Josh Johnson’s first NFL start in more than seven years ended with a 16-13 victory for Washington against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, snapping the Redskins’ four-game losing streak and keeping them on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture.
Johnson and Adrian Peterson drove the Redskins (7-7) into field-goal range in the closing minutes, and Dustin Hopkins made a 36-yard field goal on the final play to win it.
Washington had lost every game since quarterback Alex Smith sustained a season-ending leg injury.
The Jaguars (4-11) have dropped nine of 10, raising more questions about the future of coach Doug Marrone, decision-maker Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell.
Jacksonville managed 192 yards, another anemic performance under Marrone.
Washington was better, especially late.
Johnson, the team’s fourth starting quarterback in as many weeks, threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Sprinkle with 5:47 remaining that tied it. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 151 yards and the score. He also ran for 49 yards.
Peterson edged him on the final drive, finishing with 51 on the ground.
Cody Kessler was 9 of 17 passing for 57 yards with an interception. He was sacked six times behind a makeshift offensive line and was Jacksonville’s leading rusher. He had 68 on the ground, 22 more than Leonard Fournette, who was on the sideline late.
Kessler’s interception — a high pass that Dede Westbrook tipped — led to the winning score. Westbrook returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown, providing one of the few highlights for Jacksonville.
Smith was released from the hospital Sunday after multiple surgeries to his broken right leg. His wife, Elizabeth Smith, posted an update on Instagram and said she was grateful to have her husband home.
She wrote, “HOME…This last month has been a difficult ride. Our family is beyond happy to have this man with us and home. This experience has given us great perspective and gratitude for all the people and blessings in our lives. We couldn’t have gotten through it without our amazing family, friends and community. A special thank you to the relentless doctors, nurses, techs, hospital administrators, the Snyder family and the Washington Redskins.”
Smith sustained a spiral fracture to his right leg when he was sacked in a game against Houston on Nov. 18. He underwent surgery the following day to repair his fibula and tibia. Two media outlets reported that a leg infection complicated his recovery and required further procedures.
Jaguars running back Carlos Hyde was a healthy scratch, a clear sign his days in Jacksonville are done. The Jags traded a fifth-round pick to Cleveland for Hyde in October. He has 40 carries for 129 yards. He’s due to make $4.75 million in 2019, a salary Jacksonville seems unwilling to pay for an unproductive backup. Jacksonville made a similar move by waving safety Barry Church earlier this week.
Redskins tight end Vernon Davis was evaluated for a head and neck injury and cleared to return, then left to be re-evaluated for a concussion in the fourth. … Jaguars rookie safety Ronnie Harrison injured his left knee on Washington’s first series, limped to the sideline and did not return. Jarrod Wilson replaced Harrison and had two pass breakups before leaving with a leg injury. … Redskins offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe injured a knee in the second half and was ruled out. … Redskins cornerback Joshua Holsey injured his left knee in the fourth quarter and was ruled out. … Redskins cornerback Danny Johnson injured a finger but returned.
Redskins: stay in the AFC South and play at Tennessee on Saturday.
Jaguars: remain in the Sunshine State and play at Miami next Sunday.
Source: The Associated Press