The Washington Redskins close Week 15 of the 2016 NFL regular season against the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football in a game that could determine the team's NFC Playoff fate.
The Redskins (7-5-1) need to win their final three games of the season, beginning with MNF against the Panthers (5-8) in order to lock up the final Wild Card spot in the NFC.
With the New York Giants defeating the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14 and the Detroit Lions in Week 15, the Redskins' NFC East foes have all but locked up the No. 5 spot in the NFC Playoff Picture, meaning the Redskins, Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Green Bay Packers are all vying for the final spot.
And as if the playoff picture wasn't reason enough for an all-important showdown on Monday night, the presence of the Panthers makes things even more special. After a somewhat puzzling and tumultuous exit this offseason, Redskins cornerback Josh Norman gets to face his old teammates for the very first time. And while Cam Newton has struggled to replicate the success that carried the Panthers to Super Bowl 50 and earned him the NFL MVP award in 2015, there will be no shortage of storylines when the two teams step take to the turf at FedEx Field on Monday night.
Redskins vs. Panthers kicks off at 8:30 p.m. ET on Monday night on ESPN. But before the action gets started be sure to tune into Redskins Kickoff on CSN at 7:30 p.m. ET.
CSN Mid-Atlantic is here to provide all the live updates, stats, scores, highlights, videos and analysis from the Monday Night Football showdown between the Redskins and Panthers. Be sure to leave your thoughts on the game in the comment section below.
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REDSKINS VS. PANTHERS LIVE UPDATES
11:52 p.m.: Graham Gano makes a 42-yard FG to give the Panthers a 26-15 lead. This one looks to be all but over with 1:07 left.
11:42 p.m.: Hopkins connects on a FG and the Redskins cut the lead to 23-15. Just a one-score game, but the defense needs to get a stop. That might be a bit too much to ask for tonight.
11:39 p.m.: At least this cheerleader is showing someresilliency.
OUCH. Cheerleader got the worst of it pic.twitter.com/d4fSxi9zTH— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) December 20, 2016
11:26 p.m.: Graham Gano misses a FG, and with six minutes left, the Redskins still have a chance, albeit a slight one.
11:18 p.m: The Panthers are playing well tonight, but the Redskins have played perhaps their worst game of the season. Rob Kelley and Chris Thompson have combined for just 18 yards of rushing. Ugh.
11:09 p.m.: With their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the Redskins have laid an egg. This is not good. Not good at all.
11:07 p.m.: In case you're wondering if Ted Ginn Jr. still does Ted Ginn Jr. stuff, yes. Yes he does.
Ted Ginn Jr. really doing the JR Smith 3 point celebration before dropping this pass... pic.twitter.com/v8tfdXn1XT— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) December 20, 2016
11:01 p.m.: Martrell Speight just dropped the hammer on Greg Toler. The problem? They both play for the Redskins. Toler headed to the locker room. ugh.
10:59 p.m.: Dustin Hopkins drills a short FG and the Redskins now trail 23-13. Still need two scores.
THIRD QUARTER: Panthers 23, Redskins 9
10:55 p.m.: Aaaaaand Jordan Reed just got ejected for throwing a punch. That's certainly one way to keep him on the sidelines.
Jordan Reed ejected pic.twitter.com/XdmWSFifaK— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) December 20, 2016
10:51 p.m.: Jamison Crowder just made a catch over the middle and basically walked away from a car crash.
HIT STICK pic.twitter.com/6iFIyoTmTa— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) December 20, 2016
10:41 p.m.: DeSean Jackson just made this catch. Yowza.
DeSean! pic.twitter.com/GK3lblv0x8— Danny (@recordsANDradio) December 20, 2016
10:39 p.m.: Another Graham Gano FG and the Panthers lead 23-9. Wooof.
10:33 p.m.: Jordan Reed is down on the field, which is not great, like the rest of the game.
10:27 p.m.: Cam Newton looks deep to Ginn, and Josh Norman nearly picks him off at the goal line. That's another near-INT for Norman. he's up to a dozen on the season.
10:22 p.m.: Quinton Dunbar is out cold. It looks like he got accidentally drilled by Mason Foster as they made a play on Ted Ginn Jr. during the punt return. This is not good. Not good at all.
10:20 p.m.: The Redskins drive stalls after just three plays and they're forced to punt. Not great, Bob.
10:15 p.m.: Cam Newton play-action pass to Mike Tolbert. TD. Panthers lead 20-9. Woooof.
10:13 p.m.: Worse, meet worser (sp?) Kirk Cousins lost the ball after a lineman bumped into him and fumbles the ball near the goal line. Panthers get the ball on the one-yard line. This is not good.
10:11 p.m.: OK, it's time for the third quarter. Redskins set to receive.
SECOND QUARTER: Panthers 13, Redskins 9
10:06 p.m.: Kirk Cousins' first-half numberts: 12-of-20, 144 yards, 1 INT, 61.2 passer rating.
10:05 p.m.: Cam Newton's first-half numbers: 11-of-20, 177 yards, 1 TD, 101.5 passer rating.
9:53 p.m.: Panthers' drive stalls and are forced to punt. Redskins take a knee and that's how the first half will end.
9:50 p.m.: Cam Newton putting together a solid drive. Philly Brown picks up two big catches and the Panthers are moving toward the red zone with under a minute left.
9:44 p.m.: Chris Baker sacks Cam Newton, and promptly hits “The Dab."
9:42 p.m.: This is an odd stat, but a telling one. I wonder how many kickers are on teams in the playoff race?
By my count five kickers have missed 4 or more extra points this season. Dustin Hopkins now at 3 misses.— michael phillips (@michaelpRTD) December 20, 2016
9:39 p.m.: Dustin Hopkins misses the extra point. Panthers lead 13-9. Woooof.
9:37 p.m.: Robert Kelley plows ahead, and picks up several Panthers defenders in the process. Fat Rob carries roughly four players into the end zone for the TD. A 89-yard drive. The Redskins needed that.
9:32 p.m.: DeSean Jackson gets open and Kirk Cousins finds him. Jackson turns it on and picks up a good chunk of yardage. A good drive going for the Redskins.
9:28 p.m.: It looked like Trent Murphy was gonna get flagged for a late hit, but the referees flag Cam Newton instead for tossing the ball toward Murphy.
9:26 p.m.: Quinton Dunbaar nearly picks off Cam Newton, but it was thrown too hard and it bounces off Dunbar's chest.
9:25 p.m.: I missed that entire Redskins drive. it was a 3-and-out and the Panthers have the ball back, so there. Woooof.
9:15 p.m.: Graham Gano drills another FG and the Panthers now lead 13-3. Woooof.
9:12 p.m.: Not much is going right for the Redskins, but Bashaud Breeland is bringing it. That's the second time he's made a big play on a pass breakup. He just needs the other 21 Redskins players on the field to step up.
FIRST QUARTER: Panthers 10, Redskins 3
9:08 p.m.: Bad, meet worse. Kirk Cousins' pass atempt is picked off by Kurt Coleman. Thomas Davis laid out two Redskins players on the short run back. Wooof.
PICK!— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 20, 2016
Kurt Coleman gets the Int and puts the Panthers in good field position! pic.twitter.com/Pr5pZ5tvCJ
9:04 p.m.: Cam Newton gets several seconds in the pocket and throws deep, finding a WIDE OPEN Ted Ginn Jr. in the end zone. There were two Redskins defenders within 8 yards, but neither were close. Panthers lead 10-3. Wooof.
Pretty decent coverage... pic.twitter.com/DKvLHYwKSy— Steve Noah (@Steve_OS) December 20, 2016
9:01 p.m.: It may not be by design, but Cam Newton sure is throwing toward Josh Norman a bunch. Norman already has three tackles and one pass breakup.
8:55 p.m.: Dustin Hopkins lines up for a 43-yard FG, and it's good. Hopkins has struggled a bit this year, but that FG gives him a career-best 117 points, and there are still two games left.
8:53 p.m.: Pierre Garcon, a model of consistancy.
Pierre Garçon ties Art Monk for most consecutive 65 reception seasons in team history (4)#WasvsCar— Chick Hernandez (@MrChickSports) December 20, 2016
8:50 p.m.: The Panthers burn a timeout to check on Newton, and after a Jonathan Stewart run play goes nowhere, the Panthers are forced to punt. Newton getting checked out on the sidelines.
8:45 p.m.: Ryan Kerrigan gets to Cam Newton right as Newton releases the ball, and Newton is down. He's been dealing with a shoulder injury, and it looks like he may have reaggravated it.
8:41 p.m.: A three-and-out is how the Redskins' first drive ends. "I HATE THAT PLAY CALL" is overheard in the CSN office as Kirk Cousins' short pass is out of the reach of DeSean Jackson. There's no cheering in the press box, but you can say whatever the heck you want in the news room.
8:36 p.m.: Carolina's first drive ends with a FG after Bashaud Breeland makes a good breakup on Greg Olsen. Former Redskins Graham Gano is good from 35 yards. Seven plays, 58 yards. Panthers 3, Redskins 0.
8:34 p.m.: We're five plays in a Josh Norman already has two tackles. Gonna be a busy night for him.
8:32 p.m.: Cam Newton's first pass atempt is complete to Greg Olsen for 31 yards. The Redskins have struggled to defend tight ends recently and it looks like that is part of the Panthers' gameplan so far.
8:29 p.m.: The Redskins win the toss and defer. Hopkins' kick sails into the back of the end zone. Let's football.
8:17 p.m.: The ESPN Monday Night Countdown crew made their predictions. Randy Moss has a house in Charlotte, so we'll give him that one, and Trent Dilfer is, well, Trent Dilfer. Looking pretty good.
8:07 p.m.: Su'a Cravens is not playing tonight, which we all knew. So here he is on the bench before the game, doing some reading. Not something you see 30 minutes before a Monday Night Football game.
He may be out, but Su'a Cravens is still in football mode tonight. Reading Steve Rosenberg and Pedro Taylor's biography of Sean Taylor. pic.twitter.com/7HNnOGEDs1— Jake Kring-Schreifels (@jakeks19) December 20, 2016
7:17 p.m.: Here's a fun fact: The Redskins are 2-15 in Monday Night Football games at FedEx Field, but are also 10-3 in their last 13 games at FedEx Field. Something's gotta give.
7:08 p.m.: Ziggy Hood is a monster.
6:37 p.m: In a move everyone was expecting, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly was listed as inactive for tonight's game. Also, Will Compton is out for the Redskins. Jordan Reed is in.
6:20 p.m.: We're about two hours away from kickoff. Primetime games need to start earlier.
5:59 p.m.: But remember, this isn't Cam Newton's home turf. It's Josh Norman's stadium, and he will not tolerate being one-up'd in the style game.
because a primetime game deserves a primetime jacket. pic.twitter.com/dnv3q9oDbw— NBC Sports Redskins (@NBCSRedskins) December 19, 2016
5:50 p.m.: OK. Much better.
who wore it better pic.twitter.com/393dFdj2l2— NBC Sports Redskins (@NBCSRedskins) December 19, 2016
5:45 p.m.: We're getting close to gametime. Cam Newton has arrived at FedEx Field looking like he left the rest of his Willy Wonka costume at home.
CAM NEWTON CHECKLIST— NBC Sports Redskins (@NBCSRedskins) December 19, 2016
✅ big purple hat pic.twitter.com/9TuGY5EKGi
2:00 p.m.: So, you should probably check out Ricky Jean-Francois' cleats tonight. He's honoring Craig Sager. Best cleats ever? Best cleats ever.
1:25 p.m.: Since we're kinda bouncing all over the place here in the live blog, be sure to check out the Redskins' holiday wish list. Ideally, three wins is at the very top of the list. If Santa brings them three wins, he'll also bring them a playoff game. That would be nice.
1:00 p.m.: Speaking of the Panthers, with a playoff spot all but gone, the team is likely to sit All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly, who continues to battle concussion-related symptoms. Kuechly is one of the top linebackers in the NFL, but has racked up more than his fair share of head injuries in his young NFL career, something the organization is beginning to worry about.
12:47 p.m.: I bring that up only because from May 2013 until April 2016, I worked in Charlotte, NC for a national sports outlet. Our office was two blocks from Bank of America Stadium and because of our proximity, we covered the Panthers and Hornets as much as we could. This random trio of games serves as a very unofficial "Troy Machir Appreciation Series."
12:45 p.m.: Fun Fact: The Redskins vs. Panthers game culminates a random yet odd trio of NC vs. DC games over the past six days. The Wizards defeated the Hornets on Tuesday night, and the Capitals defeated the Hurricanes on Friday night. The Redskins now look to give DC the 3-0 sweep with a win over the Panthers.
12:30 p.m.: All eyes will be on Landover, Md. tonight as the Redskins look tpo keep their playoff hopes alive. If you're going to the game, make sure you have multiple travel options. As you might be able to expect, the WMATA metro system might not be much help. But if you've taken public transportation in the DC area at all in the last eight months, you probably already knew that.
12:05 p.m.: Also, be sure to follow CSN Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler, who are at FedEx Field for the primetime tilt.. Give them a follow on Twitter and be sure to follow our CSN Redskins account as well.
12:00 p.m.: Ahoy hoy everyone. and welcome to Redskins vs. Panthers Week 15 Live Updates post. As always, I — Troy Machir — am your tour guide for the game thread of stats, highlights and analysis and score updates.