Tha Sports Junkies 101

Washington Redskins Week 15 Review: Skins Lose Control of Playoff Fate

Carolina Panthers


With its 23-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football the Redskins have now lost 17 of their past 18 home games on MNF

The Carolina Panthers played like the team that are on the verge of a playoff berth as they soundly defeated the Washington Redskins. Washington suffered its worst loss since a 38-16 thrashing to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football in week one.

Carolina used a ground game fueled by Jonathan Stewart who had his best game of the season against the porous Redskins rush defense (22nd in NFL). Stewart rushed for 132 yards on 25 carries, 34 of which came on a third and one late in the fourth quarter. Stewart also had his first 100-yard game of the season against  Washington. With the Redskins down two key linebackers, Ron Rivera and his coaching staff took advantage of a weak Redskins rush defense.

Cam Newton had his best game since week two, against the San Francisco 49ers in which he threw for 353 yards, four touchdowns, and posted a 111.8 rating.  Against Washington, Newton threw for 300 yards, two touchdowns, posted a 101.2 quarterback rating. One week after he had his worst statistical output of the season against the San Diego Chargers.

Redskins Offense Stifled

Once again, the rushing attack faltered against the Carolina Panthers. For the second consecutive season, Washington rushed for under 20 rushing yards against Carolina. Whats even more disturbing is that Kirk Cousins finished the game as the Redskins leading rusher with 11 yards. Robert Kelley had the most carries with nine, but the Panthers limited Kelley to eight yards on nine carries.

It was a bad night for Kirk Cousins as well as he committed two turnovers and an uninspiring 77.9 rating. Cousins also was inaccurate on the night, as he struggled with passes downfield. According to Pro Football Focus, Cousins was 2/5 on passes 20 yards down field with 40 yards and an interception. On the first play of the second half, Vernon Davis whiffed on a block and Cousins fumbled. The Panthers recovered the ball at the Washington one-yard line.

Playoff Hopes Take a Hit

Despite the demoralizing loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Redskins still have a chance to make the playoffs. First, Washington would need wins against the Chicago Bears and New York Giants in the final two weeks of the season. Next they’ll need the Buccaners to lose one of their last two games, or the Lions to lose both of two games.

The Bucs have two divisional games remaining at New Orleans, and home against Carolina. Detroit is on the road against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football and host the Green Bay Packers in a game that appears to be for the NFC North crown.

Four Players Named to the Pro Bowl 

Offensive linemen Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff, tight end Jordan Reed, and outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan were named to the 2016 NFC Pro Bowl team. Scherff and Reed earned their first Pro Bowl nods. Kerrigan earned his first nod since 2012, and Williams earned his fifth straight selection. Josh Norman, Kirk Cousins, and Jamison Crowder (returner) were selected as alternates.

The Redskins head to Soldier Field on Christmas Eve to face the Chicago Bears. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.