Redskins Drag Lifeless Defense Across The Finish Line in Philly

I don’t know how long it took for the Redskins to shower up, pack their bags and hit the road for home on I-95 after they beat the Eagles. But whatever it was, it couldn’t have been fast enough.

This was a far-too-white-knuckle, almost-season-screwing debacle from start to almost-finish. But in the end, this Eagles team is just too lame, injured, raw and stupid to close out an upset like this.

So if you are the Redskins, you pack it up, and start bearing down on the final 3 games, where it’s looking more and more like you better win all of them, just to be safe.

Where do you want to start? The good?

– They won the game. Never ever under-rate that fact, in the NFL!
– Ryan Kerrigan and DeSean Jackson are “star” players, and they made star player plays.
– Welcome back Trent Williams, who was burying fools all day long. That’s why he’s your All-Pro left TACKLE, people, not GUARD.
– Fat Rob and Chris Thompson are fantastic fun to watch. Both guys seem to always deliver productive runs, if not spectacular. My favorite run from Kelly was when he was dead to rights on a SEVEN yard LOSS, and squiggled away for what ended up as a no-gain.
– Jamison Crowder is just a spectacular FOOTBALL player. Period. From his clutch catch (nearly called an incomplete) to the wipeout block he delivered on Fat Rob’s touchdown run…. mmmmmmah!
– The fade route worked! Sorta. A “fade” from the 15, when the WR has 5 yards of space in the endzone… ehhh.. not exactly, But fine. Maybe Jay can now retire it from this year’s playbook.

Now… for the bad….

This defense is utter dead weight. If the Redskins were drag racing in the streets, they would be doing it with the parking brake still engaged. No matter how good Kirk and this offense is – and can be – they won’t win anything more than a low-level heat with the defense serving as the parking brake.

The defense is not talented, and now it’s confused. Worse yet, it’s lost one of it’s best young playmakers in Su’a Cravens for some period of time, maybe the season. Oh, and what in the sweet-baby-Jesus has happened to Bashaud Breeland? Did he really just not get over the fact that Josh Norman swooped in and took over the alpha-dog corner role? Can it be that simple?

As for Joe Barry, there’s a strong case for him to be fired at the end of the season. Coordinators with a 3rd down conversion allowance at 47% – dead last in the league, and even WORSE on 3rd and 7+! – usually get fired. You can lament the lack of talent all you like. But being a coordinator is alot like being on Iron Chef. You gotta make something decent to eat, out of whatever ingredients they stick you with.

This Eagles offense – with it’s patchwork o-line – has been doing jack-squat for the last month and a half. Yet against the permissive Skins D, they moved it all over, Wentz went for 300+, and they left 17 points on the field due to mistakes, penalties, and botches.

The Eagles were 9/18 (50%) on third down, and 2/3 on FOURTH DOWN. Every single player and coach on that side of the ball should be embarrassed to leave the house this week with those kind of numbers.

Kirk was pretty good all day, especially with Jordan Reed being limited. The Skins said they avoided using him on “normal” down and distances to avoid further aggravation of that shoulder. Now I’m no doctor, but I would have personally just given him another week off if that was the case.

Kirk’s pick-6 was probably bad. Every clean pick-6 is billed to the QB in the NFL by those of us on the couch – and usually rightly so. The throw might be late, or weak, or to the wrong side of the receiver’s body. So I won’t make an excuse for Kirk on that one. Bad Kirk, bad! But I want to hear what the official stance is on how Desean ran that skinny little out route, and whether he made a credible effort after the ball was picked.

Speaking of DJax, his 80 yard Willie-Mays-at-the-Polo-Grounds catch was incredible, as so many of his deep strike plays are – incredible. He’s a 1/1 talent at the position, the likes of which the league has never really seen before. And yet, he’s problematic in various ways.

For one, he’s tiny. So he can’t use his body to shield defenders, and is a default minus in blocking even if he’s motivated. He’s got a star wideout’s high maintenance plan, because he never thinks he’s being used enough. And yet, opponents CAN and DO effectively neutralize him with deep zone schemes. It takes rare moments where coordinators roll the dice with single coverage to really connect on those bombs. And even then, it’s gotta be called and blocked-up properly to work.

The problem with DJax has always been a PRICING problem, more than anything. OF COURSE teams would love to have him, but how to you pay a guy whose “big games” have odd statistical profiles like 3-102-TD? The standard narrative here in DC is this: “Who do you re-sign? Garcon or Jackson?” In a perfect world, you sign BOTH to deals that are fair and reasonable for players on their (rare) THIRD contract in the NFL.

Something says they will have to choose. And if it was my team to assemble, it would be an easy choice. Garcon is the most under-rated wideout in the NFL right now. He just plays, and plays, and plays. Hasn’t been hurt in nearly 4 years, runs every route, blocks like a sonofabitch, and has phenomenal hands.

Consider this: when the game was on the line on 4th and 1, they ran a little stop route to Garcon. Sure it LOOKED easy, but it took a guy so crisp in his breaks as Garcon is, to sell it for separation, then turn and make the catch with a guy draped on his back.

I’d pay THAT guy, again.

So it’s on to Carolina on Monday Night at home, where as well know, the Redskins have STUNK. Josh Norman had this one circled since the day he signed. Should be fun. Another “must win” en the way home to Week 17.

>>>>>>>>

MORE….

The Skins ALMOST got a play off before the Crowder sideline catch was overturned. It should strike any replay supporter that this tactic is still allowed, as utterly absurd. If the goal is to “get it right” then just because the team which KNOWS it’s about to get away with one, runs a play, should not prevent the aggrieved team from challenging.

Of course, replay fanatics will point to the OTHER Crowder replay, which over-turned a would-have-been egregious no-catch call on the field, as a case of “aren’t you GLAD Czabe we have it!?” Sure. I’m glad. Just like in Baltimore where a fall-behind TD was correctly reversed. But replay still sucks, and sucks balls hard. Plays that take LITERALLY 4 seconds to see are wrong, instead dump the viewer out into a 2-minute commercial set, which is often STILL not enough to finish the review. Scrap it. Scrap it all.

Dustin Hopkins missed again. Oof. What can I say? I’m an apologist. But he’s on the very edge of unreliable right now. I’d keep him though. He’s got serious talent, and I think it’s just a rough patch. It would be very “Old Dan Snyder” of the Skins to cut their kicker, when the defense has been burning down our house all season long.

The Deshazor Everett hit on Darren Sproles was bad, and yeah, *kinda* dirty. But he was one-beat at full sprint from making a fabulous and legal play. (Minus the helmet-to-helmet, but hey, Sproles is a shorty!) As Crowder pointed out afterward, if you want to make daredevil plays on punt returns, THAT is the risk you take.

About the Author

Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. He also appears on "Bob and Brian" in Milwaukee. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for www.czabe.com and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at czabe@yahoo.com.

Author Archive Page

3 Comments

  1. Dallas losing to Giants a HUGE help to Packers! Cowboys will have a reason to try hard in two weeks against the Lions. Otherwise, if the Cowboys won, they would most likely have #1 seed wrapped up when the play the Lions.

  2. Hurts me to say it but Skins are just an above-average, borderline playoff team. Might not make it and if they do, they won’t go anywhere. But they are good enough to give us hope for the future.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *