EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Shaun Suisham unloaded on the football with his right leg from 46 yards out and watched as it barely floated over the crossbar.
A squeaker or not, it was good enough to deliver the Washington Redskins a 23-20 overtime victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.
"It's a good feeling," Suisham said. "You feel like you contributed to the team. The guys are working so hard all game, and you're off on your own. When you get an opportunity like that, you feel more like a football player."
Suisham's winning kick was his fifth field goal, tying a franchise record. He kicked another 46-yarder earlier, along with field goals of 40, 22 and 40 yards for Washington (5-3).
"I'm glad they all went through," Suisham said. "I didn't do anything special."
Mike Nugent had two field goals, including a 30-yarder that tied it for New York (1-8) with 10 seconds left in regulation. Leon Washington returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown, becoming the first Jets player to have at least three in a season.
"That's a good way to start a game," Washington said.
It didn't last. The Redskins erased a 14-point deficit and beat the Jets for the eighth time in nine meetings, thanks to the legs of Suisham and running back Clinton Portis. Washington finished with 296 yards rushing, including a season-high 196 by Portis.
"I'm ready to carry this team," said Portis, whose 36 rushes were two short of a career high. "I've been telling coach that: Just put it on me."
The loss, the Jets' sixth straight, spoiled a valiant effort by new starting quarterback Kellen Clemens. The second-year player, anointed earlier in the week as New York's starter in place of Chad Pennington, was 23-of-42 for 226 yards and a touchdown. He also gained 48 yards on seven carries.
"It's just so frustrating at this point," Clemens said. "We battled so hard for four quarters and then the overtime period, and we just came up short on a kick that didn't make it by much."
New York couldn't do anything after a 39-yard reception by Jerricho Cotchery to open the extra period, then Washington stuck to the ground on its first possession. Portis gained 37 of his yards on the drive to get the Redskins into field-goal position and Suisham nailed the winning kick for the Redskins' second overtime victory this season.
"We knew we had to stop the run and we didn't, and that's why the game turned out the way it did," linebacker Eric Barton said.
Washington, which lost 52-7 at New England last week, fell behind 17-3 in the second quarter, but Suisham kept the Redskins in it.
"Nobody likes to be embarrassed," Portis said. "The best thing about it was that everybody forgot it. We didn't linger on it. The Patriots are a good team and we did a great job of recovering."
After Barton intercepted Jason Campbell's throw as the Redskins were driving for a go-ahead score in the third quarter, the Jets followed with a turnover of their own on a disputed call. Cotchery caught a pass from Clemens and was immediately hit by Pierson Prioleau and Shawn Springs, who forced a fumble. LaRon Landry recovered the ball for the Redskins, but Jets coach Eric Mangini challenged the call. The officials upheld the call, saying Cotchery had possession before the ball was knocked away.
Washington then marched downfield on six plays, capped by Portis going over the top for a touchdown with 11:06 left. Campbell completed a pass to Antwaan Randle El for a 2-point conversion to make it 20-17.
Campbell finished 12-for-23 for 142 yards and an interception.
Washington gave the Jets a 7-0 lead before most of the fans had even settled into their seats. The NFL leader in kickoff return average ran straight ahead, darted to his left and took off down the sideline and into the end zone. He's the 11th player in NFL history to have at least three kickoff returns in a season, and first since Buffalo's Terrence McGee in 2004.
Joe Kowalewski caught a 1-yard pass for his first NFL touchdown, giving the Jets a 17-3 lead in the second quarter.
Nugent was short on a 54-yard attempt as time expired in the first half, and Suisham's 40-yarder cut the Jets' lead to 17-12 early in the second half.
"There's no questioning the heart or the desire or the work ethic of this team," Clemens said. "We're just falling short."