- The Washington Times
Sunday, November 17, 2019

LANDOVER — There were plenty of moments throughout Sunday’s 34-17 loss to the New York Jets that perfectly captured how far the Washington Redskins have fallen as a franchise, how disastrous their season has unfolded.

There were the empty seats throughout the lower bowl, which have become a staple at FedEx Field. There was kicker Dustin Hopkins clanking a 29-yard attempt off the crossbar, helping Washington extend its touchdown drought another quarter. There was Sam Darnold, who flicked pass after pass off his wrist to find open receivers streaking down the field. Fans even chanted “Sell the team!” late in the fourth quarter. 

In all, the Redskins (1-9) looked like a team desperately ready for the season to be over.

After all, Washington was dominated by a Jets squad that entered the weekend with just two wins, a team arguably as dysfunctional as the Redskins.

Getting his first start at home, rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins didn’t provide the spark fans had hoped to see. The 22-year-old threw two touchdowns, but tossed an ugly interception in the fourth quarter and was under pressure the entire game on a afternoon that saw him sacked six times.

His best throw of the day came in the second quarter when he evaded multiple defenders and launched a 67-yard bomb to wide receiver Terry McLaurin, showcasing his cannon of an arm that dazzled Washington before the draft.

The problem: That play was immediately wiped out when the referees called guard Brandon Scherff for holding.

Washington’s offense, as a whole, struggled. In total, the Redskins went a full 16 quarters without scoring a touchdown — the longest streak by an NFL team since at least 2001, according to ESPN.

That streak was finally snapped when Haskins found running back Derrius Guice on a screen pass that went the distance for a 45-yard score. But at that point, with under 10 minutes left in the game, the contest had already been well decided.

With under a minute left, Haskins found tight end Jeremy Sprinkle in the end zone for the second touchdown of his career. 

The Redskins, coming off a bye week, had extra time to get ready for the Jets — but Washington looked unprepared all the same.

In the first, quarterback Sam Darnold effortlessly carved Washington up. Darnold and the Jets needed just seven plays to score, capping off the 75-yard drive with a 20-yard pass to tight end Daniel Brown.

Washington squandered its chance to respond. Haskins botched a hand-off to Steven Sims for a loss of six yards. That put the Redskins in an unfavorable down and distance, leading to a punt.

The game slipped away from the Redskins in the second quarter, when the Redskins couldn’t capitalize on two pivotal New York mistakes that gave Washington the ball in great field position.

With 10:41 left in the first half, linebacker Jon Bostic picked off Darnold and returned the interception to the 16-yard line, setting up the Washington offense in the red zone.

But the Redskins, who have scored the fewest red zone touchdowns in the NFL this season with six, couldn’t do anything with the ball. On third down, Haskins took a 15-yard sack, forcing Washington to settle for a 44-yard field goal.

After Jets wideout Robby Anderson fumbled on the ensuing kickoff return and Washington recovered, the offense went back to work.

This time, the Redskins actually moved the ball. Guice, playing in his first game since tearing his meniscus in Week 1, helped Washington get to the 11-yard line, only for the drive to stall.

Hopkins came on and missed a 29-yarder.

Meanwhile, despite the Bostic pick, Darnold was slicing up the Redskins‘ secondary, engineering a three-play, 82-yard touchdown drive just before halftime. The Jets went into the locker room with a 20-3 lead that, for this Redskins team, might as well have been insurmountable.

But just in case, the Jets scored twice more in the fourth quarter, including when former Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder hauled in a 29-yard pass.

Crowder celebrated, making his way from the end zone to the corner wall where a group of Jets fans sat. As the wideout was embraced, the Redskins‘ fans booed and made their way for the exits.

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