1. Happy Victory Monday! I know I have heard people suggest it was a near-loss, but I honestly did not see the Bears taking this one. I mean, sure...when the ball was in the air to Alshon Jeffery on that last Chicago drive, and he went up for it in the end zone with Bashaud Breeland...that was a rough second or two for me. We have given up the game-winning touchdown to the ogre-size wide receiver a number of times in the waning minutes of games. Then there was the Matt Jones, "Am I down? Can I just put the ball over here? Wait...what?" moment. I suppose I wouldn't be 100% honest if I didn't mention that the whole "timeout followed by a delay of game penalty" thing made me think some very bad thoughts. Still, it felt like we were in charge of this game throughout, and by the time Robbie Gould trotted onto the field to attempt a 50-yard field goal in terrible Chicago-style weather, I was feeling like the game was ours.
2. Can someone please explain to me how, during games the Redskins are part of, the referees have a far better chance of identifying indisputable evidence to support a call against Washington? Perhaps I am biased, but after watching most of the games yesterday, I feel like calls that clearly had no discernible video footage available on which to base a reversal remained unchanged. That Jordan Reed touchdown early in the game should not have been overturned. We're talking about a blade of grass one way or the other. They did not show anything on television that seemed to definitively suggest the referees should have changed the call on the field. And yet...overturned?!?!?! Why do I care? BECAUSE WE DO DUMB SHIT ON THE ONE-INCH LINE, LIKE TAKE DELAY OF GAME PENALTIES. When referees go under the hood to review a play that went the Redskins way, I think there is now a 93% chance they will find a reason to overturn it. I feel like if a referee for a Redskins game went under the hood to review the JFK assassination footage, they could solve it--but only if the initial call was that the Redskins didn't do it.
3. Let's talk about Jordan Reed for a second. It was mentioned on the air yesterday by Daryl Johnston that Reed's after-the-catch prowess seemed to be at an all-time high. He did seem to be playing on tilt a little bit after the ball was in his hands. If he is finding a groove and is feeling healthy, this offense is capable of moving the ball against just about anyone. For me, his ability to come down with the ball in the end zone is the biggest part of his surge. I recall thinking Fred Davis was the answer for this team in the red zone...and being dead wrong. Jordan Reed has brought down some key touchdowns this season. The fact that Kirk Cousins is finding Reed in the end zone this year is huge--it can't be overstated. As athletic and uncoverable as so many of these new-breed tight ends are, if the quarterback and tight end aren't in full mind-meld, nothing great can happen. As Cousins and Reed gain confidence in each other, we will be treated to the kinds of connections that have been more commonplace in other cities.
4. I am not saying the Redskins should trade Jordan Reed this offseason...not right here, in this space--especially after I just gushed over him in the point above. What I am saying is that he has one more year on his rookie contract, and there is probably a team that would pay a hell of a lot to add him. Shouldn't we at least listen to that offer? It likely boils down to a decision made by McLovin on whether or not he intends to pay up for Reed after the 2016 season (maybe even a franchise tag). On the "trade him" side, I would list his league-leading offensive penalty tally and his pass-blocking as reasons to consider moving him. On the "you're crazy, we can't trade him" side, I would look at the way him and our first-year quarterback have grown together this season. I don't seriously think McLovin would move Jordan Reed in the same offseason he signs Kirk Cousins to an extension, but I DO think there is a team out there that would put together a pretty compelling package to send our way for Reed's services. You can't get things done in this league anymore without a solid, pass-catching tight end. As it turns out, you also need a center, middle linebackers and defensive backs. I only bring this up because our general manager is not afraid to make a move to better his roster. I don't know who it is going to be, but I do think we will make a trade this offseason, and if that is true, you have to believe we will be trading something of value to get value returned to us. I don't want Jordan Reed to be traded, but if he was, I would expect it to be a blockbuster!
5. Some would suggest that speaking of offseason trades involving the player of the game from the day before is blasphemous. I suggest it is a sign that we have a pretty competent front office and we view our franchise as one that is on a longer track than just week-to-week. That is the real beauty of 6-7 at this point. If most of us were offered a 6-7 record back in August, we would have taken it no questions asked. None of us would have believed it would have been good enough for first place in the division. And yet, we aren't there yet. Our quarterback is still learning on the job. Our offensive line is missing a middle. Our linebacking corps is patchwork. Being in control of our own destiny at 6-7 is huge, because it puts our young team with an as of yet unproven head coach in a position to get invaluable experience. To all those out there who have been filling up the comments sections on this site with pleas for this team to simply improve and progress in 2015, those goals appear to be getting met.
6. If the season ended today, the Redskins would play the Seattle Seahawks in the first round of the playoffs. Seems about right...