The offseason has begun

The season is over, the king is dead, etc. An impressive and unlikely postseason run was cut short on Saturday by the Seahawks. Little comfort is had by suggestions that the game was closer than the score, though the sentiment is appreciated all the same. The Redskins ultimately lost by three touchdowns, 21 points -- dumb luck, that. Even if we were winning by the slightest margin possible in the 4th quarter, a team is evaluated in whole by how well it plays through four quarters, not three, and we didn't finish.

Todd Collins returned back to earth with a subpar game. He completed 29 passes on 50 attempts in a windy stadium, which I thought was too many pass attempts. His 266 yards was just a hair over 5 YPA, which ain't good. Both his 4th quarter interceptions were returned for touchdowns, though much credit goes to all 11 offensive players who failed to make the tackle, especially receivers. Among them, Antwaan had the best game with a healthy 10 catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. Small victory there as Randle El very much looked like the complement #2 wide receiver we've wanted him to be all season.

Above I said that we passed too much but perhaps it was just as well, since we couldn't run the ball for shit. 75 total yards but under 3 per carry. Portis had the long of the day with a 13 yard run, yuck, yuckier still was his 52 yards on 20 attempts. Betts looked good on a small sample size of 3 rushes for 15 yards. I though Sellers blocked well on a few plays but saw nothing from him carrying the ball. He did have the ball when the Redskins familiarly failed to gain a single yard on the ground when they needed it. I could criticize the call on the field here, but it's no matter; if you can't get enough inches to clearly and undeniably get a first down on 4th and less than 1, you don't deserve moved chains.

The game was lost on two picks turned into touchdowns, thus confirming that turnovers really do matter. And that's precisely how you lose a game when you get more 1st downs and yards than your opponent and beat them on 3rd down as well. We held their running game to under 100 yards and just 3.7 per carry. But none of that matters when you lose the turnover battle and your offense credits the other team 14 points. Seeing as how we only had two winning margins of victory this season that surpassed two touchdowns, it's hard to see us going better than 2-14 if we had thrown two pick sixes in our other games. This is all to say that there isn't anything shocking about losing games when you throw the fucking ball away, twice. And the offensive line slept through the game.

The silver lining is that the debate on next season's quarterback will subside substantially. Todd Collins played fantastic football and I'm not saying that this last game eliminates an otherwise successful effort. But the only way he could possibly have supplanted Jason would be a more compelling postseason run than one and done on a pair of his costly passes. However, I'd much rather we be talking about Todd Collins playing quarterback next year because he beat the Seahawks single handedly than praise the fact that this season-ending game didn't go his way. He's a fine backup.

I felt the defense played good enough to win the game. Holding the Seahawks to one rushing td and one passing td probably should have gotten the job done. It's already been said but we had more yards against their defense than their offense had against ours. I enjoyed seeing LaRon Landry haul in two picks although that was also a good bit infuriating. For reasons unstated but becoming apparent as Sean Taylor and later LaRon Landry became centerpieces of this defense, Joe Gibbs and Gregg Williams made the decision years ago to commit much of this team's resources to young safeties drafted in the first round. Landry was the only safety taken in the first 10 picks of '07. Other teams were emulating the strategy by '06 (perhaps because Sean Taylor proved such a gem) by selecting two safeties in the 1st 10 picks. Of course we took Taylor 5th in 2004 -- Bob Sanders was next, in the 2nd round.

It was a gutsy move. Sean Taylor was absolutely justified after the fact and LaRon Landry played on Saturday -- and for this entire season -- like he is going to be comparably good. And that's the fucking infuriating part; as a fan I could be enjoying many years of Sean Taylor + LaRon Landry patrolling nearly every inch of the field and providing the best safety tandem in the entire league. It was always a question of when rather than if Redskins fans fans of the game would be blessed with the ultimate highlight reel of Sean Taylor and LaRon Landry converging on a ball and carrier at the exact same time. I would not predict there'd be any survivors, but it sure would have been a beautiful thing to watch. Instead, some pieces of shit feel the need to rob a house and the rest is history.

We'll talk more about the game as we now get an entire offseason to dwell on it, but I've had enough for today. Since the season is over it's time to look towards the next. Hat tip to Redskinette for finding next season's schedule which does look a good bit easier than the one we just played, though such things can be deceiving. Still, I'd rather play the NFC West than the AFC East again. By sheer luck we get all the AFC North teams in the right places; I'd take the Steelers and Browns at home and the Bengals and Ravens on the road. There will be plenty of time to discuss that over the next eternity or maybe it just feels that long?

I encourage reader(s) to use this offseason to explore all the great Redskins related print available in part on my blog roll. Elsewhere: Ben is proud, me too, actually, I thought it was a well played season. I don't mind the losing by three touchdowns so much knowing how they came into 14 of those points. Lee is a forward thinking kind of guy and he calls JC the starter. I agree, obviously. Murmurs of Gregg Williams to Miami concern but do not compel me. Even if they do get around to interviewing him I think he fancies himself the future Head Coach of the Redskins. Tandler says our Cinderella story is more about the girl mopping the dirty floor. What's next, asks Hog Heaven? Figuring out our salary cap situation and watching teams of other fans play football.

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