When a quarterback throws three interceptions, the results usually are not good. The quick turnaround from Sunday’s loss and the season-ending leg surgery to Alex Smith led to Colt McCoy not having the usual reps in practice that he needed to be thrust in as the starting quarterback. And it showed. His timing was off with receivers and three interceptions ultimately doomed the Redskins, as they fell to the Dallas Cowboys 31-23 on Thanksgiving.
In the first quarter, McCoy threw a pick to Dallas cornerback Anthony Brown, who had fronted the pass in anticipation. McCoy was trying to put the football on the outside shoulder of wide receiver Trey Quinn, however, the throw didn’t have enough velocity and sailed inside right into the hands of Brown.
The second was a great play by edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence who read the quick out and jumped off a block to bat the ball back to himself for an interception with the Redskins in desperate need of a score in the third trailing 24-13. That interception unlike McCoy’s first led to a Dallas touchdown that was back-breaking for Washington’s rally hopes.
The third was a result of a pass being behind intended target Maurice Harris in a sea of Cowboys, as Xavier Woods came away with the wobble pass. It looked as if McCoy had second thoughts of releasing the pass, but nonetheless it was a pass he shouldn’t have thrown. And that pretty much sealed their fate.
McCoy finished the game completing 24-of-38 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns, but the three interceptions were just too much for the Redskins to overcome.
McCoy struggled to get comfortable on the first three drives, two punts and an interception. However, the Redskins defense did a good job of keeping the game close, allowing just one touchdown in the first half.
McCoy’s best pass of the night came on his fourth drive as he found Vernon Davis crossing deep for a 53-yard touchdown that tied the game at 7-7 following the extra point.
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) November 22, 2018
McCoy also found Quinn for a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. Unfortunately, those seemed to be his only meaningful good throws of the game. Outside of those, he simply threw too many risky throws that did not pay off for him or the Redskins.
One game, and on a short week is no fair indication of what to expect moving forward for the remainder of the season. However, the Redskins just lost their grip on the NFC East division lead with the loss as they are now tied with the Cowboys at 6-5. McCoy has to get more comfortable.
Washington’s offense, specifically their passing game, has struggled all season with Smith, who broke his fibula and tibia in a gruesome-looking injury against Houston on Sunday. And while it was McCoy’s first start in four seasons, there has to be some level of concern about the quarterback position as he illustrated reasons why he has not regained a starting job in the NFL.
Alex Smith – 5 picks in 38 quarters
Colt McCoy – 3 picks in 4 quarters
We knew life would be different with Colt starting. Didn't want it to be THAT different though
— Peter Hailey (@PeterHaileyNBCS) November 23, 2018
Smith was not spectacular by any means in 10 games as the starter, but he rarely loses games in the sense of being careless with the football. McCoy, however, was careless and it ultimately played a large role in the Redskins losing Thursday. How McCoy responds to the shaky start will determine how the remainder of the Redskins’ season plays out.