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Playoff Dreams Fade Away with 20-17 OT Loss to Redskins

Going into last Sunday’s game against the Colts, the Jags had sights set on the postseason. Just one Sunday and two games later, the postseason seems further away than ever.

That’s what happens when a team drops two games, as painful as last Sunday’s loss to the division rival Colts was, Sunday’s loss at cold EverBank Field was even harder to accept, as the Jags fell to the Washington Redskins 20-17 in overtime.

The loss means that the playoffs are once again going to elude the Jags, as they lose the tie-breaker with the Colts, and with the Ravens winning they are in the postseason as one wildcard, and with the Jags loss, the Jets clinch the other wild card spot.

The OT setback came when Kevin Barnes picked off a David Garrard pass in the flat, and it set up Graham Gano’s 31-yard game-winning field goal to clinch it for the Redskins.

Rex Grossman completed 19-of-39 passes for 182 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Redskins (6-9), who snapped a four-game skid. Ryan Torain carried the ball 20 times for 65 yards and a score.

“We’ve had some adversity the last couple of weeks, but to come through and get a good team win like this feels good,” Gano said. “We should have won more games than we have, but we’re not going to stop working or give up.”

Garrard was 22-of-38 for 299 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for the Jaguars. The offense came out flat, as could be expected without starting running back Maurice Jones-Drew (knee), who saw his streak of 45 straight games played come to an end.

Rashad Jennings started in the backfield and was limited to 32 yards on 15 carries. Mike Thomas hauled in six passes for 96 yards and a touchdown.

“The last couple of weeks we haven’t been able to run the ball,” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. “Offensively we’ve been very stagnant in the last couple of weeks. We couldn’t get enough going out of our passing game to be very good offensively.”

Trailing by seven, 17-10, Jacksonville took over at the Washington 42-yard line after a 21-yard punt return by Thomas with four minutes to play in the fourth. Jason Hill caught a 20-yard pass, and two plays later Garrard took things into his own hands with a 20-yard rushing TD to tie the contest with 2:44 remaining.

Washington got near midfield before punting the ball away, and Jacksonville failed to do anything in the final 21 seconds of regulation.

The Jaguars got the ball to start the overtime period. On the third play, Garrard received heavy pressure and was picked off by Barnes at the Jacksonville 22-yard line. Torain ran the ball twice before Gano won the game.

Brandon Banks’ 32-yard kickoff return coupled with a 15-yard face mask penalty gave Washington great field position to start the game. The Redskins were forced to settle for a 48-yard field goal from Gano.

Jacksonville’s first possession resulted in Carlos Rogers picking off Garrard. A 38-yard return set up Washington at the 18-yard line of the Jaguars. An illegal contact call on 3rd-and-goal gave the visitors a fresh set of downs. Fred Davis caught a one-yard TD pass to make it 10-0 with 9:07 left in the first quarter.

Following a pair of punts, the Jaguars drove the ball into Washington territory. Josh Scobee tried to put the home team on the board but missed a 44-yard field goal.

Jacksonville’s first possession of the second stanza resulted in a touchdown. Thomas caught four passes for 65 yards during the 10-play drive, including a 19-yard touchdown grab to cut the gap to 10-7 with 8:18 left until half.

The Redskins had a chance to extend their lead late in the second, but Grossman was intercepted in the end zone by Derek Cox.

The Jaguars tied the game late in the third quarter. Faced with a 3rd-and-15, Hill caught a 37-yard pass along the right sideline. Jacksonville, though, had to settle for a Scobee 34-yarder to make it 10-10 with 4:57 remaining.

Washington responded with a 14-play drive that lasted almost eight minutes. The Redskins converted on three third downs prior to a 4th-and-goal situation from the one. Torain jumped into the end zone to give Washington a 17-10 edge with 12:07 to play in the game.

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