The final score should have been 20-7.
Had that happened, nobody would be on the hot seat. Vegas would have called this game perfectly (they had Skins favored by 9.5 points) and the boo birds of FedEx would have stayed away at least for another week. It's simple how things would have gone if not for two dropped passes. Had Sellers and Thomas caught their passes (that hit them in the hands), the Skins score 14. The awful Red Zone drive of run, run HB option pass would have still netted 3 points. Then the Skins don't go for it on fourth and settle for another 3. Instead we have a miserable 9-7 game to open FedEx and you get what you get.
As for the booing fans, I want to make this one point clear: I don't boo my team. So there was at least a few people at the game that weren't booing the team. But I was generally pissed. Not at this team, or Coach Zorn, or a player or even Dan Snyder. I was angry about the futility of this franchise and where it has gone after growing up and seeing what this team meant to the area. Fans are passionate and the Redskins fan base is one of the most passionate fan bases in the world. We love this team and yet this team has become an utter joke. Expect fans to be angry.
And each year we come back hoping that this year will be different.........but it's not.
What's the worst of all this is that I like many of these guys on this team. With the all access stuff that you see from the Redskins, you get to know some of the players and really root for them and not just the team. Does anybody want to see Chris Cooley on a losing team or Jason Campbell struggle? Not really.
Anyway before I go off on what they did wrong, let's look at what the Skins did right this week.
1. Sustained Drives- The Skins were able to move the ball downfield with ease and generally dominated most of the stats. Of course this doesn't matter if you don't score (just ask the Dolphins in their week 2 loss to the Colts), but it's a good sign that this team is improving and can overcome a bad play. Remember, there were a few third and long situations and the Skins overcame them. Now if only they could finish in the Red Zone..........
2. More Pressure- I saw more pressure from Griffin, Haynesworth, Carter and Orakpo. Although it didn't lead to more sacks, I think it did help lead to some bad throws and a fumble (that was called back).
3. Get the Young Guys Involved- Orakpo looked better this week and made some plays as both a DE and a LB. The Skins also tried to get Kelly, Thomas and Davis involved. While Thomas and Davis didn't do too much, Kelly caught 4 passes. One more pass than he caught in all of 2008.
4. Less Sloppy- The offense and defense looked tighter and more focused. There were less penalties that I noticed (not sure if that is the real case in reality). Overall the execution looked better, although they were playing the Rams.......
5. Better Special Teams Performance- Kick off coverage was excellent. Randle-El actually took the ball up field. Punting was ok. Suisham was 3 for 3 and is perfect for the season (yes, they were chip shots but the chip shots won us the game).
6. Better Tackling- Overall better on the entire team.
7. Standout Players- Jason Campbell, Chris Cooley, Chris Horton, Albert Haynesworth, Cornelius Griffin, Chris Samuels
The bad was pretty clear.....I didn't like the playcalling in many aspects. I really disliked the Red Zone drive that ended with a HB option pass. It was timing more or less. Had Coach Zorn tried it on first down and not third down and failed, I don't think it would have been a topic of discussion.
That said, I want you to check out this video from NFL Films.
It is the various conversations/interactions between Zorn and Campbell and other players it makes me think that Zorn is a better coach that what many believe and what the final results show.
Missed Opportunities- two dropped TDs. A fumble deep in Rams territory called back by a late hit. A INT that hits Griffin right in the chest that would have been a pick six for the big man if he holds onto it. Same as it ever was for this team for the past few years.......
3rd downs- again the D has problems getting off the field, this has got to be fixed or we'll be seeing some serious domination by other good teams. The Skins can't play like this and win, maybe the Colts can because their offense is more explosive and Peyton Manning is the best QB in the league but the Skins just can't continue to do this.
Again sorry for the rush job, but my time has been really limited as of late. Now I've got a huge yard of grass to cut.