The Patriots find themselves embroiled in a shootout, as both New England and Washington have put up 20 points a piece in the first half.
The Redskins started the second quarter with a fresh drive, trailing 14-10, and went with a bit of trickery to really take advantage of the secondary that's plagued the Patriots all game. With Brandon Banks getting the ball on a reverse, Santana Moss raced downfield, catching New England completely off guard when Banks pulled up and found him with a long ball around the 10-yard line. Shedding a weak tackle, he traipsed into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.
The lead wouldn't last for very long, with the Patriots converting three third downs on the next series as Brady found Wes Welker and Chad Ochocinco for the first times on the day. Set up with a 2nd-and-2 just five yards out, however, the Patriots went to a curious selection of plays, throwing twice towards the end zone and--with a big hit on a possibly defenseless Gronkowski knocking a potential second touchdown away--had to settle for the field goal.
Officiating controversies would emerge over the last pair of drives in the half. As the Redskins returned to picking apart the defense, it seemed a combination of pressure and a diving grab from Devin McCourty had finally provided New England with a break. But a roughing the passer call on Andre Carter, who hit Rex Grossman low as the former was falling forward and the latter was running backwards erased McCourty's first interception of the season, and gave the Redskins the opportunity to put up a field goal to retake the lead.
It was another hit on a quarterback that brought criticism in the direction of the officiating crew on New England's drive, with Tom Brady scrambling and being hit hard by London Fletcher on a late slide after Rob Gronkowski's 50-yard catch-and-run had brought New England deep into enemy territory to begin with. Fletcher's penalty wouldn't really make much of a difference, however, as more miscommunication between Tom Brady and his receivers left New England forced to put up another field goal in the end to knot the game up headed into the half.