Just a month ago, things did not look so bad for the Redskins. They were 6-3 and in first place of the NFC East.
Now, losers of four straight games and on their fourth starting quarterback of the season, any slim hope the Redskins may still have of qualifying for the playoffs starts with a must-win in Jacksonville.
The Jaguars, who were a few plays away from a Super Bowl berth just this past January, are having a disappointing season in their own right. Jacksonville has just four wins and does not even look like a shadow of the team they were a season ago.
Both teams are coming off blowout losses, the Redskins came at the hands of the New York Giants 40-16, while the Jaguars fell 30-9 to the Tennessee Titans.
Well, one of these teams has to win Sunday. Here are the highs and lows from the game...
REDSKINS at JAGUARS: HIGHS and LOWS
HIGHS: When starting your fourth quarterback of the season, the defense must step up in order to have a chance to win the game. On the Jaguars opening drive, the Redskins defense did just that. Ryan Kerrigan recorded his 10th sack of the season, stripping Cody Kessler in the process. Daron Payne recovered the fumble, and Washington's first offensive possession started inside the Jaguars 35 yard line.
After stopping the Jaguars on the ensuing drive, the Redskins put together a solid string of plays together. After the drive stalled due to an offensive pass interference penalty, Dustin Hopkins nailed a 46-yard field goal, giving the Redskins a 3-0 lead. In a game that looks like scoring will be a rarity, the Redskins can use all the points they can get.
After playing well below par over the past month or so, the Redskins defense started Sunday's contest by turning in one of their best quarters of the season. They've recorded three sacks thus far, each stalling a Jaguars drive. The Jacksonville offense has been nonexistent thus far.
LOWS: After the Redskins defense offense up with great field position, Josh Johnson and co. were unable to amount to anything. Johnson took a sack on third down, putting the Redskins out of field goal range.
The Redskins had an opportunity to turn a promising drive into a touchdown, but Floyd's offensive pass interference call forced the Redskins to settle for a field goal. In a game expected to be a low scoring affair, the Redskins cannot pass up opportunities to punch it in the end zone.
HIGHS: Jonathan Allen has been all over the place today. He's had two sacks and three tackles for loss.
The Redskins defense has looked excellent through a half of football, reminiscent of the defense that was in the discussion for one of the best in the league at the beginning of the season. They've allowed just 105 total yards and only allowed a field goal.
Unfortunately, their offense and special teams are not helping them out very much...
LOWS: With just seconds remaining in the half, Dede Westbrook returned a Tress Way punt for a 74-yard touchdown, giving the Jaguars a 10-3 lead entering halftime. With the way both offenses are playing, that may be all the Jaguars need to secure a victory.
Cody Kessler has been effective today, but not with his arm, rather with his legs. He converted two third downs with his feet to keep the Jaguars drive going, and ran 14 yards on a third-and-22 situation to set Jacksonville up for a game-tying field goal. He's ran for 44 yards, which is over half of the Jaguars total yards.
The Redskins offense was not able to get anything going in the second quarter. In the second quarter they had four offensive possessions, yet only one first down. Vernon Davis also dropped a beautiful throw from Josh Johnson that had a chance to put the Redskins in field goal range towards the end of the half. Instead, they punted. Again. Yikes.
HIGHS: The Redskins opening drive of the third quarter took over half the quarter, culminating in a Dustin Hopkins field goal. After gaining just one first down in the second quarter, the Redskins gained four first downs on just that drive.
The Redskins did a good job of dominating time of possession in the third quarter, but they only had three points to show for it.
LOWS: The Redskins did a good job of keeping their defense off the field, but Jacksonville was able to string a couple positive plays together as the quarter was winding down. A Dede Westbrook 20-yard run was followed by a 15-yard rush by David Williams opened up the drive, putting the jaguars close to midfield as the quarter ended.
Can the Jaguars deliver the knockout punch? We will find out...
HIGHS: After the Jaguars opened the fourth quarter with a field goal, Josh Johnson led the Redskins on a 10-play, 68-yard drive resulting in a six-yard Jeremy Sprinkle touchdown.
The drive was the Redskins most impressive on the day, and tied the game up with under six minutes to play.
The Jaguars ensuing drive looked as if they were going to take the lead right back, though. A 25-yard rush by Leonard Fournette to open up the drive had the Jaguars at midfield. But after a third-down conversion was brought back due to an offensive pass interference call, Cody Kessler was intercepted by Fabian Moreau.
Suddenly, the Redskins were in business. The Redskins gave the ball to Adrian Peterson five times in a row, and the 33-year-old combined for a total of 38 yards, putting the Redskins in field goal range. A 36-yard Hopkins field goal as time ran out gave the Redskins their seventh win of the season, keeping them in the race for the second Wild Card spot for now.
LOWS: The Redskins looked like they were going to give up a go-ahead score before an offensive pass interference penalty halted a promising Jaguars drive. The Washington defense struggled with the wide runs and jet sweeps most of the afternoon. But for now, let's enjoy the Redskins win.
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