Trent Murphy and the Washington Redskins, had a prime opportunity Monday night against the Carolina Panthers, but they couldn’t take advantage of it.
With a Tampa Bay loss on Sunday night in Dallas, Washington moved into the sixth and final NFC playoff slot.Trent had another strong game, drawing a taunting penalty and forcing several QB hurries of Cam Newton and recording five tackles on the evening. However, the Skins suffered a 26-15 loss to the reigning NFC Champion, delivering a hit to their playoff hopes.
“It’s very frustrating,” said defensive tackle Chris Baker. “We just didn’t get the job done today… We got to fix it, and fix it fast. Everyone wants to talk about the playoffs, but there’s no point in talking about it if we can’t win the games we’re supposed to win.”
The game opened with exchanged field goals, the Panthers scoring on their first drive while the Redskins got on the board with 6:18 to play in the first quarter. At the end of the first fifteen minutes of play, Cam Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. for a 30-yard touchdown strike to put Carolina up 10-3.
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an interception on the next possession, and the away team capitalized with their third field goal from kicker Graham Gano. The teams traded punts before Washington led a seven-play, 89-yard drive to close the Panther lead to 13-9. Robert Kelley pounded in a 5-yard touchdown run, but the Skins couldn’t convert the point after.
On the Redskins’ first play of the second half, Cousins was sacked on his own 5-yard line and coughed up a costly fumble. Carolina scored just two plays later on a Mike Tolbert reception from Newton.
This was the final touchdown of the game, as both teams added two field goals down the stretch bring the final score to 26-13. Trent and the D.C. defense played a tough second half to keep the door open, but the early deficit proved to be too great. With the loss, the Redskins no longer control their own playoff destiny.
“We’re not in the playoffs,” said coach Jay Gruden when asked about the postseason picture. “So it’s up to one game at a time. So we have to just focus on Chicago. I think a lot of times as men and as coaches, the best way to put behind you something like this, a performance like this, coaching performance, playing performance, is playing again quickly. To get back on the field. Hopefully, that will be a remedy for us Saturday.”
Washington will look to rebound next week in Chicago against the Bears.