Monday, November 7, 2011

Game Recap: 49ers @ Redskins: The Many Faces of Mike Shanahan

(I'm just waiting to see the steam coming out of his ears. Pic via)

So we have another week of frustration and irritation in the life of a Redskins fan as the 'Skins fall at home 19-11 to a good 49ers team. Don't let the final score fool you. Eight of the last 11 points came in the final few minutes of the game. Let's get to some of the good things (or silver linings if you will) that came from this game and I'll get to the bad parts right after.

The lone good parts of this game was that the 'Skins gave opportunities to 3 rookies and we got a chance to see what impact they could have down the road. Maurice Hurt got his first start at LG. It wasn't perfect by any stretch. He made a few mistakes, but it was clear he looked better than he did during pre-season and fared well enough that the Redskins shouldn't have to rotate C, Will Montgomery back to LG and bring back Erik Cook to play center. Leonard Hankerson got his first career start at WR. It wasn't spectacular, but he did get into the endzone albeit a two point conversion. That said, did Malcolm Kelly ever get into the endzone during his time here? Roy Helu got his first start and we now know he can catch passes out of the backfield and in the flat. Also, I have to give credit to the defense overall. In most cases if you can hold an opponent to under 21 points a game, you should win.......if you have an offense, which the 'Skins don't.

What can I say about the offense? It's pretty horrible. John Beck reminds me of Patrick Ramsey (post Steve Spurrier era where he was a punching bag). Ramsey played scared and so does Beck. It's not the fear of being hit but more of a fear of failure. Beck either holds onto the ball too long or throws the ball too quickly (not finding the open receiver down the field). Rex Grossman will at least put up points even though he'll turn over the ball 3-4 times a game. The O-line looks okay, but nothing great. Most importantly, the Redskins have no play makers at this time. There is no deep threat, nobody can consistently get open and/or catch the ball that isn't garbage time. There are some serious growing pains on this side of the ball in that either the players are too young or too old to accomplish anything.

Gah, no wonder I've been procrastinating about this post. Time for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good

Sav Rocca (5 punts. Avg: 39.4 yds, Inside 20: 1, LNG 54) - I'm getting tired of having Rocca be my best player of this team. Right now he's the team MVP. No offense to Sav, but the damn punter shouldn't be the team MVP.

Graham Gano- If you kick a 59yd. FG you ought to be here no matter the outcome. Gano has been one of the few players who has been given a second chance and has panned out. Good for him.

Ryan Kerrigan (6 tackles, 3 solo, 1 sack)- That sack on Alex Smith was great. One of the rare moments me and my friends actually cheered.

The Bad

John Beck (30/47 254, 1 TD, 1 INT)- Don't let the stats fool you, he didn't do much in this game until the end (by this time it was 19-3). There were many times that both Gaffney and Hankerson were open and Beck either failed to see them open and checked down or decided that he couldn't make the pass and decided to check down.

Rocky McIntosh (4 tackles, 2 solo)- whiffed on some tackles on Frank Gore and had his coverage blown by FB Bruce Miller for the sole 49ers TD.

Brandon Banks- didn't do much as either a punt returner or kick returner. Also had two major fumbles (luckily, he recovered). This has not been a good year for Banks. Maybe it's the new kickoff rule, it could be a sophomore slump or team's have found a way to cover him. Is it wrong to mention the name Antwaan Randle-El when I mention Banks?

- Also worth mentioning Terrence Austin and Trent Williams.

The Ugly
I'm not going to give any 3rd down conversion stats or any other thoughts on the game other than showing you this picture from The Post. This look on Mike Shanahan pretty much sums up this game.
(Picture via DC Sports Bog; Photo: Ricky Carioti)

This has become my new Twitter avatar until the Redskins win another game......

- Roy Helu and Graham Gano broke Redskins records on Sunday for most receptions in a game (14, breaking HOFer WR Art Monk's record of 13) and longest FG (59 yards). I also believe that this may be the longest FG to be kicked at FedEx field, but I could be wrong about that.

- Rookies Roy Helu, Maurice Hurt and Leonard Hankerson looked generally okay this week. Could they be better? Sure. But for their first career starts not a bad performance. Still have some hope for the future.

- If the draft started today, the Redskins would be picking at #9 overall. Not sure that would land them their QB, but it would give them a chance to get a good #1 WR. Of course we still have 8 games to go.

- I honestly can't see a game where the Redskins will be a favorite for any game left on the schedule. They have a chance against Dallas, Seattle, Miami, Philly and Minnesota but at this point they are not good odds. Could the Redskins really go 3-13? I hope not but it is still in the realm of possibility.

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