Redskins Panthers Football

Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice (29) scores a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

LANDOVER, Md. — Derrius Guice and Adrian Peterson stood side by side in the Washington Redskins’ locker room Sunday, shaking hands with beaming grins as teammates watched from the background, in one of the lasting images of the team’s 29-21 win over the Carolina Panthers.

The running back duo combined Sunday for 228 yards and three touchdowns as Guice bullied defenders and Peterson high-stepped into the end zone.

But as impressive as the two were — the team’s 248 rushing yards were the most since 2012 — several other factors contributed to the banner game on the ground, interim coach Bill Callahan said Monday.

“It was a function of being on the same page,” Callahan said. “I thought the management of the run game is another aspect of [Dwayne Haskins’] quarterbacking, putting the call in the right leverage or the right position, whether to leave it on or leave it off, or change it or get to a pass.”

The coach also praised the offensive line, which may have had its best showing of the year — and that was with starting right tackle Morgan Moses missing the fourth quarter with a back injury. Geron Christian filled in during the offense’s two strongest drives of the day as Guice and Peterson each scored fourth-quarter touchdowns. Guice gave the ball to guard Ereck Flowers for a big-man spike after his second score.

Callahan credited the line for being able to handle a variety of pressures and fronts, some of which were unfamiliar. The Panthers tried to play games with linebackers Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson and safety Eric Reid, but the line adjusted well.

The Redskins could have easily gotten away from the run game after falling behind 14-0, but the coaching staff chose to stick with it rather than trying to play catch-up through the air.

“We’ve been down before and we’ve been patient and come back,” Callahan said. “When you’re down 14, you can easily panic and all of a sudden start shifting gears too quickly and too fast. I thought that [offensive coordinator] Kevin [O’Connell] did a great job just staying patient and trusting the running game.”

Peterson also gave credit to the wide receivers for their blocking on the edge. He said they implored him to trust that they would hold their blocks downfield.

The fact that both running backs put up big numbers also puts off the question, at least for a week, of which of the team’s running backs should take on the lead role. Peterson has remained a prominent part of Washington’s game plan even after Guice returned from the meniscus tear he suffered during the season opener — a game that Guice started while Peterson was a healthy scratch.

Instead of fielding calls for Guice to take over Peterson’s workload — which would mirror the team’s decisions to play younger players at other positions during this challenging season — Callahan was able to answer questions this week about how Peterson and Guice complement each other.

“They’re both consistent, durable, tough, powerful-type runners, but elusive enough where they can make people miss and also capable of springing off explosive runs,” said Callahan, who has intimated that the team will continue to rotate its backs. “They both have those traits, and they’re both different in their own ways.”

Notes: Receiver Trey Quinn could be out with a concussion after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit while fielding a punt.... Linebacker Nate Orchard made four tackles, including one of Christian McCaffery on the clinching goal line stand, after being signed Wednesday. Charles Odom, signed Saturday, also had four tackles.

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