Robert Griffin IIII was sacked on fourth down with just over six minutes left and fans started streaming to the exits at FedEx Field. The bye week arrived with a thud, as the Washington Redskins got beat 21-13 by the Carolina Panthers on Sunday to fall to 3-6 on the season.
Coach Mike Shanahan and several players made no apologies about this being a "must-win game" for the Redskins if they wanted to even think about making the playoffs. The Panthers came into this one losers of five straight with a 1-6 record and quarterback Cam Newton sputtering.
Carolina showed fits and spurts of that Sunday, but its struggles were no match for the Redskins'. Washington committed several deflating penalties, could not come up with stops on defense and could not generate much of anything on offense before it was too late. The 79,767 in attendance were treated to arguably the worst performance of the season, just a week after the Redskins laid an egg at the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The blunders were far and wide. While the Redskins were the victims of a questionable call on DeAngelo Williams' first-quarter, 30-yard touchdown run when it appeared as if the whistle was blown on his running out of bounds, they also killed themselves with sacks allowed and penalties.
The most penalized team in the NFL had 13 penalties for 97 yards, and one defensive series included a personal foul on London Fletcher and pass interference on Josh Wilson.
Offensively, the Redskins had two opportunities in the red zone to put up touchdowns. A rush by Griffin into traffic led to a turnover on downs and a toss to the ineffective Brandon Banks forced them to settle for a field goal. Griffin finished with 215 yards passing and 53 yards on the ground with no touchdowns.
© Copyright 2016 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.