“What an atmosphere, right?” Norman, who posed for photos and gave out tickets to Sunday’s game at Dulles Town Center on Friday, said, via ESPN’s John Keim. “Thank you Redskins Nation, you guys showed out in a big way. That was huge for us. Oh my goodness. Applauded y’all for sure. That was big time.”
Safety D.J. Swearinger, who agreed with Norman’s suggestion last week that the Redskins would be better off playing every game on the road, also praised the home crowd in a postgame tweet.
“ShoutOut To The Skins Fans!” Swearinger wrote. “Loud As I Ever Heard Y’all. Sorry We Couldn’t Get The W! We Will Continue Grinding. We Are On To Dallas!!”
Fail: Another Gruesome Injury on Nov. 18
A hush fell over the crowd midway through the third quarter after Kareem Jackson and J.J. Watt combined to sack Alex Smith. Players in the vicinity immediately motioned for trainers to attend to the Redskins quarterback, who remained on the ground in obvious pain. Smith broke his right tibia and fibula and will miss the rest of the season. The gruesome injury happened 33 years to the day since Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann broke his right leg on a hit by Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor on “Monday Night Football.”
McCoy knows Coach Jay Gruden’s offense about as well as anyone, so it was no surprise to see the Redskins’ longtime backup quarterback look comfortable in relief of Smith. He capped his first drive with a touchdown pass to Jordan Reed and led another touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that gave Washington a brief lead. McCoy’s final numbers (6 for 12 for 54 yards) weren’t impressive, but he nearly put the Redskins in position for a game-winning field goal in the final seconds.
Thanksgiving at Dallas will mark McCoy’s first start since Week 15 of the 2014 season. AT&T Stadium is the site of one of the greatest moments of the former University of Texas star’s career, a 20-17 overtime triumph against Dallas when the Redskins were 9.5-point underdogs in 2014. The Cowboys, who are coming off a 22-19 win over Atlanta, opened as eight-point favorites on Sunday.
Fail: Jay Gruden’s Clock Management
Gruden has never been mistaken for a genius when it comes to using his timeouts. On Sunday, his clock mismanagement may have cost the Redskins the game. With 2:22 remaining and the Texans leading 23-21, Lamar Miller ran for four yards on second and nine from the Washington 41-yard line. Rather than using his second timeout, Gruden allowed the clock to run down to the two-minute warning.
Out of the break, Houston was gifted a first down on a questionable defensive holding penalty on Norman. The Redskins used their final two timeouts after the Texans’ next two plays, and Houston allowed the clock to run down to 56 seconds before Ka’imi Fairbairn missed a long field goal. Had Gruden used his timeouts before the two-minute warning, the Redskins would’ve had roughly 20 more seconds to work with on their final drive. That might’ve been enough time to pick up an additional few yards for Dustin Hopkins, whose 63-yard field goal attempt bounced in the end zone on Washington’s final play of the game.
“That’s what you do,” Gruden said afterward when asked why he didn’t use his timeouts before the two-minute warning.
It’s past time for the Redskins to hire a clock management specialist, which has worked out pretty well for Gruden’s former protege, Sean McVay.
On injured reserve since suffering a high-ankle sprain in Washington’s Week 1 win at Arizona, the rookie wide receiver was activated last week and made his first start in place of Jamison Crowder. The former SMU standout made his presence felt early on. After the first catch of his career, a sliding grab over the middle in the first quarter, Quinn popped up and gave an emphatic first-down signal. Quinn moved the chains again later in the half with a catch on an underneath crossing route. In a game that featured several drops by Redskins receivers, including a potential touchdown by Vernon Davis, Mr. Irrelevant was Mr. Reliable. Quinn finished with four catches on four targets for 49 yards.
Fail: That Penalty on Josh Norman
Norman was visibly upset with the defensive holding penalty that negated Washington’s third-down stop out of the two-minute warning, and for good reason. Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis combined to bring down Watson short of the sticks on the play, but the official closest to Norman decided that he grabbed DeAndre Hopkins while Watson was still behind the line of scrimmage.
“It is what it is,” Norman said. “You play defense and those plays, gosh, man, you just have to shake your head. A guy like that, you try and shut them out in the second half. . . . One-on-one with a phenomenal athlete like he is, all-pro, me an all-pro, and we were going after each other. Dog against dog, and we got out there and got scrappy. A guy like that is a vet. He pushes you by, and you are going to hit him, slap him and release. It was perfect. [Then] the play was over and went to the other side and then I stopped and turned around and see a yellow flag. Oh, my gosh.”
Peterson was limited to 51 yards on 16 carries, and his longest run of the game was only nine yards, but he accounted for two of Washington’s three touchdowns. That gives Peterson 105 rushing touchdowns for his career, moving him past John Riggins and into sixth place on the NFL’s all-time list.
Fail: The Backup QB Market
Woof. According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, you shouldn’t hold your breath for the Redskins to give Colin Kaepernick a look in their search for McCoy’s backup. That’s a shame, because the list of names the team is reportedly bringing in is every bit as ugly as Sunday’s throwback uniforms with the mismatched helmets. Mark Sanchez, a.k.a the butt fumble guy, would be a logical choice given his familiarity with Redskins offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh, who served as the Jets’ QB coach from 2009-12.
Read more on the Redskins: