Even in success, failure often finds the Redskins. For so long now, they’ve been defined by disappointment. It’s as much a part of them as their uniforms.
- Jason Reid
Washington Redskins find failure again, even on a good day
For a change, the Redskins were actually impressive on offense, producing a season-high in total net yards. They remained committed to the running game (another rare occurrence) and got another fine outing from rookie running back Roy Helu.
The Redskins also scored a long touchdown on a nifty trick play. They did a lot right in pushing the AFC East-leading Patriots in a game that was fun to watch.
Yet the end result was Washington’s eighth loss in nine games. The Redskins will miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season and the ninth time in Daniel Snyder’s 12 years as owner.
That became official when Santana Moss couldn’t come up with Rex Grossman’s final pass and the ball caromed off Moss toward New England linebacker Jerod Mayo, who made a diving, game-clinching interception.
At the New England 9-yard line and driving to tie the score or win the game with a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the final 30 seconds, Washington instead was mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.
From a potential upbeat moment in another dreary season to an awful experience in the blink of an eye. “I don’t know why it keeps happening,” inside linebacker London Fletcher said. “In this game, it always comes down to whichever team makes the most plays, and we made a lot. But you have to make enough. A lot of times, we just don’t do that.”
Grossman isn’t in the same league (universe?) with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. No right-minded person would argue that one. On Sunday, though, Grossman matched up favorably with the future Hall of Famer. Grossman again displayed his big-play ability, which was a key factor in the score being tied, 20-20, at halftime.
Unfortunately, as is usually the case with Grossman, he contributed to both the Redskins and their opponent.
Early in the first quarter, former Redskins defensive end Andre Carter forced a fumble while sacking Grossman in the end zone. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork recovered the ball in the end zone to help New England take a quick 7-0 lead.
Grossman had two touchdown passes while directing an offense that amassed 463 yards. He made a lot of nice throws to extend drives. Granted, New England’s defense is awful. It offered little resistance. The Patriots rank last in the NFL in yards allowed, and they have truly earned their position. But Grossman had many good moments.
His six-point fumble, however, was exactly the type of thing that continues to plague the Redskins. It holds them back from returning to what they once were, or at least something close to it.
Return specialist Brandon Banks and Moss combined on a 49-yard touchdown pass on a trick play. Smartly, Shanahan and his offensive coordinator son, Kyle, continued to feed Helu, who had 27 rushes for 126 yards (a 4.7-yard average) and became the first Redskins rookie running back with three straight 100-yard games. Washington dominated in time of possession.