After two consecutive enormous offensive games, out gaining the Houston Texans and respected Jacksonville Jaguars 495-261 and 481-307 respectively, the Redskins reminded us of the early and pre seasons team we thought was dead in a horrid offensive performance yesterday, gaining just 164 yards on offense.
This team truly lost as a unit. Brunell was hassled throughout the game as the Giants accumulated three sacks. Because of this, Brunell was in check-down mode -- yes, the Washington Redskins averaged 3.4 yards per pass.
The defense was stout when it mattered least; after they'd given up big passing plays repeatedly. To their credit, once the Giants had marched the length of the field they had great difficulty getting the ball in the endzone. Perhaps this is because there wasn't enough room to get behind the defenders. Still, Plaxico Burress did just that for the only score of the game. Our secondary looked lost at key moments of the game, and showed no urgency in getting themselves off the field.
Which brings us to this season's motif in our losing efforts: The Redskins on 3rd down. Offensively we went a dismal 3 for 11. Actually the Redskins were 2 for 11 as the Giants William Joseph bailed us out on a 3rd and long when an incomplete pass to Brandon Lloyd (who did not record a reception) was negated by a roughing the passer penalty. This also happened to be the only drive we scored on. Just to give you a general feel for how unreliable we were on 3rd down, consider the following series:
On the Redskins first posession of the second quarter, things actually started looking good. Two Portis runs netted 13 yards and a first down, followed by a Santana Moss 15 yard reception for first down. Derrick Dockery commits a false start which is somewhat negated by a decent Portis 4 yard gain. At 3-8 the Redskins still have a shot at keeping this drive alive. Consecutive penalties (Brandon Lloyd false start followed by a Delay of Game) turn a manageable situation into a nightmare. 3rd and 18 and we run behind the left guard. Frustration.
Same story on defense. The Giants converted over 50% of their 3rd downs, going 9 for 16. On 3rd and 7 Eli Manning finds Amani Toomer for 44 yards. On 3rd and 16 Manning finds Toomer for 21 yards; they would score the only touchdown of the game later in that drive. On 3rd and 4 Eli Manning rushes for 9 yards. Even without these big plays, the Giants would've been fine on 3rd down most of the time, as their run game routinely picked up 6-8 yards on 1st and 2nd down. Archuleta lead the team in tackles; much credit to him but that shows how often Tiki Barber and Brandon Jacobs were slipping into our secondary. Kenny Wright was second, with 9 tackles (8 solo).
Not to be outdone, John Hall came out and booted a field goal.
This was a complete team effort and, as a team, we looked completely inadequate. Like the Dallas game, I don't think the score adequately reflected the one sidedness of this affair. We only scored because they roughed the passer, and they repeatedly screwed up in the red zone (I'll give some credit to the "stingy" Redskins defense... as stingy as a team that gives up 411 yards can be).
Looking forward, next week is at home against Tennessee. I expect us to win that, though the following week we head to Indy for a tough-nigh-impossible road game. Heading into the Bye week, this team will likely be 3-4. We're already 0-2 in a hotly contested division which will likely come back to haunt us come December. The only good news is that we still have our 3 home division games in front of us, though with the way we've played Dallas and the Giants, and the way Philly has been playing, it isn't clear that we're going to win those games anyways.
In case you didn't notice, I'm a bit flustered. As reluctant as I was last week to say anything bad about this team, I'm at a loss for any positives to be garnered from the 19-3 beatdown.
Did anyone catch any positives from yesterday? Please, somebody, make me feel better about this loss.