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’ 27-17 loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
* * *
– Hooray penalties! Or lack thereof for the Redskins. Only three penalties for 30 yards is doable, and much better than the standard double-digit totals we’re used to . No bullets in feet helps make for a better situation throughout the game.
– It’s hard to be too upset considering no one runs on Seattle, but the Redskins rush attack was a non-factor in this game. Finishing the game with just 17 carries for 32 yards, it was easy to see early on that the Seahawks weren’t budging in that department.
– The Redskins didn’t turn the ball over.
– The onside kick attempt in the third quarter was an awesomely aggressive idea, and one I’d support for this team moving forward. But the execution of said onside kick was brutal. This special teams unit can’t do much. (Note: the Seahawks didn’t score on the ensuing drive.)
– And by can’t do much, we should probably include coverage at this point too. Although it feels better than last year’s coverage unit, the Redskins aren’t good in that department. They allowed punt returns of 20 and 21 yards to some guy named Bryan Walters.
– 18 of 24 for 201 yards and two touchdowns, accompanied by 122 yards on the ground (the most ever by a quarterback on MNF) and a rushing score. How good is Russell Wilson right now?
– And that goes beyond statistics by the way. Russell is playing out of his mind, doing all the little things that should put him in the category of elite quarterback right now.
– Holy field position. Once again, the Redskins’ field position to start drives was absolutely horrendous. Not one drive through 58 minutes of the game did the Redskins start better than their own 20 yard line. In fact, 50 percent of their drives started inside the 20 yard line, including three of their four drives in the third quarter that started at their own 1, 8, and 9 yard line. Very tough to win games like that.
As a comparison, only 25 percent of the Seahawks’ drives began at or inside their own 20.
– I understand I can’t do this every week given my high blood pressure, but Perry Riley Jr. doing any sort of anything in pass coverage MUST BE ABOLISHED in the defensive game plan. It simply can’t happen because the player simply can’t do it.
– There were a few good plays out of Brian Orakpo last night (a decent shutter move against the left tackle, a drawn penalty, a time or two in which he showed decent speed), but his performance (yet again) wasn’t anything special. Such a frustrating situation week in and week out.
– Tress Way had eight punts for 399 yards. EIGHT PUNTS. Terrible, yes. But Tress Way is the Redskins’ MVP right now.
– It’s not just Tyler Polumbus anymore. It’s the Redskins’ entire situation at right tackle. What a steaming pile of old bologna that is. Polumbus is terrible and goes down with an injury. Coaches decide to give rookie Morgan Moses some run, only to pull him two plays later because he’s so bad. Tom Compton eventually filled in until Polumbus returned. Dumpster fire indeed.
– Jim Haslett in the first half was gross. Jim Haslett in the second half was slightly less gross.
– That said, there was a lot of stress on the Redskins defense. Not only are the Seahawks the Seahawks, but Washington didn’t have a drive lasting more than four and a half minutes. For the game, seven of the Redskins’ 12 drives lasted less than two minutes.
Short drives and/or time of possession isn’t always a bad thing if you’re scoring. But the Redskins weren’t doing that. All three of their scores came on drives lasting longer than two minutes.
– Russell Wilson ate up this Redskins defense by way of the read-option, which Washington seemed to bite on every friggin’ time. They were also caught out of position on multiple plays where the outside pass rush would get too far upfield and leave the outside edges wide open.
Jon Gruden actually referred to this before the game, noting the San Diego defense and their effort to fill scrambling lanes and contain Russell Wilson en route to a Week 2 Chargers victory over the Seahawks.
– It doesn’t matter what your secondary consists of, DeSean Jackson can be a problem. Not breaking news, I know, but just saying. Even against Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, Jackson was able to pull off double moves, huge chunks of yards at a time, and a touchdown.
– Tight end Niles Paul didn’t have his best game blocking. At all.
– Defensive lineman and relative unknown Frank Kearse had a good game. He’s a fighter and a hustler and the Redskins defensive line needs that in the rotation.
– Chris Chester. My word. He’s fading fast — but has been for the past couple years.
– I didn’t keep tally, but the Redskins defense made out fat in a few situations in which the Seattle receivers simply dropped the ball. And I’d say at least two of those drops were for would-be conversions.
– Special request: instruct/allow David Amerson and Bashuad Breeland (both physical, young corners) to press off the line. Tell ‘em to use their hands, use their muscle, push a guy around for those first five yards, and try and make a play. Death to that lackadaisical cushion coverage bullshit.
– Despite the rebuilding efforts in Washington, this quote from ESPN’s John Keim describing the post-game locker room atmosphere is concerning…
“…It was tough to tell, if you closed your eyes, whether they had won or lost.”