Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grades and Recap: Redskins Vs Broncos

Via Usatoday.com

Hey Redskins Nation, it's another loss of a game that Redskins had control of and were playing for the most part error free football up until 4th quarter but some how found a way to lose. Once again Kyle Shanahan went away from the running game, which was working very well and tiring out the Broncos defense but then all of a sudden decides he wants to throw the ball down the field.

  Denver does have the 32nd ranked pass defense but that's mostly because of teams having to throw to keep pace or catch up with their potent offense. I'm guessing Kyle thought he would try to take advantage of this stat but it turned out to kill the momentum that the defense had help build with two turnovers in the first five minutes of the third quarter. The defense has been steadily improving and the sad fact is that since the Broncos put up 45 points it looks like they didn't do their job to the casual fan but this is not true.

With two backup safeties playing for the first time together and Peyton Manning being the super human quarterback that he is no one gave the Redskins a chance. For almost three quarters of the game they kept pace and contained the Broncos offense. The inconsistent offense constantly going three and out for some of the first half and all of the fourth quarter really was the downfall of the defense.

Addressing Kyle's playcalling and going away from what works has been a constant issue for me this season. He's out thinking himself and really putting our offense in situations where I don't see helping the team being successful offensively. I'm looking for the play caller that had a cast of Rex Grossman, Jabbar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong that stretched the field and had the right play call most of the time.

Now to address Robert Griffin III, to me this was one of his worst performances of his short career. Between him missing wide open receivers, not reading the defense properly, not trusting what he sees and to me it looked like he made his mind up from the jump that he wasn't gonna run the ball. I hope the latter isn't the case because I would have a real problem with that, but it did look like on several occasions he had a running lane but didn't take it.

Don't get me wrong he did extend plays with his feet and made some plays but there was a lot more yards and points left on the field that this team could've used against the #1 scoring offense. The offensive line did give RGIII time to throw but the interior of the line once again was porous and got man handled by the Broncos front seven but was doing a very good job run blocking until Kyle got pass happy.

Last but not least the special teams took a huge step forward by not giving up a TD return this week and contained one of the more dangerous returners in the league. Sav Rocca did have one bad shank that helped spark the Broncos offense but as a whole the unit was much improved and looked like the extra practice helped.

To me this season is still far from over but this team has to put together a full 60 mins on offense, defense, special teams and coaching. until they do this the Redskins will continue to be inconsistent this year. Now I know that I try to stay away from berating the officials but it seems to me that every week the Redskins get held, facemask pulled, even helmet to helmet contact and it's a no call, but if the Redskins commit a penalty it's called asap. I don't know if it's me because I'm a fan and I know the refs can't see everything but when you can clearly see the foul and don't call it during the game but send a letter later in the week say "Sorry we missed the call" what else can you say?

 I'm starting to wonder why the NFL doesn't have a policy similar to the NHL. Roger Goodell says the goal is to preserve the integrity of the game but isn't getting the calls right part of the integrity? When a controversial play or call happens during a game in the NHL they stop play and call NHL headquarters in Toronto for an official review to make sure the call is made correctly and the game continues after the correct ruling is overturned or confirmed. There is no letter later in the week that means absolutely nothing to a team that took a loss maybe because of a called that was missed or called incorrectly. Well that's just a thought I had now let's get to the grades and recap position by position:  


Via Usatoday.com

Quarterback: As I stated earlier I feel this was one of Robert's worst performances to date, from missing reads, missing open receivers that would've extended drives, possible big plays or even a potential TD. In my opinion it's starting to show that missing OTA's, training camp and preseason games has really slowed his progression from talented rookie to 2nd year QB making progress in becoming a NFL caliber QB. His reluctance to break the pocket yesterday has me wondering was that by his choice, Kyle's gameplan or what the defense was taking away. Can't wait to hear his breakdown during his Wednesday press conference. Kirk Cousins came in after RGIII tweaked his knee after getting drilled into the ground by a Broncos defensive player (for the 3rd time with no flag). Kirk didn't fare much better throwing two interceptions but the game was already out of hand. Kirk also received a helmet to helmet hit but alas no call.Grade: D

Via Redskinsxtra.blog.timesdispatch

Running Backs: During the game tying 16 play drive in the second quarter 7 of those plays were runs that helped exploit the Broncos defense and started to wear them down. Alfred Morris started the day off slow but looked to get it going on that drive but the rest of the game he would not see many more touches. Roy Helu Jr. once again was a good change of pace back with the limited reps he received but made the most out of them picking up crucial first downs when the game was still in doubt. Last week they feed the ball to the running backs and it was a win this week they stopped running and the game got out of hand within 15 mins of play. I hope Kyle notices that trend.Grade:B 

Wide Receivers: This unit has taken a step backwards again, with untimely drops, not getting separation, and not making the plays when they are there to make. Santana Moss seems to have to lost the use of his hands, Hankerson disappears much too often, Robinson is hit or miss, Morgan was open several times but Griffin miss read the play or just missed him totally. Pierre Garcon has been involved but has to be more game breaking when he gets his hands on the ball similar to 2012. I can see a big, physical wide receiver being brought in next year either threw free agency of the draft. this team has to have a solid number 2 wide receiver to loosen the coverage on Garcon or make them pay for doubling Garcon. Grade:D

Via Redskins.com

Tight Ends:  For the second week in a row Fred Davis was inactive (healthy scratch) and Jordan Reed had another stellar game with eight receptions for 90 yards, but he didn't come alive until the second half. That was a head scratcher for me since they way they involved him so much into the gameplan the week before. Logan Paulsen had a good game blocking as usual and Niles Paul didn't do anything to stand out in a good way or a bad way (which has to change for the better soon on offense). This unit has been one of the most consistent unit's on the offense this year but definitely use more production from Niles since Davis can't crack the starting lineup. Grade: B

Offensive Line: This unit has been getting better at run blocking but pass blocking on the interior of the line is shown to be a weakness that every team has been exploiting and will continue unless they improve and can stop the A gap blitzes (when defenders blitz in between the center and the guard on either side). I was hoping to see Adam Gettis and Maurice Hurt would be getting some reps during practice to see if these young draft picks are up to the high standards of the NFL. One other point I would like to address is when RGIII does gets hit late or illegally I need to see the O-Linemen come to defend him. I see so many other lineman on other teams atleast get in the opponets face when their quarterback takes questionable hit or helmet to helmet contact that is called or isn't calledI'm not saying do something dumb and retaliate in a way that would draw a 15 yard penalty but stand up for your quarterback. Let the other team know that it's not going to go unpunished when they take shots at our franchise QB. Grade: C-


Via Redskins.com

Defensive Line: The D-line did what it could with the fast paced offense of the Broncos by getting some pressure on the Peyton which forced 4 turnovers and helped allowed the linebackers to collect two sacks. This unit had its job cut out for them and they did what they could do helping the defense hold Denver to a season low of seven points for the whole first half but with very little support from the offense. The way the defense played the first half the Redskins shouldve had some sort of lead going into halftime. Jarvis Jenkins is showing signs of shaking the rust off and getting back into "football shape". Barry Cofield once again did his thing occupying blockers and crating gaps for the linebackers to get thru. I'm still waiting for Stephen Bowen to make his break through performance but the man is playing on a torn PCL but that's showing that we need another DE on this team to step up and make plays when needed. Adam Carriker would be making a difference for the D-line and the defense as a whole if he were healthy. Grade: B-

Linebackers: The linebackers are playing better as a whole unit and seeing Nick Barnett get more reps is a good sign but I didn't like the fact that he was used to replace Perry Riley Jr. But I'm not sure if it was to keep Riley fresh in the thin Denver air or did Haslett think Barnett was better suited for coverage. Now speaking of Riley he lead the team with tackles with 10 and an assist and is showing why he can and will be a great replacement for London Fletcher when he decides to retire. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan has quiet days even tho Kerrigan did force a sack/fumble at the start of the 3rd quarter but as I said the quick passing game is made to counter pass rushing linebackers. Rob Jackson also recorded a sack and showing why he is an important part of the linebacker corp. I'm wondering what's going on with Brandon Jenkins? Is it still his ankle injury or is he having trouble getting on the field being behind the veterans? Grade: C

Via Redskinsxtra.blogs.timesdispatch

Cornerbacks: Despite giving up 354 passing to Peyton Manning this unit played well. Most of the game the corners contained the Broncos WR's until the offense continued to go 3 and out and put the defense in a bad position in the fourth quarter against the #1 offense. As of right now DeAngelo Hall in my opinion is this teams MVP. With two great interceptions against Manning and returned one for a TD to help give the team a short lived 14 point lead. Hall has three touchdowns returns this season and the unit has five as a whole (most since 1994) and to me he has been playing some of the best football of his career. Josh Wilson, David Amerson and E.J Biggers played well for the most part but no one can totally shut down the Broncos offense but they damn sure did enough to help win this game. The sad fact is no one recognizes this fact until the unit gives up a long TD pass or blows a covearge but this unit deserves some love for steadily improving week in and week out. Grade: B

Via Redskinsxtra.blogs.timesdispatch

Safeties: Now when hearing Brandon Meriweather was ruled out due to suspension and Reed Doughty ruled out due to post concussion symptoms I thought that it was no way would would even possibly be in the game. Now with a safety tandem that never had played together you would expect coverage mistakes but Bacarri Rambo and Jose Gumbs played pretty well. Neither player did anything spectacular but played steady and didn't do anything to hurt the team, which is always a good thing. Granted on the two long screen passes that went for scores in the fourth quarter neither stay true to their assignments and got caught up on the inside of the plays but the strides Rambo made after not playing defense since Week 2 was remarkable. Rambo made open field tackles, didn't get fooled by the Hall of Famer Peyton Manning and he was around the ball when he was supposed to be. By no means was this performance a breakthrough but the way he looked on the field in the early part of the season and the way he played against the Broncos, you can see that it's finally starting to click for the 6th round draft pick. On my final thought about the safeties I believe there will be a free agent Free Safety addition next year unless Rambo begins to show some of the potential that the coaches saw in the preseason. Grade: C

Via Redskins.com

Special Teams: Now I feel like I had to mention this unit since for the first time in two weeks they didn't give up a punt return for TD. That's a big improvement when facing Trindon Holliday one of the most deadliest returners in the NFL. Sav Rocca had one bad shank at a bad time in the game and kind of started the momentum swing to the Broncos, but for the most part he did a good job. You have to mention the new long snapper, Kyle Nelson for not missing a beat with Kai Forbath and Rocca during the execution of field goals or PAT's. The unit looked like the extra practice helped along with the other special teams pickup Trenton Robinson helping with the coverage on kickoffs and punts. Josh Morgan had a great return of 34 yards that helped pump the team up and swing the field position. I still believe since Santana Moss hasn't made a bigger impact on offense I say put him back there once a game and see what the playmaker can do since Chris Thompson also hasn't been active lately. Grade: C

Since it's the midpoint of the season, I figured I'd bring up the fact that next year when the Redskins should be around 20 million under the cap and some of the holes like WR,RG,FS,RT,ILB, and CB will be addressed via free agency. That is unless Roger Godell and William Mara don't collude and try to screw the Redskins again. 

After this game I've seen several articles hating on Mike Shanahan saying he needs to be fired. My response to that is look at what he walked into when he got here a little over four years ago. He had to rebuild the roster, update the facilities, get rid of problems in the organization that was made by the previous front office personnel, and turn over one of the oldest rosters in the NFL at the time with limited draft picks, cap space or a franchise QB or RB. So before people start calling for his job remember where the team was before he came to D.C. 

My bigger question is who would you replace him with? 

This team is in a better place since he's got here, but that's just my opinion.

Now with Phillip Rivers coming to town next week, who in my opinion is one of the biggest overrated QB's in the league that have never really accomplished anything, the team will have their hands full with the Chargers potent offense and opportunistic defense. This defense can be trouble especially if the offense is as inconsistent as it was against Denver. If the defense can keep improving as it has been, I can see them forcing Rivers into some INT's and possibly another defensive score or two. 

There's still time left to turn this season around but it has to start with playing a full 60 min game and being consistent on offense, defense, special teams, coaching and play calling. As always #HTTR. You can follow me for all your Redskins and football news on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and can follow the editor for this blog, writer for @SonofWashington and good friend @IIWIISOWSkins and don't forget to subscribe to the blog for a email whenever a new article is posted. #BeatDaChargers

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