By Ben Sullivan
The Redskins found a path to victory yesterday, but it took a Dolphins’ screw-up to ensure their first win of the 2019 season.
Running back Kenyan Drake couldn’t handle Ryan Fitzpatrick’s quick throw in the flat on a 2-point conversion try with 6 seconds left, allowing the Redskins to escape with their first victory of the year by beating the Miami Dolphins 17-16.
Drake had four defenders between him and the end zone and probably wouldn’t have scored even if he had secured the ball. But the drop put the brakes on a frantic comeback by the Dolphins, who trailed 17-3 when Fitzpatrick replaced Josh Rosen to start the fourth quarter.
Redskins rookie Terry McLaurin caught two touchdown passes, and veteran Adrian Peterson more than doubled his season rushing total with 118 for Bill Callahan in his first game as interim coach.
“Games like this, two winless teams, everybody pulls out the stops,” Callahan said. “It was wild all the way to the last minute.”
Washington (1-5) looked like a different team after firing coach Jay Gruden, although the caliber of the opposition had something to do with that. The Dolphins (0-5) remained winless under rookie coach Brian Flores but helped their chances of securing the No. 1 draft pick in April.
When asked about the two-point conversion, Flores said he was going for the win.
“We felt good about the play — something that we worked on all week,” he said.
Drake, however, said another running back practiced that play, and not him.
Fitzpatrick led two touchdown drives, including a climactic 75-yard march that began with 2:02 left. After he hit DeVante Parker for an 11-yard score to cut the deficit to one point, Flores decided to go for 2.
Drake split wide left, went in motion and had traffic around him when the pass was thrown his way.
“He wasn’t going to walk in the end zone,” Fitzpatrick said. “He was going to have to do something significant and special. We wanted to give him the chance to do that.”
Drake said, “I have to hold my end of the bargain up. Everyone has their job to do. My job is to catch the ball and get in the end zone.”