Washington Redskins Post Game Thoughts

October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

1. This Loss Should Not be Blamed on Kirk Cousins:

-Yes I know he threw two interceptions at the end of the game that allowed the Falcons to run out the clock, but this loss is not blamed on him. Cousins is a rookie who barely gets any snaps in practice, especially with the starters. So it is not surprising to see him and Fred Davis on a different page on a timing route (1st interception). As for the 2nd pick, I'll be interested to see the game film, but he was under heavy pressure and forced a ball trying to make a play. Cousins had little time in the pocket, and there is no guarantee that Robert Griffinwould have done any differently down the stretch.

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2. The Hit:

-I know many will say that it was a cheap shot and illegal hit on Robert Griffin, but there was nothing malicious or wrong with the hit. Griffin didn't fully slide and it wasn't helmet to helmet. Nor could Sean Weatherspoon be expected to stop in time. Griffin needs to throw that ball away instead of taking the sack (I wouldn't be surprised if they recalculate it as a negative run). Given the struggles of Billy Cundiff the idea of losing two yards is not a favorable one. These are the hits that are completely avoidable, and ones that Robert Griffin III will be better about staying away from in the future. Hopefully the concussion doesn't have too many lingering effects and he can return next week. They said it was a mild concussion, but the reports of him not knowing where he was or the score of the game are not promising.

3. Why is Rex Inactive?

– I know most Washington Redskins fans would hate the idea of Rex Grossman coming in, but it probably would have been the right call in that situation yesterday. I'm as big a Kirk Cousins fan as there is, but I don't see how you can expect a rookie to effectively back-up another rookie, especially coming on in relief. Maybe Kirk Cousins with a full week of work, could start a game in place of an injured Robert Griffin III, but asking him to come in with little practice time is putting quite a bit of pressure on the rookie. Cousins even talked about how little practice time he gets with the first team, "I go in for a couple hand offs now and then to give Robert a breather, otherwise just the scout team.” I understand that making Grossman active means that either Kirk Cousins is inactive, or a spot for a guy like Brandon Banks may not be available, but either is preferable to forcing Cousins into a bad situation.

4. Billy Cundiff Needs to be Held Accountable:

-Billy Cundiff missed another 30 yard field goal yesterday and while it may not have been the difference in the game, it is possible that it could have changed the dynamic of the game. Regardless of how much impact it would have had there is no excuse for missing a 31 yard field goal. It wasn't raining at the time, and the snap and hold looked pretty good. Mike Shanahan needs to show that he made a mistake with choosing Billy Cundiff over Graham Gano and fix it. Billy Cundiff doesn't deserve anymore chances after that missed kick.

5. Alfred Morris Continues to Roll:

-Morris was the one bright spot offensively for the Washington Redskins yesterday (well that and the Santana Moss TD), Morris had 115 yards on 18 carries (6.4 ypc) and added a reception for 20 yards. On a day where the passing game couldn't get going, Morris helped keep the Redskins in the game.

6. Pierre Garcon Needs to Show Up:

-Since his 88 yard catch and run TD versus the New Orleans Saints, Garcon has disappeared for the Washington Redskins. Now for the rest of the Saints game and the next two games it was understandable because he was injured. These last two weeks though there is no excuse as he really hasn't been a factor. Against the Falcons, he was unable to come up with any real big catches (and had some big drops). He had the most targets of any Redskins pass catcher, but really didn't show up. The Washington Redskins obviously expected more when they gave Garcon a contract that averages $8.5 million a year. Garcon needs to be a more featured part of this offense if the Redskins are to be successful.

7. It is Easy to Blame this Defense, But They Were Okay Today:

– I know the defense gave up 340 yards passing, and allowed the Falcons to control the clock for much of the game (though a lot of that was on the offense), but overall I thought they did a good job all things considering. The Falcons averaged less than 4 yards per carry, and the Redskins got two turnovers. The first was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, and the 2nd gave the Redskins good field position, before the missed field goal. Also holding the Falcons to just 24 points, is a pretty good accomplishment in and of itself. Three of the Falcons points were due to Matt Bryant kicking a 51 yard field goal (yes some kickers can make kicks like that) Whether that kick went in or not, that is a win for the defense to not only keep Atlanta out of the endzone that drive, but to force a 50 yard + kick, which isn't a high percentage play. One area of concern for the defense was the general lack of a pass rush on Matt Ryan. On most plays Ryan had a pretty clean pocket and he was able to wait for someone to come open. Giving any quarterback 4+ seconds to throw is asking for trouble, and giving ti to a budding star like Ryan is a death sentence for the secondary.

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  • Hey Now

    John Keim disagrees with you assessment of Cousins interception.

    "I’ll talk more about Kirk Cousins in my Ten Observations, but the first thing I thought of when he threw his second interception: Griffin would not have made that pass. There are many reasons for that, but the reason Griffin has excelled in late-game situations is because he doesn’t try to get everything back in one or two plays. On the play in which Cousins was intercepted for the second time, a tough throw, receiver Joshua Morgan was open underneath. It would have given the Redskins probably 10 yards or more."

    • http://fanspeak.com/members/steveospeak/ Steve Shoup

      Maybe Griffin would have hit the underneath, but I'm not going to fault Cousins for trying to make a play. We have seen Griffin throw multiple balls in coverage though, he's just lucky that so far only one has been picked off. Yes Griffin has been at his best late in the game, but that is usually b/c of a lack of pressure (which there wasn't) or his scrambling ability (which wouldn't impact that play).

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/willypops/ Willypops

    Even Cousins said that he should have checked down to Morgan on the play. But I can't fault a rookie quarterback for trying to make something happen in that situation – especially since he has pretty much just been running the other team's plays for the past 5 weeks and has not run his own team's 2-minute offense since pre-season. With under two minutes to play, no timeouts and an offensive line that wasn't giving him much time, I didn't think there was much chance of the Skins getting a touchdown on that drive. Frankly, when that drive started, I was hoping they would run the old "Brunell to Moss" desperation play where he'd get the snap and immediately throw it as high and as far as he could and hope that a receiver could get to it!

    • http://fanspeak.com/members/steveospeak/ Steve Shoup

      Yeah under 2 minutes, no timeouts and 80 yards to go, he was simply trying to make a play under a good bit of pressure. Sure the dump-off is preferable but Cousins didn't have a single snap with the first team offense this week (and likely for most of the season) So how can you fault him.

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/beltwayboysports/ beltwayboysports

    I agree with you completely SteveO! Nothing wrong with the hit on RG3, you can't blame Kirk Cousins and I can't believe some people were saying the kid was at fault. He was put in a very tough spot against a Super Bowl contending team and he made a mistake, but people need to back off him in my opinion. I was surprised that Rex was inactive myself.

    We could have won this ballgame and had some great opportunities but failed to take advantage. You can't keep giving a team like the Falcons repeated chances b/c they will get you at some point. Our 3rd Down defense bugs me more than anything about the game yesterday and we struggled on offense when faced with our own 3rd Downs. Also Cundiff must go, but I'll admit that I was happy when we got him b/c I had grown sick of Graham Gano. I was wrong on that one.

    I must say that I'm impressed with our run defense, but unfortunately there's more than stopping the run required to win NFL games. The Redskins had a chance to go up by two scores early and you could see the air come out of them when Cundiff missed that 31 yard kick, but that's not the whole reason we lost, but you must make the most out of the opportunities you get. I love Alfred Morris, wow!

    What's the deal with Leonard Hankerson, is the kid going to be a productive NFL WR or what? I've always liked him and what he can bring to the table but I'm starting to question that now? What's your opinion SteveO?

    • http://fanspeak.com/members/steveospeak/ Steve Shoup

      yeah i wasn't a huge Gano supporter, but didn't see why you get rid of him without a definite upgrade. Which Cundiff is clearly not.

      Shanny really has to answer for the Rex inactive thing (he has been for every game). Okay Cousins may have earned it with his hard work and skill level, but he's a rookie who spent all week mimicking the Falcons offense. He probably would have been more comfortable replacing Matt Ryan than RGIII.

      As for Hank, it wasn't a good game, but he didn't have many chances either. They need to find ways to get more out of him. I wouldn't be too disappointed with Hankerson because he was solid in both Tampa and against Cincy. He's also still pretty young (esp. with missing all that time last year). Garcon though really looked bad throughout the game. That can't keep up.

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/beltwayboysports/ beltwayboysports

    The kicking audition will feature Olindo Mare, Josh Brown and Kai Forbath tomorrow along with a couple long snappers having a tryout as well ….

    Fobarth's very intriguing and had nice career at UCLA and made 10 of 13 attempts from 50 yards or more in his college career. He's 25 and never kicked in a regular season game. A good workout may land him the job, stay tuned.