1 - After weathering the Panthers’ opening drive, the Redskins started their first possession at their own 3 but caught a break and managed to march to a field goal. As a third consecutive pass from his own end zone fell incomplete, Robert Griffin III got popped in the head by Greg Hardy for a 15-yard penalty, igniting a drive that ended in a field goal. That held up until the Panthers’ running game got cranked up late in the quarter, leading to a 30-yard DeAngelo Williams TD marred by a premature whistle as the back stepped near — but not on — the sideline.
2 - One Redskins drive consumed nearly two-thirds of the quarter, but Washington had nothing to show for those 10 minutes of possession after the Panthers stuffed a Griffin run on fourth and goal. Cam Newton made his drive count, rolling downfield with help from a couple dubious penalties before finding Steve Smith for a 19-yard score shortly before halftime that made it 14-3 Carolina.
Play of the game: Leading 14-6 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, Cam Newton dropped back to pass on first-and-10 from his own 9. With his foot on the goal line, he unleashed a pass down the left sideline for Armanti Edwards, who could not have been more wide open. With help from a great hustle block by Steve Smith, Edwards raced to the Washington 9 for a gain of 82 yards, setting up a Newton touchdown run.
3 - The Redskins managed only a field goal in the quarter, but their generally porous defense did manage to hold its own and keep Washington in the game. The big play was a third-and-1 stop of Mike Tolbert spearheaded by Rob Jackson, which halted a promising Carolina drive just short of midfield.
4 - Ugly as it was in the end, the Redskins had their chances to come back and pull this one out. But the bizarre sequence on their second-to-last drive that saw two touchdowns wiped out by penalties — a hold on Will Montgomery, then an illegal formation — basically left the Redskins with no time. And that onside kick! A forgettable afternoon for the home team.