MIAMI -- The Redskins proved on Sunday that they're not the worst team in the NFL. That would be the Dolphins.
Washington ground out their first victory of the year thanks largely to Adrian Peterson's legs and Terry McLaurin's hands. It's great for the organization to finally get a win after an 0-5 start and firing head coach Jay Gruden last week, but make no mistake, Miami is an awful football team. The Redskins had to win this one.
Here's how it happened:
- When the Redskins named Bill Callahan as interim head coach, he made clear he intended to run the football. A lot. He's a man of his word. The Redskins gave the ball to Peterson 23 times and he gained 118 yards. That's the first 100-yard rushing day for Washington this season and Peterson's first since Week 16 last year in Nashville.
- Case Keenum didn't throw the ball much, but when he did go McLaurin's way it worked very well. The rookie wide receiver had four catches for 100 yards but more importantly, hauled in two touchdowns. Both Redskins scores came via Keenum to McLaurin. The 2019 season is largely lost in Washington, but McLaurin's emergence has been an excellent subplot for the team. He's emerging as a potential real No. 1 wideout, something that has been missing in D.C. since Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson left in free agency after the 2016 season.
- Wow, Miami is bad, especially when Josh Rosen is at quarterback. The second-year pro completed 15 of 25 passes for 85 yards and two interceptions before getting benched at the end of the third quarter. The Dolphins offense looked much better once veteran QB Ryan Fitzpatrick entered the game, and the team scored a touchdown on his first drive.
- Callahan wants to be conservative, which is all well and good against Miami, but the team exercised an embarrassing lack of urgency at the end of this first half. The Redskins got the ball with about 70 seconds before the half and a timeout. A good team tries to move the ball down field in that situation and get points. Washington either didn't have that intention or showed terrible time management in the two-minute drill. Again, maybe against Miami, the Redskins coaches thought a four-point lead was insurmountable, but in general, that's a very flawed strategy.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Dolphins on a late run, scoring a touchdown to bring Miami within one as the clock was running down. But, the Redskins managed to break up a two-point conversion attempt and the entire fanbase breathed a sigh of relief.
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