And I must conclude that this football team isn't very good.
Everything went wrong for the Redskins and then some. We suffered a catastrophic injury for no good reason, as the game yielded very few (if any) positives. A serious reevaluation of this team is necessary, as even Joe Gibbs was willing to admit: (source) "I don't have a lot of things that I think I will comment on right now," Gibbs said. "I think we need to take a long, hard look at everything."
I don't know if there was one particular area that could be blamed for a 27-3 loss. The defense allowed big passing plays and gave up nearly 150 yards rushing. We ran the ball well with 146 yards and 4.7 YPC. Our air attack was about as bad as it has been all year with just 132 yards and 4.1 YPP. Put a fork in Mark Brunell. Or maybe not according to Jason La Canfora's blog, Joe Gibbs plans on sticking with his veterans. Wonderful.
Here's what went depressingly wrong:
- Penalties once again plagued this undisciplined team as we had 8 for 70 yards. Our hero Sean Taylor picked up a pair of 15 yard personal fouls and Derrick Dockery struggled with a false start and an offensive holding call. Even Randy Thomas, who has been the only one on this line to consistently avoid penalties, was called for a false start.
- Nick Novak is 3 for 7 on field goals, adding a miss from 48 yards out to his disappointing resume. He is now 1 of 4 at 40-49 yards. Why not just go for it?
- Clinton Portis fractured his hand and is out for at least a month, surgery pending. He was playing fine up until that moment and had runs of 10 and 9 yards (the latter he was injured on). Ladell Betts had a commendable performance as a backup, but I fear how an already anemic offense will react to losing its best running back. Perhaps not at all.
- Depressing drive(s) of the game. Third place finish to the final drive of the game which was a case study in what is wrong with this offense. 1st down pass to TJ Duckett (he had 2 carries! This is why we traded draft picks! Hurray!) for -3 yards. 2nd down pass to Ladell Betts -9 yards. Third down pass to Betts nowhere near enough for the first down. By the way, you're losing 27-3 at that point. Why punt? Second place goes to Mark Brunell's interception for a touchdown. Sheldon Brown returned a pass to Moss 70 yards for a touchdown, essentially icing the game. But the winner goes to the drive that netted -4 yards when the game was still in reach. At 17-3 the Redskins forced a 3 and out despite a Sean Taylor penalty giving the Eagles good field position. A four yard Betts run on 1st down was negated by a Dockery offensive holding penalty. On 1st and 20 the pass is incomplete deep. On 2nd and 20 they throw a 3 yard pass to Betts, why? As if 3rd and 17 isn't insurmountable enough, Randy Thomas is called for a false start, now 3rd and 22 (which is essentially impossible for this team; might as well be 3rd and 100). We run from the shotgun for 8 yards. Punt travels 38 yards but is returned 13, for a net gain of 25 yards of field position. Wonderful.
- The defense could not prevent the big plays nor could it stop the run late in the game. Donte Stallworth scored on an 84 yard touchdown pass. Possession summary: 1 play 84 yards in 12 seconds. The Eagles went with the no huddle early on and had zero trouble marching down the field quickly. On 3 of 4 plays went for first downs with an 11 yard run and passes of 17 and 18 yards. I can't really blame the freak Reggie Brown fumble on the defense, except for the fact that he was wide open to catch the ball. His "lateral" (fumble) was carried the remaining 37 yards for a touchdown. No turnovers were generated defensively, which is a pattern; the Redskins have fewer takeaways than anyone in the league with 5. Tampa Bay is 2nd, with 9 though they will have a chance to double our total on Monday Night Football later today.
- Late in the game Todd Collins, not Jason Campbell, was warming up to sneak a drive in for Mark Brunell. The Eagles would put together a game finishing 9 minute, 10 rushing play drive to close out. But why was Todd Collins warming up? What possible utility is there in preparing him to play? For what? So he can backup Jason Campbell later? Is a 35 year old really the future of this team?
For now I am hoping that Clinton Portis recovers quickly and that Joe Gibbs can turn this team around. We've taken a huge step backwards, in my opinion.
Post your game thoughts below. Thanks to TexSkins for posting gametime analysis. I apologize for not having an open thread, though one will be up next week.