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We may not be very good, but at least we are not sexual deviants

Make sure to check out this Fredericksburg.com article (hat tip: Extreme Skins) on why the Redskins can't close games. Lots of great quotes from the players and the most entertaining explanation I've heard thus far for our 2nd half woes. But first, some juicy disagreement among the players on this exact subject:

So, do the Redskins lack a killer instinct? Samuels certainly thinks so.

"That's Chris' opinion," guard Pete Kendall said. "Everyone's entitled to an opinion. I don't agree."

Said Thrash: "I don't think so. We just didn't finish today."

Put me with Chris Samuels on this one. Teams that care about putting away their opponents don't roll over late in the game defensively, they don't get false starts on the 2 or 3 yard line on 3rd and goal, they don't call a draw play on 3rd and goal from the 7, they don't fumble snaps during the two minute drill, so on and so forth. Even in victory we've looked soft at the end, needing overtime just to beat the Dolphins and depended on an uncharacteristic missed Neil Rackers kick to squeak by the Cardinals. It is easy to hypothesize over "what if, what if, what if" and say the Redskins are closer to 6-3 than they are to 5-4 due to close games, but from where I'm sitting, we've won five games in spite of ourselves.

What are we missing?

These Redskins lack either the talent, discipline or sadism to put away a team on life support. And unless something changes soon, it surely will be their fatal flaw.
This is accurate and, fortunately, some good news. At least one definition of sadism has us lacking "sexual gratification gained through causing pain or degradation to others." Hurrah! (Of course, what Steve DeShazo meant, I'm certain, was "any enjoyment in being cruel" which would be a virtue in the NFL. One we lack.) But he's right. We will not always have leads in the 2nd half, we will not always get to play the Dolphins, we will not always get close enough to the red zone to give up 4 points due to bad playcalling. Teams that can't finish drives, don't finish games with Ws and thus won't finish seasons with wild card berths. In the NFL, teams effectively die when they are eliminated from postseason play -- fatal flaw indeed.

Take it away Rock:

Twice yesterday, the Redskins got three points instead of seven--including a key series with less than five minutes remaining and Washington clinging to a 22-20 lead. That point wasn't lost on reserve tailback Rock Cartwright.

"It's simple, man," he said, his voice rising. "Two field goals are six points. A touchdown is what, seven? If we score there, the game's over. They had no time-outs. You've got to put the ball in the end zone, bottom line."