September 20, 2019

Washington Redskins give up walk off Pick-6 to Falcons after coming back to force OT

Although the Washington Redskins were just 2-2 on the season, they were tied for first place of the weakened NFC East and looking to keep pace when they traveled to the undefeated Atlanta Falcons. With the defense playing their hearts out while the offense gave them little to work with, it looked like it would be a classic Washington blown lead. After losing the lead twice, quarterback Kirk Cousins orchestrated two drives to regain the lead and then tie the game to force overtime. On the ensuing series, bad luck haunted the Redskins as a slip and early throw resulted in a walk off pick-6 touchdown, dropping Washington to 2-3 with a 25-19 loss.

Penalties have been an Achilles heel of the team throughout the season so far. The flags reared their ugly head again as the Redskins went three-and-out on the opening possession following a holding penalty on left tackle Trent Williams. Right when things were looking bad for a beat up secondary, Washington was bailed out by a drop and overthrow to Julio Jones. The latter resulted in the Redskins first interception of the year by Trenton Robinson who was stepping up to make a possible tackle.

The teams traded punts after both picked up a single first down; on the Redskins defensive stop, Ryan Kerrigan recorded his 40.5th sack of his career, passing former bookend Brian Orakpo. On the ensuing series, Kirk Cousins went to work with big time throws to Chris Thompson and Pierre Garcon for first downs. After Thompson looked to have given up first down yardage trying to make a move after the catch, Jay Gruden rolled the dice by going for it on a fourth-and-1 well within field goal range.

Cousins was barely able to pick up the yardage needed on a quarterback sneak and three plays later on third-and-goal made Atlanta pay with a dart to Derek Carrier, starting in place of an injured Jordan Reed (concussion), in the end zone for a touchdown.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons responded with first downs picked up by former Redskin Leonard Hankerson as well as by Jacob Tamme and DeVonta Freeman. However, the defense was able to stand strong and force a stop and field goal attempt and the Falcons cut the Washington lead to 7-3.

After an impressive run after catch by Jamison Crowder on a screen play on third-and-10, the chemistry between Cousins and Pierre Garcon seemed to be shaky. After missing him in the flat, Cousins went right back to the native Haitian on a third-and-10 play but threw behind Garcon. Things went from bad to worse when Garcon tried to make a play on the ball but actually popped it in the air for Cousin’s fifth interception, which Robert Alford and returned to the Redskins 40.

Another former Redskin burned the defense with a third-down conversion by slot man Nick Williams. The defense rallied however, as Chris Baker sacked and stripped Matt Ryan to take away the Falcons from even getting a field goal attempt off of the Cousins interception.

The rest of the team did little to reward the defense, as after a three-and-out and 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on DeShazor Everett, the Falcons had the ball at the Redskins 45. Luckily for Washington, a second sack from Kerrigan — as well as a sure-fire tackle by inside linebacker Will Compton — forced the Falcons into a field goal attempt on fourth-and-1. It seems the football gods rewarded the Redskins defense, as Matt Bryant’s 38-yard attempt doinked off of the goal post to maintained the Skins’ 7-3 lead at halftime.

It seemed to be deja vu again for the defense, as they were already defending their own territory after just two big plays from Julio Jones, on his first reception, and Devonta Freeman. The defense forced a fourth down attempt for the Falcons that Atlanta was able to convert, but Washington came back to force another field goal attempt. And wouldn’t you know, Bryant decided to hit the other upright on a 48-yard field goal attempt.

After converting on a third down play to Crowder, the Redskins were in solid field goal position until they lost eight yards on back-to-back plays. Hopkins missed his first field goal as a Redskin from 53 yards out, wide right. With the good field position, the Falcons easily crossed into Redskins territory before being forced into another fourth down situation. The Redskins dropped into an extremely soft zone that Julio Jones was able to easily beat underneath for a conversion. After a horsecollar penalty against Bashaud Breeland on a play which offensive holding should have been called on, the Falcons were in the red zone. Finally the defense came up with a stop on third down in which Ryan threw incomplete to Hankerson and this time Bryant converted to cut the Washington lead to 7-6.

It was safe to say Cousins was having a bad game for the Redskins — many of his incompletions were on him for not even giving his receivers a chance to make a play on the ball. After throwing behind and high to Ryan Grant and Garcon, respectively, it was yet another three-and-out for the dismal offense. Then, against a tired Washington defense, it was the Devonta Freeman show, as he gained 54 yards on the ground during the Falcons ensuing drive. Right when it looked like the Redskins defense came through in the clutch again with Chris Baker forcing another fumble, Julio Jones recovered it in the end zone for an Atlanta touchdown. With an incompletion on the two point conversion attempt, Washington trailed 13-12 with 9 minutes to go.

After a nonexistent offense for much of the game, the Redskins turned into a quick-strike team that was given much talk earlier in the week. After a big run-and-catch by Crowder on a well-designed screen, the Redskins took a shot deep to Rashad Ross. The pass fell incomplete, but Ross was able to draw a pass interference penalty. On the very next play, Matt Jones took it in from 2 yards out and the Redskins had a 13-12 lead after failing to convert on a two-point conversion.

After the defense gave up a third down conversion to Julio Jones, Breeland came up with a huge interception after he under cut Roddy White’s route. Washington was fairly conservative in their goal-to-go situations and ended up settling for a field goal that put them up just 16-12.

Unfortunately for the Redskins,  Matt Ryan had over 2 minutes to work with and he dissected the Redskins soft coverage. After five straight completions, the Falcons were already in striking defense. On a third down play it looked like Atlanta had scored a touchdown, but after review Freeman was ruled to have not completed the process of the catch after breaking the plane, setting up a fourth down. However, after a tough reception to Roddy White for the conversion, Freeman slipped away from Keenan Robinson for a touchdown putting Atlanta up 19-16 with just 24 seconds left in the game.

As everyone was writing the Redskins off, Cousins completed passes to Carrier and Garcon for 20 and 19 yards, respectively. After one more completion on an out route to Jamison Crowder, Dustin Hopkins was set up for an overtime forcing 52-yard field goal from the left hash. After missing a 53-yarder from the right hash earlier, Hopkins drilled it and forced overtime.

The Washington Redskins were looking to win back-to-back thrilling games for the first time since 2012. By winning the coin toss, there was nothing standing in there way. After a nice catch by Chris Thompson to pick up a crucial first down, Washington was near midfield after yet another Jamison Crowder catch. However, on a second-and-8 play Atlanta brought the pressure, forcing Cousins to get rid of the ball before looking to see if Ryan Grant, who slipped on the play, was able to make the proper cut. With Grant on the ground and the pass too wide, Robert Alford had his second pick of the day, this one a walk off pick-6. Washington lost a heartbreaker 25-19, falling to 2-3.

About Neil Dalal

Neil Dalal is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Wizards, and Maryland Terrapins. Neil grew up in Silver Spring, MD and attends the University of Maryland. Neil has loved everything related to the Redskins, Wizards, Capitals, and Terrapins since he was eight years old. However, he favors the Orioles, as he started watching baseball before the Expos moved to DC. You can follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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  1. […] Washington Redskins fought back yesterday on two separate occasions before eventually falling to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. Usually we would have been accustomed to losing as soon as Atlanta took a 13-12 lead and surely […]

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