The Washington Redskins fell to the Tennessee Titans 25-16 yesterday at Nissan Stadium.
But the final score doesn’t truly capture the back and forth that took place in downtown Nashville. The Redskins had possession of the ball, in Titans territory, with two minutes remaining and the score being 16-19.
However, a costly turnover by quarterback Josh Johnson ultimately ended the game.
Although this loss essentially ended the playoffs hopes for the team this year, there are many positives to draw from. And as always, improvements to consider.
Today we recap the Redskins vs. the Titans and discuss: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” from yesterday’s match-up.
Josh Johnson: Johnson looked poised under center for the burgundy and gold in his second start of the season.
Stats: Passing: 13/23, 153 yards, 1 TD, 2 Ints Rushing: 4 attempts, 22 yards
Although his statistics may not show it, he limited mistakes, avoided sacks, and made timely throws to move the ball downfield. The moment was not too big for him, and it was clear that the team rallied behind him. Johnson provided excitement in a game where many in the fan-base started to lose faith. As some fans put it, “Josh made us care.”
Adrian Peterson: Peterson has been a revelation this season, and he continued his strong performance on Saturday. He carried the ball 26 times, for 119 yards. But his intangibles are what set him apart. Running behind an offensive line consisting of Luke Bowanko and Zac Kerin, Peterson willingly put the team on his back. He did more than his fair share to carry the team to victory yesterday, and his performance should be applauded.
“The Drive”: I wouldn’t put this possession up there in “John Elway Lore” quite yet, but what the Redskins did in the first quarter was quite impressive.
On their third drive of the game, the team received the ball on their own seven-yard line with 26 seconds remaining in the first quarter. What transpired next was likely the best drive of the season, as the team marched 93 yards and scored a seven-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd. All the while taking 10:58 of the play clock. This drive set the tone for the game, and showed the Titans that the Redskins were here to play.
Dustin Hopkins: Connected on all three of his field goal tries yesterday, including attempts of 50, 46, and 40 yards. He now is 26 for 29 on the season and has proven to be a reliable asset.
Open-Field Tackling: It’s hard to quantify this, but it was clear that the Redskins defense left a lot out there on the field. A noteable play was in the second quarter on a 3rd-and-4 with 1:57 left in the half. Greg Manusky called a blitz, and Dion Lewis leaked out to the flat to provide an outlet for Marcus Mariota.
DJ Swearinger was responsible for the coverage and had Lewis lined up for a tackle short of the first-down marker. He missed on the play and allowed Lewis to gain 18 yards, and lengthen the drive.
As opposed to a punt, and a potential two-minute drill for the Redskins, the Titans moved down the field and took a 3-point lead going into the half.
Penalties: The Redskins had eight penalties for 49 yards in the game. A false start by Timon Parris prevented the Redskins for going for it on a fourth-and-1 in the first quarter. The Redskins elected to punt the ball instead.
Clock-Management: Although this wasn’t the death blow that brought the team down, Gruden’s clock-management was a little suspicious on the final drive of the game. The Redskins received the ball at their own 25 with 4:30 remaining in the game.
After getting to mid-field with roughly three minutes on the clock, the team had no sense of urgency and allowed the clock to run into the two-minute warning, and eventually 1:22 left. For a team that lacks explosion, it would have been prudent to at least to get into field goal range before allowing that much time to run off the clock.
In fact, on the play leading to Johnson’s interception, over thirty seconds dwindled between second and third down. The play-clock was at one before he called the snap. Was Johnson ready for that play?
Post Game Comments: What has almost become a weekly event, Safety DJ Swearinger had critical comments of his coaches and the team. However, this time the reaction was more explosive and public.
At times, Swearinger has proven to be a leader both on-and-off the field. However, it is clear that his comments are starting to fall on deaf ears, especially after his own lackluster performances on the field. It may be wise for Swearinger to improve his own play, or air these grievances behind closed doors. Because it doesn’t look good for himself or the team.
In fact, Jonathan Allen had his own rebuttal:
The Redskins will take on the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday at FedEx Field at 1pm. Unless several fortunate events occur, it is likely the last game of the season.