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Originally published Sunday, November 27, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Visiting team finds motivation in commotion before Seahawks game

Before every road game, the Washington Redskins gather at midfield for an impassioned huddle called a "breakdown" to set an aggressive tone...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Before every road game, the Washington Redskins gather at midfield for an impassioned huddle called a "breakdown" to set an aggressive tone for the day.

No offense is intended, they claim.

"It's just a mindset that when you come into another place, you're not tippy-toeing," linebacker London Fletcher said. "You're coming here trying to make it your place for three hours."

Sunday at CenturyLink Field, those actions around the midfield logo weren't taken kindly by the Seahawks, and things came to a head in a heated exchange among the team captains before the coin toss.

Pregame passion turned to motivation for Washington, which overcame a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Seattle 23-17 and snap a six-game losing streak. Afterward, much of the focus centered on the early dust-up, which had players from both benches creeping toward midfield before it was eventually resolved.

"It wasn't anything disrespectful or personal," cornerback DeAngelo Hall said, "but (one of them) said something about us stepping on his Seahawk and that we were going to pay. And I said something. ... It just kind of escalated a little bit from there."

Added Fletcher, with a grin: "I can understand them getting a little perturbed by that, definitely."

Feistiness was a theme throughout the game, which ended with Washington scoring 16 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

Coach Mike Shanahan was glad his team was able to maintain its focus amid the confrontations, and the players said it only added to their drive.

"Those guys, they were talking like they were Super Bowl champions," said tight end Fred Davis. "I'm looking at them like, 'You guys almost have the same record as us.' "

"There was a lot of trash-talking, but we love those types of games," added offensive tackle Trent Williams.

Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson, who was at the center of the pregame scuffle, apologized for his actions, describing them as "out of character."

That doesn't mean all was forgiven, especially by Hall, whom Robinson called "garbage."

Hall fired back, alleging that Robinson stepped on him after a play in the second quarter.

"I felt like it was intentional; the ref didn't see it though," said Hall, who clinched the win with a fourth-quarter interception.

At 4-7 and tied for the worst record in the NFC East, Washington hasn't had much to boast about or celebrate. But the fight displayed on the road Sunday salvaged at least some measure of pride amid a disappointing season.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @joshuamayers.

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