I’m writing this with about 6:00 left in the 4th Quarter. The Redskins are getting drubbed 27-10 by their arch-rivals, the Dallas Cowboys. I admit that things could change radically, but I don’t see it happening. The ‘Skins haven’t put together a single decent drive on offense the entire game.
The bad stuff:
- The offense may be the worst in the NFL right now. Not even Clinton Portis’ return would do a discernible bit of good. The passing game is in terrible disarray, due mostly to Mark Brunell’s lack of passing accuracy, though allowing Demarcus Ware to pretty much roam about at will helped a lot. Right now, Brunell couldn’t hit a warehouse if he were standing in the middle of it.
- The defense, especially the run defense, was pathetic. There is no way in the world that Julius Jones (and Chester Taylor the week before) should be breaking off 8-yard runs every fifth carry or so.
- There’s no sign at all of a pass rush. None. I could stand in the pocket and not worry about having to duck an oncoming lineman.
- There is no excuse for the number of penalties, especially the personal fouls, that the Redskins committed tonight. That’s a sign of a poorly-disciplined (which means a poorly-coached) team. Joe Gibbs might have a team that plays poorly, but none of his teams have ever shown such a lack of professionalism as this one.
- The team made no apparent adjustments at halftime. It was obvious that the game plan with which they started the game was a bad one. There should have been something different, but there wasn’t. That’s another bad mark for the bazillion-dollar coaching staff.
- The ‘Skins had the chance to at least try to get down the field, with about a minute to go in the first half, to try a field goal. They could have narrowed the Cowboys lead and gone into the locker room with a good drive, and the confidence that brings, under their belts. Inexplicably, the coaching staff let 17 precious seconds run off the clock before calling a timeout with only 5 seconds left. At that point, the team couldn’t even muster a hail mary attempt. Brunell ended up running for a couple yards. That should never have happened. they should have either stopped the clock with enough time to run at least two plays or called the timeout earlier. What happened was a sign of complete confusion.
- No pass blocking. I swear I saw Brunell get sacked by a cheerleader and one of the trainers. The O-line couldn’t have protected Brunell from four average nursing home residents.
- Is there some reason they spent so much money on Antwaan Randle-el and Brandon Lloyd? I have seen almost nothing from either of them.
The good stuff:
- Special teams. All-around good marks for a unit that has not played particularly well in the recent past. Thankfully, John “Spaghetti Legs” Hall didn’t need to make a field goal that mattered.
Two weeks in, and the Redskins are the worst team in the NFL. Even the Jets, a very bad team, managed to rally in the second half and put a serious scare into the Patriots. You could probably argue that the Houston Texans are worse, but they’re also carrying a much smaller payroll on and off the field.
Incidentally? The Texans are the Redskins next opponent. I wouldn’t bet on them to even be favorites right now.
UPDATE: It’s official, they stink on toast. Have a gander at some numbers:
The offense has scored just one touchdown, sustained only six drives longer than five plays, managed one pass over 25 yards…
The Redskins have averaged 56 offensive plays per game — second worst in the conference…
The Redskins are just 6 for 27 on third downs (22 percent), third worst in the NFL. That is stopping drives, sapping momentum and stalling a running game that is averaging 4.4 yards per carry in limited opportunities.
How about that Mark Brunell?
Brunell, who threw a weak interception at the 1-yard line on what could have been a game-tying drive in the third quarter Sunday, is bearing the brunt of the criticism. He has a 32.6 quarterback rating on third downs (9 of 22 for 81 yards with an interception), 29th in the NFL, was 7 for 18 through three quarters Sunday with the game still in the balance and has a 67.7 passer rating on the season.
Doing a little rundown over on NFL.com, here’s how the ‘Skins shake out, stat-wise. There are 32 teams in the league.
Total Offense: 25th
Total First Downs: 25th
Third Down Conversion: 30th
Total Offensive Plays: 27th
Time of Possession: 23rd
That, folks, is an anemic offense, no matter how you look at it. But it’s not just the offense that’s letting the team down right now. The defense isn’t playing tough football right now either.
Total Defense: 23rd
Opponent’s Thrid Down Conversions: 25th
Opponent’s Time of Possession: 23rd
Total Offensive Plays Against: 25th
Yep, that’s bad. What’s worse is that even with this anemic play, the team is showing some of the worst discipline in recent memory, as I mentioned earlier.
Total Penalties: 4th (Tied)
Penalty Yardage: 2nd
The only place where the team isn’t resembling a third-rate Pop Warner team is in turnovers. There, we have a slight ray of hope. The ‘Skins have as many giveaways as takeaways (one each). That gives it a total net of zero which might not win you any games, but it won’t lose them for you either. Of course, you’d rather a team get some fumbles or interceptions. And it’s worth noting that both turnovers happened in a very short period against the Cowboys where Sean Taylor actually forced a fumble with the game at 17-10 and gave a bit of hope that perhaps the Redskins could even the score. Mark Brunell promptly squashed that hope by throwing a wounded duck of a pass into double coverage that Cowboys safety Roy Williams easily intercepted. So the interception ended up hurting worse than the fumble helped. But still, an even turnover margin isn’t terrible.