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The Blue & Gray Press | January 16, 2019

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Redskins fall in season opener

Redskins fall in season opener



Coming off a disastrous 2013 season, the Washington Redskins looked to right the ship in their season opener against the Houston Texans. Instead, the Redskins lost the game 17-6, continuing a league worst nine-game losing streak.

Plagued by untimely mistakes and turnovers, the Redskins struggled in the loss. On consecutive drives in the 3rd quarter, Washington turned the ball over in the red zone, first coming when third year quarterback Robert Griffin III tripped over a lineman’s foot while trying to hand the ball off to running back Alfred Morris. The play resulted in a fumble that was recovered by Houston’s defensive end J.J. Watt. The second came on the tail end of a 48-yard catch and run by Redskins tight end Niles Paul. Texans safety D.J. Swearinger popped the ball out of Paul’s hand and Houston’s Kendrick Lewis recovered the fumble.

“It’s inexcusable to have turnovers in the red zone, it really is,” first year Redskins’ head coach Jay Gruden said in the post-game press conference.

As poorly as Washington’s offense played, their special teams unit played even worse. After the Redskins’ lone score of the day, a one yard touchdown run by fullback Darrel Young, kicker Kai Forbath’s extra-point attempt was blocked by Watt, leaving the Redskins with a meager six points. Tress Way, Washington’s punter, also saw a punt blocked and returned for a touchdown by the Texans’ Alfred Blue.

The Redskins’ defense played relatively well, only allowing one big play, a 76-yard touchdown reception from Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. That one score, however, would prove to be too much for the Redskins to overcome.

“Our defense played fairly well throughout the game. We gave up one huge play on defense, then we failed to get [Houston] off the field at the end of the game,” Gruden said. “Its frustrating,” he added.

J.J. Watt was the star of the game for the Texans. Watt, who recently signed a six-year, $100 million contract, recorded a sack, a blocked extra punt, recovered fumble, a pass deflection, three tackles and five quarterback hits.

Sunday’s game obviously did not go as Gruden intended to start the season.

“You only get one chance at your first time, and I failed to get it done. We failed as a staff, failed as a team to get it done,” Gruden remarked. “We feel good about the group we have. They are all good players, good leaders and we will just move forward.”

“No one wants to go 0-2, and that’s our focus right now. We want to get to 1-1,” Griffin III said after the game.

The Redskins will now look for their first win this Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Jacksonville Jaguars.