Jay Gruden, Redskins unhappy with penalties in Falcons loss

November 5, 2018

LANDOVER Depending on your vantage point, Josh Doctson’s penalty in the third quarter of the Redskins’ 38-14 loss Sunday to the Atlanta Falcons was either extremely dumb or tacky.

Down 21 at the time, Doctson hauled in a 24-yard pass from quarterback Alex Smith and proceeded to spin the ball in front of the Falcons’ sideline. In doing so, the third-year wideout received a 15-yard taunting penalty pushing them out of field goal range.

Maybe it was both.

But that’s how the game went for the Redskins, who committed 10 penalties for 147 yards against the Falcons.

The Redskins were not happy.

“I have to check the tape out to see what these penalties are all about,” coach Jay Gruden said. “It’s very frustrating. They called a couple of token penalties on them late. I have to look at the tape and if they are legit, we have to get them corrected.”

Gruden, though, acknowledged “it’s impossible” to win the game with that many penalties.

After the taunting call, the Redskins committed two more fouls on the very same drive. Guard Brandon Scherff drew a holding penalty and then on the next play, right tackle Morgan Moses was called for unsportsmanlike conduct. Moses was upset for a hit on Scherff, who went down with a shoulder injury.

“Whenever you have that many penalties, it’s always going to be costly,” center Chase Roullier said. “You’re getting behind the sticks and the playbook gets a whole lot smaller and that closes everything up for us and just makes it harder to get the offense going.”

The flags helped kill two early Redskins drives. On the first series of the game, guard Shawn Lauvao called a holding penalty, which backed up Washington to the 19-yard line. A play later, Smith was sacked, setting up third-and-25.

Surprise: the Redskins did not convert the third down.

In all, the Redskins were called for five holding penalties, two defensive pass interferences, a neutral zone infraction, taunting andfor unsportsmanlike conduct.

“We’ve got to be disciplined in our efforts,” safety D.J. Swearinger said. “Some of the penalties were [expletive], though. For sure. It felt like it. ... On some of them penalties, they definitely could have gone either or.

“But we can’t even put that in the ref’s hands. We’ve got to execute regardless of the situation.”