So the slow December descent now involves a one point loss to a team they’d be fighting for draft position with — if they still owned said draft pick.  An incomplete pass on a two point conversion kicks off the Kirk Cousins mini-era.  Should we treat this three game mini-season like the Cromwellian Interregnum?

Kirk at the Controls– if you prorate Cousins’ numbers over a sixteen game season, #12 notches 6,096 yards and 48 touchdowns passing…both team records.  Of course, he’d also be tossing 32 interceptions and losing 16 fumbles.  And of course, while figures do not lie–liars do certainly figure.  As coach Mike Shanahan said, “It’s just one game”…but after averaging 12 points over the last four games, it was nice to see the Skins put 26 on the board.

Oh that’s right…the Turnovers– two fumbles and an interception by Cousins wasn’t even half of the Redskins total.  Alfred Morris and Santana Moss lost the ball twice…and it’s tough to win or even come close when you cough up the ball seven times.  Especially with an accommodating defense.

RG3ver– despite being inactive for the game, the face of the franchise got quite a bit of face time from FOX TV.  Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post logged all 34 of the sightings– yes, 34.  How can we miss him when he never really leaves?

Mr. Morris–  Alfred actually came close to reaching the century mark– 18 carries for 98 yards– and probably would have gotten there if he hadn’t fumbled twice.  Kind of like when Zak learned Kelly’s boyfriend (Max manager Jeff) was running around on her but it was while he was using a fake ID to sneak into an 18 and over club.  At least Jeff didn’t try to get Kelly high like Johnny Dakota…

Peerless Pierre– Monsieur Garcon tallied 7 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown…and despite the fact the Falcons secondary is nicknamed “cheap cigar”, it puts PG within ten catches of matching Art Monk’s team record of 106 grabs in 1984.  Kind of like Roy Helu breaking the single game record for catches two years ago…

Third and Even– the Skins moved the chains on 5 of 10 attempts…all pass plays:  Cousins went 7 for 9 with one sack (he fumbled on that play).  Garcon was the top target (2-3)…with Aldrick Robinson reaching the marker twice in the fourth quarter.  The yardage breakdown:  1-2 on third and short, 3-4 on third and midrange (4-6 yards needed), and 1-4 on third and long (7+).

D grades well…but still gets an L–the defense held Atlanta to 243 yards and limited the Falcons to under 20 yards on 12 of their 15 possessions?  All while intercepting Matt Ryan twice and scooping up a fumble by Matty ice.  Unfortunately, short fields killed them again this week.  Unlike special teams breakdowns against Kansas City, this week the culprit was turnovers.  Atlanta started in Redskins territory four times — and scored two touchdowns and two field goals.  Spotting the opponent 20 points is no way to win even a meaningless game.

Flying Flags–  nine penalties for 66 yards:  two false starts and two defensive holdings the leaders in the clubhouse.   Kirk Cousins was the only Redskin penalized more than once (a false start and a delay of game).  Did these flags make a difference?  David Amerson’s defensive holding set up a 1st and 10 at the Washington 33–followed four plays later by a Falcons TD.  DeAngelo Hall’s unnecessary roughness moved the ball from the Redskins 26 to the 13–and Atlanta scored on the next play.  Cousins’ false start came right before a 53 yard TD pass to Garcon (maybe he needed more breathing room).  Corey Lichtensteiger’s false start and Fred Davis’ holding penalties didn’t prevent a Redskins drive from resulting into a field goal.  London Fletcher’s pass interference put the ball in the red zone.  Barry Cofield’s encroachment preceded the Skins making a stand on 4th and goal from the 1.  EJ Biggers’ defensive holding moved the Falcons chains–but their drive bogged down after a clip.  (Atlanta was penalized 7 times for 73 yards).  And Kirk Cousin delay of game didn’t prevent a Redskins TD on their last possession.

Cobra Kai– Mr. Forbath nailed attempts from 33 and 37 yards… increasing his total to 13 of 17 on the season.  After a slow start, the Johnny Lawrence of kickers hasn’t missed an attempt during the six game losing streak.  No mercy!

Dissecting the Division–a rough day for the NFC East  as the SEC goes 0-4.  Philadelphia remains in first and owns the #3 seed thanks to owning the tiebreaker over Chicago in the NFC North…while Dallas drops to 10th in the conference.  A win by the Eagles over Chicago plus a Dallas loss to the Redskins wraps up the division for last year’s last place finisher.  The NY Giants (already eliminated last weekend) slip to 12th in the NFC…while the Redskins defeat puts them in sole possession of 16th.  And while the Burgundy and Gold find themselves in last place of the division for the fifth time in six years, one more loss plus a Tampa Bay victory would secure the team’s first last place finish in the entire NFC since 1994.

West is Best…with two weeks to spare– just a few years ago the NFC West gave our world the first division winner with a losing record (Seattle at 7-9 did go on to beat New Orleans, but still…)…and now it has a chance to throw out three 10-win teams.  This has happened before (twice since the realignment of 2002– the 2007 AFC South and 2010 NFC South).  The last place St. Louis Rams have a shot at finishing .500 as well–and are coming off arguably the most impressive win of the weekend in the division.  The NFC Least?  In 7th place at 23-33…three games ahead of the woeful AFC South.  Wake me when it’s over.

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