Bad call or no, Skins follow 33-point win with 28-point loss
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) As much as Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden was confused by, and disagreed with, the officiating decision that wiped out an apparent interception return for a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers, he would not blame that call for his team's loss.
Makes sense, given just how many things his players did wrong in a 28-point loss that represented a major step back a week after a 33-point victory that left the Redskins feeling pretty good about themselves.
''I don't want us to be perceived as a team looking for excuses to why we lost,'' Gruden said Monday. ''The referees are not an excuse for us as to why we lost that football game. The missed tackles, the five sacks, the five turnovers - we can point directly to that. And obviously myself not getting our team ready.''
Washington (4-6) fell to 0-5 on the road this season with their NFL-high ninth consecutive loss away from home, a 44-16 drubbing at unbeaten Carolina on Sunday.
Next comes a home game against the New York Giants (5-5), with first place in the mediocre NFC East on the line.
Several Redskins players complained about a first-half ruling that cornerback Chris Culliver delivered an illegal helmet-to-helmet hit on Carolina tight end Greg Olsen on the play that had appeared to put the visitors ahead by a touchdown.
With that TD waived off, the game momentarily remained tied at 14, until the Panthers scored the game's next 30 points.
Defensive end Jason Hatcher went so far as to surmise that the team's nickname is connected somehow to biased officiating against the Redskins.
''I think everybody's a little frustrated after the game and what he said is what he said,'' Gruden said, noting that the Redskins are not a particularly heavily penalized team this season.
Gruden called the ruling against Culliver ''very confusing,'' and said the Redskins asked the NFL for an explanation.
''You feel helpless as a coach that you can't even challenge that,'' Gruden said, adding that he hopes there is a rule change made so that ''a play of that magnitude is challengeable.''
Still, Gruden acknowledged, ''To point the finger at an official for our loss yesterday probably isn't right because we lost by 30.''
More than half of Carolina's points came off Washington's turnovers, including quarterback Kirk Cousins' interception and pair of lost fumbles.
''The one thing we want to focus on is ourselves and our fundamentals,'' Gruden said. ''And how we prepare and all that stuff.''
Notes: Washington has followed every victory this season with a loss. In Week 10, the Redskins beat the New Orleans Saints 47-14. ... RB Alfred Morris aggravated a rib injury Sunday and was listed day to day; Gruden said: ''I think he's going to be OK, based on what I'm hearing.'' ... Pro Bowl LT Trent Williams has a bruised kneecap and also was listed day to day. ... In a series of minor moves Monday, the Redskins signed TE Je'Ron Hamm from the practice squad to the active roster, waived TE Anthony McCoy, signed LBs Derrick Mathews and Lynden Trail to the practice squad, and released CB Deveron Carr from the practice squad.
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