LANDOVER, Md. - After Kirk Cousins was benched at halftime, Colt McCoy's first pass was a career-long 70-yarder that gave the Washington Redskins their first lead of the game.
McCoy hadn't thrown a pass in an NFL game in nearly a year, and he hadn't played a significant role in a victory in nearly three years, so why stop there?
His first six attempts found their targets, and he led a fourth-quarter drive that produced a field goal on the last play of the game Sunday and the Washington Redskins topped the Tennessee Titans 19-17 to snap a four-game skid.
Kai Forbath hit the 22-yarder, his fourth field goal of the game, as time expired for the Redskins (2-5). McCoy was nearly as flawless, completing 11 of 12 passes for 128 yards and his first touchdown pass since December 2012 with the Cleveland Browns.
Pierre Garcon did most of the 70 yards of work on the scoring play, turning upfield after catching the ball on an 8-yard curl route.
Charlie Whitehurst, subbing again for the injured Jake Locker (bruised right thumb) completed 17 of 26 passes for 160 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the mistake-prone Titans (2-5), who failed to keep any momentum from their win over the Jacksonville Jaguars a week earlier.
Whitehurst hit Derek Hagan for a 38-yard scoring pass with 7:41 to play to give the Titans a 17-16 lead, but McCoy and the Redskins came back.
Starting at its 20 with 3:14 to play, Washington had an apparent long completion to DeSean Jackson wiped out by offsetting hands-to-the-face penalties, but McCoy wasn't fazed. He found Andre Roberts for 10 yards, then Jordan Reed for 9.
Jason McCourty was called for pass interference for trying to hold Jackson, a 22-yard penalty that put the ball at the Tennessee 7-yard line and put Forbath in chip-shot range.
It was McCoy's most meaningful role in a win since Nov. 20, 2011, when he led the Browns to a 14-10 victory over the Jaguars.
Lest Redskins fans be overexcited about McCoy's quick start, it's worth remembering that Cousins completed his first 12 attempts after Robert Griffin III went out with a dislocated ankle in Week 2 against the Jaguars.
Cousins, who entered the game leading the league with eight interceptions, completed 10 of 16 passes for 139 yards with an interception and a lost fumble, giving him 11 giveaways on the season.
The miscues and misadventures were many between two teams who have only four victories between them — with two coming against the Jaguars.
The Titans called timeout three times before the game was 15 minutes old, as if they'd been told it's now three-per-quarter, not three-per-half.
The Redskins somehow managed to be offside while defending a punt, giving up a first down in the process. The Titans, not to be outdone, went offside on a kickoff.
Washington had two sacks wiped out by illegal contact downfield and had a scoring drive of minus-3 yards — a field goal after a turnover.
One play after Whitehurst threw a pass directly to a player wearing a wrong-color jersey, Cousins did the same. The Titans got 32 yards out of the turnover exchange — more than they gained on any offensive play in the first half — and it led to the game's first touchdown, a 14-yard pass to Kendall Wright with 1:04 to go in the first half.
Dexter McCluster made an unwise decision to field a line-drive punt on the run and fumbled it away, giving theRedskins excellent field position that resulted in a field goal.
Washington got booed for trying a shovel pass on third-and-13 from the Tennessee 14; it gained all of 1 yard.
The teams, among the most penalized in the league, combined for 18 penalties for 146 yards.