This is what it's come to for the Washington Redskins: Their fourth quarterback of a once-promising, now-lost season, Josh Johnson, will be making his first NFL start since 2011 and spent time playing the ''Madden NFL'' video game to try to pick up something about his new teammates. Between Washington's Johnson and Jacksonville's Cody Kessler, the two QBs have a combined career mark of 1-14 as NFL starters. Johnson is 0-5 and hadn't even thrown a pass in a game in seven years until coming in to replace Mark Sanchez in the second half of Washington's 40-16 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday.

Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed could be done for the season because of a strained toe muscle. Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Monday that he thinks Reed was hurt on Mark Sanchez's high throw on his first pass of a 40-16 loss to the New York Giants a day earlier. Gruden said ''there is a level of concern'' with Reed, who leads the team with 54 catches and 558 receiving yards.

Saquon Barkley was so upset at himself about dropping a pass he apologized to the rest of the New York Giants' offense. Barkley more than made up for that early mistake, rushing for 170 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown, to surpass 1,000 for the season to lead the Giants to a 40-16 rout of the Redskins on Sunday to effectively end Washington's already-slim playoff hopes. Barkley gashed the Redskins' defense for 12.1 yards a carry to become the first Giants rookie to break 1,000 yards and set a single-season franchise rookie record with his 13th touchdown.

The question about that one particular, infamous play wasn't complete when Mark Sanchez interrupted to deliver a perfectly straight-faced, deadpan response. For a guy who was a first-round NFL draft pick and played in a pair of AFC title games at the outset of his professional career, Sanchez knows - fairly or not - his name is associated with ''The Butt Fumble.'' And so he was able to crack a smile - and a retort - when it was brought up at a news conference Wednesday before Sanchez participated in his first practice as the Washington Redskins' latest starting quarterback. It was a crappy play in a game we were getting our butts kicked,'' Sanchez said about that turnover after running into one of his linemen during his New York Jets' 49-19 loss to the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving Day six years ago.

When Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith was lost for the season on Sunday after breaking the tibia and fibula in his right leg on a second half play against the Houston Texans, it immediately brought back memories of Joe Theismann and the similar injury he suffered while in a Washington uniform. Incredibly, Smith’s injury happened 33 years to the day after Theismann’s. And for the former MVP, the bad memories came flooding back. The 69-year-old Theismann was at FedEx Field for the game, and saw Smith go down.

Joe Theismann described Alex Smith's injury as "heart-wrenching" after watching the Washington Redskins quarterback suffer a double-leg break 33 years to the day of his own career-ending injury. Smith sustained a broken tibia and fibula on a third-quarter sack in the Redskins' 23-21 defeat to the Houston Texans on Sunday, bringing up painful memories for Washington legend Theismann. Theismann, who led the Redskins to victory in Super Bowl XVII at the end of the 1982 season, sustained a career-ending compound fracture on November 18, 1985 on a sack by New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.

If you are Washington Redskins fan, you're probably just worried about the team making the playoffs. You're not worried too much about how the rest of the NFC Playoff Picture is playing out. In a rare situation, the Redskins hold their postseason fate in their own hands.

The Washington Redskins will be looking for their fourth straight win when they host the Atlanta Falcons at FedExField on Sunday, and defense is what has gotten the Redskins this far. "I'd have to say I'm impressed by a number of their guys, but I'm really impressed by the defensive tackles," Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said. Quinn cited Jonathan Allen (38 tackles, four sacks), Da'Ron Payne (41 tackles, three sacks) and Matt Ioannidis (21 tackles, 5.5 sacks).

Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson's impressive performance Sunday against the New York Giants has earned him league-wide recognition. Peterson continues to showcase the ageless skills that have made him one of the steals of this year's afterthought free-agent market. Through seven games with the Redskins, the 33-year-old has 126 carries for 587 yards, averaging 4.6 yards-per-carry and four touchdowns as he plays through a shoulder injury in addition to knee and ankle issues.

Safety D.J. Swearinger intercepted two passes, Matt Ioannidis had 2½ sacks, and the NFC East-leading Washington Redskins rode their defense to a third straight win, a 20-13 decision over the offensively inept New York Giants on Sunday. Adrian Peterson caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith and ran for a season-high 149 yards, with the last 64 coming on a touchdown jaunt with 3:06 to play, as the Redskins (5-2) matched their best start since 2008. Dustin Hopkins added field goals of 53 and 39 yards for the Redskins, who will finish the week with a 1½-game lead in the division.

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