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Instant Analysis: Panthers 21, Redskins 13


Instant Analysis: Panthers 21, Redskins 13

The Redskins have a lot to overcome each week. A struggling secondary. Occasionally spotty special teams. Lack of a consistent pass rush.

The officials shouldn’t be on that list.

On Sunday, however, a crucial inadvertent whistle led to the Panthers’ first touchdown, and the Redskins never recovered en route to dropping their third straight game, 21-13, at FedEx Field.

As a result, the Redskins (3-6) enter the bye week searching for answers instead of looking forward to a second half filled with endless possibilities.

Coaches and players agreed this was a “must win” game. And it got off to a nightmarish start.

Late in the first quarter, Panthers’ running back DeAngelo Williams sprinted down the sideline -- carefully keeping his feet in bounds -- and into the end zone to put Carolina ahead 7-3. 

As Williams scampered toward the goal, a number of Redskins – linebacker Perry Riley in particular – slowed down as they pursued him. As it turns out, Riley and others let up because they thought an official had blown a whistle. On replays, it appeared as through Riley could have tackled Williams around the 10-yard line. 

But he didn’t – and the Panthers seized a lead they would not relinquish.

“In WSH/CAR even though he didn’t step out of bounds the official should’ve admitted he blew the whistle and ball should have been dead there,” tweeted Mike Pereira, the former NFL vice president of officiating.

The controversial touchdown wasn't the only reason the Redskins lost, of course. But it certainly wasn't any help to a scuffling, injury-depleted team that's got little room for error. 

For most of the afternoon, Robert Griffin III (22 of 38 for 224 yards and no touchdowns), Alfred Morris (13 carries for 76 yards) and the rest of the Redskins’ offense couldn’t get much going against the Panthers’ middle of the pack defense. 

Meantime, Cam Newton (one passing touchdown, one rushing) and the Panthers were exactly what Washington feared: A much better team than their 1-6 record indicated. Indeed, Newton connected with Steve Smith late in the second half to give the Panthers a 14-3 lead -- and all they would need to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Redskins thought they had caught the break they needed in the third quarter as trailed they 14-6. Panthers' punter Brad Nortman shanked a kick, which traveled only 14 yards and set up Washington at its own 40-yard line.

But 10 plays later, the drive stalled and Sav Rocca punted.

Newton and the Panthers clinched the victory on their next drive. Newton connected with Armanti Edwards for 82 yards, kickstarting a three-play scoring drive that culminated in a Newton one yard run for a touchdown.

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Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors


Trent Williams needs knee surgery eventually, but the timeline has many factors

PHILADELPHIA — Arguably the Redskins best player, all of the NFL knows that Trent Williams can still play at a high level while dealing with injury. 

How long Williams can play though injury seems the more important question though as reports emerged the left tackle will need knee surgery at some point. That could come in the next few weeks, or as Redskins fans hope, perhaps at the end of the season.

Currently playing with a torn medial patella-femoral ligament in his right knee, the six-time Pro Bowler has not practiced since sustaining the injury three weeks ago in Kansas City. He was able to gut out a strong performance last week against the 49ers, and is expected to do the same Monday night against the Eagles.

One factor that might be pushing Williams to play with such a damaged right leg is that backup tackle Ty Nsekhe is also out after having surgery on his core muscles. 


Nsekhe is expected back relatively soon, but the timeline remains murky. When he can come back, perhaps Williams will reconsider his options. 

Surgery for the torn MPFL will leave Williams with a five or six-month recovery. 

It's obvious the Redskins' offense is best with Williams on the field. Nsekhe, however, proved a capable backup last season when Williams served a four-game suspension. 

Without Nsekhe, the Redskins would go to veteran T.J. Clemmings should Williams be unable to play. Nsekhe has not played since a Week 3 win over Oakland. The Redskins added Clemmings to the roster in early September, after their fourth preseason game. He spent the last two seasons with the Vikings. 

For now, the Redskins will continue to hope Williams can play through the pain.

"Trent is a tough guy, so we will see how it works, see how feels tomorrow and go from there," Jay Gruden said of Williams on Saturday. 


Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

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Need to Know: Five Redskins under pressure vs. the Eagles

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, October 22, one day before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.


Today’s schedule: Travel to Philadelphia, no media availability

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 7
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 14
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 32

Final report on injures of note:
: CB Josh Norman (rib)
Questionable: OT Trent Williams (knee), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle),


Five Redskins who are under pressure vs. the Eagles

Every NFL player is under pressure and the stress increased in games that are in the prime-time spotlight like the Redskins have on Monday night. But the spotlight is brighter on some players than it is on others.

—With a banged up defense, the Redskins are going to have to put up some points to win this game. That means that QB Kirk Cousins is going to have to help the Redskins get some points on the board. In the opener against the Eagles he threw a key interception, posted a season-low 72.9 passer rating, and got sacked four times. He has been playing better since then and he may need his best game of the year for the Redskins to pull out the win.

—DT Fletcher Cox is an All-Pro caliber defender and the battle between him and G Brandon Scherff will be important. But the Eagles other defensive tackle, Timmy Jernigan, is also a handful and it will largely be up to G Shawn Lauvao to keep him under control. Jernigan isn’t a great pass rusher (1.5 sacks, 10 pressures) but he tough against the run. The Redskins needs to establish a running game to win and Lauvao vs. Jernigan will be a key battle to get the ground game going.

—There still is plenty of time for WR Terrelle Pryor to have a breakout game and turn around his disappointing season. Monday would be an ideal time to start. He has 16 receptions on the season and with the exception of a couple of plays, his impact has been minimal. When the line gives Cousins time to throw the ball he will need a big target and Pryor is the ideal candidate.

—With Jonathan Allen on injured reserve, it will be up to DE Matt Ioannidis to continue to get pass pressure up the middle. Playing with Allen, the second-year player has 3.5 sacks and 16 pressures. He will need to keep that up in Allen’s absence. On Monday, Ioannidis and the rest of the pass rushers need to get Carson Wentz on the ground when they have the opportunity.

—As much as the Redskins would like to see Wentz take a bunch of sacks, chances are he will get away from the pressure on occasion and scramble to make a play. At times like that, S D.J. Swearinger and the rest of the defensive backs need to stay in coverage and not lose their men. It’s hard to cover a receiver for five seconds or more while the quarterback scrambles around but Swearinger needs to maintain his position as the last line of defense.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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To update this tweet from the beginning of practice, Williams did practice on a limited basis and he is questionable for the game, although it is likely that he will play.

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