmes with a 30-yard touchdown pass with 4:49 to play as the New York Jets dealt the Washington Redskins their eighth loss of the season by a score of 34-19 Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field.
The Redskins (4-8) had taken a 16-13 lead with just under eight minutes remaining on a 46-yard Graham Gano field goal, but the Jets (7-5) returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 49-yard line and Sanchez hit Holmes in stride five plays later.
On the first Washington possession after the go-ahead score, Rex Grossman was sacked and fumbled the football on a third-down-and-10 play. The Jets recovered at the Washington 9 and Shonn Greene ran into the end zone two plays later to make the score 27-16.
The Redskins got within 27-19 when Gano hit a 43-yard field goal with two minutes to play, but Antonio Cromartie recovered the ensuing onside kick and Greene rumbled into the end zone from 25 yards away for the clinching score on the very next play.
The loss likely ends any faint playoff hopes for the Redskins, who did not trail until the fourth quarter.
The Redskins took the opening kickoff and marched 82 yards in 8 plays before Roy Helu scored the game's opening touchdown from two yards away.
Undaunted, the Jets responded with a 17-play drive that chewed up 74 yards and most of the rest of the first quarter clock. Greene crashed over from a yard out and Nick Folk kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
From there, the first half degenerated into a defensive struggle, with Gano's 33-yard field goal putting the Redskins ahead 10-7 with 11:33 to go in the first half. That lead lasted until Folk evened the score at 10-10 with a 45-yard field goal with 3:06 to go until halftime.
It appeared that the score would remain tied at the break until the Redskins got the ball at the New York 18-yard line with 58 seconds to go in the half after Jeremy Kerley fumbled a Sav Rocca punt. The Redskins drove as close as the 5-yard line before the Jets defense stiffened and Graham Gano converted a 22-yard field goal to give Washington a 13-10 lead.
The exchange of field goals continued early in the second half, as Folk tied the game at 13-13 with a 41-yard field goal with 6:35 to play in the third quarter. New York had a chance to go ahead after their defense recovered a Helu fumble on Washington's 29-yard line, but Folk pushed a 40-yard field goal attempt wide of the right upright.
Grossman struggled, recording just 19 completions in 46 attempts for 221 yards. Tight end Fred Davis, who is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, made six catches for 99 yards, while Roy Helu had 100 rushing yards on 23 carries in addition to Washington's only touchdown.
Sanchez finished the day with 19 completions in 32 attempts for 165 yards in addition to the winning score. Greene had 88 rushing yards on 22 carries in addition to his three scores. Holmes led the Jets in receiving with four catches for 58 yards.