The Washington Redskins lost to the Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football but went down swinging, not by giving an extraordinary effort in the loss, but through a punch that summed up the team’s Monday Night Football melt down.
For what continues to be an unknown reason, Washington tight end Jordan Reed threw a punch at Kurt Coleman a safety for the Panthers during the third quarter with Washington in the Carolina red zone.
Reed was immediately ejected and his team was given a 15-yard penalty. Later in the same drive, the Redskins had to settle for 3-points from a field goal.
That is how things went for the Redskins on the night. Carolina was already knocked out of playoff contention on Sunday, but played spoiler on Monday through battling hard and winning 26-15.
The loss put Washington at 7-6-1 and could cause the Redskins to miss the postseason with just two games remaining in the regular season.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins could not get the Washington offense on track all game. He did not have a touchdown pass and the ground game did little. Washington had to settle for field goals each time it did have a drive into the Carolina red zone.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton did his part to help the Panthers to victory. He was hit hard earlier in the shoulder where he had been injured last week, but shook that off.
In the end, Newton had 300 yards passing and a pair of touchdown passes in one of his better performances of this incredibly poor season for the Panthers following their loss in the Super Bowl to Denver last February.
Washington was battling for a berth in the postseason, but now has an uphill battle to make it there following its loss. Teams that could be part of the wildcard chase in the NFC including Detroit, Atlanta, Green Bay, Tampa Bay as well as Minnesota were helped by the upset win by Carolina.
The race for the final wildcard spot in the NFC is a wide-open affair and will likely not be known until the final game has ended during Week 17.
The Redskins could have used the fight Reed put into punching and being ejected in a more positive way and may have come out on top.