The Butker Did It

I’m not sure we could have handled a win in Kansas City to go 3-1. Not that I didn’t want it bad as hell. This loss hurts. Hurts in the kind of way that says “we’re actually a pretty good football team, and we didn’t come for any moral victories tonite.” Too many injuries. Too many dumb penalties. And one dropped pass.

Yes…. he dropped it. Nobody will argue that.

Josh Doctson – aka “Limited Edition” for his rare appearances on the field since being drafted in the 1st round out of TCU – had the go-ahead TD in his sticky mitts for a split second, before he crashed to the ground right on his arm and the football. And it was gone.

My twitter timeline is rotten with couch warriors spewing the cliche of “you gotta hold on to that!” And things like “that’s what we pay him to do!” And “that’s why he was a 1st rounder!” And on, and on…

I guess I just like to reserve my “you gotta catch that’s” for, well, you know, EASY CATCHES. What Doctson almost did, was a flying dog trick for which we paid that 1st round pick to get. It’s a rare commodity in the NFL, reserved for only a dozen or so wideouts of that size and speed. Besides, it wasn’t the last play of the game.

So we’ll have to agree to disagree. It was a 9/10 difficulty in my book, and it almost went our way. Still, game tied 20-20, Fabian Moreau and Martrell Spaight get whoopsawed in coverage on an Alex Smith rollout, and he burns ’em for a backbreaker throw to a streaking Albert Wilson. At this point, there’s still :49 left sitting at the Washington 34. There would have been a furious push to the endzone, using all 4 downs and two timeouts.

Point is: Doctson’s drop didn’t cost them the game.

Some stupid rookie named “Butker” cost the Redskins the game, and that hopeless fumble-rooskie play cost everybody who had the Redskins +7 their money. Stupid gambling.

If you want to get mad at something, get mad at Jay Gruden for calling a timeout on OFFENSE, before that pivotal 3rd and 2. It stopped the clock for free for Andy Reid, when he was too stupid to realize he should have used at least one of his own.

Get mad at the slew of penalties that kept Kansas City alive in the 2nd half. Preston Smith flat out killed the Redskins on both the 2nd Chiefs TD (lined up off-sides, then got totally duped by Alex Smith’s zone-read walk-in) as well as the drive to tie it at 17-17 (hard count off-sides free play, leading to 11 yard first down throw).

Get mad at Breeland committing a horse-collar on a stuffed run, and a hands to the face penalty away from the ball.

Get mad at Junior Galette (non-factor tonite) with an easily called, 3-beats-too-late hit on Alex Smith.

Get mad at Samaje Perine for fumbling a simple toss sweep.

Get mad at Mack Brown being made inactive, when we knew Rob Kelly was coming into the game tender.

Get mad at Terrell Pryor’s hands.

But most of all, get mad because mad is GOOD. Mad means this team is CAPABLE of something this year, and to throw away otherwise stellar efforts against undefeated teams at their place on MNF is excruciating. I’ll take the mad. Mad is good.

NOTES

The defense is going to be severely tested if Josh Norman is indeed out for several weeks as Gruden hinted to Lisa Salters. Sure, everybody loves Swearinger now, and he’s a beast, but Norman is still the meanest dog back there.

I loved how Matrell Spaight and Quinten Dunbar played. Competed hard all night, made plays, and never at all looked like they didn’t belong.

Kerrigan was quiet. It’ll be interesting to see what his night looked like from above.

Maybe I’m just over-reacting, but Travis Kelce is the best TE in the league. In a major market, with a better QB, nobody would stop talking about him. Absolute stud. Total athlete.

If Doctson holds on to the ball, it’s a 244 yard night for Kirk with 3 TDs, 0 INTs, three first downs scrambling… and quite probably… a big fat signature win. It’s getting less and less conceivable he will hit the free agent market this winter, yet again. Even if it costs… gulp…. $34 million. He’s not worth it. He’s not “that” good. But this is the corner Bruce Allen has painted himself into.

Kelly and Perine are a painfully average backs. They do very little to make tacklers miss. Kareem Hunt on the other hand… hooo… boy. Something special. He was available in the 2nd round if we wanted him. I know it’s not fashionable at the moment, given that it’s all about the passing these days. At some point our personnel department needs to buck up and spend a 1st or 2nd rounder on a potentially great back.

The uniform combo tonite was the vintage Gibbs 1.0 championship edition. We only used to wear the burgundy tops 2 or 3 times a year. It’s a fine look. But ever since Allen brought back the yellow pants, I especially like when they wear the yellow pants under the white road jerseys. It gives the Skins a rare tri-color look among NFL teams, where you have pants-shirt-helmet each hitting one of your primary color notes. But everybody’s taste is different. I also loved the short-lived “Circle R” logo on yellow helmets that Lombardi introduced. When the Skins wore that in a throwback (with old-school gray facemasks) I thought it was straight fire. I was in the minority.

Bye week to rest up, hopefully heal up, and kick the couch for a game that was there to be won. Still, a lot of ambition left in this season. I’ll be excited when they get back at it against Kyle and the Niners in 2 weeks.

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.

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5 Comments

  1. Jay Gruden is a very good offensive play caller. He is an AWFUL situation strategist…simply awful. He bumbles clock management, timeout use, when to take risks(eg. when the game is slipping away or you just have a superior opponent that day), when to booth review(even if it’s just to let your defense regroup). I can’t take that confused glazed look on his face when he takes his nose out of his play chart. I cannot count the number of times he’s given other teams time on the clock to score at the end of halves and games(TWICE last night). I understand he does tons and tons of game prep – how about practicing sideline strategies with other coaches during the week?? How about studying how GREAT situational coaches do it – like Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick or even Sean Payton(yes, Sean Payton) control a game?? So many games are LOST in the NFL by stupid sideline strategy(mostly in the 4th quarter when mistakes are magnified). He needs to be told how bad he is as a game manager. FIX IT!!!

  2. Love you throwing shade at the fans calling them “couch warriors” as if you are some ex-player with scary wicked insight. You have your dopey takes as much as anyone. Kerrigan and Breeland were not good (as usual) and PSmith was awful. Pryor’s bad hands and a seeming lack of balls are worrying as well.

  3. If Jordan Reed is healthy (questionable) he should be seeing 10 targets a game. He’s as much an athlete as Kelce and not as big a DBag.

    1. They should trade Reed. He can’t stay on the field, so he’s way over-valued. He’ll be out of football within three years.

  4. Hey Czabe,
    I get your argument about Doctson’s drop and it’s impact on the game in perspective of all the other issues/plays. However, I still think Doctson’s incomplete was inexcusable once he had caught the ball. He did the tough part (the 9/10 part, as you say) – he went up and caught the ball in magnificent fashion. But, instead of suckin’ it up, keeping two hands/arms on the ball, twisting and landing hard, he instead broke his fall by extending an arm. In doing so, he exposed the ball to being popped out like it did.
    My two cents…

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