Redskins

Redskins

If it was a movie, Josh Johnson's second start as a Redskin wouldn't have ended the way it did.

If it was scripted, the fourth-string passer would've led the 'Skins all the way down the field for a go-ahead touchdown late in Saturday's game against the Titans. 

But the NFL isn't a movie, and Week 16 wasn't scripted. So, instead of running off the field at Nissan Stadium with his arms raised following a clutch scoring drive, Johnson slowly walked off of it with his head down following a gut-wrenching interception.

Originally, it looked like Josh Doctson may have been responsible for the pick by slowing down or running the wrong route. Afterward, though, Jay Gruden explained that Johnson just was flustered by a blitzing Malcolm Butler, which in turn led to a mistake that basically erased any remaining hope of a playoff trip.

"It was a play that we just worked the wrong side of the field," Gruden said. "It kind of just froze Josh Johnson a little bit. I think he saw a flash of Josh Doctson and tried to throw it in there and Josh wasn't running the route inside. It was supposed to be an outside-breaking route."

In watching the replay of the turnover, you can see Butler race all the way from the numbers right into Johnson's face as he's getting ready to throw. You can also see a wide-open Jeremy Sprinkle on the other half of the field, a read Johnson was unable to make due to the pressure.

"They made a good play," Johnson told reporters. "The way I hold myself accountable, I could've handled that situation different. But hats off to them. They did what they needed to do to put us in a bad situation and they capitalized off of it."

Up until that point, No. 8 had put together a performance that was definitely deserving of a win. He led a nearly 11-minute drive that went for 93 yards and a TD in the first half and showed a crazy amount of poise for someone who wasn't in the league a few weeks ago.

However, he couldn't take solace in any of that while standing at the podium and processing the action he had just participated in.

"That's going to eat me up," he said. "We were right where we wanted to be, man. Right where we wanted to be. And the opportunity was there."

"I wish I could have that opportunity to do that again," he added.

That last quote is a huge reason why the interception was so painful. For football nomads like Johnson, chances to start and play in meaningful matchups are rare.

Yes, you'd have to think the 32-year-old did enough since replacing Mark Sanchez to earn a shot to make a team in 2019, whether that team is the Redskins or someone else. Yet he won't be the No. 1 guy like he's been for the Burgundy and Gold these past two-and-a-half games unless more extreme circumstances arise.

That means his last all-or-nothing play in the NFL could very well be that overthrow of Doctson. On a script, there'd be more pages after the brutal turn in Tennessee. In reality, it very well could be over for Johnson.

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