- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ASHBURN — By the time the third quarter finally ended on Sunday, the Washington Redskins were just about out of options on offense as they slogged to a 34-20 loss to the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Washington gained 17 yards on three drives in the third quarter — two of which ended after quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an interception. The Jets went on to outscore the Redskins, 17-0, to take a 27-13 lead.

It was a stark contrast from the first half, when the Redskins capitalized on good field position and converted three takeaways by Bashaud Breeland into a 13-10 lead.

After Eric Decker fumbled on the Jets’ first play of the game, the Redskins went 37 yards in seven plays, the drive ending with Pierre Garcon’s two-yard touchdown catch against Darrelle Revis.

It was impressive how cleanly Garcon beat the four-time All-Pro corner. After Revis took the bait on Garcon’s quick jab step toward the outside, Garcon was wide open on the slant pattern.

Garcon finished the first half with five catches for 28 yards and was targeted eight times.

In the second half, though, the ball never went Garcon’s way.

The trouble started for the passing game on the Redskins’ second play of the third quarter. Revis began the play by shadowing Garcon, and he rolled off once the Redskins’ wide receiver went across the middle. Cousins thought he would have Ryan Grant open underneath, but Revis switched over to intercept the pass.

The separation that Garcon achieved in the first half was no longer there. With no running game — the Redskins finished the game with 34 yards on 17 carries — the passing game was taxed and the Jets were able to key in on Cousins’ most reliable receiver.

After that first interception, Cousins didn’t test Revis again, instead spreading the ball to rookie wide receiver Jamison Crowder and running back Chris Thompson, who each were targeted five times in the second half.

Two plays into the fourth quarter, the Jets scored again to take a 34-13 lead. By then, the Redskins offense was completely out of sync. The following drive, Cousins chucked incomplete deep passes for Thompson, Crowder and Rashad Ross.

The Redskins got the ball back with 10:54 remaining in the fourth quarter and Cousins attempted 10 passes, none of which were intended for Garcon.

“I wasn’t unhappy with Pierre’s play, no,” Gruden said on Monday. “I was unhappy with the play of our offense in general and the way we called the plays, yes. The production wasn’t there. If you’re not playing right, then nobody’s going to look good and nobody did look good.

“We had a two-play-drive interception, three-and-out punt, another three-and-out punt and next thing you know, we’re down by three touchdowns. Then it was catch up. It was garbage ball after that.”

• Anthony Gulizia can be reached at agulizia@washingtontimes.com.

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