- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2015

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Matt Jones jumped toward the end zone, his arm stretched as he reached for the pylon. The only thing missing was the football.

On fourth-and-1 from the New York Giants’ seven-yard line, Jones broke around the left end and had six points in his vision, only to have them swatted away by cornerback Trevin Wade in the Redskins’ 32-21 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night.

As Jones reached for the end zone, Wade batted the ball loose and out of the end zone for a touchback, bringing the Redskins’ would-be 13-play, 78-yard scoring drive to a screeching halt with 9:42 remaining.

The touchdown would have given the Redskins a bit of life after the Giants scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. on the previous series to take a 25-6 lead.

Washington did not score until six minutes later when running back Chris Thompson caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins — far too late to make a tangible difference in the result.

“He’s competing and trying to score,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said. “We talk about ball security and practice drills, it’s just a matter of when you’re going out and competing and trying to stretch the ball to the end zone, you’ve got to be careful.”

It was the second time in as many games Jones fumbled. He fumbled in his 123-yard, two-touchdown performance against the Rams on Sunday. Two plays later, the Rams scored a touchdown.

Jones dismissed the idea that ball security is an issue for the rookie back.

“When I jumped I was trying to reach out, the guy made a good play on the ball to hit it out to the back of the end zone,” Jones said. “I just felt like they made good plays on the ball. Especially this one, they made a great play on the ball. I tried to extend out and they hit it.”

Jones finished the game with 11 carries for 38 yards. Redskins starter Alfred Morris carried the ball just six times for 19 yards, four of which came in the first half.

The Redskins could not commit to the run game Thursday night after falling behind 12-0 in the first quarter thanks to a blocked punt that resulted in a safety, a touchdown and a field goal.

It’s difficult to gauge the value in the number of carries Morris and Jones received because the Redskins had to abandon the run game so early. They only rushed five times in the second half.

That said, Gruden upheld the same sentiment as last week — that the team is going to go with the fresh running back.

“Just different personnel groupings call for different backs, it just happened like that,” Gruden said. “We’re not playing favorites right now. We’re just going with fresh guys and it just so happened when Matt was in the game, it was a running play, that’s all.”

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