The 8 plays that defined the Redskins' 2017 season
1) Chris Thompson's 61-yard TD vs. the Rams
2017 was the year Chris Thompson made the jump from nice role player to one of the most crucial pieces in the Redskins' organization, and this fantastic run on a draw play vs. the Rams was the first true signal of what was to come from No. 25.
The highlight also accounted for a big chunk of the 229 yards Washington piled up on the ground against Los Angeles in one of the team's best victories on the year.
2) Josh Doctson's last-minute drop in Kansas City
There are turning points in every game, every quarter and even every drive in the NFL. But if you had to pick a single turning point for the 'Skins' 2017 campaign, Josh Doctson's drop vs. the Chiefs would have to be your first or second choice.
On the play, the second-year WR went up and got a pinpoint throw, but on his descent, he was unable to maintain possession. Eventually, Kansas City finished the Redskins off in the fourth quarter, and instead of a galvanizing upset vs. an undefeated squad, they left Arrowhead wondering what could have been.
3) The should've-been-but-wasn't sack of Carson Wentz
On a third-and-8 in the fourth quarter and down seven points vs. Philly in Week 7, four Redskins had Carson Wentz surrounded in the pocket, and a few of them had hands on him, too. But the star QB was somehow able to avoid the sack and scrambled for a first down. His team would eventually win easily.
The play was emblematic of two 2017 themes: 1) The Redskins defense not being able to make fourth quarter stops and 2) The Redskins defense not being able to contain Carson Wentz.
4) The blocked kick and return vs. the Cowboys
Against the Cowboys in Week 8, the Redskins were nearing halftime with a six-point lead and sent out the field goal team to extend the advantage to nine. Instead of that pleasant outcome, however, Nick Rose's kick was blocked, returned 86 yards and converted into an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown on the next snap.
"The wind just went out of our sails," Josh Norman said about the miscue after, and he was right. The block ignited a 19-0 Dallas run and turned a tight, hardfought rivalry game into a blowout.
5) Kirk Cousins and Josh Doctson's connection in Seattle
Remember that pretty vital drop Josh Doctson had against the Chiefs in Week 4? Yeah, well the wideout made up for that with this miraculous diving snag against the Seahawks late in Seattle.
Of all the peaks in the Redskins' 2017 season, Doctson's dive was probably the highest. It sealed an incredibly improbable win, maybe the best of Jay Gruden's tenure. It also moved Washington to 4-4, and it looked as if the season was trending upward. Unfortunately, it would be the last high-point for a while.
6) The bizarre intentional grounding call vs. the Saints
You could make a gallery of turning points using just the fourth quarter of the wild Redskins-Saints affair and still end up with a lengthy gallery. This wacky incorrect call involving Kirk Cousins, though, feels like the right choice.
No. 8's errant pass in the direction of Jamison Crowder was declared intentional grounding, and the penalty destroyed all hope of the visitors attempting a game-winning kick. The hosts then rode the momentum they had already created to an OT win, and all the 'Skins would get is a late apology from the league office after it was later ruled the throw wasn't, in fact, worthy of a flag.
7) Jamison Crowder's punt return fumble vs. the Cowboys
At this point in the schedule, the Redskins had to essentially win out and cross their fingers for some help to make it to the postseason. But once Jamison Crowder fumbled this punt — the second turnover he played a heavy role in — it became clear that Washington's chances would end inside of AT&T Stadium on a Thursday night.
Crowder, to his credit, took full responsibility for the blunder. But saying sorry and being a pro about it didn't change how bad of an error it was.
8) Orleans Darkwa's 75-yard touchdown in the finale
After dropping to 5-8, the Redskins rebounded with two encouraging victories and looked primed to capture a third vs. the lowly Giants. But when New York RB Orleans Darwka ripped off a 75-yard six-pointer on the second play of the game, it was immediately clear that Washington wasn't interested in finishing on a high note.
Just when you thought they were turning it around, the 'Skins sank. And that's how things went for much of the season, sadly.