While the DC metro area braced itself for a Hurricane/Tropical Storm/WTOP Listening Bonanza, the Redskins were dealt their worst loss of the season.  One where the offense never seemed to click and one where the defense was all to accommodating.  A 27-12 loss to Pittsburgh where the Steelers, perhaps exacting revenge on the Skins wearing burgundy on burgundy four years ago, wore uniforms that resembled the Beagle Boys from the Donald Duck comic books.  Sixty minutes of football to showcase what is right and what is wrong about this roster.  A football season is often like the theme song to a James Bond movie:  a little jazzy hook… followed by lyrical setup that rhymes with the title of the movie and then the movie title belted anywhere from 20 to 25 times during the song.  We’ve enjoyed the flashing instrumental hook that is RG3… and know the words by now: “the defense coughs up another touchdown again;  that is why– they’re 6 and 10”.*

RG3ver– the rookie suffered his worst outing of the season… completing under 50% of his passes and being held to a little over 1 yard a carry.  He also was whistled for offensive pass interference…yes, the player who almost missed a game due to a concussion was used as a wide receiver on a pass play.  Hmmm….

Damaging Drops– of course, if you took away the dropped passes from Griffin’s 16 of 34 performance he’d be completing 67% of his throws.  Sadly, such accounting only exists in my Eagle Apologist friend’s world (can’t wait for those games, White Shoes).  Ten drops?  Thank goodness Chris Cooley’s back.

Cooley Effect– Captain Chaos returned to limited action… notching no receptions on one target.  At least he has his old locker.

Alfred the Underused– #46 didn’t have a disastrous Morris outing like when Zac was busted for smashing up Dr. Turtle’s car during the Tori Season… 13 carries for 59 yards is more like when he lost the tennis girl to Screech during the College Years.  Not the best results– but with the the Steelers controlling the ball for over 18 minutes in the first half, one learns its tough to establish the run when your offense is sitting on the sidelines.

Third and Long Gone– the league’s worst team at moving the chains converted just 3 of 12 third downs… although they did make two of three fourth down attempts.  Do they get partial credit then?  This weeks breakdown:  1 for 2 on 3rd & 1-3 yards (both Morris runs:  he lost 3 yards on their first drive but gained 6 on the other attempt)… 2 for 5 on 3rd & 4-6 (a pair of 8 yard completions to Josh Morgan and Santana Moss)… and 0 for 5  on 3rd & 7+ (RG3 going 1-4 for 2 yards with one sack).  And even though Santana Moss’s best days are behind him– he remains the #1 third down option as 3 of Griffin’s 7 passes were targeted to him.

Grading the D? Actually a D sounds generous– we know the banged up bunch is ranked last in the league when it comes to stopping the pass… but Sunday the Skins showed minimal ability to contain the ground game.  Jonathan Dwyer rumbled for 107 yards and the Steelers averaged 5.2 yards a carry.  Pittsburgh scored on five of its first six possessions;  you could call their last possession in the first half a clock-killing 3 and out that just didn’t take enough time off the clock…and with 4 minutes left in regulation the Steelers burned most of the time remaining as well.  While offense was the Achilles heel last fall (reaching 28 points once), this year it’s the defense’s turn (allowing at least 22 points in every game).

D-Hall getting other “D” chants– the Skins flashiest defensive back didn’t disappoint in the style over substance category– getting ejected from the game after berating an official.  Wise man say:  one cannot be burned in the secondary if one is cooling off in the locker room.  Mr. Hall awaits discipline from the league office– which is shut down for a few days due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Sandy.  So any roster adjustments the defense may have to make could very well be on the fly later this week rather than sooner.

Ahh… the Blocked Kick– I’ve learned it doesn’t matter who kicks, punts or holds for the Burgundy and Gold, the block is always lurking.  Thank goodness it was only a blocked extra point instead of a field goal returned for a TD or a punt blocked and run back.  The kicking game was this close to earning its “s” moniker again…

Dissecting the Division– the NY Giants win in Dallas means their first place advantage is now a game and a half… while Philadelphia owns the second place tiebreaker over the Cowboys due to a better record against common opponents.  The Redskins are just a half game behind in last place…in the driver’s seat to wrap up a 5th straight finish in the cellar.

North Stars…plus a wasting West– an eight week sample is usually enough to see how different divisions size up… and the NFC North has cruised ahead of the pack with a 19-11 mark…as the NFC West has gone on a 2-6 run to slip to 17-15.  Note that even with an unbeaten Atlanta the NFC South has a losing record… and no division in the AFC has a winning mark (the NFC leads the “race to 33 (interconference wins)” at 20-12).  Peyton Manning seems to have picked the right location for his rehab:  the AFC West is a league worst 11-17… with a Kansas City team that has yet to have a lead in any game this year (their lone win came in overtime against New Orleans, thus the game was over once they took the lead).

*The mold for 007 theme songs was set in 1964 with “Goldfinger”, mimicked by “Thunderball” and followed over the years up to and including Weird Al Yankovic’s “SPY HARD” parody.  The rumor persists that either Shirley Bassey or Tom Jones passed out while holding the final note to their respective songs.  “A View to a Kill” was the first theme to go #1 in the US and despite the fact the movie itself is awful, Duran Duran does it right.  “The Man with the Golden Gun” is the classic case of letting a 7th grade class cobble together verses and chorus.  What bugs me is the occasional Bond theme song that doesn’t sing the title at least 10 times.   Until you’re not only tired of the song but tired of the title and maybe even the movie itself.  Just like some Redskins seasons.

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