By Steve Ginsburg
LANDOVER, Maryland (Reuters) - The Washington Redskins won successive games for the first time since 2008 when they shocked the Green Bay Packers 16-13 in overtime on Sunday in a gritty, defensive-minded affair at FedEx Field.
Graham Gano kicked a 33-yard field goal with 8:06 left in overtime to help the resurgent Redskins move to 3-2 on the season and snap a four-game losing streak to the Packers.
After Gano's kick sailed perfectly through the uprights, the second-year pro from Scotland pointed toward the sky as the crowd of nearly 88,000 roared their approval.
"I really didn't see it go through at all," said Gano, whose 45-yarder with 1:07 left in regulation tied the score at 13-13. "Coach has been telling me to keep my head down. That's a key factor in whether I make or miss a kick.
"So my whole thought process was keep my head down and follow through. It helped a lot. I didn't see the ball go through until it hit the net."
Gano's game-winner was set up when Redskins safety LaRon Landry picked off a poorly thrown ball by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the Green Bay 39 with 11:30 left in overtime.
Washington moved 24 yards in six plays, aided by two costly Packers penalties, to set up the winning field goal under sunny skies in suburban Washington.
The Redskins played miserably while falling behind 10-0 in the first half but rallied behind quarterback Donovan McNabb, who completed 26 of 49 passes for 357 yards and a touchdown.
"I looked out there and we had 11 guys playing together," said Redskins first-year head coach Mike Shanahan, who led the Denver Broncos to two Super Bowl triumphs in the late 1990s.
"One break down here, one break down there and all of a sudden you're not moving the ball very successfully. We had some opportunities and we didn't take advantage of them.
"But the key is to come back, take advantage of those opportunities late in the game and make some plays. That's the difference."
Washington scored its only touchdown of the game in the final quarter when McNabb found Anthony Armstrong for a 48-yard score to trim Green Bay's lead to 13-10.
After leaping over Packers safety Charlie Peprah for his first career TD catch, Armstrong performed a solo dance to the delight of success-starved Redskins fans, who have witnessed only two winning seasons in the last decade.
On the heels of last week's victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins recorded back-to-back victories for the first time since weeks seven and eight of the 2008 season.
The loss was costly to the Packers (3-2), who fell out of a tie with Chicago for the top spot in the NFC North after the Bears (4-1) defeated the Carolina Panthers 23-6 in Charlotte.
Rodgers threw for 293 yards after completing 27 of 46 passes but was only able to guide the Packers to one touchdown, a five-yard scoring pass to Donald Lee in the opening quarter.
Green Bay outgained the Redskins 427-373 but that was little consolation to Packers head coach Mike McCarthy.
"Yards don't mean anything, it's about points," he said. "We put 13 points on the board and that's a credit to Washington's defense. They kept us out of the end zone.
"They get the credit but I wasn't particularly happy with our performance in the second half."
Mason Crosby kicked two field goals for the Packers but misfired on what would have been a game-winning 53-yarder at the end of regulation when the ball smacked the left upright.
"You go out there and watch your players play their hearts out, making plays, doing everything it takes," said Packers nose tackle Ryan Pickett.
"And then to let it slip away at the end is just painful."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)