CHARLOTTE—Here are five things we learned about the Redskins during their 44-16 loss to the Panthers.
1) They still are not good enough to overcome adversity. When a questionable roughing call on Chris Culliver negated a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown, the Redskins seemed to deflate. The game was tied 14-14 at the time. The Panthers went in to score a touchdown, the first of 30 unanswered points. They committed the cardinal football sin of letting one play affect multiple plays.
2) The Redskins are still going to struggle to run the ball. They racked up over 200 yards against the Saints, a bad rushing defense. Carolina has a middling rushing defense but they held Washington to just 14 yards rushing.
3) Kirk Cousins needs to develop consistency. He was excellent against the Saints, not so good today. Yes, the Panthers have a much better pass defense than New Orleans. But that doesn’t account for Cousins have DeSean Jackson open in the middle of the field on his third pass play of the game and overthrowing him so severely that Kurt Coleman, who was covering Pierre Garçon 10 yards downfield, was able to make the interception.
4) The offensive line of the Redskins also needs to be consistent. See the bullet point on rushing yards above. Also, after allowing just nine sacks in their first eight games, they have now allowed eight in two games, including two today. The early numbers were too good to be true and now the norm is catching up with them.
5) To end on a positive note, the Redskins are able to score a special teams touchdown when the game is still competitive. Andre Roberts 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown tied the game at 14-14 in the second quarter and it looked like it would be a competitive game. That was an illusion, of course, but the Redskins now have three special teams TDs on the year.