CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Washington Redskins allowed Carolina to do whatever it wanted during its first two offensive drives Sunday afternoon. The Panthers marched down the field with ease for an opening possession touchdown, then scored again in even less time.
About 10 minutes into the Week 13 matchup, the Panthers were ahead 14-0 and accumulated 115 yards of total offense. The Redskins ran just three plays during that stretch and lost 11 yards.
For the rest of the game, however, the Redskins' defense put forth one of its most dominating efforts of the year in a 29-21 victory. They sacked quarterback Kyle Allen seven times without Ryan Kerrigan, one of the franchise's top sack leaders, and forced two turnovers. They limited MVP candidate Christian McCaffrey to 102 scrimmage yards. For the final 50 minutes of game action, the Panthers managed just 163 yards of total offense.
It was a marvelous performance following a putrid start, which combined with a flourishing running game and a goal line stand, gave the Redskins their first winning streak since Week 7 and Week 8 of last season.
Check out photos of the Washington Redskins during their regular season Week 13 game against the Carolina Panthers.
Dwayne Haskins was far from perfect during his first-career road win, but he did not have to be. He made plays when needed, setting the Redskins up for field goals in the first half and to start the third quarter, the last of which gave the visitors a 15-14 advantage.
His final stat line was lackluster -- he finished 13 for 25 for 147 yards -- and did not include a touchdown. But he also did not commit a turnover, which kept the Washington defense in favorable position.
Lining up behind Haskins was a running back tandem that combined for 228 rushing yards. Derrius Guice served as the lead man, compiling 129 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 carries. His 60-yard rumble in the first quarter gave the Redskins life. Early in the fourth quarter, his 38-yard dash put the Redskins at the edge of the goal line. He scored on the next play, giving his team the 22-14 advantage.
Adrian Peterson was just as good Sunday, running for 99 yards on 13 carries and scoring the touchdown that gave the Redskins a commanding 29-14 advantage. Once Peterson crossed the goal line, a victory seemed certain.
However, that's when Carolina's offense woke up, and it took them fewer than three minutes to pull back within one possession. Then the Panthers recovered the onside kick and easily drove the ball all the way to the 1-yard line. More likely than not, the Redskins were going to have to stop the two-point conversion to leave Carolina with a win in regulation.
But with the game on the line, the Redskins defense held up. The unit halted McCaffrey twice and forced an incompletion from Allen. On fourth down, the secondary blanketed the Panthers receivers while the pass rush did what they did best throughout the afternoon: get to the quarterback.
It was Chris Odom who did so this time, forcing a fumble and sealing a Redskins victory about 24 hours after being promoted from the practice squad.