In the hours following a Redskins game, thoughts and ideas and assumptions run rampant through the mind of a Washington fan, forcing a scattered and cloudy backdrop between the ears.
Here are my initial notes following the Redskins’ 45-14 blowout loss to the New York Giants.
* * *
Consume too much terrible football, and this is what the morning after feels like.
For this week’s edition of Cloudy with a Chance of Knee Jerk, we’ll go with the old-fashioned breakdown of separating the Redskins’ play into two categories — the good and the bad — making for a horrifically lopsided affair.
First up, the GOOD…
- Late in the third quarter with the Redskins trailing 31-14, Tress Way crushed a punt 77 yards (a helpful bounce included). On top of that, the Giants committed a holding penalty, tacking on more yards to the end of the kick.
Tress Way punted from the Redskins 10-yard line. Seven seconds later the Giants were beginning their drive at their own 7-yard line. A net gain punt of 83 yards. By far the best play of the game for the Redskins.
And that’s about it, so we’ll just mosey on over to the BAD…
- Perry Riley Jr. in coverage is a thing — but it’s not a good thing. It’s a terrible thing. It’s not an effective thing, or a useful thing, or even a tolerable thing. It’s just a thing that floats around with late reaction and inadequacy. It’s a thing with very little room for improvement, yet a thing that you really, really need. It’s a disgusting thing.
Simple dig for a first down? No problem.
In the redzone with decent position…
- There were a few bad calls in the game, no doubt. But 11 penalties for 88 yards is a very bad line of numbers if your team has any interest in winning the game.
- Niles Paul took a serious shot down the middle of the field, and thoughts are with him during his recovery. He has become a real weapon in this offense and the Redskins will need him moving forward.
- Which reminds me — will Jordan Reed ever play again? How does one enhance the strength of glass?
- The Redskins lacked a sense of urgency against the Giants, which can’t be blamed on short rest, or the day of the week, or any other bullshit. They just didn’t look into it.
- Brian Orakpo.
- Does anyone else find Tyler Polumbus fun to watch at right tackle?
- While on the topic of the offensive line, left guard Josh LeRibeus sure is a hoot, huh?
He’s slow. Too slow. Less than a half-second after the snap and LeRibeus has his back to the LOS and he’s chasing his man. Either that or he’s being blown off the ball — literally.
Blown off (leads to INT).
- What an awful game for David Amerson. He was exposed all night long. Couldn’t tackle, couldn’t cover. At one point tight end Larry Donnell was split out wide and a simple dig route completely caught Amerson off guard. As if he’d never seen the route before.
- Bashaud Breeland! My boy! He’s going to be a stud!
That was me last week. And while I do believe Breeland can be very good, last night wasn’t a great night. He was up there with Amerson as being NOT GOOD.
- Nice to have you back, Brandon Meriweather. Great stuff. Especially in the redzone. And with terrible angles. And when balls hit you right in the hands for should-be interceptions.
- Although there were a couple good coverage plays (ie Akeem Davis at some point), the Redskins special teams unit sucks. Unless your name is Tress Way, I don’t have anything nice to say to you.
- We go through this every year, so we might as well keep it fresh:
But, like, maybe for real this time?
Jay Gruden comes in, he and Haslett are buddies, it costs the Redskins less to keep the defensive staff, Haslett and Co. are retained. I get it. I get the whole thing. But at some point, when your defense not only looks bad, but also looks unmotivated and unprepared, that’s not something to be swept to the side and chalked up as a bad day.
Not to mention, it’s not like Thursday night was the first time we’ve seen the defense look like this.
Haslett’s defenses are good when they face bad offenses. He comes out with decent blitz looks when he plays teams he doesn’t feel threatened by. But put him up against a decent opponent or a threatening offense and he tinkles on himself — four-man rushes, no pressure, Cover 2 only, cushions on cushions, etc.
- Next up on the fry line…E.J. Biggers! Lost, confused, and, um, not good.
- That’s really the meat of it. Everything on the defensive side of the ball aside from Ryan Kerrigan, maybe Chris Baker, and an injured Jason Hatcher came down to what appeared to be an unprepared, lost, and confused unit.
And to make matters worse, when said unit was confused, they just kind of looked around at one another, smirked, and joined in on this pre-school giggle.
(Not really, of course. At least I hope not.)
- After claiming he would try to avoid saying the R-word, Phil Simms did in fact use the R-word. Multiple times. He also wasn’t good at calling the game. He said things like, “You’re clearly not going to win this game, so there’s no reason to take chances with the football” when there were more than 13 minutes left.
I only list Simms under the BAD category because Simms himself is bad. In reality, Simms failing at simple tasks in reference to topics he’s so passionate about is amusing.
- Eli Manning and his face. We all had to see it, and as always it was bad. We all hate it.
- Watching Eli Manning run for a touchdown.
- Logan Paulsen‘s FUMBLE. Except not really a fumble. More like a here-you-can-have-it kind of handoff to the opposing team.
This one’s tough, though. Paulsen is a no nonsense kind of player and we always hear about how hard he works off the field, so you hate to see the guy get manhandled and robbed the way he did.
At the same time, you could argue that specific turnover as the turning point in the game. There was less than two minutes to go before half, the Redskins were down 21-7 and at the Giants 23-yard line. They were guaranteed at least three points, and then the ball to start the third quarter. Instead, Paulsen decides he’s in the giving mood and voila!
- Kirk Cousins and his FOUR interceptions. From franchise savior to Rex Grossman 2.0 in about 72 hours.
- This series of events:
Following Paulsen’s charity event, the Giants are on their own 48, toss one deep and draw Breeland for interference. 17 yards.
Next play, 18 seconds left, Ryan Kerrigan sacks Manning and takes the Giants from the Washington 35 to the Washington 40. Very nice. Giants are forced to use a timeout.
Next play, 12 seconds left, incomplete pass. Great. Giants call a timeout with seven seconds to go.
Next play, on 3rd-and-15 from the Washington 40, Manning drops a pass in between whatever that shit is we refer to as a secondary for a 29-yard gain. Cruz then steps out of bounds with one second remaining.
Next play, Josh Brown nails a 29-yard field goal to extend the lead 24-7 heading into half.
That really happened.
- The plays described above pretty much summarize the entire game for the Redskins. It was bad, it was ugly, and it was borderline unprofessional.
Better luck next week.
(Next opponent: Seattle Seahawks)
(Seattle Seahawks: Defending Super Bowl Champions)