Monday, October 13, 2014

Week Six: Thoughts and Observations After The Redskins Vs Cardinals Game


  Hail Redskins Nation!!!! For the second week in a row the Redskins were in a close game heading into the fourth quarter but somehow found a way to lose. This week unlike last week the cause of the teams demise was costly, untimely turnovers. First I'll speak about the late interceptions by Kirk Cousins....all three of them. The first interception was a product of bad mechanics. With the pressure coming Kirk rushed his throw and did not set and plant his feet while throwing which caused the ball to sail and fall right to the Cardinals defensive backs arms. That one I can understand but the last two were just horrible. He basically threw it directly to the defenders. If there is a bright spot it's that even with the second interception the team still forced a punt and had a shot to tie the game. That is until Kirk threw his third int for a pick 6 and ultimately the nail in the coffin. Not that I'm blaming Kirk for this loss but those turnovers are becoming more and more routine when he's under pressure. An we all know the league is a copycat league. If it continues to work, as it has the last three weeks all teams will continue the same strategy until Kirk shows he can make a play under pressure. Now to the Andre Roberts fumble that wasn't but somehow was. Now his knee was clearly down but because they couldn't tell when the ball came loose the call stood. They say it's a game of inches and that play clearly proves that saying.

  Now I know most fans hate to lose and don't wanna hear about improvements unless it's in the win column but the team played well. That is until the turnover fest started in the fourth quarter. There were some good things that they can hang their hats on but the main negative were the penalties. Now I've stated before I don't like blaming refs for losses. I know I saw at least five to ten holds that weren't called. Only one holding call for the whole game. I know that there's holding on every play that they see and don't see but they need to get more consistent with those calls. They do effect games
DeSean Jackson showing his game changing speed once again
with a 10 yard slant that he turned into a 64 yard TD.
just like pass interference and roughing the passer. Now back to the good that I saw. The slant to DeSean Jackson was a thing of beauty. Right call, great ball placement, and great run after catch for the 64 yard TD. The return of Jordan Reed was a great thing to see ( especially for my fantasy football teams) with eight catches for 92 yards it was a much needed boost. He adds a different dimension to this team when healthy. If defenses leave him in single coverage in the middle of the field then he will take advantage all day. The way they move him around he will always have the advantage in the match up. I'm just glad he finished the game healthy and hopefully that continues. The drive before the half was a thing of beauty with Roy Helu Jr.turning a screen pass into a 33 yard gain that helped get the team closer for a field goal attempt. Alfred Morris even chipped in with a 14 yard gain to get them in Kai Forbath's range. The main issue with this team is that they haven't played a full 60 mins other then against the Jaguars. I'm still not satisfied with the pass/run ratio but being that we've played the top two defenses against the run the last two weeks it does effect the play calling. Either way Coach Gruden has got to stick with the run more to help wear the defense down and opening up more Jay Gruden pass/ratio starts to look more like it did while he was in Cincinnati.
Pierre may not have DeSean's speed but he does know how to
get to the end zone.
 My only other issue is that they haven't found a way to get Pierre Garcon the ball more. His physical style, speed and ability to take it to the house from anywhere on the field can only help this inconsistent offense. The added bonus is he will help wear down the secondary while trying to tackle him after the catch. You are now seeing the true impact of  Robert Griffin III not being on the field. Eight men in the box, aggressive run blitzes and pressure straight up the middle to stop the run. With a mobile, healthy quarterback that's a recipe for disaster. Not saying when Robert gets back everything will just start working all of a sudden. But defenses play differently when he's on the field so fans don't panic. Alfred Morris will be back on track soon and this offense getting players back will give them a much needed boost and hopefully some consistency. From what Coach said in his press conference on Monday. RGIII will be doing individual drills this week and possibly get some limited practice reps next week. Leonard Hankerson will be activated off the PUP list also.

I wanted to blow this up bigger!!! This one of the many holds that weren't called that allowed Carson Palmer to make   plays threw the air.I don't blame refs for losses but how can you not see this.

   For the second week in a row he defense played well enough to win but could not make a game changing play. There were several plays to be made but the defense came up empty. The biggest play was when Brian Orakpo had a interception thrown right to him and was unable to make the play. Even him having a cast on his dislocated middle finger he acknowledged he should've made that play and blames himself for the loss. He was getting pressure on the ball but with the unique (holding) pass blocking of the Cardinals he couldn't get to the quarterback unfortunately. I know some fans consider him a bust and want him gone but without his presence on the field this defense would be a lot worse. If u can re watch the game just check out how many times the tackle gets his arms all the way around his shoulder pads and grabs on. Last I checked that was holding and almost every member of the front seven got held sometime throughout this game but wasn't called.  I feel once Barry Cofield comes back and everyone can slide back into the original rotation it will make this defense even more effective. When DeAngelo Hall went down I knew it would hurt but the lack of turnovers I feel is a direct result of him not being on the field. The fact that Bashaud Breeland has been put into a starters role is a good thing and a bad thing. The good is he's gaining precious in game experience and learning on the job. The bad is for example, having to go up against such a polished veteran in Larry Fitzgerald. In some cases the rookie played perfect coverage but Larry was just being Larry, made spectacular catch after catch and made it look easy. The pass interference called on him I feel was unjustifed because he was going for the ball just like the receiver. Will Compton had a good game starting in place of Perry Riley Jr. I've liked him since they signed him as a undrafted free agent to the practice squad. I believe if he can show he can improve his pass coverage skills he maybe able to unseat Riley Jr. as the starter.

   This game was a big test of depth with this already injury plagued roster. Should have seen what was coming when Brandon Meriweather after the first play from scrimmage had to be helped off the field with a possible concussion. He returned later but wasn't the only defender to leave the game for concussion test. Ryan Kerrigan and David Amerson both went back for the test but only Kerrigan would return. This really put the secondary in dire straits. Moving E.J Biggers to the outside where he has rarely played in this defense. He had some ups and downs but his highlight play was when he played perfect coverage John brown and knocked away the ball  on a potential touchdown in the fourth quarter. I would've liked to see more Chase Minnifield but I know Haslett wouldn't feel comfortable with two inexperienced corners on the field at the same time. While Meriweather was getting tested for a concussion, Trenton Robinson got some playing time at the SS and played ok but you can see the indecision but the only way that goes away is by playing.  Ryan Clark's leadership is apparent on this defense but you can see he has lost a step but he is an upgrade over what we had last season. Kerrigan went about his regular workman type day with nine tackles and a half a sack. I love
the way they move him around. I'm hoping to see them do that with Orakpo to get him favorable match ups against guards.  Trent Murphy gets close to sacks and possible tackles but just hasn't put it all together yet but you can clearly see the effort. This defense is in desperate need of a favorable bounce. The last two weeks they haven't forced a turnover but have been close many times. That's the difference in being a good defense and a great defense. They're playing better but not as consistent as needed to win games.  I hope there is a defensive playmaker in this upcoming draft. Having a first round pick for the first time in three years it. It will feel pretty good to draft on the first day of the draft for a change.

  Just because the special teams didn't have any major mistakes for the second week in a row I'll give them a pass this week. But will mention we have to get a game changing play soon to flip field position. Teams are pinning us deep when punting and special teams has to make a play to change the field position so we aren't constantly starting inside our own 20. Only other thing is does Kai Forbath know what a onside kick is? Okay that's it, I said I was gonna give them a pass.

   Now with the Tennessee Titans coming to town this team needs a win in a big way. Not that a 1-5 team can say this is a game they should win but this is a game they should win. As long as we don't continue to turn the ball over at the wrong times. You can follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio or Porter III on Facebook. As always #HTTR #BeatDaTitans #RedskinsTweetTeam

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