The Washington Redskins called their Week 9 game a "must-win", but fell 21-6 in an ugly loss to the previously one-win Carolina Panthers.
The Redskins couldn't string together drives, converting on only three of 15 third downs and committing a whopping 13 penalties for 97 yards. That left Washington on the short end of the scoreboard in what looked like a winnable game. For Redskins blogger Kevin Ewoldt of Hogs Haven, the loss more or less ends Washington's season:
I don't know what (head coach Mike) Shanahan will tell the media and fans this week. My guess, "Well, we have the BYE week to re-evaluate things and we're not mathematically eliminated so we're going to approach it that way and see what this team is made of."
So, for the fourth straight year, the Redskins are irrelevant before Thanksgiving.
Nothing really worked for Washington: Robert Griffin III's offense only gained 4.3 yards per pass play thanks to short gains and four sacks, but for Ewoldt, a major concern was a defensive unit that allowed Cam Newton to operate with relative ease and failed to force a single turnover:
It doesn't appear anyone on this defense can cover as Redskins LBs were continually one to three steps behind their Panthers' player. The pass rush was non-existent as always. Steve Smith and TEs had their way. DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart were rushing in chunks.
The Redskins had termed their Week 9 game a "must-win", but winning was never really an option in a game that saw the Redskins score only a pair of field goals in the first 58 minutes.