The Washington Redskins had two weeks to prepare for arguably the worst team in the NFL (head-to-head I'd take Oakland). Two weeks to think about the opportunity they missed against Minnesota, two weeks to get healthy and come out swinging against Tampa Bay.
Instead, the Redskins started just about as bad as you can coming off the bye week. The Redskins first play of each of their first three possessions were: a turnover, penalty, and another penalty. Pair that with the two tipped balls resulting in interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown and before you know it, the Redskins are down 10-0.
Although the defense has only given up a field goal when Tampa Bay was already deep in Redskins territory, the defense has to be better at getting off the field on third down. The Redskins defense let the Bucs convert two third and elevens and another third down before they forced the field goal, they have to be better.
The one injury the Redskins could not afford to have happen, happened. Trent Williams went to the locker room with a right knee injury and is questionable to return. Morgan Moses replaces Williams at left tackle.
As bad of a start as it has been for the Redskins, including Robert Griffin III doing what no one thought was possible, over throwing DeSean Jackson for what should have been a touchdown, the Redskins are bailed out by a muffed punt recovered by the Redskins.
After a phenomenal Alfred Morris run, Robert Griffin the third took a sack he should not have, although the line cannot stop blocking with a mobile quarterback, and Griffin was taken down immediately after Tom Compton was beaten badly on the next play. The back-to-back sacks made the field goal attempt much more difficult, which Forbath then missed. Oh and to make matters worse, Trent Williams has been downgraded to out for the remainder of the game.
The Redskins were finally starting to get a drive going, and Griffin did what everyone says he doesn't do enough by checking to ball down to Helu who made a nice run after the catch only to fumble to ball away. The Redskins are now down two in the turnover battle and have given the ball away three times in the first half. That is not a winning formula.
The running backs made sure that the Redskins weren't going to go into halftime with 0 points on the scoreboard. The final drive of the half began with an impressive Morris run, followed by a rare Morris reception. Roy Helu finished the drive off with a touchdown reception.
The Redskins are lucky to be down 13-7 heading into halftime. The Redskins need to regroup in the locker room, forget the turnovers, and come out with the mindset that the score is 0-0 after halftime. They got a small spark with the quick touchdown drive to end the half, but will they be able to carry that momentum into the second half? They are going to have to if they want to leave FedEx Field with a win today.
The Redskins came out of the locker room and put together a decent first drive. However, when you could have hit DeSean Jackson for two touchdowns and come away with a missed field goal attempt it is hard to call that a successful drive. The Redskins caught a break when the drive was extended by a penalty but were unable to cash in. It's the little things that winning teams do, that the Redskins do not.
The Redskins defense has to have at least one blown coverage a game it seems. Today, Mike Evans beat Bashaud Breeland deep who looked like he was anticipating deep help from Ryan Clark for a 36-yard touchdown. Bucs now lead 20-7.
No linebacker matched up against Mike Evans is a good matchup, especially not Perry Riley. After hauling in the touchdown Evans now has career highs in yards and two touchdowns on the day, oh and he is averaging over 30 yards a catch.
Now down 27-7 the Redskins are having to face the reality that they are about to lose to the 1-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers and will fall to 3-7.
The Redskins have failed to put together a complete game this season other than arguably the Dallas game. Against Minnesota the offense played well and the defense let them down. Today against Tampa Bay the offense let down the defense although the defense has not been phenomenal.
The Redskins defense has failed to force a turnover, the offense coughed the ball up three times, and gave up six sacks today (most Bucs have had all season), and we still have almost thirteen minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Redskins need major change. That goes beyond players, and beyond Jim Haslett. The Redskins need upgrades at multiple positions, and need multiple coaching changes, and front office changes as well. I do think Jay Gruden and Sean McVay are worth keeping around on offense, but are there any other coaches that should feel safe about their jobs?
Not to mention the mess of a front office the Redskins have, who continually waste draft picks and miss on draft picks. The Redskins are facing major questions after this season like whether or not to extend RG III the quarterback you gave up so much to get, but has only played 12 quarters under Jay Grudens system? One thing is certain, the Redskins have a major rebuild on their hands, and major changes are going to be necessary to reverse the losing culture that has dominated Washington for far too long. That is the reality of the situation. The Redskins aren't a few plays away from being 7-2, but they are a far ways away from ever being contenders.
Will the Redskins make changes? Will Jay Gruden even get a chance in Washington or will he be run out of town like so many coaches before him? Will the Redskins ever give Robert Griffin III an offensive line to protect him? Will the secondary ever improve? These are just a few of the questions the Redskins need to face this offseason.
The Redskins have pieces to build around, players like Keenan Robinson, Bashaud Breeland, DeSean Jackson among others, but will they make the major changes necessary to turn things around? As long as Dan Snyder is the owner, and the front office remains the same, I don't have confidence in that happening.