The Redskins faced off against Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday and the first quarter between the two teams gotten off to the start many expected. However, the Redskins were able to get the most traction of the two teams, as well as win the field position battle. The Redskins defense was able to pressure Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler on multiple dropbacks, forcing him to check it down quicker than he would have liked, and even forced a fumble on one of their sacks.
Washington’s defense was able to get off to a good start against Jacksonville, who after the past five weeks, ranked amongst the worst defensive units over that time-span. In all, the defensive unit has sacked Kessler four times and forced one turnover in the first half. On the other end, offensive struggles continue. Even with good field position, the Redskins offense struggles to capitalize with touchdowns or even sustaining a drive with the driving factor being penalties. The first half ineptitude proved fatal late in the second quarter, which left Washington trailing 10-3 following a Jaguars punt-return touchdown by Dede Westbrook.
The Redskins had more penalties (five) than first downs in the first downs (two) in the first half against Jacksonville, but eventually would be able to gain some traction in the third quarter with the help of recently signed quarterback Josh Johnson. Johnson’s third quarter performance carried over into the fourth, leading Washington inside the Jaguars red-zone midway through the fourth quarter with a scoring pass to tight end Jeremy Sprinkle. For obvious reasons, it was the best drive Washington had to that point in the game. But not so fast, Washington’s second half offensive performance was not done yet. Following a big interception of Cody Kessler deep in the Redskins territory, Josh Johnson and Adrian Peterson co-led a huge seven-play 36-yard drive to set the Redskins up in excellent field goal position. Washington came back to beat Jacksonville 16-13 on a last-second field goal by Dustin Hopkins.
Josh Johnson finished 16-of-25 for 151 yards and a touchdown through the air, and added nine rushes for 49 yards.
Jamison Crowder was Johnson’s leading target, hauling in 46 yards on four receptions, bringing in each of the targets sent his way. Jeremy Sprinkle recorded his first touchdown of the season in addition to 19 yards on three catches.
Adrian Peterson was Washington’s leading rusher with 51 yards on 19 carries in addition to two grabs for 20 yards. Chris Thompson also added nine yards on five rushes.
On defense Mason Foster tallied seven tackles to lead the team, while the Redskins recorded eight sacks including two apiece from Jonathan Allen and Ryan Kerrigan who surpassed Charles Mann’s career mark, and moved into second place in team history. Fabian Moreau’s second half interception ended up being crucial in the Redskins’ winning effort.
The defense did a tremendous job bottling up an under-manned Jacksonville offense. Cody Kessler was just 9-of-17 for 57 yards and an interception through the air. Kessler was also the Jaguars’ leading rusher with 68 yards on 11 carries, while Leonard Fournette was held to just 11 carries for 46 yards.
Despite a breakdown allowing a punt return for a touchdown in the waining moments of the first half, Washington’s special teams continued to stand out as Dustin Hopkins was 3/3 for field goals, and team MVP Tress Way averaged 46.5 yards per punt and pinned half of his attempts inside the 20 yard line, despite playing with a back-up long snapper for the first time this year.
In the end, despite playing with their fourth starting quarterback of the season, Washington keeps their playoff hopes alive at 7-7, and a chance to win the NFC East with two games remaining in 2018.