In which we lay praise most effusive ontoand the offense notwithstanding any particular performance.
All I have to say is wow. If you ever wanted to see what a pure football offense looks like, Sunday's Redskins home game against the Colts showcased one. It was hard to watch, I found myself restless in my seat, frustrated that Peyton could just... walk up to the line, snap the ball and find open receivers. Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were at one point in the third quarter laughing that there was no time during Colts possessions to show replays: Play ends, Peyton walks to line, directs players, snaps ball, pass complete, rinse repeat.
Make no mistake, the Redskins played well enough to win, if even one of the three dropped interceptions had been pulled down or if the Redskins had not abandoned a successful running game in the fourth quarter or ifhad been better on just a couple of passes or if and had not managed to pull in one handed catches, the Redskins could have won this game, it was not at all like the 2006 game when the Redskins clung to a tenuous one point lead at halftime before Peyton unloaded, the Colts won that game 36-22 in a walkaway.
Though this Sunday's game was closer, the Redskins struggled all night to catch a quarterback who plays like he was raised in a saline tank by Ron Jaworski, watching footage of every NFL play ever on a continual loop from every angle.No one is going to dispute that Peyton Manning is one of the best ever, and every football fan wishes he or someone just like him could play for their team, in fourteen possessions Sunday, which included a one play touchdown drive and a one play victory formation kneeldown, Peyton and the Colts used no huddle in ten of them, the NFL play by play lists no huddle on 46 of Indianapolis' 68 offensive plays, that's 68 percent! And you can't run no huddle on the first play of a possession!
The Redskins simply are not tooled to handle that kind of pace, I do not think any team is, with no time for substitutions, no time to dig down in the dirt, receivers were in open space between zones on first or second checkdown, and little practical way to hurry or pressure a quarterback whose offensive skill appears to be hurrying you. That the Redskins did what they did, I cannot be mad at them, I just wish defensive backs could catch a ball thrown right to them.
While we are on the subject of quarterbacks you would like to have on your team, let us walk through Peyton's coaching history. While he has had three head coaches since coming into then NFL, Jim Mora the Older, Tony Dungy and now Jim Caldwell, the number of offensive coordinators Peyton has had in the NFL stands at exactly one: Tom Moore.
Now whether you think Tom Moore is a guru or Peyton gets his way or somewhere in between, think about the consistency Peyton has had in his career: Same offensive philosophy, stable and steadily evolving playbook, years to learn one another's strengths and idiosyncracies, at this point I am guessing Tom and Peyton are pretty much one person when it comes to football.
It is this kind of future consistency Redskins fans are hoping for in the Shanahan era, not the more likely one of coordinator upheaval where Mike Shanahan grooms some other teams' head coaches again and again; finding the Tom Moore / Monte Kiffin / Jim Johnson career assistants, good enough to teach and compete at the highest levels and with no aspiration to the glamour and headaches of the top spot is really hard to do.
The closest thing to Peyton's career consistency any player on this Redskins team has had is Donovan McNabb in his eleven years with... Andy Reid.
Ben Folsom just learned about Limera1n and is the editor of The Curly R, a blog covering the Redskins and the NFL since 2006. The Folsom Point appears Tuesdays on Hogs Haven.