- - Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lulled into a false sense of security by an ineffective Jets passing game, Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson let his focus waver for one instant.

With just less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter and the Redskins holding a 16-13 lead, New York quarterback Mark Sanchez dropped back to pass and pumped the ball toward his receiver, Santonio Holmes, on a slant-and-go route.

Wilson bit hard on the fake, safety Oshiomogho Atogwe got sucked in too far to provide help, and just like that, New York had connected on a 30-yard touchdown pass that would prove to be decisive in a 34-19 Redskins loss.

“They just called a great play,” Wilson said. “They got me with the double move, but I think it was more Sanchez’s making me believe it was a slant. Once Santonio breaks, I can’t get my eyes on the inside. I have to keep them on him. That’s one for the bad guys.”

Holmes‘ touchdown was a bitter cap to a contest in which the secondary performed admirably for large stretches, only to falter late.

“I was really excited - 16-13, I thought we were going to win this game, or even if we went to overtime, we would have a chance,” safety Reed Doughty said. “But to give up that many points in that quick of time … it’s not good.”

Washington held the stagnant Jets passing game to 165 yards, and even though Sanchez found 10 different receivers, Holmes‘ catch was the longest pass play of the day for New York.

“It’s frustrating - we played them good for about 50 minutes, but in the last 10 we let it get away from us,” cornerback Kevin Barnes said.

Barnes was involved in another critical play by the secondary, drawing a roughing-the-passer penalty for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Sanchez that superseded a Jets false start on third-and-7, giving New York a first down.

Despite seeming evidence to the contrary, Barnes was adamant that he should not have drawn a penalty.

“It wasn’t helmet-to-helmet. They said I hit him after the whistle, which no one could hear,” Barnes said. “I hit him dead in the chest.”

Without safety LaRon Landry, the secondary still kept New York’s big targets — Holmes, Plaxico Burress and tight end Dustin Keller — under control, with Sanchez averaging just 5.2 yards per pass.

The Redskins had a golden opportunity to pick off Sanchez late in the third quarter when DeAngelo Hall undercut a pass intended for Burress, but the ball bounced off his chest.

“Dropped it,” an exasperated Hall said. “I don’t know if he got his hands on it or what, but I just dropped it. That would have changed the complexion of the game.”

In the end, it turned out to be another ugly loss for the Redskins, who weren’t in the mood to appreciate a game effort.

“A loss is a loss,” Atogwe said. “You take them all equally. I just think we’re better than what we showed at the end of the game.”