Washington managed to move the ball a little better, but still found touchdowns impossible to attain and fell, 20-9, to the Miami Dolphins
, giving Shanahan the first five-game losing streak of his coaching career and the Redskins their first such skid since 2001.
“It’s the same thing each and every week,” wide receiver Jabar Gaffney lamented. “That’s what’s really, like, frustrating. We work on it, think we have it controlled and figured out. Then we come back out and we still have the same problems.”
Grossman, who was benched in Week 6 after a four-interception performance against the Philadelphia Eagles but who split first-team snaps with Beck in practice this week, threw two more interceptions to a Miami defense that entered the game with only two picks all year. He completed 21 of 32 passes for 215 yards, and the Redskins managed only 246 total yards on offense.
The Dolphins, who had only one victory this season, picked up consecutive wins for the first time since the beginning of the 2010 season. Paced by two rushing touchdowns from Reggie Bush, Miami topped Washington in every statistical category and improved to 2-7. The Dolphins became the fourth one-win team to defeat the Redskins this season.
Washington fell to 3-6 on the season after managing only 61 rushing yards.
With three offensive starters already out for the season, the Redskins started Sunday’s game without starting right tackle Jammal Brown and wideout Niles Paul, in addition to wide receiver Santana Moss.
“You go with more of an experienced guy that has dealt with these situations,” Shanahan said in explaining his switch to Grossman. “I didn’t want to put John in a situation where we had a number of guys down, and with his experience, especially over the last two weeks, I didn’t think that was the right thing to do.”
One of the topics of discussion among the Redskins’ defensive players this week was the need for them to help set up the team’s struggling offense with better field position so the play-maker-deficient unit would have an easier time scoring. The defense did just that twice in the first three quarters, but the offense couldn’t capitalize either time.
The first missed opportunity came late in the first quarter. Washington’s Graham Gano had missed a 50-yard field goal wide left, giving Miami the ball at the 40-yard line. But three plays later, Redskins defensive back Kevin Barnes picked off Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore’s third-and-31 pass and returned it to the 5-yard line.
But the offense actually went backwards from there. A one-yard Ryan Torain run was called back by a holding penalty on tight end Logan Paulsen and, after they were backed up to the 11-yard line, the Redskins only made it to the 8 before they had to settle for a Gano field goal.