A week after snapping a six-game losing streak with an impressive fourth-quarter comeback against the Seattle Seahawks, the Redskins couldn’t maintain their offensive rhythm and finish strong against the Jets.
The Redskins teased the mostly burgundy-clad crowd of 74,121 by opening the game with an authoritative drive and held the lead until late in the fourth quarter.
But by the second Jets touchdown of the fourth quarter, Redskins fans started heading for the exits. As New York running back Shonn Greene ripped off a 25-yard touchdown run with 1 minute 47 seconds left, a couple of thousand Jets fans, who outlasted their Redskins counterparts, let out a Jets chant that rocked the stadium.
“It’s frustrating. You come out in the second half and I think we had three series of three-and-outs,” Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said after the game. “On offense, we had a chance to get the momentum of the game and we didn’t. . . . They got the touchdown but we were still in the football game. I’m just disappointed the way we finished.”
As if suffering their eighth loss of the season wasn’t enough for the Redskins, reports surfaced shortly before kickoff that starting tight end Fred Davis and left tackle Trent Williams face suspensions for the remainder of the season for failing drug tests.
Shanahan said after the game that he hadn’t yet received word on the suspensions and would comment at a later time. But the team kept the locker room closed long enough for Davis and Williams — who both played against New York — to gather their belongings and leave before reporters were permitted to conduct interviews.
The suspensions are yet another stroke of misfortune for a team already short-handed with seven players on injured reserve. With its remaining schedule, Washington, which has had just two winning seasons in the last 12 years, appears headed toward its third consecutive losing campaign.
As he has for much of this season, Davis provided one of the few bright spots for Washington’s offense against the Jets. He recorded six catches for 99 yards and fell just 53 yards shy of setting the team’s single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end (849 yards).
The Redskins also leaned heavily upon rookie Roy Helu. The rookie running back rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, and had four catches for 42 yards.
In addition to their strong defensive effort, the Redskins stayed in front of the Jets by virtue of three field goals from Graham Gano, who would add a fourth late in the game. Washington led 16-13 with 7:52 left to play after Gano drilled a 46-yard field goal.
But the Redskins’ fortunes changed on the kickoff that followed. Gano — known for his strong leg on kickoffs — was instructed to send a shorter, high-arching kick the Jets’ way in hopes that an upback would bobble the ball and fumble or be stopped for a short gain deep in New York territory. But Gano didn’t get a clean hit on the ball and the kick traveled only to the Jets 20-yard line.