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Instant reaction: Can’t get no satisfaction

The Redskins just beat the Cowboys to take a full-game lead in the NFC East, so why does the victory feel so deflating?

Jacksonville Jaguars v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction

’Cause I try and I try and I try and I try

I can’t get no, I can’t get no

oh, no, no, no,

hey, hey, hey

That’s what I say

I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction

— Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones

Consider this:

  • Jamison Crowder, Paul Richardson and Chris Thompson were all out injured in the Week 7 game, but the Redskins just beat the hated division rival Dallas Cowboys, breaking a 2-year, 4-game losing streak, in a game where a win by Dallas would have put them in the lead and dropped the Redskins to 2nd place.
  • The ‘Skins just expanded their lead over the Cowboys and Eagles in the NFC East to a full game in the standings and 2 games in the loss column.
  • Washington scored a touchdown on its opening drive, and for the second week in a row, after scoring the opening points of the game, the Redskins led pillar to post, never relinquishing the lead or allowing the opponent to tie the game. [actually, as pointed out in the comments, the Cowboys tied the game 7-7 before the half]
  • Adrian Peterson rushed for 99 yards on 24 carries, and the Redskins won the time of possession against the Cowboy defense ranked 4th in the NFL and 1st in the NFC coming into the game.
  • Alex Smith threw for a touchdown and no interceptions.
  • The defense held Zeke Elliott to 33 yards on 15 carries.
  • Ryan Kerrigan got two sacks and forced a fumble that was recovered by Preston Smith for a touchdown in the 4th quarter.
  • As a unit, the defense got 4 sacks and forced 3 fumbles, getting two turnovers, while the offense didn’t give the ball away to Dallas at all.
  • Tress Way punted 6 times, pinning the Cowboys inside their 20 at least 4 times.
  • Dustin Hopkins was 2/2 on field goals and 2/2 on PATs, while the Cowboys kicker was forced to try (and miss) a 52-yarder at the end of regulation to seal the victory for Washington.
  • Alex Smith was sacked just once in the game.

The Redskins, a team that was picked by many people, including its own fans, to win between 6 and 8 games for the season — the Redskins have won back to back games, collected 4 wins against just 2 losses, are undefeated inside the division and have an actual 2-game winning streak.

Yet Redskins fans aren’t satisfied.

Despite the fact that the Redskins haven’t trailed in a game since their Week 5 loss to the Saints, Washington fans feel like the team is underachieving.

In fact, it’s probably more correct to say that the disappointment with the team is really with the offensive side of the ball.

If we’re really getting to the nub of it all, the dissatisfaction among Redskins fans really centers on the play of Alex Smith.

Probably no play by Smith is more representative of why fans feel as they do than the sure would-have-been touchdown pass to Jeremy Sprinkle that Alex Smith missed, leading the tight end across the end zone, but putting the ball two yards out in front of him.

More and more, it is becoming obvious that the Redskins have a championship defense and a Hall of Fame running back, but they have a quarterback who simply isn’t playing well.

Alex Smith looks tentative. He’s making questionable reads. He’s missing open receivers.

And the guy that who Jay Gruden described as “the most intelligent person I’ve ever met”, forgot to stay inbounds when he scrambled short of the line to gain on a critical third down with just over a minute to play.

The Redskins are winning, but fans are increasingly frustrated by the guy who the Redskins acquired at the cost of a 3rd round draft pick, Kendall Fuller, and $111m contract.

The Redskins seem to be winning, not because of Alex Smith, but in spite of him.

Until something changes, Redskins fans are likely — even when the team wins a huge divisional game — to feel like they just can’t get no satisfaction.