- So close to celebrating yet another Victory Monday...yet so, so far away. I honestly believe it was possible. How could you not think that after watching the Redskins take on the big, bad Packers? For the second straight week, the Redskins went down 14-0 before seemingly righting the ship on defense. Unfortunately, spotting the Packers two touchdowns is , ummm, unwise. Once again, we Redskins fans are left to argue about what positives we can pull from this, our tenth loss of the season, simultaneous to the list of things that still need work. I could say “debate” instead of “argue” here, but when you bleed burgundy and gold, a 3-10 record means we’re bleeding, and arguments become more the normal course.
- Durability is kind of a big deal at the quarterback position. We’ve been given rather painful lessons on this not just in the distant past, but also in the recent past (to be fair, those lessons were far more painful to Joe Theismann and Alex Smith). As I try to spin a positive or two from the game yesterday, watching Dwayne Haskins gut out the second half of a game where he wasn’t 100% meant something to me. It is my hope that medical professionals had determined that Haskins was not in any danger of further injuring himself before putting him back onto the field. That said, you could hear the admiration in the voices of teammates and coaches after the game as they recounted seeing their quarterback fight through some nicks and dings. We may quibble over the efficacy of keeping Haskins on the field, but the fact of the matter is NFL players play hurt—especially in December. I guarantee there were more than a few guys wearing a Redskins jersey yesterday that could have been justified in sitting out, but they suited up for their teammates. Seeing a rookie player that is so integral to the future of the team gut it out when everyone knows that the organization could have easily justified sitting the rookie down was meaningful. You could hear that in the post-game interviews as players (such as Landon Collins) specifically looked forward to a 2020 campaign with a guy who was willing to stay on the field in the situation Haskins found himself facing. Again, arguments may form around what this actually means, but one thing should be clear and absolutely NOT in dispute: Dwayne Haskins did not quit on the Redskins, and the Redskins did not quit on Dwayne Haskins. This happened from 1 PM to 4 PM yesterday, and it was obvious and and it left an impression on me.
- Fine, you are within your rights to take issue with me really searching hard for positives, but look around the league in December every year. We have seen just about every kind of “quit” there is in this league. We have watched coaches quit, front offices quit and players quit when seasons became out of hand. The Redskins haven’t quit, and that is a big deal to me. In the NFL, there is an actual reward for quitting in the form of top draft picks. I have made the argument, and continue to argue that moving up a few picks doesn’t overcome the institutional damage that quitting does to a franchise. The Redskins are in bad enough shape as it is without having to spend an offseason dealing with the infighting that invariably occurs between players when the quitting goes down. Bringing a top draft pick into a locker room that is fresh off a major quit campaign is problematic. The Redskins are building a strong case for a top pick in the draft without the kind of folding we see so often in pro sports, and so adding that top pick into the locker room should be at least slightly easier.
- The problem with me arguing about the culture of not quitting is...well, it’s a big one. The Redskins organization faces a monumental culture crisis. This has been long argued by me and others on here, so instead of laying out that case again, we can just point to recent news: yet another interview of Trent Williams. The more I hear from Trent: a) the more I believe him and b) the less I understand how Dan Snyder has let this Bruce Allen thing go on this far. The best player on our roster makes a compelling case against the motives of Bruce Allen—all without calling Dan Snyder to the mat. A player who has played hurt for this team A TON over the years asks simple questions and makes it very easy for fans to at least formulate their own questions regarding how the team has treated this man. Far beyond formulating my own questions about why they did Trent the way they did, I look at Bruce Allen’s actions and believe they are not just petty and stupid, but they actively make our team worse. I find it increasingly difficult to understand what good could come from the path chosen by Bruce. When questioned about this matter, his responses are insulting to the intelligence of even the most casual observer. As long as that man is in charge inside the building, I stand on the thinnest of ice when I talk about ways in which the players are impacting culture on Sundays.
- That catch by Terry McLaurin...
- The Redskins defense continues to earn praise for their work both against the run and the pass. Aaron Jones got his yesterday, but holding Aaron Rodgers to under 200 yards passing and a QBR of 43.4 was impressive. Cole Holcomb got around yesterday, pacing the defense with nine tackles, and the guys up front sacked Ay-Ay-Ron four times. Young players continue to get reps, and these reps were against a division-leading Packers team at home in Lambeau, so they count extra. No matter who gets the gig coaching this group of defensive players next year, they (the players) have shown what could be huge strengths. It will make the last three games of the season worth watching to me. The better these guys can play over the last three weeks will directly impact the potential success for whomever the Redskins draft...regardless of draft position (irregardless, even).
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
The Redskins can officially change their relationship status to “Mathematically Eliminated.”