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It’s 2-Minute Time for the Panthers

Sharon Thorsland
November 30, 2019 - 2:14 pm

The Panthers are back at home Sunday to take on Washington, and even though the Redskins are just 2-9 on the season, this is a huge game. 

After a heartbreaking loss to the Saints last week, time is running out for the Panthers to make a playoff push. 

“Last week we let one slip away, this week we’ve got to make sure that we finish,” said safety Tre Boston.  “Right now our backs are against the wall – we’re in a 2-minute situation, we gotta finish.”

On paper, it looks like that shouldn’t be a problem. The Redskins are just 2-9 and have endured a soap opera of a season. 

They fired coach Jay Gruden in week 6, have rotated through three quarterbacks, and lost their star left tackle in a bizarre injury-related holdout. 

But the Redskins beat the Lions last week and have a lot of young talent, starting with rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins. 

The first-round draft pick out of Ohio State has managed just two touchdown passes with six interceptions, but is improving every week. 

His favorite target is his former Buckeyes teammate Terry McLaurin, who leads the team with five touchdowns. 

But the focus of this offense is running back Adrian Peterson. 

The future Hall of Famer has 543 yards on the season and is still one of the best in the game. 

“He still can make people miss,” said defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.  “He still makes it hard on the back end to tackle him- one person ain’t gonna get him on the ground. So we’re going to have to have all hats to the ball.”    

The Redskins defense will be trying to do just that with Christian McCaffrey, who continues to lead the NFL in yards from scrimmage. 

That’s a tall task for a group that ranks 28th against the run allowing 136 yards a game. 

But there is plenty of talent up front, starting with defensive ends Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen, who’ve combined for 10 sacks on the year. 

Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan suffered a concussion last week, but keep an eye out for former UNC standout Cole Holcombe – he’s second on the team in tackles and has a forced fumble and an interception.

The Redskins secondary could pose problems for Panther quarterback Kyle Allen. 

The group is giving up just 217 passing yards a contest, that ranks 11th in the NFL.  Former Panther cornerback Josh Norman has fallen out of favor for some reason, he’s been replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Jimmy Moreland. 

Quinton Dunbar is the star of the group, he has four interceptions. 

Needless to say, this is a key game for the Panthers.  They want to end their three-game skid, it’s at home against an NFC opponent, and time is running out to make the playoffs.

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