Jay Gruden? 0-5. Bill Callahan? 1-0. The Washington Redskins can enjoy that winning feeling for the first time in almost a full 10 months. After starting their season 0-5, on the heels of losing their last two games of the 2018 season, the team finally earned a victory, racing out to a 17-3 lead and holding on to defeat the still-winless Miami Dolphins 17-16.
With just six seconds remaining, the Dolphins scored on a blown coverage by Landon Collins and Josh Norman to close the gap. Head coach Brian Flores went for two points and the quick screen to RB Kenyan Drake was dropped, icing the win for Callahan in his debut.
RB Adrian Peterson and WR Terry McLaurin both checked in with 100-yard games and the Redskins defense combined for five sacks and two interceptions. The defense had to sweat though, as a last minute drive by substitute QB Ryan Fitzpatrick moved Miami into the Redskins' red zone, calling their final timeout with 26 seconds remaining. Two passes later they were celebrating a score but then sunk with the missed conversion.
Washington entered the game with hopes of avoiding their first 0-6 start since 1998 and pulled it off with a balanced offensive attack and a relentless pass rush that suffocated the Dolphins.
Things were so bad for starting QB Josh Rosen, Miami pulled him midway through the third quarter and put back in veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. He was able to jump start Miami's offense to lead a scoring drive, their first second half points of the 2019 season, but the Washington defense stiffened when it needed to and held them back despite the Redskins' own offense dipping into a turtle shell, allowing things to get very tight.
On offense, Washington was propelled by McLaurin's four-catch, two-touchdown performance. It was his second 100-yard performance of his young career. The game gave him five touchdowns on the young season, the most for any rookie.
As for Peterson, Callahan said he wanted to get the running game going and he surely did. Peterson had 118 yards rushing on 23 carries, after having just 108 yards on the ground so far in the season.
On defense, DE Jonathan Allen had two of the team's five takedowns of Josh Rosen, who was removed with a 32.9 passer rating and just 85 passing yards. He was intercepted twice, once by CB Quinton Dunbar and another time by linebacker Shaun Dion-Hamilton.
Fitzpatrick checked in to throw for 102 yards and a 106.7 passer rating, but it was too little too late.
Or, it might have been at the perfect time for those who believe Miami is trying to lock in the worst record in the NFL.
Washington will host the San Francisco 49ers next week back at FedEx Field to try and earn consecutive victories for the first time since Weeks 7 and 8 in 2018.
For a full recap, including game highlights, check out our Game Blog here.