All week, the Redskins looked at Sunday’s matchup against the undefeated Panthers as a chance to make an enormous statement. But after another disheartening road effort, Washington will leave Carolina still looking for a win that others around the league would be impressed by.
In fact, Jay Gruden’s bunch played as if they were putting together a video titled, “How To Lose In The NFL,” and the 44-16 result is indicative of that.
The Redskins fell to 4-6, yet incredibly remain just one game out of first place in the NFC East. The Panthers (10-0) remain the only undefeated team n the NFC.
What went wrong? What didn't.
Turnovers? There were plenty. Kirk Cousins (22 for 30, 207 yards) got the party started by overthrowing DeSean Jackson for an interception. The ‘Skins’ signal caller also fumbled twice on sacks, while Matt Jones and Jordan Reed chipped in with fumbles of their own. Count ‘em up, and that’s a turnover for each finger.
Penalties? They had those, too. The one that everyone will talk about — where Chris Culliver put his shoulder into the Panthers’ Greg Olsen, jarred the ball loose and returned it for a touchdown, but was whistled for what may be the sketchiest “unnecessary roughness” call of all time — was egregious. But the team also jumped offsides constantly, committed multiple infractions that led to Carolina scores, and had a few that hampered their own drives as well.
In the end, the Burgundy and Gold had nine flags thrown on them — not a particularly outlandish number, granted, but they all seemed to come at crucial junctures.
There were some nice moments, sure, but only early. Cousins threw a beautiful deep ball to Jackson for a 56-yard TD, and Andre Roberts took back a kick to the house to knot the score at 14 (no word yet on if Hell froze over during that surprising play, but it probably did). But when all was said and done, Cam Newton threw five touchdpown passes, Jonathan Stewart rushed for 102 yards and their team ended the game on a 30-2 run. Meanwhile the Redskins rushed for 14 yards on 12 carries.
No sport is as up-and-down as football. Just seven days ago, Kirk Cousins was the top passer in the league, and the Redskins beat up on an NFC South foe. But now? Oh, and Washington noow waits on the injury updates for Trent Williams (kneecap contusion) and Jordan Reed (sprained MCL).
Things are murky again after an NFC South foe beat up on the Redskins. Miraculously, next week’s game at FedEx Field between Washington and the division leading Giants will be for first place in the division. Do we have any idea which version of the ‘Skins will show up, however? Not at all.They had a chance to make a statement. They didn’t. And now, people around the nation’s capital will spend another week trying to figure out just what they have in their franchise. I don’t like that.
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