The loss to the Eagles took a lot of wind out of me, fanwise. It’s one thing when your team blows an entirely winnable game by either a) coaching malfeasance b) an unlucky bounce c) replay fucking you d) all or some of the above.
But when your team just gets beat – flat beat – and you know the other team is just better, you’re sorta left with nothing. And worse yet, when you realize they might have an even better quarterback than yours? Oooooh. That stings. Not gonna lie.
Mix in a growing pile of injuries and you have a kind of football depression that isn’t going to be as easily managed by some shots of Tin Cup Whiskey.
I guess what I’m dancing around here, is, this season looks like it’s just not going to happy. Pity. I thought something interesting might actually develop.
The Redskins had a weird off-season. They did a lot of seemingly contradictory things. They pulled a suprise coup against their GM. They kicked the can down the road on their expensive franchise-tagged QB for one more year. They let two highly productive WR’s leave. They bet short term on two guys Terrell Pryor and Zach Brown. They didn’t draft a RB in the first 4 rounds. And they changed both coordinators. But gave Gruden an extension, the first coach under Dan Snyder to get one.
I tried to read the tea leaves on what the brass thought about the team and where it was going, what it was doing. And I gave up. If there was a master plan, I couldn’t see it, and my eyes started to get sore staring.
Not that I’m ripping them for being clueless. Nothing they did was indefensible. Even the McCloughan firing. It was tacky, sure. Wrong? I think time will vindicate them. So I went into this year, cautiously optimistic. My saying all summer to fans I met out and about was simple: “I don’t know why they would be any WORSE than last year.”
And I think they were trending that way, until the O-line started to crumble in Philly. Trent is about to give out, any week now. Moses is going to be gimpy the rest of the way, if he himself doesn’t fall. And the knee injury to Scherff is a dagger. Nseke’s ongoing back issues took away our secret weapon from last year.
Worse yet, it looks like several “bets” this team placed in key spots, are going to be losers. The team began by “betting” that Kirk would take a smoke-and-mirrors non-deal. He didn’t. They bet that Pryor could port over his fantasy football numbers from Cleveland. He hasn’t, and almost certainly won’t. They bet that Doctson would come on like gangbusters in year 2. Still waiting. They bet that Rob Kelly would be good enough at RB1. He’s not.
Which is a shame, because the defense is demonstrably better. Even with the loss of Jonathan Allen who was producing right away. Even with Norman on the shelf for a few. So many good “right” moves on D! Manusky! Drafting Nicholson late. Paying for Swearinger and Brown. Coaching up Dunbar. Turning Ioannidis into a monster. Love it all!
Right now the Redskins don’t have a WR in the top-90 in yards. That’s absurd. And Kirk’s still on pace for 4300 yards on 68% completions. This offense is increasingly one-dimensional, and horizontal in nature. Overly reliant on TE looks, and screen passes. It’s gonna be a long hard uphill slug to either win the division or snag a wildcard. Gonna need 10 wins I think, and we’ll lose any/all tiebreakers to Philly thanks to getting swept.
Lastly, a thought about Carson Wentz. What a stud. And I foolishly thought it was a massive reach to take a guy from a 2nd-tier program that high, much less trade up so aggressively to get him. But here he is. A more nimble version of Big Ben, who unlike Roethlisberger, won’t spend the first 5 years of his career as an arrogant drunk.
Wonderful that he and Dak are in our neighborhood, and figure to be a problem for the next decade. Just… wonderful.