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Redskins' Season Ends With 35-18 Loss To Packers

Posted Jan 10, 2016

The Washington Redskins saw their 2015 season come to an end Sunday evening with a 35-18 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card Round at FedExField.

The Washington Redskins saw their 2015 season come to an end Sunday evening with a 35-18 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card Round at FedExField.

It's all over.

The Washington Redskins in 2015 were able to exorcise all kinds of demons, but the one demon they were yet to take care of  -- the inability to defeat a team with a winning record -- did them in Sunday evening.

Washington's season came to an end with a 35-18 loss to the Green Bay Packers in their NFC Wild Card Round matchup at FedExField.

But the efforts of this Redskins team, which won the NFC East title despite almost all national "experts" saying they'd finish among the worst teams in the league when the season got underway, won't soon be forgotten.

***

The Packers, who started off slow in the first quarter, picked up steam in the second quarter, and didn't really stop from there.

That continued at the beginning of the fourth quarter, when Green Bay decided to use the run play after play to open the period. The drive ended with a two-yard touchdown run by Eddie Lacy.

The Redskins' ensuing drive, meanwhile, would stall at the Green Bay 46, leading to another punt. But the Packers' success on offense -- five straight drives with a score, their best all season, would end there, as they were also forced to punt.

There would be no celebrating, however. The Redskins would get one first down on their ensuing drive, but that would be it. On 4th and 10 from their own 23, Kirk Cousins was sacked, turning the ball over on downs, and giving the Packers the opportunity to milk the clock.

They did, and got a 29-yard field goal in the process to extend their lead to 35-18 with 4:43 left.

The Redskins would turn the ball over on downs in the red zone to end any chance of mounting an improbable comeback, though they did force and recover a Green Bay fumble on the next drive. Bashaud Breeland made the play, forcing and recovering the fumble from Eddie Lacy.

THIRD QUARTER: Packers 24, Redskins 18

We're through three here at FedExField, where anything can still happen in tonight's Wild Card Round matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Green Bay Packers.

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Redskins are trailing, 24-18.

***

After going on an offensive drought after scoring early in the second quarter, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins' offense got things going again to start the third.

The received the kickoff to start the half, and went 73 yards in nine plays. On that ninth play, Cousins used an effective quarterback draw to run it in himself from three yards out, his sixth rushing touchdown of the season.

The critical play of the drive, however, came on 4th and 1 from the Green Bay 24, when the Redskins ran a playaction fake, and Cousins found tight end Jordan Reed, who made a very tough catch and run for a 17-yard gain.

But Green Bay answered right back, using a heavy dose of the run and finding the end zone with a four-yard touchdown run by James Starks. The Packers gashed the Redskins' for 11 plays and 80 yards in 5:29. With 4:12 left in the third quarter, the Packers re-took the lead, 24-18.

A three-and-out on the Redskins' ensuing drive gave the Packers an opportunity to extend their lead heading into the final quarter.

HALFTIME: Packers 17, Redskins 11

The first quarter of today's playoff matchup between the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers ended with a bang, as tight end Jordan Reed made an impressive one-handed catch to earn a first down and get into Green Bay territory.

And he'd complete drive, too, catching a 24-yard touchdown across the middle early in the second quarter to extend Washington's lead to 11-0.

But the Packers -- and Aaron Rodgers -- couldn't be held back for long. Green Bay's offense responded with a nine-play, 80-yard drive that took 3:58 off the clock, culminating in a 12-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers to Randall Cobb, cutting the Redskins' lead to 11-7 with 9:04 left in the second quarter.

Things would get worse on the ensuing possession for the Redskins, who got all the way to the Green Bay 39-yard line before quarterback Kirk Cousins was sacked and lost the ball, which ended up in the hands of Packers defensive lineman Mike Neal. It was the Michigan State product's fourth lost fumble of the year.

The Packers would turn that into a 43-yard Mason Crosby field goal with 2:54 left, cutting Washington's lead to 11-10. And then the Redskins went three-and-out on their ensuing drive, continuing their mini offensive drought.

With no timeouts, the Packers went in their hurry-up offense to end the second quarter, highlighted by a 20-yard pass from Rodgers to wide receiver Davante Adams to get to the Washington 10.

Two plays later, Rodgers would find Adams wide open over the top for a 10-yard touchdown pass. With 28 seconds left, the Packers took a 17-11 lead, which is the difference here at halftime at FedExField.

FIRST QUARTER: Redskins 5, Packers 0

Things are electric here at FedExField, where the Washington Redskins and the Green Bay Packers are battling it out in their 2015 Wild Card Round playoff matchup.

The Redskins, who won the NFC East title, are the No. 4 seed, while the Packers -- who finished in second place in the NFC North with a 10-6 record -- are the No. 5 seed.

Here's how things played out in the first quarter:

***

The Packers won the opening coin toss, electing to receive -- which goes against the strategy of most teams. After Dustin Hopkins' opening kick sailed through the back of the end zone for a touchback -- and after Aaron Rodgers was able to get one first down via pass -- the Washington defense put the clamps down, forcing a punt on Green Bay's opening possession.

The Redskins would go three-and-out on their opening possession, however. A three-yard pass to Jordan Reed was followed by a two-yard run by Alfred Morris, but on 3rd and 5, Cousins' pass to Reed bounced out of the tight end's hands.

A block-in-the-back penalty on Green Bay on the 57-yard Tress Way punt backed the Packers up at their own eight-yard line for their second possession.

Green Bay didn't help matters on 3rd and 9, it was flagged for a false start. On 3rd and 13, Rodgers, lined up the shotgun with running back Eddie Lacy to his right, was sacked in the end zone for a safety.

And who got him? Rookie Preston Smith. The Mississippi State product led all NFL rookies with eight-regular season sacks, and the play represented the first postseason safety for the Redskins since Dec. 30, 1984, against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Divisional Round.

After the free kick, Washington took over on offense at its own 45. They found Green Bay territory on first down with a 16-yard pass to veteran tight end Alex Smith, and then with two Alfred Morris runs, both for five yards, they earned another first down.

Two plays later -- after a three-yard pass to DeSean Jackson -- Cousins found Reed, who advanced to the 15 for a third first down of the drive.

On the next play, Cousins found Jackson streaking across the middle of the field, who used his speed to get 14 yards to the goal line. The play was originally ruled a touchdown, but after review, the officials determined the ball did not cross the plane.

So on 1st and Goal from the half-yard line, the handoff to Morris was stuffed. On second down, the handoff to Morris was stuffed even worse, for a loss of one to the 2-yard line. On 3rd and Goal from the 2, the Redskins were flagged for delay of game. And on the ensuing play, Cousins' pass intended for Pierre Garçon fell incomplete.

Not exactly the best scenario for the Washington offense from the half-yard line.

Kicker Dustin Hopkins converted the 25-yard field goal, however, to give the Redskins a 5-0 lead with 4:51 left in the first quarter.

The Redskins' defense continued to swarm on the ensuing Packers possession, forcing another three and out -- and leaving Rodgers visibly frustrated. But the Washington offense couldn't capitalize, as Cousins was sacked on the first play of their next drive, putting them in a tough position to get anything going. They punted once again.

But the Washington defense answered the call, forcing yet another three-and-out, highlighted by a nice pass breakup by rookie Quinton Dunbar on third down.

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