The Washington Redskins put up one stinker of a performance with their playoff hopes on the line against the last-place Carolina Panthers on Monday night.
It was a bad overall performance from a team that needed a win to maintain its playoff positioning in the NFC. Kirk Cousins failed to throw a touchdown for just the second time in his past 30 starts. Rookie running back Rob Kelley gained a grand total of eight yards on nine attempts.
Following the 26-15 home loss to Carolina, head coach Jay Gruden acknowledged that he was outcoached by Panthers head man Ron Rivera.
“We’re disappointed, it’s no question,” Gruden said in his post-game presser, via The Washington Post. “First of all, we were outcoached today. There’s no question about that, and they played better than us, so you’ve got to give credit to the Carolina Panthers. It’s my responsibility to get these guys ready to play, and we didn’t execute like I would’ve liked to have seen. That falls on my shoulders.”
Is Gruden correct in this assumption? Well, whenever a playoff contender loses by double digits at home against a last-place team, blame can pretty much be thrown everywhere.
However, the Redskins’ offensive gameplan did seem inept. While the team didn’t have success on the ground early, it abandoned that aspect of the game pretty much when Washington fell down to Carolina in the first half. A ratio of 47 passes to 13 rush attempts just isn’t a winning formula in the NFL.
It’s also important to note three of the Redskins’ four drives that ended inside Carolina’s 30 yard line resulted in field goals. Sure the players have to execute the gameplan, but this seems to be an indication that the plan itself wasn’t up to snuff.
Not at 7-6-1 on the season, Washington finds itself behind both Tampa Bay and Green Bay for the final wild card spot in the NFC. And in reality, coaching sure did play a role in this.