1. Comeback Falls Just Short
The Dolphins offense came to life in the fourth quarter behind backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but the late rally fell just short after a failed two-point conversion. Fitzpatrick engineered two touchdown drives in the final 15 minutes, including the climatic 75-yard drive with just over two minutes remaining in the game. His experience allowed him to spread the ball around and keep a tired Redskins defense on the field defending sideline to sideline. He eventually found wide out DeVante Parker on a slant route for the 11-yard score to bring the Dolphins to within a point at 17-16. Miami head coach Brian Flores decided to go for the win with the two-point conversion, but the throw behind the line of scrimmage to running back Kenyan Drake failed. Fitzpatrick added a spark to an offense that was anemic through three quarters. His awareness to avoid pressure and engineer the hurry-up offense gave the Dolphins a chance and it might not be the last time we see him in this role.
2. Redskins Defense Rattles Rosen
Quarterback Josh Rosen didn’t have the start he was looking for, being harassed and hurried most of the afternoon. The Dolphins offense gave up four sacks in the first quarter alone, and a total of five for the game. Rosen took multiple hits and was pressured 12 times on just 25 attempts. He never looked comfortable due to the consistent pressure and that made the downfield passing game non-existent. The offensive line that looked like it was improving and starting to gel didn’t provide the protection needed to have any consistency, giving up nine hits on Rosen in just three quarters. Although he threw two interceptions, I felt like his receivers could have helped him out on both throws. On the first interception, the receiver should have attacked the ball on the slant route, not allowing the cornerback to cross his body. On the second pick, coming back to the football would have closed the distance the ball has to travel and that would have not allowed the linebacker to under cut the throw. Both plays at worst should have been just incompletions instead of turnovers.
3. McLaurin/Peterson Too Much for Defense
The Dolphins defense mustered up their best effort to date, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the explosive plays of Redskins receiver Terry McLaurin and ageless running back Adrian Peterson. McLaurin only had four receptions, but two of them went for touchdowns and the last one dug the Washington offense out of a deep hole late in the fourth quarter. Peterson turned it on in the second quarter when the Redskins solely relied on the rushing attack. AP ran for 60 yards on just five carries in that one series alone, and totaled 118 yards in the game. As a whole, the Miami defense forced multiple three and outs in the first half, and only gave up 311 total yards in the game. It was the explosive plays by McLaurin and the punishing runs by Peterson that carried Washington to victory.