Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney both were members of 2007 Patriots team that went 16-0 in the regular season and came within a last-minute Eli Manning miracle of becoming the first team to go 19-0. When the Patriots came to town today, the two veteran receivers were part of an offense that, while it didnt make anyone forget that 07 New England scoring machine, moved the ball well all day and gave the Redskins a chance to pull out the game in the late going. A penalty and an interception ended the potential rally and the Redskins lost 34-27. Stallworth, who was on the street for a week last month after the Redskins released him, had his best game since Tom Brady was throwing to him during that 2007 season. He caught four passes for 96 yards, including a 51-yard reception in the first quarter that got the offense going. Gaffney caught six passes for 92 yards. Four of his receptions were good for first downs including a nine-yard touchdown catch. The score came with the Redskins trailing 14-3 and it helped turn the game from what looked to be a pending rout into one that was close and competitive throughout. Its always fun playing your old team, said Gaffney, who played for the Broncos for two years after leaving the Patriots following the 2008 season. After scoring, Gaffney tried to start a new tradition at FedEx Field. Some of the wide receivers had decided that they would jump into the stands after catching a touchdown pass. He tried that version of the Packers famed Lambeau Leap, but there was nobody to catch him and he fell into the front row. I jumped a little bit too high, said Gaffney. Stallworths long catch came with the Redskins trailing 7-0. On a third and nine play from the Washington 35, Rex Grossman threw heaved it long. It was a single safety man go route, said Grossman. You hold the safety and let the receiver beat his defender and give him a ball that he can run underneath and go get. Stallworth did get a step on cornerback Devin McCourty and he did run under and make the catch. According to Stallworth, the play was the same one that resulted in a 50-yard, game-winning touchdown pass from Grossman to Anthony Armstrong two weeks ago in Seattle. Although the play resulted in just a field goal, it served to get Stallworth untracked. Whenever you get involved early and you get going early, your feel good for the rest of the game, he said. Add in rookie Roy Helus big day, with 126 yards on 27 carries, and you had the offense performing as well as it has all year. They piled up 463 yards of offense. The did it with a makeshift offensive line that featured undrafted rookie Willie Smith at left tackle for most of the game and Tyler Polumbus, signed just last month, at right tackle. Smiths insertion into the lineup as a replacement for the suspended Trent Williams was anticipated. Polumbus was a last-minute fill in for Jammal Brown, who couldnt go due to a strained groin he sustained in pregame warmups.
Stallworth, Gaffney produce against former team
December 11, 2011, 11:29 pm