LANDOVER, Md. (AP) – Jason Campbell more than doubled his day’s production with a single pass to Chris Cooley.

The Washington Redskins tight end caught the ball at midfield, escaped two tackles and ran down the sideline to finish off a career-long 66-yard reception, the winning touchdown in Sunday’s 17-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

For a while, the only interesting highlights were two blocked punts and an incredible catch by Carolina’s Steve Smith at the back of the end zone.

The victory broke a two-game losing streak for the Redskins (4-7) and gave Campbell his first win in his second NFL start. The team responded well to coach Joe Gibbs’ call to return to his principles of running the ball and stopping the run, but it took the big play to Cooley with 4:26 remaining to beat the Panthers (6-5) in a game dominated by defense.

Campbell had only 52 yards passing when he hit Cooley on a third-and-8 at the Washington 34. Campbell finished 11-for-23 for 118 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Ladell Betts, the Redskins featured running back now that Clinton Portis is out for the year, ran for 104 yards on 24 carries.

The Redskins defense had its first good game of the season, and it was a gem. The Panthers were held to 264 total yards, and the much maligned secondary limited Smith to 34 yards on five catches. Safety Sean Taylor made a tackle on fourth down to stop Carolina’s next-to-last drive, and he intercepted Jake Delhomme in the end zone to end the Panthers’ last possession.

Smith gave the Panthers a 13-10 lead with 7:55 to play when he reached high for the ball at the back of the end zone and managed to have both feet hit the ground inches from the white line for an 8-yard touchdown catch.

The Panthers defense would usually take over from there. Carolina entered the game having allowed 10 points in two games since its week off, and the Redskins’ only touchdown through three quarters Sunday was set up by a blocked punt by rookie Rocky McIntosh. That led to Campbell’s 4-yard TD pass to Antwaan Randle El.

The game’s other blocked punt came near the end of the first half. Adam Seward got a hand on Derrick Frost’s attempt, and the ball settled at the Redskins 44. Three plays later, John Kasay kicked a 51-yard field goal on the last play of the half to give Carolina a 6-3 lead.

Delhomme finished 23-for-38 for 168 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Rookie running back DeAngelo Williams, starting for DeShaun Foster (elbow), ran for 63 yards on 17 carries.

No one will mistake either team for an offensive juggernaut anytime soon, and those reputations were kept safe in a first half that included nine punts, no touchdowns and only 91 combined passing yards. The punting duel left the Redskins with good field position for much of the half, but they had to settle for two field goal attempts by Nick Novak. He missed from 37 yards, then converted from 42.

AP-ES-11-26-06 1631EST


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