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  • Erica Blackburn

Washington stole the Panther's Christmas' gift

The Washington Football Team traveled to Ron Rivera’s old stomping grounds, spoiled quarterback Cam Newton’s first home game back and handed the Carolina Panthers a loss to the tune of 27-21. This is Washington’s second win in a row, starting with a big win over the defending Super Bowl champions the week before.

Carolina struck gold first with a 9-play, 75 yard drive that milked 5:28 minutes off the clock and cashed in with a Cam Newton touchdown pass to DJ Moore. After less than ideal possessions to start the game, Washington regained its footing with a touchdown pass to Cam Sims.

Late in the first half, with Washington faced a fourth-and-5 in Carolina territory, Rivera kept his offense on the field. The result: Heinicke found wide receiver DeAndre Carter for an 18-yard gain. Washington would eventually score a touchdown on that drive to tie things up before halftime.

In the second half, Rivera went for it again. Heinicke rolled to his left; the play appeared dead, but rookie tight end John Bates came to him, and the quarterback made an acrobatic play to get the ball to Bates for the first down. Washington defensive tackle Daron Payne and defensive end James Smith-Williams met Newton in the pocket on fourth down to end it for the Panthers. Washington didn’t have a sack all day but got one on Carolina’s final offensive play.

Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke completed 16 of 22 passes for 203 yards, with three touchdowns. Running back Antonio Gibson had 19 carries for 95 yards. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin had 5 receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown. Washington rushed for 190 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per attempt against a team ranked No. 2 in total defense. Washington’s defense once again held its opponent under 300 total yards.

Washington limited Christian McCaffrey to 59 yards rushing. McCaffrey also finished with 60 yards receiving.

Center Tyler Larsen (knee) and right tackle Sam Cosmi (hip) left the game in the first half with injuries and did not return. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel (groin) was declared inactive again.

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