JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It's not a drive that's going to go down in Redskins lore. Hell, it's not even the drive that won the game for Washington in Week 15 in Jacksonville.
But before Adrian Peterson got rolling and Dustin Hopkins sank a game-winning field goal with no time left, the 'Skins offense put together a very unlikely, very stressful and, ultimately, very important possession that helped keep their playoff hopes alive and helped give Josh Johnson his first-ever win as a starter.
The box score will tell you it was a 10-play, 68-yard fourth quarter march down the field. Don't pay attention to the box score.
Things started with a three-yard loss on a handoff to Peterson. Usually, a loss of yardage of any kind means doom for the 2018 Redskins. Johnson, however, was able to connect with Vernon Davis on the next two snaps to keep the unit on the field.
On the next play, though, Johnson was sacked and lost control of the ball after Byron Marshall was unable to handle a blitzer. Fortunately, Morgan Moses — who didn't have his best game and isn't having his best season — was able to recover the fumble.
Let's be clear: If a Jaguars defender beats Moses to that ball, the Burgundy and Gold leave Florida with a fifth straight L and the calls for Jay Gruden's job become deafening. Luckily, No. 76 got it first.
Johnson's next pass was incomplete, setting up a third-and-15 that felt like a third-and-you-should-probably-just-punt-this-now. That's when the QB dropped back and lofted up a 50-50 ball (that's generous; it was probably closer to a 20-80 ball) in the direction of Jamison Crowder.
You know what happened after that, and still, it's worth watching the replay anyway:
In a season where it feels like every bounce has gone against the 'Skins, one finally favored them.
"I never had a play like that," Crowder said postgame.
He picked the perfect time to come up with one.
Thanks to that clutch catch, Johnson and Co. jumped from their own 40 to the hosts' 27. A Johnson scramble, a Jeremy Sprinkle grab and a Peterson run advanced things to the 6.
From there, the backup-backup-backup passer picked out Sprinkle in the right flat and hit the tight end in the hands. The second-year target, who had zero catches coming in to Sunday but finished the matchup with three, snagged it, made a quick turn and fell into the end zone.
Hopkins' PAT tied the contest up at 13 and set the visitors up for their eventual 16-13 buzzer-beating victory.
"This team has had enough, even before I got here, where things go not their way," Johnson said at the podium. "So to have something go their way, it's good for everybody in the locker room."
The Redskins are still flawed, and who knows if they come out on top in Week 15 if they're facing anyone other than Cody Kessler. The result in Jacksonville was critical, but likely didn't all of the sudden convince you this squad is ready to fly into the postseason.
But for those 10 plays, a fourth-string QB led a bunch of injured players and backups down the field for a touchdown that saved a season.
Lucky? Sure. Pretty? Not exactly.
Regardless, it was effective. And for the Redskins, effective is a vast improvement from what they've experienced over the past month.
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