The New York Giants' NFC East Champions paraphernalia won't make it out of the boxes at least for another week.
That's because the Washington Redskins (9-6) - on the strength of three Santana Moss touchdowns - blocked the Giants' shot at clinching the division Sunday with a 35-20 triumph at FedEx Field. A victory next week at Philadelphia would put the Redskins in the playoffs.
"I love hearing all the know-it-alls say that we couldn't do it," Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels said. "Some of those guys might need to be fired."
Perhaps the Giants' secondary can be thrown in the mix, too. New York gave up 224 yards through the air, not to mention four TD tosses from three different players. Quarterback Mark Brunell hit Moss for a pair of touchdowns.
Backup Patrick Ramsey replaced Brunell, who sprained his knee, in the third quarter and found Moss for a 72-yard touchdown with 2:12 left in that period to give Washington a 28-17 lead after John Hall's extra-point kick. Brunell sprained his right medial collateral ligament and will have an MRI test today.
Even running back Clinton Portis threw a TD pass to go with his team-record-breaking eighth 100-yard rushing performance of the season. He carried 27 times for 108 yards, and his 19-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter capped the day's scoring.
"You pick your poison," Portis said. "You either give up the deep ball to Santana and (Chris) Cooley or let me grind it out."
New York did both.
Moss caught five passes for 160 yards and Cooley chipped in five receptions for 41 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown from Portis.
Portis rushed for just 56 yards on 20 carries through the first three quarters, before piling on 52 more yards in the fourth quarter to help Washington melt away the clock and preserve the victory.
The win was vindication for Washington's 36-0 loss to New York in October, a contest in which the Giants' Tiki Barber ran for 206 yards.
Sunday, the Redskins held Barber to 80 yards and no TDs on 16 attempts.
"That was the first time we got manhandled by somebody in the regular season," coach Joe Gibbs said of the first meeting with the Giants. "Our guys just took it upon themselves. They knew what needed to be done and they knew they needed to play hard."
Down 21-17 in the third quarter, New York squandered opportunities on consecutive plays. The first was a chance to take a lead. Quarterback Eli Manning, who marched his team 54 yards to the Washington 12, threw incomplete on third-and-3, prompting the field-goal unit onto the field.
Renaldo Wynn took away the Giants' chance to salvage the drive by blocking Jay Feely's 29-yard attempt with 7:57 left in the quarter to preserve Washington's four-point cushion. Walt Harris recovered the loose ball.
"I don't know that it changed the momentum of the game," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "Certainly that was a negative when a positive could have been there with the points."
Washington committed to its running game early.
Portis managed 16 yards on his first nine carries, but the Redskins ran on 10 of their first 13 plays to set up Brunell's 17-yard touchdown pass to Moss on the club's first offensive possession.
Moss sidestepped New York cornerback Will Allen on the short screen pass before outrunning the rest of the Giants to the end zone with 6:02 left in the first quarter to put Washington up 7-0 on Hall's PAT. New York answered with Feely's 47-yard field goal, then took a 10-7 lead 50 seconds later on linebacker Chase Blackburn's 31-yard interception return and Feely's PAT.
Blackburn's return of Brunell's pass intended for James Thrash provided the Giants' only advantage.
That lasted just 2 minutes, 7 seconds.
Moss froze Allen with a stutter-step move on the fourth play of the ensuing possession, then adjusted to Brunell's underthrown ball for a 59-yard touchdown. Moss' performance came four days after he was named to his first Pro Bowl.
"It's real special, man," Moss said. "I'm just thrilled to have all this coming to me."
With four minutes left in the first half, Lemar Marshall intercepted a Manning pass thrown behind Jeremy Shockey, returning it 27 yards to the New York 20. Portis took a pitch from Brunell two plays later and found Cooley for a 17-yard scoring strike to give Washington a 21-10 edge after Hall's extra point.
Now the Redskins look toward next Sunday's game with Philadelphia. Dallas (9-6) and Minnesota (8-6) are contending with Washington for a wild-card slot.
The Cowboys defeated Carolina 24-20 on Sunday, and the Vikings play in Baltimore tonight.
"This gives us an opportunity to sort of take care of it ourselves," Redskins guard Ray Brown said. "We do know if we win out, we're getting into the playoffs.
"We're counting on ourselves."
Alexander the Great
Shaun Alexander ran for 139 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a rare TD receiving, to tie Priest Holmes' NFL record of 27 touchdowns in a season. That helped the Seahawks clinch NFC home-field advantage Saturday with a 28-13 victory over the injured, resting and reflective Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts, who already own home field in the AFC playoffs, were without coach Tony Dungy, who is in Tampa, where his son died Thursday in an apparent suicide.
First-year assistant head coach Jim Caldwell is filling in for Dungy indefinitely.
The Seahawks' 11th straight victory came against a depleted Indianapolis team without Pro Bowlers Marvin Harrison, Cato June and Bob Sanders - and with Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning playing just one quarter.
Indy also rested Pro Bowl defensive end Dwight Freeney. He not listed on the injury report, but did not start and played little.
The Seahawks (13-2) also set a franchise record for wins in a season.
In other NFL action: Pittsburgh 41, Cleveland 0; Detroit 13, New Orleans 12; San Francisco 24, St. Louis 20; Jacksonville 38, Houston 20; Buffalo 37, Cincinnati 27; Kansas City 20, San Diego 7; Miami 24, Tennessee 10; Arizona 27, Philadelphia 21; Denver 22, Oakland 3.