The Washington Redskins won their second consecutive game on Sunday, beating the Carolina Panthers 29-21. They now improve to 3-9 on the season and move past the New York Giants for third place in the NFC East.
Like most of their games, it was rather sloppy. However, Sunday’s win showed how resilient the team has become under interim head coach Bill Callahan.
— NFL (@NFL) December 1, 2019
A Victory for Morale
With the season mostly lost, a win seemed unlikely against the Panthers. Their quarterback, Kyle Allen, hasn’t been the steadiest of shot-callers in the league, but he started the season on fire. There’d be no reason why he couldn’t catch aflame against a porous Washington defense.
However, the Redskins’ defense held firm after a few early scores. Cornerback Fabien Moreau secured an important interception early in the game, which led to a quick touchdown. Behind him were safety Landon Collins and linebacker Jon Bostic, who helped control the line of scrimmage. Each led the team in tackles, and Collins also picked up a well-timed pass-deflection.
On offense, the Redskins had a simple, yet effective plan in mind: run the ball through Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson. The runningback duo had their best collective performance of the season, totaling 228 yards on the ground. Guice also had his first career 100-yard game, along with two rushing touchdowns.
Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. felt the heat from Carolina’s pass rush all day. They got to him five times, forcing the Redskins to stick to the run game. Haskins finished with 147 yards on 13/25 completions. Receiver Kelvin Harmon seemed to be the quarterback’s favorite target, as the rookie pass-catcher caught three balls for 51 yards.
Something to note: breakout receiver Terry McLaurin only had two catches for eight yards in Sunday’s win.
Does a Win Hinder Washington’s Draft Status?
At 3-9, Washington is a playoff longshot. They’d need the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys to lose out, while the Giants win their remaining divisional games. Oh, and the Redskins would have to win out on top of that.
A realistic timeline would likely have the Redskins dropping most of their last few games. This would put them in prime position to select top talent in the 2020 NFL Draft. Typically, teams have to lose games to move higher in the drafting order, but struggling teams like the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins each picked up impressive wins in Week 13. That means Washington might only drop back one spot since the Giants fell to the Green Bay Packers, putting them at 2-10.
Incredibly, this #Redskins win today doesn't significantly harm their draft position.
Both Miami and Cincinnati also won today.
— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoRCC) December 1, 2019
With everything considered, the Redskins have a tough road ahead. Three of their last four games this season consist of division rivals. The fourth happens to be against the contending Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
For the sake of their future, they should think about losing the next four games to move into a better draft position. But if things happen to go in their favor, they should ride this thing out until the wheels fall off.
Featured Image Courtesy of AP Photo.
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