SEATTLE (AP) -Todd Collins' transformation from moth balls to magnificent is over. So, too, is the Washington Redskins' inspired run into the playoffs following the death of safety Sean Taylor.
``It's tough,'' Marcus Washington said, barely above a whisper. ``It really hurts.''
And it showed.
In the locker room, Washington's eyes were moist and red, his voice soft and low. Santana Moss looked incredulous, gazing into the night as if still looking for that pass from Todd Collins. Antwaan Randle El was stomping his feet into the sideline turf and shook his head.
Collins threw his first two interceptions since 1997 in the fourth quarter, the more damaging one because Moss gave up on a deep route, and the Redskins saw their 14-13 lead midway through the final period disintegrate into a 35-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC wild-card game Saturday night.
This march in the memory of Taylor, who died Nov. 26 after being shot inside his Miami-area home during an apparent attempted burglary, felt to Portis and others as if the Redskins were destined for the Super Bowl. Four consecutive, must-have wins after the team attended Taylor's funeral sent Washington into Seattle not only as a sentimental favorite, but the NFC's hottest team.
Randle El even advised Redskins followers at the beginning of the week to make reservations for Arizona, the site of the Super Bowl next month.
``It wasn't inspiration,'' Portis said, dragging his severely sprained ankle across the quiet locker room. ``It was love.
``No doubt, you can't help but remember this season. This organization turned from a team into a family.''

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