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“This is the dirtiest game I’ve ever played in,” Redskins fullback Darrel Young said. “Hitting after the play. A guy ripped my helmet off one time. I didn’t know that was legal.”

Said Redskins coach Mike Shanahan: “I have never been in a game like this.”

Finnegan has a reputation for being a pest and an instigator. He lived up to that throughout the game and in one of the decisive moments with Morgan at the end.

“I definitely saw Cortland pushing on him and shoving him,” Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “It probably should have been called both ways, but the second guy always gets caught.”

That’s so well known, yet Morgan still let his emotions overtake him.

“I never did nothing like that before,” Morgan said. “It just came to point where you just get tired of it.”

Instead of fourth and 1 and the Rams‘ 29, the Redskins had fourth and 16 from the 44. Billy Cundiff attempted a 62-yard field goal that was short the moment it left his foot.

After the ball bounced harmlessly in the end zone, and the delighted fans filed out of Edwards Jones Dome, Redskins players spoke of growing from the experience.

How else to heal such a painful sting?

“I’m excited because this is what every great team has to go through to be great,” Young said. “We can’t have the special teams mistakes; that’s two weeks in a row. We can’t have the false starts at the goal line. We can’t have the missed block by me on the outside zone. It all adds up. We’ve got to learn as men to grow from that. We’ve got to learn we can’t always hit guys back.”