Maybe the Washington Redskins just are not made for primetime? Washington blew a big opportunity to jump into the NFC Wild Card hunt coming down the stretch but were shut down Monday night. Elsewhere, one of college football’s most respected individuals got people on Twitter mad for some reason, a couple of not-as-respected baseball icons may be inching closer to hall of fame status and Jon Gruden is once again, for some reason, attached to coaching job rumors! Oh, and we have some cake for you this morning as well, because cake in the morning is the breakfast of champions.

The Redskins may have just lost their ticket to the playoffs

This pretty much sums up the night for Washington.
This pretty much sums up the night for Washington.

A little less than 24 hours after the Dallas Cowboys threw their division rivals a bone in the NFC Wild Card race, the Washington Redskins blew a golden opportunity to take an easier path to the postseason, and took out one of their own cheerleaders in the process. Washington suffered a home loss at the hands of Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, 26-15, and remain behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the final NFC wild card spot with just two more games left to play (oh, and the suddenly resurgent Green Bay Packers are standing in the way as well; and if the Packers take the NFC North, then the Detroit Lions are in the way as well).

Kirk Cousins had a night nobody will walk away liking in the D.C. area. Cousins completed 32 of 47 pass attempts for 315 yards without a touchdown and one interception, along with a key fumble. The first quarter interception led to a Carolina field goal, and a lost fumble on the first play of the second half set the Panthers up on the one-yard line for a quick touchdown two plays later, turning a 13-9 halftime lead into a 20-9 advantage for the Panthers.

It was a frustrating night for Washington. Perhaps that was on display as Jordan Reed took a shot at Kurt Coleman than landed him an early exit from the game. Also, why do football players insit on punching a player wearing a football helmet?

Cam Newton passed for 300 yards and two touchdowns in the game, and of course we are left once again discussing some questionable officiating centered around Newton. How about this bizarre sequence in which Newton was on the receiving end of some helmet-to-helmet contact while sliding, only to pop up from the ground and be the one flagged.

OK, fair enough? Newton did toss the ball in the direction of the defender, which by the rules of the game is punishable as an act of unsportsmanlike conduct. And the hit happened so quickly, maybe it was hard to see in real speed the helmet-to-helmet contact?

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to NBCSports.com. Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.