Burgundy and Gold Nation doesn’t have a lot to be thankful for this November. Their quarterback of the future doesn’t seem to be in the plans of their coach of the present. A defense already with a coordinator on the hot seat loses a new player every week. Each loss is another indictment on how this team is not well constructed…and the team’s recent history puts everything in play. It’s not inconceivable they’d fire their coach after one season or trade away their first round quarterback after three seasons as a starter because they’ve done both. In the interim, there are now five more games to play to set the stage for 2015. Sunday’s 17-13 loss to San Francisco had a Thanksgiving feel…the offense was repeatedly stuffed and the special teams looked like turkeys. Did anyone bring yams?
RG3VER– the face of the franchise completed 11 of 19 passes for 106 yards and no interceptions…but Griffin was sacked 5 times for 29 yards, meaning the Skins gained just 77 net yards passing. Three of those sacks came on third down…as the offense feels as threatening as it did in the first year of Gibbs II when one felt the opponents would get their 17 of 20 and then put the game on deep freeze. At least he didn’t throw any teammates under the bus.
Alfred the Centurion– Mr. Morris ran for 125 yards and a touchdown– the first time he reached triple digits all season. It’s as if Zack had left the cast during the College Years season and then came back for the Wedding in Vegas movie like Lark Voorhies did. I almost didn’t recognize him…
DeSean and Garcon– the dynamic duo combined for 5 catches and 73 yards…aren’t we used to one or the other posting those numbers on his own? This year the Lamborghini(Garcon) has often been left in the garage…but it’s nice to know that there’s room in there for the Ferrari (Jackson). This is going to sit well…as wide receivers are very understanding and even-tempered.
Third and Oh No– the Skins moved the chains on 2 of 13 attempts. RG3 completed 3 of 7 passes (1 conversion) while getting sacked 3 times; he ran twice for eight yards (both times coming up short of moving the marker) while Alfred Morris scored a 1 yard touchdown on his lone third down carry (3rd and goal from the 1). Yardage breakdown: 1-1 on third and short, 1-4 on third and medium (4-6 yards needed) and 0-8 on third and long. Again, poor execution on first and second down gave the team 5 third downs where they needed 10 yards or more.
Here’s to You, Mr. Robinson– when London Fletcher announced his retirement, there was concern that this team would not find the right man to monitor the middle. Those concerns were overblown as Keenan Robinson once again paces the defense with 8 tackles (7 solo). The D needs more pieces like Robinson to turn around what’s been a less than ideal fall.
Flying Flags– seven penalties for 53 yards might not sound horrible, but five of those infractions came in the fourth quarter. Three of the seven came on offense (illegal formation, hold, false start) while one came on defense (Ryan Clark’s unnecessary roughness) and three more were on special teams (Akeem Davis with two–a false start and an illegal block). The illegal block gave the Skins a 1st and 10 from the 8-yard line as opposed to the 28 on their final possession…and Morgan Moses’ false start pushed the ball back to 4-yard line two plays before Griffin’s game-ending fumble.
Cobra Kai– one week after going 0-for-2, the Johnny Lawrence of kickers shook it off (apologies to Taylor Swift)– and Sunday he booted both attempts (27 and 36 yards). Tress Way continues to justify his offseason pickup by averaging 47 yards per kick…
Dissecting the Division–Philadelphia’s win keeps the Eagles ahead of Dallas thanks to a better division record; both would make the playoffs at 8-3 (Eagles get the #3 seed while the Cowboys would be seeded 5th and face the NFC South winner-nice gift for not winning the East). The NY Giants 5th straight loss keeps the division cellar in play for Big Blue and the Redskins (G-Men own 3rd thanks to their week four win at Fed Ex Field).
True North– the AFC North owns a 27-15-1 composite record, two and a half games better than the NFC West (27-17). The NFC East? 22-22 (good enough for 6th out of 8 divisions) while drawing the AFC South (15-29) as a crossover opponent. I’m sure they wish they had the NFC South (13-30-1) as their intraconference crossover…as 4-7 Atlanta leads the division with 2-9 Tampa Bay in striking distance of the lead.