Grossman, Redskins Lose to Dolphins, 20-9

Coach Mike Shanahan switched QBs again Sunday, starting Rex Grossman for the first time in four weeks. The change failed to help a hobbling offense, and the Redskins’ losing streak reached five games when they were beaten by the Miami Dolphins 20-9.

The Redskins (3-6) haven’t held a lead since Oct. 2, when they beat St. Louis. Their losing streak is the longest of Shanahan’s career.

“It’s frustrating being 3-6,” Grossman said. “We’re better than that.”

Grossman threw for 215 yards but had two interceptions, was sacked three times and finished with a passer rating of 58.7, lower than his NFC-worst season figure. While possessions by Washington reached the Miami 20, 26, 5 and 10-yard lines, those threats produced three field goals.

Grossman was a surprise starter, replacing John Beck four weeks after being benched. Shanahan said he decided to go with the more experienced quarterback because of a wave of injuries to the Redskins’ offense.

“I thought Rex gave us a chance to win,” Shanahan said. “If you have this many guys go down, I didn’t want to go with the inexperienced guy and throw him to the wolves.”

Shanahan declined to say who will start the next game against Dallas.

“We’re going to make decisions based on what goes on during the week,” he said. “Who we’re going against, practice, injuries — all of those play a factor.”

The Dolphins (2-7) earned their second victory in a row, and won at home for the first time in 364 days.

“It was nice to come in this locker room and celebrate a win,” embattled Miami coach Tony Sparano said. “I see 2-7 now as a hill but not a mountain. That’s how our players see it, too.”

The Dolphins led 10-6 at halftime, then mounted scoring drives of 70 and 81 yards to seal the win. After blowing fourth-quarter leads in three earlier losses, this time they held on.

“The first seven games we were kind of in disarray,” said Reggie Bush, who scored two touchdowns. “We were trying to find our identity. The difference now is we’re playing 60 minutes and finishing at the end of games.”

Miami was clinging to a 13-9 lead when Grossman drove his team 49 yards to a first down at the 10 early in the fourth quarter. He then threw a pass directly to linebacker Karlos Dansby, whose interception ended the threat.

“I have to be more careful in a crucial point in the game,” Grossman said.

Vontae Davis also had an interception for the Dolphins, who doubled their season total.

After Dansby’s takeaway, Miami drove 81 yards and scored the clinching TD on Bush’s 18-yard run. He crossed the goal line standing up and heaved the ball into the stands in jubilation.

“We made plays that winners make at the end,” Sparano said.

The Redskins’ three scoring drives totaled 48 yards. They twice took over deep in Miami territory thanks to an interception and a fumble recovery, but each time settled for a field goal by Graham Gano.

He also missed from 50 and 49 yards.

“I felt like we had a good rhythm,” Grossman said. “We moved the ball well. We just didn’t finish.”

A sputtering ground game didn’t help. Washington netted 61 yards rushing.

The Dolphins drew boos when they ran out the clock at the end of the first half rather than trying to score. But nursing the early lead paid off because the Redskins couldn’t cash in on their chances.

Kevin Barnes’ interception in the first half gave the Redskins the ball at the Miami 5, but three plays lost 3 yards and they kicked a field goal. Washington started at the Miami 24 after Ryan Kerrigan’s sack forced a fumble by Moore, and again the Redskins came away with only three points.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple times on defense and offense,” Kerrigan said. “We can’t have that if you want to win.”

Notes: The latest casualty for the Redskin’s offense was WR Leonard Hankerson, who left the game with a strained right hip with four minutes left. He said the injury wasn’t serious, but he wasn’t sure whether he would be able to play in the next game. … Redskins DL Kedric Golston left the game in the third quarter with a knee injury. … Hankerson had eight catches for 106 yards and became the first Washington rookie since 2001 with 100 receiving yards. … Bush rushed for 47 yards and has 242 in the past three games, a career best.

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