The Washington Redskins could’ve went into the Bye Week with a little momentum with a win against a Carolina Panthers team that had just one win entering today’s game.
Instead, it was the Panthers who played like the superior team at FedExField, as they defeated the Redskins 21-13 in front of 79,767 fans at FedExField.
The Panthers’ first drive of the fourth quarter was a microcosm of the Redskins’ problems thus far.
On the first play, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton found wide receiver Armanti Edwards wide open for an 82-yard reception to the Washington 9-yard line. Two plays later, cornerback Josh Wilson was flagged for pass interference in the end zone on receiver Steve Smith, setting the ball at the Washington 1-yard line. Newton did it all from there, running into the end zone for the touchdown, and blew a kiss to the Redskins fans in the process.
The deficiencies in the Redskins’ secondary have been well-documented, so there’s no need to harp on that at this point. But I’d imagine that area will definitely be a point of emphasis for the Redskins’ coaching staff during the Bye Week, which officially begins Tuesday afternoon after a day of practice.
But what’s the solution here? It’s not like there’s starting cornerbacks and safeties just sitting out there on the free-agent market. The trade deadline also came and went with no deals, so it looks like the team will likely have to forge on and rally with what they’ve got for the remainder of the season.
The Redskins defensive front also struggled to get much of a pass rush the entire game. It’s no secret: Newton only struggles when a defense can rattle his cage a little bit and get in his head. That didn’t happen today.
Perhaps the more concerning aspect about today’s game was it was the Redskins’ second straight week with inconsistencies on offense. The Panthers did a great job in their pass rush and kept Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III on his toes for most of the game, and though rookie running back Alfred Morris was able to turn in a quality performance, it was the big play that evaded him.
Another point of concern for the Redskins today? Penalties. They had two key defensive pass interference calls on Wilson, a holding call on left tackle Trent Williams that killed their first drive of the game, a holding call on center Will Montgomery erased a touchdown run by Griffin III and an illegal formation call took away another touchdown on that same drive. The Redskins entered the game as the third-most penalized team in the league, and that trend definitely continued today with 13 of them.
Maybe the best remedy to these struggles for the Redskins will be a few days away. We’ve all seen this team play very well — among the best in the league offensively — so it’s not like that can’t re-appear for Washington.
With all but one of the Redskins’ NFC East games remaining, there’s still plenty to play for this season.
CHIME IN: What’s your thoughts about today’s game? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 regular season, Carolina Panthers, washington redskins
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