Pan­thers dam­age Red­skins’ hopes

Wash­ing­ton loses con­trol of its play­off chances with de­feat to Carolina.

The Times-Tribune - - National Football League - BY STEPHEN WHYNO

LAN­DOVER, Md. — Kirk Cousins threw an in­ter­cep­tion and fum­bled near his goal line as the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins coughed up their eas­i­est path to the play­offs with a 26-15 loss to the de­fend­ing NFC cham­pion Carolina Pan­thers on Mon­day night.

Wash­ing­ton (7-6-1) could have clinched a play­off berth by win­ning its fi­nal three games, but now needs help. Carolina (6-8) kept its astro­nom­i­cal wild-card hopes alive and dealt a se­ri­ous blow to the Red­skins’ chances with two weeks left in the sea­son.

Af­ter be­ing picked off by Kurt Cole­man in the first half to set up a Carolina field goal, Cousins was sacked by Wes Hor­ton and fum­bled on the first snap af­ter half­time as the Pan­thers took over at the 1-yard line. They scored two plays later to take a 20-9 lead.

Cousins fin­ished 32 of 47 for 316 yards with far too many missed throws in a game with such high stakes.

Reign­ing league MVP Cam New­ton showed no ill ef­fects from a shoul­der in­jury suf­fered last week, throw­ing for 300 yards and two touch­downs as the Pan­thers took ad­van­tage of blun­ders by the Red­skins, who lost their sixth con­sec­u­tive Mon­day night home game.

It was Wash­ing­ton’s most lop­sided loss since be­ing routed, 38-16, by Pitts­burgh in the sea­son opener, also on a Mon­day night.

PA­TRICK SEMANSKY / AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Red­skins cor­ner­back Josh Nor­man (24) and free safety Will Black­mon (41) break up a pass in­tended for Pan­thers wide re­ceiver Ted Ginn dur­ing the sec­ond half of Mon­day night’s game. Ginn caught four passes for 64 yards and one touch­down as the Pan­thers...

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