- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 22, 2019

LANDOVER — Two bodies crashed into Dwayne Haskins at once, and in an instant, the Redskins quarterback was down on the ground, writhing in pain. After a moment, the 22-year-old got up, slowly, and gingerly walked with trainers to the sideline — where a cart was awaiting him.

He did not return.

But on an afternoon when their franchise quarterback went down with an ankle injury, it was the final seconds of Sunday’s 41-35 overtime loss to the New York Giants that hurt most for the Washington Redskins.

Needing just three yards to win the game, Daniel Jones threw a dagger to Kaden Smith in the end zone — ending Washington’s comeback bid. It was Jones’ fifth touchdown of the day, a new career-high.

The Redskins had rallied from a 14-point deficit, including stringing together a 99-yard drive from backup quarterback Case Keenum to tie the game with 29 seconds left. The Redskins scored on Keenum’s run and tied it after Dustin Hopkins nailed the extra point.

But the Redskins‘ lost the coin toss, giving the Giants the ball first in overtime.

With a banged-up secondary, the Redskins were unable to stop the Giants, as was the case all afternoon. New York had 552 total yards on just 69 plays — good for 8 yards per play.

Jones out-dueled Haskins, who was having a day before his injury.

The Haskins injury early in the second half spoiled the shootout with Jones, a fellow rookie. For a half, Haskins and Jones dissected the defenses, making throw after throw and turned a clash of disappointing  teams into an entertaining late-season affair.

When the Redskins rookie went down, it was impossible to not think about Alex Smith, who suffered a gruesome leg injury on the very same field more than a year ago. But Haskins soon returned from the locker room, limping his way to the sideline.

Sunday’s contest on paper figured to be more about draft positioning than the end result. With both teams 3-11, the second pick of the draft was on the line — in effect, a chance to select Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young. Entering the game, the Giants held the tiebreaker for the second pick based on strength of schedule.

That, however, took a backseat when Haskins and Jones began trading scores.

Jones, playing in his first game since missing the last two with a high-ankle sprain, needed just five plays to put the Giants in the end zone. Jones capped the opening drive with a 23-yard strike to Sterling Sheppard.

Haskins looked comfortable in the pocket for the second straight week, standing tall and releasing the ball quickly. After a career-best game against the Eagles last week, Haskins opened Sunday’s contest completing 10 consecutive passes.

Haskins‘ notched his first touchdown of the afternoon when he scrambled outside and found wide receiver Steven Sims in the corner of the end zone.

The Redskins answered the Giants again when Haskins hit tight end Hale Hentges on a corner route, tying the game at 14.

But Washington’s decimated secondary couldn’t stop Jones and Co. With Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau out with hamstring injuries, the Giants quarterback picked apart a makeshift Redskins back end stuffed with defensive backs brought in off the street. Aaron Colvin, Kayvon Webster and Coty Sensabaugh. Webster and Sensabaugh, for reference, were added to the roster last week.

Jones finished with 352 yards, completing 66.7% of his throws (28 of 42).

Saquon Barkley, too, ran all over the Redskins‘ defense, rushing for 189 yards on 22 carries.

Despite Haskins‘ injury, the Redskins were competitive. Linebacker Nate Orchard gave the Redskins great field position in the third after blocking a punt. That set up a touchdown carry by Adrian Peterson, who passed Walter Payton to become the NFL’s fourth all-time leader in rushing touchdowns.

Backup quarterback Case Keenum led the drive to get the Redskins to overtime. In relief, Keenum had 158 yards and a touchdown.

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