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Redskins let golden opportunity slip away against Panthers in primetime

Redskins let golden opportunity slip away against Panthers in primetime

LANDOVER, MD— The Redskins had a golden opportunity to get into the thick of the playoff race. But the 5-8 Panthers came into town and took advantage of some Redskins mistakes and rolled out of town with a 26-15 win.

The Redskins miscues were many and varied. A Kirk Cousins interception set up a Panthers field goal.

Then on the first play of the second half a pass rusher forced tight end Vernon Davis into Cousins’ back. The ball popped out and the Panthers recovered at the one. They scored a touchdown two plays later.

Then early in the fourth quarter the Redskins were down by 14 but it looked like they might make a game of it when they drove for a first and goal at the ten. After Rob Kelley was tackled for a two-yard loss, Jordan Reed threw a punch at a defender and was ejected. The 15-yard penalty pushed them back and they eventually settled for a field goal when they needed a touchdown.

Kirk Cousins had probably his worst game of the season. He missed some easy throws and even some that were caught were off target. Cousins ended the day 32 for 47 passing for 316 yards with no touchdowns and the one interception. His passer rating was 78.0.

Cousins could get no help from the running game. Rob Kelley had eight yards on nine carries and as a team they rushed for 29 yards.

The defense dealt with poor field position and held the Panthers to field goal on several occasions. But they gave up 149 yards on the ground, 128 of them to Jonathan Stewart. Cam Newton had a bright day in an otherwise forgettable season, passing for 300 yards and two touchdowns.  

The loss dropped the Redskins to 7-6-1. They can still make the playoffs but they will need help. Washington can start helping itself by beating the Bears on Saturday in Chicago.

RELATED: COUSINS ACCIDENTALLY TAKES OUT CHEERLEADER

Injury Updates:

LB Houston Bates left the game in the first quarter with a knee injury and did not return.

CB Quinton Dunbar left the game in the third quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. He was diagnosed with a concussion and did not return.

LB Ryan Kerrigan left the game in the third quarter with an elbow injury. His return was announced as questionable.

FIRST QUARTER        

Graham Gano 35-yard FG. Drive: 7 plays, 58 yards, 2:20

Drive summary: The Panthers got things going in a hurry. On the second play from scrimmage Cam Newton hit tight end Greg Olsen deep for 31 yards to the Redskins 39. On the next play it was Newton to Ted Ginn for 18 yards. But Newton threw incomplete on third and five and Graham Gano came in and booted the field goal.

Panthers 3, Redskins 0 12:40

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Dustin Hopkins 43-yard FG. Drive: 3 plays, 38 yards, 3:52

Drive summary: The Redskins got some offense going on their second possession. On third and four Cousins threw to Garçon for eight yards to the Panthers’ 49. The next play Cousins fired one down the middle to DeSean Jackson for 23 yards. The drive stalled and Hopkins came in a tied it up with the field goal.

Redskins 3, Panthers 3 6:18

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Ted Ginn Jr. 30-yard TD catch. Drive: 8 plays, 84 yards, 4:28

Drive summary: The Panthers got started with two Jonathan Stewart runs that were good for 22 yards. Newton then went to Kelvin Benjamin for 10 yards to midfield then to Corey Brown for 14. On third and four at the Washington 30 Newton found Ted Ginn Jr. wide open in the end zone for the touchdown.

Panthers 10, Redskins 3 1:50

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SECOND QUARTER

Gano 23-yard FG. Drive: 6 plays, 19 yards, 3:07

Drive summary: The Panthers started with a short field after safety Kurt Coleman picked off a Cousins pass and returned to 37 yards to the Redskins 24. Two Jonathan Stewart runs moved them to a first and goal at the eight. On third and goal at the three, Greg Olsen caught Newton’s pass but it was for a loss of two yards so Gano came on.  

Panthers 13, Redskins 3 12:21

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Rob Kelley 5-yard TD run. (Missed PAT) Drive:  7 plays, 89 yards, 4:54

Drive summary: The Redskins started deep in their own territory but got out quickly when Cousins went to Pierre Garçon for 20 yards and then to Rob Kelley for 17 and then 22 yards to the Carolina 25. On third and seven at the 22 Cousins flipped a short pass to Jackson, who dodged two tacklers for 17 yards to the five. On the next play it looked like Kelley was stopped but a combination of second effort and some push by the line got him just into the end zone.

Panthers 13, Redskins 9 4:54

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THIRD QUARTER

Mike Tolbert 1-yard TD catch. Drive: 2 plays, 1 yards, 0:49

Drive summary: On the first play of the second half, Vernon Dean was trying to pass protect but he got pushed back in to Cousins. The ball popped out and the Panthers recovered on the one. On second down Newton flipped a short pass to Mike Tolbert for the touchdown.   

Panthers 20, Redskins 9 13:58

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Gano 23-yard FG. Drive: 8 plays, 65 yards, 3:57

Drive summary: The Panthers got going on a third and one play when Newton just got away a short pass to Ed Dixon, who rolled for 28 yards to the Redskins 34. On the next play a Jonathan Stewart run plus a facemask penalty got Carolina a first down at the Redskins 11. On third down from the 15, a screen pass to Stewart came up short of the first down and Gano again came in to kick the short field goal.

Panthers 23, Redskins 9 5:07

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FOURTH QUARTER

Hopkins 26-yard FG. Drive: 13 plays, 67 yards, 5:59

Drive summary: A Cousins pass to Jackson was called incomplete initially but replay revealed that he had made a nice catch low to the ground near the sideline. Then passes to Garçon for 15 and nine yards moved them to the Carolina 25. On fourth and two at the 18, Cousins went to Crowder over the middle and the receiver somehow made the catch for 8 yards while being hit. But the drive went awry when a personal foul on Jordan Reed pushed the ball back to the 27. On third down a pass to Garçon gained 18 yards to the eight and the Redskins had to take three when they desperately needed seven.

Panthers 23, Redskins 12 14:08

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Hopkins 34-yard FG. Drive: 9 plays, 56 yards, 1:53

Drive summary: The Redskins got some new life after Graham Gano missed a 38-yard field goal. Cousins threw to Jackson for 14 and 22 yards to get into Panthers territory. Then Cousins scrambled for 12 yards and a late hit moved them to a first and goal at the seven. A penalty set up third and goal from the 16 and Cousins pass to Chris Thompson was incomplete. Hopkins kicked the field goal to make it a one-score game.

Panthers 23, Redskins 15 3:44

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Gano 41-yard FG. Drive: 7 plays, 48 yards, 2:37

Drive summary: The Redskins had cut the game to one score but the air came out of the comeback balloon quickly when Jonathan Stewart scampered for 34 yards on the first play after the kickoff. Then Tolbert rumbled for 11 yards for a first down at the 23. That was all they needed for Gano to make it a two-score game with just over a minute left.

Panthers 26, Redskins 15 1:07

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In a blowout, Dwayne Haskins and Derrius Guice connect for a meaningful touchdown

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In a blowout, Dwayne Haskins and Derrius Guice connect for a meaningful touchdown

Getting blown out by the New York Jets, one would think that any touchdown the Redskins would potentially score when trailing 34-3 would mean nothing. In most cases, that would be correct.

But when Dwayne Haskins connected with Derrius Guice for a 45-yard score, it was actually a very notable touchdown.

The touchdown is important for multiple reasons. One being that it is Haskins' first NFL touchdown. Making his first home start, the quarterback didn't have the performance many would have hoped for. But, he does now have one touchdown.

While it was the first for Haskins, it was also the first for Guice. The second-year running back who has missed a lot of time with injuries returned for the Week 11 battle and show the playmaking ability that has many excited to see him on the field.

Last, but definitely not least, the score put an end to the horrid touchdown-drought the Redskins had been in. Before Guice crossed the goal line, Washington hadn't scored in 16 quarters. Yes, that is the equivalent to four games.

But alas, the Redskins have a touchdown and so do Haskins and Guice. Sunday was a disappointing day, but at least there was this moment.

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The Redskins played the Jets and everything was awful except Derrius Guice

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The Redskins played the Jets and everything was awful except Derrius Guice

The Redskins played the Jets and Washington provided the FedEx Field crowd one of the worst performances in the last decade. 

The team was terrible in nearly every facet. The Jets scored 34 points and somebody named Ryan Griffin had more than 100 yards receiving and a touchdown. 

Washington did have one very legit highlight: Rookie QB Dwayne Haskins connected with second-year RB Derrius Guice for a 45-yard touchdown. Guice did almost all of the work, as it was a screen pass from Haskins, but the running back showed vision and speed going down the sideline and avoiding tacklers as he got into the end zone. And then he connected with Jeremy Sprinkle for a second one a few minutes later. Unfortunately, the game was long over by then.

Beyond that, it was ugly for the Redskins. 

  1. Sam Darnold and the Jets took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for a quick touchdown. It was a sign of things to come, as Darnold finished the first half with three TDs and had four TDs in the game. Darnold carved up the Redskins secondary and frequently had open wide receivers streaking through the middle of the field. Darnold finished the game with 19 completions on 30 attempts with just one interception. Good day.
     
  2. Coming into the game, the Redskins ranked 31st in the NFL at defending third downs. Washington was giving up first downs on 50 percent of third downs this season, and with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Redskins defense was right on track. The Jets had converted five of 10 third downs. The defense was just awful. 
     
  3. Dwayne Haskins was bad in this game, his second start and his first time at home. Haskins completed 19 of 35 passes and threw a terrible interception in the fourth quarter. There was one incredible play from Haskins, where he connected on a deep pass to Terry McLaurin after scrambling out of the pocket. The throw was gorgeous and showed off Haskins' arm, but in the end, it didn't matter. The play was called back on a holding penalty. 
     
  4. For the most devoted Redskins fans, here's a bit of good news. Coming into this game the Redskins had not scored a touchdown in more than a month. Well, when Guice got into the end zone, that streak snapped. So congrats. 


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