Landover, Maryland Less than a week after his captain was stripped of his captain and fined for violating protocol during a pandemic, Dwayne Haskins was stripped of the ball, thrown two protests and lost his primary job, possibly for good.
Haskins’ failed second chance coupled with a special team foul and defensive mistakes added to Washington blasting its first chance to snatch NFC East with a 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The meltdown came with a chance to win and enter with one side of the silver side: Washington can still finish the First Division and reach the playoffs by beating Philadelphia at the end of the season.
Coach Ron Rivera said: “What was disappointing was that we did not play championship football.” We still control our destiny. This is the truth of the matter. We have another game to play. It’s a very important match. “
That was the case, and Rivera chose to start Haskins following the 2019 first-round selection Celebration with several people without a mask Being $ 40,000 docked for breaching COVID-19 rules. Haskins rewarded his coach by rolling the ball three times in the first half and he was 14 of 28 for 154 yards before Rivera pulled him in for Taylor Heinek.
“We weren’t pushing,” said desperate Haskins from his home long after the match. “Very disappointing. We failed. I should have played better.”
By the time Heinicke entered early in the fourth quarter with Washington down 14, it was too late. Haskins ‘mistakes, Stephen Sims’ muted kick that turned into a Panthers defeat and early defense struggles made a very deep hole to break out of.
Heinicke 12 out of 19 for 137 yards was in relief and threw a 29-yard TD fairway to JD McKissic with a 1:50 left. He hasn’t played since 2018 – for Carolina – and was signed to the coaching team less than three weeks ago.
“There is nothing more difficult than getting out of the cold,” Hencke said.
While Rivera was looking to enter the playoffs by beating his former team, the scene was instead eerily reminiscent of four years ago when Jay Groden’s Jay Groden lost a possible match in the seventeenth week against the Giants, who had no such thing. Carolina anything to play for.
New York loss earlier Sunday in Baltimore Put NFC East in focus for Washington (6-9), which must now defeat Jalen Hurts and Eagles next week to finish off the NFL’s weakest division.
“I believe in this team,” said Camerin Correll, Salama Washington. “We just had to prepare to face the Eagles and go for a place in the qualifiers.”
Carolina (5–10) snapped a three-game sledge behind 197 yards past Teddy Bridgewater, opportunistically performing in defense and special teams. With Christian McCaffrey out again, Curtis Samuel had five grabs for 106 yards and was the forerunner of the Panthers with 52 yards on seven carts.
Coach Matt Rolle said: “That, to me, is how most teams win in December. Lots of things happen early in the year, but in December the good teams run football, play defense, and have the ball away. “
Bridgewater knew well that the Panthers had lost eight losses this season with a chance to tie or take the lead in late fourth quarter, and made sure they weren’t there this time. Bridgewater completed 12 of 18 passes in the first half, throwing a TD pass from 14 yards to Robby Anderson and leading another scoring campaign.
Rookie Chase Young was Washington’s best player in his first game since replacing Haskins as captain. Pick # 2 forced Bridgewater to tumble into a sack in the Washington area early in the third quarter to prevent Carolina from putting out more points. Record the offense on the next drive.
“It’s a great honor,” said the 21-year-old. “The only thing that gives me is just the motivation to keep doing everything right and keep playing hard.”
Carolina players and coaches wore Rivera Strong shirts during pre-match training in honor of the former team coach, who underwent treatment for a form of skin cancer earlier this season. Rivera trained the Panthers for nearly a decade, a mission that included a 15-1 season with a trip to the Super Bowl five years earlier.
Panthers: LT Trent Scott left early in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and never came back. Scott was already working to replace injured rookie Russell Okong, who was inactive.
Washington: I played without star WR Terry McLaurin, who couldn’t keep up with ankle pain.
Panthers: New Orleans will host the NFC South Champion next Sunday.
Washington: You get another chance to win the NFC East race next Sunday in Philadelphia.
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