Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week Four: Thoughts and Observations of the Redskins vs Giants Game

This game will either break this team and spiral into another double digit loss season or it will make them take a look at themselves in the mirror and know they must play and execute better to be successful.
  Hail Redskins Nation!!!!! Or should I say Kirk Nation or RGIII Nation??? For the second week in a row there is a major fracture in Redskins Nation and it's really getting old. I took a couple of days to get my thoughts together about the game and this divide in one of the most passionate fan base in any sport around. With such a bad performance in the prime time spotlight it could drive any fan base crazy but not to the point where physical threats and verbal altercations happen between fans that love and want the same thing for the team...Victories.

This game really made me think about things with the premiering of "A Football Life: Sean Taylor" on Friday. I saw a post on Facebook that really hit home by a fellow fan. All of this bickering back and forth over quarterbacks is ridiculous. When Sean Taylor was taken from this team and world way too early Redskins Nation came together like the nation did during the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. Not to say that the two tragedies are anywhere near the same level but the unity and love was, in my opinion. I just hope fans will get themselves together and realize that it's a team game. It takes 22 men on the field and 53 men on the roster to win or lose a game not just the quarterback. Now with that being said lets talk about this debacle of a football game from Thursday night.

I know a lot of fans will blame Kirk Cousins, the defense, coaching or even a curse of the name Redskins for this butt kicking (they know who they are). Well, I just feel it was a perfect storm that turned into a avalanche of bad plays and then total implosion. A short week, injured starters, turnovers and limited game prep is what I chock it up to. I've said before our team still has holes that a playoff team would not have. If you recall Bruce Allen stated that the salary cap penalties would have repercussions for years to come. Well, now do you understand what he meant? Depth is key for any team and quality depth is key to a winning team. We have made progress but there's plenty of more progress that needs to be made in this area.

Fans have to realize that their own expectations are what's not being met and maybe they are a little unrealistic. 3-13 teams do not win the Super Bowl the next season or even make the playoffs in some cases. I'm not saying the Redskins couldn't make the playoffs but to talk about making another round of drastic changes after four weeks is crazy. Plenty of fans don't agree and are screaming for a new coach, new quarterbacks and even some screaming to get rid of the owner (which I feel is mind blowing).

Fans have to realize that players are people just like us. They learn, adapt, absorb new information and try to put those new practices in place the same ways that we do. It takes time, patience and game time experience to get better as a team. Not practice, not watching film, not mental reps. Only real time game action. That's why I've said over and over 8-8 would be a good season for this team that's not totally in rebuilding mode but are in a mode of trying to identify who they are as a team. Now to get off of my soap box and do what I do best...breaking down game film.

Kirk Cousins no doubt had the worst start of his short career and it couldn't have come at a worse time. A prime time, division rival game for all to see had to be the one game where fans would start calling for DC's new favorite player: Colt McCoy. As I've stated before we win as a team and lose as a team but Kirk's five turnovers with four of them deep in the Redskins territory really hurt and set a tone for the game.

He is a quality QB but still has things to learn with his limited experience. The catch to getting more starts and putting more on film for all to see is that your opponents see those tapes too. Once they see your weaknesses on the field they will do everything in their power to exploit those weaknesses. The same thing can be said for Robert Griffin III. In the Houston game you could plainly see that they were constantly bringing pressure because they knew he had to think about what to do instead of reacting to what was being done. That' why on the field reps are so important.

One of the few bright spots of the game was Alfred Morris. Even though he didn't eclipse the 100 yard mark or the 20 carry mark this game which is usually a key to success for the Redskins. He did have an impressive 20 yard touchdown run in the third to bring the team within 10. But then the turnovers just killed what momentum they had  built after halftime. Morris even had three receptions for 27 yards. Even though it was pretty much after the game was out of hand, it's good to see him getting involved in the passing game. Alfred should have a productive season once Coach Gruden learn to keep feeding him the ball even if he's only getting three yards a carry. His track record shows he gets better the more carries he gets during the course of the game.

As you would've guessed the receivers didn't have a big impact on this game with six turnovers on the offensive side of the ball. Niles Paul took a nasty hit from Will Demps who is a repeat offender and hopefully he receives the same or worst punishment that  Brandon Meriweather did for his hit in preseason. The rhythm wasn't there because of the pressure the Giants were putting on, which throws off the timing and creates a much hectic situation for quarterbacks. Kirk stated in his post game presser that he found himself pressing after the 2nd int. By him pressing it put the receivers in a unknown situation since they haven't had time to build chemistry and timing. Which in turn led to the constant turnovers and also made Kirk try to make throws he knows he shouldn't have tried to make.

Now to the offensive line... it really was a mixed review. They didn't get a chance to establish the run because of the aforementioned turnovers. The depth was tested once again with Josh Leribeus getting in the game again for Shawn Lavauo. Then the unthinkable happened Trent Williams went down with a knee injury, but from what I'm hearing it could've been alot worst. To come in for Trent was third year tackle Tom Compton who from what I saw played pretty well in relief at LT, which makes me wonder why he can't over take Tyler Polumbus at RT. I did hear he is still not strong enough to take on the bull rush of opposing D lineman. The issue is now is that most teams are going to use the same strategy that the Giants and the Eagles used. Get pressure Kirk's his face, play zone on the short to intermediate routes and make him make a throws under pressure. Only way you can get better is game time experience and looks like Tom Compton and Josh Leribeus are gonna get some. We will know truly find out how ready these young players are, if there to become starters.

Now to the defense. The defense started behind the so called 8-ball and ended up under the 8-ball. I don't care if the 85' Bears defense was out there, they would've gave up points being put in those tough situations. Being the offense had six turnovers and four of them deep in their own territory. There were plenty of mental and physical mistakes that cost this team and added to the avalanche of mistakes and miscues.

For one, the safety play was horrendous. Between miscommunication and missed tackles, this team looked and played like they were out of sorts and didn't feel like they belonged on a football field. I did expect some letdown with the leader of the secondary and defense gone for the season. DeAngelo Hall's leadership, ball hawking skills, and knowledge of opponents and their tendencies was really missed on Thursday. The other unfortunate problem the team is having is with depth of the front seven. With Barry Cofield, and Kedric Golston already out and Jason Hatcher nursing a sore hamstring, and Brian Orakpo's torn ligaments in his dislocated finger this was basically a M*A*S*H unit.
As Coach Gruden said earlier in the week, this was the worst time for the team to have a short week but so was it for the Giants. I liked some of the comments the coach has made since the butt kicking and I hope this serves as a wake up call for the whole team going forward. Brandon Meriweather has been horrid in coverage since he's been back. I'm not ready to throw him under the bus because he hasn't been in football game shape because he was out the first two weeks. Now if he plays the same against Seattle after 10 days in between games then I think it's time to promote Phillip Thomas and see what we have. This unit is not as bad as it looked against the Giants and not as good as they looked against Jacksonville - they are somewhere in between. We need a ball hawking player on defense badly. There were plenty of opportunities to make plays but they just weren't made.

The Giants did counter our pass rush with quick three step drops and running some modified no huddle to tire of our thin D-line and it worked to perfection aided by the turnovers. Not to mention the young CB's David Amerson and Bashaud Breeland playing without the steadying presence of D. Hall. They sometimes looked lost or not sure what to do. Now for Perry Riley, I wish he would learn to turn his head in coverage especially in the red zone but Riley wasn't the only one. The defense made Larry Donnell look like a young Antonio Gates. One of the only bright spots of the defense was the impressive play of Keenan Robinson. His stat line was just as impressive as his play on the field. 13 tackles, 7 solo, and one pass defensed. I believe we have found a replacement/upgrade for London Fletcher. We all will find out what this team is made of when they play Seattle on Monday night in week five.

Well the special teams unit didn't add to the mess but it also didn't help. Andre Roberts has been questionable the past few weeks. Fielding punts that he shouldn't, letting a couple bounce when he should've caught them and coming out the end zone of kickoffs. I applauded him for his judgement the first two weeks but the last two weeks he's been inconsistent. The kickoffs were better this week from Tres Way and Kai didn't have a field goal attempt this week. Now if they can go two weeks in a row without a major mistake or return for touchdown then I can say that Coach Kotwica is finally getting through and players are fully buying in.

Now with all these many days between games I hope the players get rested, healthy and get back to improving and showing this fan base that they are a improved team from last season. I also hope Redskins Nation gets it together ad remember that we are all rooting for the same thing. A winning team that plays well and eventually brings another Super Bowl Trophy to the DMV. You can follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and my fellow blogger and good friend @IIWIISkinsBlog for breakdowns and analysis of all Redskins news and info. As always #HTTR4LIFE


Larry Williams said...

Yeah that was a tough one...It is what it is...

femi said...

good job man!

@TattooedScorpio said...

Yea Larry. Tough ain't the word. Disastrous prolly better described it. Thx Femi ....

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