March 8, 2021

Washington Redskins Game 10 Review: Turnovers, penalties, and missed tackles doom Skins against Panthers


Even though this might not have been a “must-win” for the Washington Redskins against the undefeated Carolina Panthers, it would have been huge for the DC franchise to keep pace in the muddled NFC East. After an early shootout similar to the Saints game last year, Washington had a pick-6 interception get called back on a controversial and questionable personal foul penalty. Not only was the 14-point swing a big deal in the final score, but the Redskins had no swagger about them on their way to a mistake-filled blowout. The Redskins fell to a record of 4-6 after a 44-16 thrashing to the 10-0 Carolina Panthers.

One of the main keys for the Redskins on defense was to stop the running game and put pressure on Cam Newton in the passing game. In the first three plays they did exactly that by dropping Jonathan Stewart for no gain before forcing back-to-back incompletions from Newton thanks to pressure from Trent Murphy and Ryan Kerrigan. Unfortunately for Washington, on a third down for Kirk Cousins felt the pressure and delivered way to high for an open DeSean Jackson for an interception.

With their backs up against the wall on a short field, the defense did not execute the same way they started the game. They gave Newton plenty of time in the pocket to survey the field and did not get Stewart to the down after his first option hole had closed up. On the third play of the drive, the defense had a busted coverage and Stewart took a dump off for a touchdown.


(Photo by: @Redskins)

Much of what everyone around the Washington Redskins was worried about with Cousins was how he would respond after making a mistake. Today he did just fine by immediately firing a dart to Pierre Garcon for a 17-yard gain to start the drive. Two plays later, Cousins took advantage of a backup safety matched up on DeSean Jackson with a solid pass that resulted in a touchdown after the run after the catch.

After a promising start to the next drive with a sack of Newton, the Redskins defense just laid down and let the Panthers drive it down their throats. Newton showcased his arm with tough passes to the outside and finished the drive 6 of 7 for 66 yards and a touchdown. Similarly to Carolina’s first score, the Redskins were unable to defend the dump off pass for a touchdown.


(Photo by: @Redskins)

Luckily for Washington, Andre Roberts made his presence felt in a positive regard with a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown because of great vision to weave around the field. This is just the fourth time in Washington Redskins history that they have had two or more kickoff returns for touchdowns in a season.

Both teams traded three-and-outs before things got infuriating for Redskins fans. Chris Culliver, already flagged twice on the possession, put a great lick on Greg Olson to dislodge him from the football. The ball hung up in the air for Culliver to intercept and take back to the house.

Then the referees, even after consulting with one another, called Culliver for a hit on a defenseless receiver. Since there is no helmet-to-helmet contact, I think the call is much more closer to wrong than right as the defense has limited options to get down a 6′ 5” 250 pound receiver. Carolina turned its gift into another touchdown and everything went downhill for Washington for the rest of the half.

(Photo by: @Redskins)

(Photo by: @Redskins)

The offense continued its turnover problems. Two plays after the Panthers took a controversial 21-14 lead, Matt Jones, playing with Alfred Morris again sidelined with a rib injury, put the ball on the ground for his NFL-leading fourth lost fumble. Cam Newton and Carolina gladly turned that into their fourth touchdown of the half on a slant to Greg Olsen matched up against Jeron Johnson.

Washington hoprd to score before the half and again at the other side of the intermission, but they could not even convert the first part of that equation. Cousins kept the ball on 7 of 8 plays of the drive as the Redskins drove to the edge of the red zone. Sean McVay brilliantly called a quarterback keeper on the read-option and Kirk Cousins took it down to inside the five yard line, before a weak holding call on Jordan Reed brought it all back.

On the next play Morgan Moses was beaten by Kony Ealy, who stripped Cousins of the football and gave Carolina another scoring opportunity. Former Redskins kicker Graham Gano gave the Panthers a 31-14 lead at halftime, the most points scored by Carolina in the first half in franchise history.

Things got even worse the begin the second half as Cousins was again sacked and lost the football off of a corner blitz from Bene Benwikere. On the short field, Newton cashed the opportunity in for another touchdown pass, converting on third down. Down 38-14, Washington went three-and-out on its next two possessions as they became completely one-dimensional. The Panthers added a field goal on the latter of the Redskins punts to make it a four possession game at 41-14 Carolina.

A play after the Redskins caught a break in recovering Chris Thompson‘s fumble, they were not that lucky when Jordan Reed was careless with the football while running after the catch. It went down as Washington’s fifth turnover of the game. The Panthers made sure they got Jonathan Stewart over 100 yards and after their drive stalled in the red zone, they tacked on another Gano field goal to make it a 44-14 rout.

Washington and the Panthers would combine for three punts before Carolina decided to take a safety instead of risk a blocked punt in their own end zone. The misery ended at a final score of 44-16, but the Redskins will have a chance to be in first place of the NFC East next week with a home game against the current leaders in the New York Giants.

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.


  1. […] After Andre Roberts returned a kickoff for a touchdown to tie the game at 14, the Washington Redskins gave up 30 points unanswered on their way to an embarrassing loss to the undefeated Carolina Panthers. Today head coach Jay Gruden addressed some of the many points of concerns about yesterday’s loss. […]

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