For a 3-13 team with 8-8 aspirations and a new head coach, let’s be realistic. Every game is going to be a dogfight.
This game wasn’t so much depressing as it was frustrating.
There was plenty of decent to good football on display, only to sabotaged by intermittent boners.
First of all, let’s call this a “four play” game. As in, here are the four that lost it for the Redskins.
– Baccari “Wrong Way” Rambo’s centerfield incompetence.
– Blocked Punt/Blocked XP (I’m allowed to mash these into one!)
– The RG3/Morris fumble deep in the Red Zone
– The Niles Paul fumble (again) deep in the Red Zone.
All FOUR of those plays belong in the “should NEVER happen” category. These are not just “bad breaks” or “coulda shoulda woulda’s” that any team can cherry pluck as an excuse.
Rambo is a disaster waiting to happen as a free safety. So just keep rolling him out there and wait. It’ll be coming.
The blocked kicks were both artful and brutish moves by the Texans, but let’s be honest. Those should never happen at the pro level. Besides, I think Forbath’s XP kick was low. Those should be pop-up chip shots, JUST in case somebody crushes the line. Forbath tends to DRIVE even XP’s. Hell, he had TWO blocked in the Charger game last year.
The fumble between RG3 and Morris came on 1st down. That’s what made it simply unforgiveable. Griffin needs to eat that ball. Period. Gruden said as much after the game.
And finally, when a guy like Niles Paul drops a ball AFTER a big gain like that, when the defender doesn’t even get his hand on the ball? That says right there, the guy can’t be trusted – in ANY spot. This team desperately needs a pass catching #2 TE, because obviously Jordan Reed is going to be in the shop more than your Volvo.
Other than all that, this team played pretty good defense. Hell… didn’t anyone notice the Texans didn’t have a SINGLE SNAP inside Redskins territory UNTIL THE FOURTH QUARTER!
I heard some people griping about not running enough. Oiy. Here we go. How many times do you hear this from football fans? These same fans calling our post-game show, ALSO complained that Griffin/Gruden didn’t throw the ball DOWNFIELD enough.
So yeah, more running. Whatever.
It’s not like the Redskins abandoned the run. They only had two possessions in the 4th quarter, and the first one included two Morris runs. The final possession was in desperation mode down 2 scores and inside the 2 minute warning.
Plus…. hell.. the PASSING game was just starting to wake up.
Garcon for 6. Roberts for 22. Paul for 48 (fumble!) Garcon for 8. Garcon for 11. Jackson for 16. What? Did people want to shut THAT productivity down.
Second guessing about play calling and run/pass splits is such a mindless endeavor in sports radio. I’ve heard it for 23 years now. If you want to complain about a play call, or a series of them – BE SPECIFIC. Don’t just look at the box score. Tell me exactly WHERE and WHEN you wanted a run instead of a pass, or a pass instead of a run.
I heard none of that after the game. Mindless.
So let’s talk about the quarterback.
He was okay in this game. Okay. Numbers, decent. No awful throws. Conservative game plan.
And J.J. Watt nearly wrecked the fuck out of that, anyway. This guy is un-real. And it finally dawned on me exactly who he “reminds” me of.
It’s a 50-50 split in his “look/demeanor” between Niedermeyer of Animal House and WWE’s Triple-H.
And he plays like the demon spirit of Reggie White in his prime. My. Gawd. Clowney who? Right.
Anyway, here’s some things about Robert that trouble me. And mind you, I am ALL IN on Griffin. But I don’t like these things…
1. He no longer seems “electrifying” to use Larry Michael’s famous call.
I remember when he was a springy rookie, and it was incredible. It seemed like he could catch any edge from pursuing lineman. It seemed like he could explode for 15 on any broken pass play. I don’t see any of that now. And it has nothing to do with the fact Gruden called no zone-read plays in this game. Griffin seems to be “wobble legged” both scrambling, and setting himself in the pocket. His “base” seems too wide. He seems off-balance more than he should be. All of this, is troubling. I don’t want him running option, or more zone-read than a few times a game. But if he’s not electric with his feet, he’s going to be ordinary. And I fear that shredded knee will never, ever, ever be the same.
2. He jumps into contact while throwing.
This is a fundamentals glitch that drives me more crazy than his crummy sliding. When he jumps into contact while unloading, he guarantees TWO big impacts. One to his front side (the defender) and another to his back side (the ground).
This will get him killed. It also leads to inaccurate passes that get picked off.
3. He quit on the fumbled handoff with Morris.
I had to rewind the DVR to see it again. He stayed flopped on his face like Fat Al Haynesworth did that time against the Eagles.
Worse yet, was his body language. He falls after tripping on Steiger’s leg. He looks up to see the ball is out. THEN he flops his head into the ground like a kid who is throwing a tantrum in the checkout aisle over not getting candy.
That could have been a scoop and run 85 yard DFT.
GET UP, Mr. Hashtag. RUN!
This was disturbing to me at least, I don’t know about anyone else.
That said, we need to keep coaching the guy, and growing the guy, and put him in a position to be great. We’ve got two long hard years to push until we make any sharp moves. The good news is, I think he’s got all the raw materials to be that GREAT player. Time will tell.
And now… for my leftover thoughts and notes…
– Why we didn’t draft another pass-catching TE in the mid-rounds is beyond me. Both of Reed’s backups are MINUS players when it comes to moving the football downfield.
– So much for instant replay. I don’t care how many calls it might “get right”, when you can STARE at a play like Andre Roberts catch, and SEE a CLEAR STRIP of green grass between his foot and sideline… and they STILL fuck the call up… oh shoot me. Better yet, shoot all of the league’s fucking replay machines and burn down the new “Centcom” in New York.
– Brian Orakpo: game was at 1 p.m. bro? Where were you?
– Fox newbie David Diehl was alright. Not bad, rook. Thom Brenneman however, remains an “over-announcer” and a blowhard. Not one of my favorites.
– We have a competent, and exciting punt returner for the first time since Brian Mitchell retired. Andre Roberts, thank you! Please, stay healthy.
– How come “proud” players like DeAngelo Hall get upset at themselves for giving up a 15 yard catch, but think nothing of getting a stupid 15 yard penalty because they have the need to act tough?
– If we are going to purchase, maintain, and roll out there every Sunday a blazing fast Ferrari in Desean Jackson, then we BETTER DAMN WELL throw a ball OVER THE TOP at him at LEAST once a game. Preferably EARLY, to keep defenses on their heels. The fact we didn’t do that Sunday was malpractice.