Honestly, I was sure we had somehow blown an un-blowable game. As the Niners lined up 1st and 10 at the Skins 40, with :28 to go and needing only a FG to win, I said to myself: “Holy shit. We’re dead. If they can just throw a 7 yard hitch, we’re fucked. Get inside the 50 yard attempt threshold, and they are going to beat us. Period.”
Well, luckily, with CJ Beathard at the helm, it was not so easy. Next thing you know, the Skins are getting the benefit of the worst situational/interpretational call I can remember, and this team was stuffing into a bag the ugliest, mangiest, win you’ve ever seen.
But it’s still a win. Like a gas station microwave hamburger, it was cheap and filling. And we keep driving. Next week on Monday night, in Philly. Gonna be YUGE.
There was a lot to like in this game, at least early. Then a bunch of stuff that makes you re-think everything hopeful about this mostly-positive 3-2 start.
Let’s start with our QB, who completed 67%, had 3 passing TDs and one of his own. He scrambled for 18 yards to keep a drive going, and absorbed a big hit at the end instead of sliding. Stupid, yeah, but it sent a message. When the game was tied at 17-17, all he did was capably engineer twin drives that absorbed over 12 minutes of clock, went 70+ yards each, and resulted in 10 points to seemingly ice the game in the 4th quarter.
Pre-tay, pre-TAY… good.
Oh, did I say “10” points? My bad, 9. Dustin Hopkins missed an extra point, which is troubling because he now seemingly misses whenever we need him the most. Some have asked if we need to start “shopping” for a new PK. I say, no. Have you seen the hot piles of shit at placekicker on NFL rosters? Massive choke artist Blair Walsh is in Seattle. Professional scud-launcher Chandler Catanzaro is with the Jets. Dinosaur Matt Bryant roams the sidelines for the Falcons at 42. The Raiders are leaning on some cute little Italian kid until Sebastian Janikowski gets healthy. In other words, we’re not getting better. Hopkins would be snapped up in a heartbeat.
I love Brandon Scherrf within one inch of being gay – not that there’s anything wrong with it. He’s humiliating defenders every single week. Watch the tape!
I love the continued dominance of Matt Ionnidis. He was pushing guys into Hoyer/Beathard like they were the dessert cart in a restaurant.
I love Chris Thompson and Vernon Davis. All they do is run away from people, and make them look foolish.
I love how when Jay Gruden is just calling plays, running an offense with his more-than-capable-QB Kirk, that it seems almost unfair. Any thought that losing Sean McVay as the man with the laminated play-sheet would hurt this team, can be put to rest.
Now… let’s talk about the bad.
The same Jay Gruden, when it comes to tactically navigating a perilous ship through the final minutes of a game to port with a victory, is often more like Captain Joseph Hazelwood. Not only does he coach out of “fear of bad things” but he has no basic understanding of how, why, and when to call/use timeouts. I would go through this week’s atrocities, but you likely saw them, so there’s no need. I’m afraid he’s probably not going to get much better.
I worry that Trent Williams and his amazing toughness, is bound to give out sooner or later. To think he played the whole game, while be so injured that he couldn’t even PRACTICE, is amazing. It’s also a nod to the team’s understanding of how crucial he is. With Ty Nseke out indefinitely with back issues, there IS no good option at LT.
I worry that the secondary could fall completely apart if both Norman and Breeland are out for the next few weeks. Aside from the Vikings, the Skins are coming into a stretch of very good passers: Wentz, Prescott, Wilson, and Brees all before Thanksgiving.
On the whole, this was a win I’m going to work hard to forget about. The Redskins were completely owning Kyle and Co. before inexplicably falling asleep to let them back into the game. The sublime mid-range play calling morphed into conservative runs and needless deep shots. Mix in a completely fucked instant replay non-call that led to the tying touchdown, and they were suddenly in a great spot to throw this one away.
Which they didn’t. Amen, and pass the butter.
>>>>>>> EXTRA POINTS >>>>>>>>
The replay decision to not overturn the Vernon Davis fumble was completely absurd. You can say there was no “definitive angle” to prove the ball wasn’t jiggling out before his knee hit. But since when is that the standard. He was as DOWN as down can be. And replay, failed yet again.
The Garcon OPI was truly horrible. I understand the league’s point of emphasis on these “pick” plays. But Garcon actually tried to hop-step through his guy (Zach Brown) before getting blasted. And Brown wasn’t even tracking his player at that point in the flat. On such a crucial gray-area call, with the game in the balance, you can’t call that unless it’s obvious AND results in an actual advantage play for the offense. Which it didn’t. Brutal.
OPI on Garcon thanks to this pick-play (illegal more than 1 yard from LOS).
— Chad Ryan (@ChadwikoRCC) October 15, 2017
Jay said afterward he really, really, really wanted to throw it on 3rd down instead of the ol’ “run-n-punt” move at the end. Okay. THEN DO IT! Especially when you just got a contract EXTENSION. A Kirk 7 yard flip WINS the game. Incomplete, or sack, or penalty, or whatever, does NOT lose it. It’s a modest gamble, with high reward.
I didn’t think much of CJ Beathard. He was a 3rd round pick after being an unremarkable 58% passer at Iowa. Yes, the game seemed to change when he came in, but I think that’s mostly because the Skins started playing soft, and the Niners ran the ball better. I believe if Hoyer had been in on that final drive, he would have easily gotten the Niners into FG position. Sure, Hoyer for 60 minutes is a losing proposition. But Beathard seemed to be completely over his head in those final plays.
Lastly, the focus on this season has to remain 10 wins and SURVIVAL. The Aaron Rodgers injury has thrown open the NFC race big time. Zeke Elliot looks to be out of luck and soon to be gone for 6 weeks. The Falcons still choke away games. Seattle can’t score. Everybody else has flaws. Keep grinding. Win 10. Then see who’s standing in your way.
Enjoy some delicious pixels. All courtesy of www.redskins.com.