INDIANAPOLIS -- Alan Grant's 25-yard interception return for a touchdown with less than a minute left gave the Indianapolis Colts a 35-28 victory over the Washington Redskins last night at the Hoosier Dome.
The Redskins held a 28-21 lead before the Colts tied it with a little more than a minute left on a touchdown pass by Jeff George.
The Redskins dominated the game on the ground, as Earnest Byner went over the 100-yard mark for the fourth consecutive game, but they made enough mistakes -- notably ill-timed penalties and dropped passes -- to keep the Colts in the game.
Byner tied John Riggins' team record with his fourth straight 100-yard game. Riggins did it four straight times in the 1982 playoffs.
The only time the Redskins had a cushion was when Mark Rypien and Ricky Sanders hooked up on a 53-yard touchdown pass to take a 25-14 lead with 14:17 left in the game. But Stanley Morgan caught his second touchdown pass from rookie Jeff George -- an eight-yarder -- with 11:47 left to cut the margin to 25-21.
Lohmiller then provided the final margin of victory with a 27-yard field goal with 4:15 left in the game.
The Redskins were the victims of their mistakes as went from a 7-0 lead to a 14-7 deficit, then cut it to 14-13 at halftime on field goals of 53 and 56 yards by Lohmiller in the final 37 seconds of the first half.
Lohmiller's 56-yarder, which hit the crossbar and bounced over on the final play of the first half, was the second longest in Redskins history (Steve Cox holds the record of 57 yards) and was the longest ever against the Colts.
Except for Lohmiller's two field goals (he missed a 50-yard try) and a 43-yard touchdown drive in the first period, the Redskins appeared to have a letdown after clinching a playoff berth in their previous game.
They were undisciplined in the first half, which is unusual for a team coached by Joe Gibbs, as they committed 10 penalties (for 91 yards) including roughing-the-passer penalties on Wilber Marshall and Tim Johnson.
The Redskins had a 7-0 lead and a second-and-three at the Indianapolis 40 in the final minute of the first period when Duane Bickett tipped a pass by Rypien that was intercepted by Keith Taylor at the Redskins 46.
The Colts were called for delay of game on the first play, pushing them back to their 49.
What happened next will go into the record books as a 46-yard touchdown drive in three plays capped by Dickerson's 4-yard touchdown run.
But the officials marched off 32 yards on the Redskins on four penalties. Charles Mann and Fred Stokes were offsides on consecutive plays, Darrell Green was called for an 18-yard interference penalty and Marshall was charged with a four-yard holding penalty, although cornerback Martin Mayhew appeared to do the holding.
On the Colts' next drive -- after Kelvin Bryant dropped a third-down pass -- Marshall was called for roughing Colts quarterback Jeff George in the end zone.
That turned a third-and-12 play on the Colts 15 into a first down on the Colts 30. Wide receiver Stanley Morgan did the rest, making a 23-yard catch down the left sideline and then getting wide-open in the end zone between A.J. Johnson and Todd Bowles to haul in a 42- yard touchdown pass. That gave the Colts a 14-7 lead.
On the Redskins' next possession, Lohmiller was wide to the right on a 50-yard field-goal attempt.
The next time the Redskins got the ball, they were on their 8-yard-line with 2:18 left.
Rypien guided them 56 yards in 13 plays to set the stage for Lohmiller's 53-yard field goal with 37 seconds left.
The Colts made a mistake on their next possession to give the Redskins a chance for another field goal by Lohmiller.
After Dickerson ran 8 yards for a draw to set up a third-and-two on the Colts 21, the Colts called timeout.
After George threw an incomplete pass, they were forced to punt. Joe Howard called a fair catch at the Redskins 39 with nine seconds left.
After Ricky Sanders caught a 22-yard pass at the Colts 39, the Redskins called timeout. The clock ran out, but the referee ruled he had called timeout with one second left.
The Colts fans booed, but it gave Lohmiller a chance to kick his 56-yarder.
That late field goal may have given the Redskins a surge because they had the ball the first 10 minutes of the third quarter.
Stokes and Monte Coleman sacked George on the first two plays of the second half and on the second one, George was called for intentional grounding in the end zone. That's a safety, and it gave the Redskins a 15-14 lead.
The Redskins then put together a methodical, 13-play drive that gained 54 yards and took 8:26 off the clock to set up Lohmiller's third field goal, a 29-yarder that boosted the margin to 18-14.