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EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 27: Jeff Cumberland #86 of the New York Jets cannot hang onto the ball as London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins defends during their preseason game on August 27, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
That is was.
But while no touchdowns were scored until the four quarter and at one point the score was a bizarre tally of 9-5 (and then another bizarre 11-9), the Redskins did enough to win. Thanks to a late 15-yard touchdown pass from Richard Bartel to Larry Johnson, Washington pulled out a 16-11 win.
Without McNabb, Rex Grossman started for the Redskins and had a, well, very Rex Grossman-like game, going 8 for 16 for 111 yards. While Grossman couldn't get the offense going through the air, Willie Parker had similar problems via the ground game. He started the game but was only able to muster 16 yards on eight carries.
Yes, yes, this is the top-level Jets defense we're talking about, but this kind of performance won't cut it for coach Mike Shanahan in the regular season.
To make matters worse, Clinton Portis rushed just one time for three yards on the night, and it was announced after the game that he had to leave with an ankle sprain. First McNabb. Now Portis. Oh boy. Redskins fans will be holding their collective breath this week and hope that the injuries aren't serious.
The Redskins' defense, however, frustrated Mark Sanchez throughout the night. He was 13 of 21 for 139 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an interception to DeAngelo Hall and looked unsure of himself much of the game. The Jets also lost three fumbles, giving the Redskins' defense some much-needed momentum heading into the final preseason contest.
After Graham Gano’s third field goal of the game gave Washington a 9-5 lead with 6:46 left in the third quarter, Sanchez and the offense were given one more chance to get something going.
This time, they delivered. Finally.
Sanchez completed three third-down passes -- a situation the Jets were only 1 of 7 until that point. On third-and-9 from the 20, LaDainian Tomlinson caught a 9-yard pass for a first down to end the third quarter.
After Shonn Greene’s 1-yard run, Sanchez found Keller over the middle, and the tight end stretched the ball over the goal line to give New York the 11-9 lead with 14:18 left -- but Nick Folk clunked the extra point attempt off the left upright.
Tomlinson had some impressive moments for the Jets, rushing for 86 yards on 11 carries. Greene had 12 carries for 56 yards for New York.
Folk gave the Jets a 3-0 lead midway through the opening quarter, capping New York’s first possession with a 45-yard field goal. After getting down to the Redskins 28, Sanchez was sacked by Adam Carriker , and was nearly picked off by Hall before settling for the field goal.
Washington came right back with a 10-play drive, capped by Gano’s 27-yard field goal. The possession nearly ended when Antonio Cromartie intercepted Grossman, but the Jets cornerback was called for defensive holding on the play. A 29-yard catch by Santana Moss and a roughing-the-passer penalty on Bart Scott put Washington in scoring position before the offense stalled.
Sanchez got the Jets down to the Redskins 13 midway through the second quarter, but made the bad throw intended for Keller that was intercepted by Hall.
Washington took advantage, converting the turnover into points with Gano’s 42-yard field goal with 5:10 left that made it 6-3.
Right after the 2-minute warning, Grossman couldn’t handle a shotgun snap that tipped off his hands and bounced into the end zone. The Redskins quarterback kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety, making it 6-5.
On the Jets’ next possession, Santonio Holmes caught a 23-yard pass, but Phillip Buchanon punched the ball out and Perry Riley recovered for Washington.
Folk was a few yards short on a 62-yard attempt as time expired at the half.
Washington scored on its first possession of the second half, capping a 13-play drive with Gano’s 41-yarder that made it 9-5.
Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, after a tumultuous week, was on the field with the starters late in the opening quarter. He played with the backups in Washington’s 23-3 loss to Baltimore and said he shouldn’t have been out on the field in the third quarter.
Haynesworth, who missed numerous practices because of a failed conditioning test, a sore knee and then an illness, also said Shanahan underplayed his medical condition.