Sunday, December 26, 2010
Wrap-up: Redskins 20, Jaguars 17 (OT)
By Matt Mosley
Let's take a quick look at how the Redskins won their sixth game of the season in Jacksonville:
What it means: If the Washington Redskins could just take every game to overtime, they'd be in good shape this season. The Redskins (6-9) hurt the Jaguars' playoff hopes with a 20-17 win. It was the Skins' fourth overtime game this season, and they've won three of them. Quarterback Rex Grossman made some important throws, but you have to give the defense a ton of the credit. Washington was missing 13 of its 22 opening day starters. They had to start Kevin Barnes and Macho Harris at safety, and it was Barnes who made the interception that set up Graham Gano's game-winning field goal in overtime. The Redskins have lost all four coin flips heading into overtime, but they've managed to hold their own.
The backups: Coach Mike Shanahan has been criticized for how he's handled a couple of high-profile players, and he's deserved almost all of it. But give Shanahan and defensive coordinator Jim Haslett credit for putting together a game plan that caused so many issues for the Jaguars. Outside linebacker Rob Jackson made the first start of his career for an injured Brian Orakpo, and he had a sack and forced a fumble. Barnes missed a tackle on David Garrard's game-tying touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but he bounced back with the huge interception.
What's up with Cooley? Redskins tight end Chris Cooley should be Grossman's best friend these days, but he dropped four passes, including a certain touchdown, in the first half alone. It's remarkable that Washington was able to overcome such an uneven performance from one of its best players.
Moss is The Man: Santana Moss continues to be the most consistent playmaker on this team. He's now surpassed 1,000 yards. He had five catches for 85 yards. Kyle Shanahan has done a nice job of putting him in motion and lining him up in different spots. Moss never cares what the Skins' record is during the season. He played his heart out last season, and he's doing the same for the Shanahans now.
What's next? The Redskins will host a New York Giants team that will likely be fighting for a playoff spot considering the way things are going Sunday in Green Bay. Everyone knew the Jags had more to play for than the Skins, but a lot of reserves went out and played an excellent game. Those players gave Shanahan something to build on as he prepares for the final game of the season. If the Redskins could upset the Giants, it could set the tone for the offseason.