By: Ryan Fowler
Headline Photo Credit: Darrell Owens-LMS Network
WASHINGTON– The Redskins took the field on Sunday knowing that the playoffs were still within reach. The 4-8 Giants were in town and playing without one of their best offensive weapons in wideout Odell Beckham Jr.
Washington proceeded to turn in an embarrassing performance on both sides of the ball en route to a 40-16 blowout loss to the Giants. They allowed the Giants to score 40 points for the first time since 2015. It was 40-0 before the Redskins showed any sign of life.
Mark Sanchez made his first start and was very ineffective, completing 6-14 passes for 38 yards and two interceptions, one of which was returned nine yards for a touchdown. He was also sacked five times and finished with a quarterback rating of 10.7, an absolutely putrid performance.
Jay Gruden then turned to Josh Johnson, who was signed on Tuesday. Before Sunday, Johnson hadn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since 2011. He gave the team life late in the ballgame, mainly because the threat of his legs as he ran the ball seven times for 45 yards and a touchdown. He also completed 11/16 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. Johnson will start next week in Jacksonville.
To make matters worse, tight end Jordan Reed had to be helped to the locker room with a foot injury in the first half and he did not return.
The defense carried this team to a 5-2 record, giving up an average of 350 yards per game. Since then, they have imploded and are unable to get off the field by making plays. The defense has no excuse. As for an explanation, D.J. Swearinger is never one to hide from questioning.
“Can’t say the players, man. We’re the same players,” Swearinger said. “We’re the same guys. We put in the same work. We’re practicing, bro. I don’t know. I can’t give you no answer to that because I’m not the coach.”
The Giants were comfortable in control by the second quarter. They led 34-0 at the half and Eli Manning along with Saquon Barkley sat the entire fourth quarter. Manning threw three touchdown passes and Barkley ran for 170 yards, 159 of which came in the first half.
The lack of discipline continues to be a problem for Jay Gruden’s team as the Redskins were penalized 15 times on Sunday for 135 yards.
All eyes turn to Jacksonville as the Redskins prepare for a matchup with the eerily struggling Jaguars. The ‘Skins are currently on a four-game losing streak with their fourth starting quarterback of the season. Will they show any fight with playoff hopes still alive but dwindling fast? Or will we see more of what we saw Sunday?