LANDOVER – Whether the call came from the team doctor, the owner or both, it was clear quarterback Dwayne Haskins was not going back into the game.
With Haskins gone, the Washington Redskins offense was able to maintain its momentum. However, the defense was a different story.
Running back Saquon Barkley rushed for 189 yards, and quarterback Daniel Jones threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns, as the New York Giants (4-11) beat the Redskins (3-12) 41-35 in overtime on Dec. 22 at FedEx Field in Landover.
In the last home game of the season, the Redskins’ offense had one of its best performances of the season led by Haskins and later with backup quarterback Case Keenum.
In relief, Keenum completed 16 of 22 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown, leading Washington on a 14-point comeback in the second half to tie the game just before the end of the fourth quarter.
Down 35-28 late in the fourth quarter, Keenum led a 14-play, 99-yard drive to the tie the game, culminating with a 1-yard scramble for a touchdown with Keenum diving into the end zone head first.
Instead of going for a potentially game-winning two-point conversion, Washington Head Coach Bill Callahan opted for the game-tying extra point to the dismay of some fans, but to the relief of Keenum.
“You know, you can always look back and say – I was a little out of breath, to be honest,” Keenum said. “Maybe if I had thrown it in instead of running around like I was doing, I might’ve asked them to go for two. At the moment, I was okay with kicking the extra point.”
However, for Washington, the game-tying drive would be the last time its offense would touch the ball. With the Giants getting possession to begin overtime, Jones led New York on an 11-play, 66-yard drive, finishing it off with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kaden Smith to end the game.
New York’s game-winning drive reflected a reality seen for most of the game: Washington’s defense could not get a stop. The Giants had 552 yards of total yards on the day with season-high performances in yards for both Jones and Barkley.
“We didn’t make the plays we needed to make on defense against them,” Callahan said. “We made some plays, but we weren’t consistent enough throughout the duration of the game.”
Sunday was Keenum’s first action since being benched after he sustained a concussion against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8. Since then, Haskins has taken over the starting job at quarterback.
Before his injury, Haskins was on a pace for a career day, going without an incompletion on his first 10 pass attempts. On his first touchdown pass of the game, Haskins evaded pressure by stepping up in the pocket, then scrambled to his left and completed a 10-yard touchdown pass on the run to Steven Sims Jr.
“Like you said, it started off hot, and I was feeling it a little bit. Then in the first play of the second half, (I) get hurt,” Haskins said. “But everything happens for a reason. Of course, we came in wanting to win that game but came up short. Looking forward to the last game of the season.”
Haskins completed 12 of 15 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with an ankle sprain.
After the game, Haskins said Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder told him to not go back in the game. The organization later clarified that Snyder only told Haskins to follow the advice of the team’s doctor, who said that he should not go back in the game.
“I need to clarify something from my press conference. Dr. West advised me that I was done for this game,” Haskins said in a statement on Twitter. “Dan Snyder, who was in the locker room supporting me, told me I’ve got to listen to the doctor. Looking forward to getting back healthy for Skins Nation.”
Meanwhile, running back Adrian Peterson moved up the all-time rushing touchdowns list with 111, moving up to fourth all-time in NFL history passing Walter Payton.
Going into the game, both New York and Washington had identical records, meaning the Redskins’ loss puts them in a position to have the second-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, as the team currently has the second-worst record in the NFL.
The Redskins’ season ends next week on the road against the Dallas Cowboys on Dec. 29 in Arlington, Texas.