Holidays are a time to return to one’s roots by going home.  The territory’s familiar and easy to recognize… lending a certain warmth to the coldest month of the year.  For the Burgundy and Gold, the holiday season is another time to go–and stay–home.  Sunday’s 24-13 loss to the NY Giants clinched last place in the NFC East.  For the second straight season and sixth time in seven years.  The current century has seen the team post a winning record just three times (2005, 07 and 12)…with the last four coaches under the Skins employ posting last place seasons (somehow Spurrier’s 5-11 that was “not too good” still bested the NY Giants in 2003).  Another winter of discontent.  Another year wondering what this team needs to get in the right direction…

 

RG3VER– the face of the franchise was pressed into service when McCoy had to go to sick bay with an aggravated neck injury.  While Griffin completed 18 of 27 passes for 236 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions…his biggest play was one that resulted in a major momentum shift for the other team.  With time running down in the first half, RG3 was streaking for the end zone…only to lose possession of the ball as he crossed the plane.  Instead of a 17-7 lead at the half, a shaky 3-point lead was erased when the Giants began the second half with an offsides kick and tied up the game with a field goal.  RG3 also showed some wheels (46 yards rushing on 5 carries).

 

McCoy sticking his neck out– while it’s a shame that Colt’s day at Met Life Stadium was cut short by the aggravation of his neck injury, one wonders exactly how hurt he was–and if the Redskins knew it, why didn’t they activate Kirk Cousins to have another QB on the roster?  Also, is coach Jay Gruden so done with RG3 as a longterm option he’s willing to junk the 2012 Rookie of the Year?  And why is he risking McCoy out there?

 

Alfred the Out of Place– Mr. Morris gained 49 yards on 14 carries…as he continues to stagger towards the finish line that is the 1,000 yard mark.  After rumbling for a season-high 125 against San Francisco, Morris has gained 123 yards over the last 3 games at 3.2 yards per carry.  On  a team like this 3-11 mess it appears as though Alfred’s talents are being wasted.  They need to get better on offensive line and in the secondary– and as much as you’d hate to see this team part with their leading rusher, #46 has to be a chip in the mix of yielding talent.  Even Mark-Paul Gosselaar had to move on to “Hyperion Bay”, “NYPD Blue” and whatever that show is on TNT now.  I’m not saying they should ship him out, but if the right deal is there…

 

The Joy of Sacks– seven more times the Redskins quarterbacks went down Sunday.  The 53 sacks allowed is the second most in the league this year (behind Jacksonville–and do they even count?) and once again it’s a combination of OL, poor pass protection by the RB’s and TE’s plus the QB hanging on to the ball way too long.  It’s just as important at quarterback who’s standing as who is starting…

 

Third and Hide My Eyes– the Skins converted 4 of 13 chances to move the chains.  Three resulted in sacks…and RG3 completed 4-5 with 3 conversions.  Another mixed bag.  Distance:  2 for 2 on third and short, 2 for 6 on third and medium (4-6 yards needed) and 0 for 5 on third and long.

 

Deficient Defense– Odell Beckham Jr. is open again.  The Giants sparkplug caught 12 passes for 143 yards (almost half of the team’s total output) and 3 touchdowns.  The Skins were unable to contain Beckham no matter what they threw at him… legal and illegal.

 

Flying flags– Well. Ten penalties for 135 yards.  All four against the defense went against Bashaud Breeland (coach Jay Gruden lauded the rookie’s aggressiveness Monday):  2 pass interferences, one taunting call and one unnecessary roughness.  Three of his four flags moved the ball past midfield.  Four flags came against the offense (false start, delay of game, and Santana Moss’ unsportsmanlike conduct infractions) and while Moss’ flags helped give the Giants a short field to onside kick from (they’d get a field goal), Shawn Lauvao’s false start helped force a first quarter field goal.  That’s six points there…

 

Cobra Kai, Showing the Way– the Skins Johnny Lawrence connected from 35 and 38 yards out…while Tress Way averaged 45.2 yards on six punts.  Can these two get their own movie series already?

 

Dissecting the Division– Dallas takes over first place in the NFC East with their victory over Philadelphia.  That’s consecutive primetime games in December the Cowboys have won–is there something we don’t know here?  Due to Detroit owning a better conference record, Dallas takes the 3rd seed if the playoffs were to start today while the Eagles are in 7th place and out of the postseason party.  The NY Giants hold down 3rd place in the division and 13th place in the NFC (right in front of Atlanta who led the NFC South until yesterday)…while the Skins after clinching last place in the division for the sixth time in seven years are now focused on dead last in the conference for the second straight season.  They own a one game lead over Tampa Bay but the Buccaneers own the head to head tiebreaker…

 

North besting the West– the AFC North owns the best composite record with two weeks remaining at 34-21-1 while the NFC West is 34-22.  The NFC East?  In sixth place at 27-29.

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