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3 things we learned about the Redskins

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — In previous seasons, New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick might have feared the worst when he made a low throw.

Then again, he did not have the caliber of players like wide receiver Brandon Marshall in his prior stops.

Marshall not only caught Fitzpatrick’s low pass, but turned it into a highlight-reel 35-yard touchdown reception with 5:53 remaining in the third quarter as the New York Jets overcame a sluggish first half to pull away from the Washington Redskins 34-20 on Sunday.

“I’ve thrown so many of those where I’m kind of getting hit as I release them in my career and they get picked,” Fitzpatrick said. “So I was thinking ‘oh boy here we go’. How he caught it I don’t know and then how he turned it into a touchdown I really don’t know. That’s one of those I’m very thankful Brandon is my teammate and I’m very thankful for the opportunity to throw to him.”

Marshall finished with seven catches and 111 yards for his fourth 100th-yard game of the season. His pivotal play came with about six minutes left in the third quarter on a second-and-four play with the Jets holding a 20-13 lead. Marshall snatched Fitzpatrick’s low throw just above his cleats, spun around cornerback Bashaud Breeland and easily raced in for the score.

“He just threw up to me and I made a play,” Marshall said. “I was able to put our team in a good position.”

“That was a nice play by him,” Jets wide receiver Eric Decker added. “That was a big play in a critical situation. That’s what he does. That’s why he’s so fun to watch because he makes those acrobatic big plays like that one.”

Fitzpatrick finished 19 of 26 for 253 yards and preceded Marshall’s touchdown with a highlight of his own when he raced 18-yards for score with 10:02 remaining. Fitzpatrick’s scramble gave the Jets a 20-13 lead and came one play after cornerback Darrelle Revis intercepted Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins.

What we Learned about the Redskins

1. Second halves continue to be an issue. In three of its four losses, Washington has either led at halftime or at some point during the second half. In the loss to Miami, the Redskins held a 10-7 lead at halftime. In last week’s eventual overtime loss at Atlanta, Washington held a 16-12 lead before giving up a touchdown with six seconds left in regulation. On Sunday, the Redskins scored 13 points off three turnovers and held a 13-10 halftime lead. Eventually they were undone by a sub-par third quarter, getting outscored 17-0 as quarterback Kirk Cousins was picked off twice.

2. Garcon scores early but not targeted late. Since DeSean Jackson has yet to play, Pierre Garcon is trying compensate for the absence. Garcon entered Sunday with 27 catches and 267 yards and his day began decently when he blew past Jets CB Darrelle Revis for a two-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Garcon finished with five receptions for 28 yards, was targeted eight times but none of those took place in the second half when Washington was held to 81 yards offensively.

3. Next week is a must win for Washington. Although being 2-4 isn’t the worst position for a team in the NFC East, it’s still far from ideal, especially after a game when coach Jay Gruden described the second half as laying an egg. The Redskins host the 2-3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week before going to New England following its bye week. So it was hardly surprising Gruden called next week’s game a must win by saying “It’s a code red for us.”

–CB Bashund Breeland forced a fumble and had a 28-yard interception return Sunday. Breeland, however did not finish the game and the Redskins said he has a knee contusion. “He’s a tough guy, a competitor,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said. “He has some injuries he’s dealing with. Fought through them, make a good strip and then obviously the interception. He’s a great competitor. He’s good for our football team.

–S Trenton Washington had eight combined tackles Sunday but also was injured. He exited Washington’s locker room with his left ankle in a walking boot.

–QB Kirk Cousins had an uneven performance as he was 25-for-43 with 196 yards. Cousins struggled immensely in the second half and threw a pair of interceptions during the third quarter leading to two New York touchdowns. “If I start to doubt myself, I’m never going to get to the next level I want to be at,” he said. “If I doubt (myself), we might as well throw in the towel.” Asked if Cousins was the starter for the rest of the season, Washington coach Jay Gruden said: “That’s the intent”.


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