Redskins give away opener to Texans

Timothy Earl September 9, 2014 Comments Off on Redskins give away opener to Texans

Washington RedskinsThe Washington Redskins, who were undone by redzone turnovers and poor special teams play, lost their season opener 17-6 to the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.

Washington (0-1) playing their first game under new coach Jay Gruden, had opportunities to win the game but instead self destructed.

The game got off to a slow start as each team only managed one first down in the first quarter. In the second quarter the Redskins finally got on the board, going 46 yards in four plays ending with a Darrel Young one-yard touchdown run with 6:06 to play in the second quarter.

Then, the first special teams mistake occurred as Washington had the extra point blocked by J.J. Watt, who was a thorn in the side of the Redskins all game long. Watt dominated the game defensively for Houston. He also had a sack, recovered a crucial fumble in the redzone and swatted down a pass. He harassed Redskin quarterback Robert Griffin III all game long.

With Washington ahead 6-0, the Texans responded with a 76-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to DeAndre Hopkins, to take a 7-6 lead with 4:15 to play in the first half.

Then the play of the game took place.

With 2:09 to play in the second quarter Washington had the ball at their 24-yard line and on fourth down were all set to punt the ball back to the Texans.

Unfortunately for Washington things did not go according to plan and the punt was blocked by Alfred Blue and returned five yards for a touchdown giving the Texans a 14-6 lead going into halftime and Washington would never recover.

The Redskins did come out swinging in the third quarter and took the opening kickoff 78 yards in 11 plays, but a botched handoff by Griffin (29-37 for 267 yards) to running back Alfred Morris (91 yards on 14 carries) was fumbled and recovered by Watt at the Houston seven yard line.

Later in the quarter, Griffin had his finest moment as he lofted a perfect pass to tight end Niles Paul, who caught the ball in stride in the center of the field and made a mad dash to the end zone. Just when Washington appeared to have made a game changing play, Paul was stripped of the ball inside the 10-yard line and Houston recovered.

Washington gained 163 of their 372 yards in the quarter but had nothing to show for it.

The Redskins still continued to play hard in the fourth quarter and had some good fortune as linebacker Ryan Kerrigan forced a Houston fumble inside the 10-yard line stopping a scoring drive, but they were not able to do anything with the ball.

The final insult was on a third and six near midfield with the game winding down the Texans needing to convert or give Washington one last chance to tie the game.

Quarterback Fitzpatrick (14-22 for 206 yards 1 TD) dropped back to pass, and then took off up the middle completely fooling the Washington defense and giving his team a crucial first down.

The Texans then went on to seal the win by connecting on a 42-yard field goal with 1:55 to play in the game giving them a 17-6 lead.

Arian Foster led the Texans (1-0) in rushing with 103 yards on 27 carries. Wide out Andre Johnson led the team with six catches for 93 yards.

Pierre Garcon led Washington in receiving with 10 catches for 77 yards. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson, starting his first game as a Redskin after being aquired from the Eagles in the off season caught eight passes for 62 yards.