Did the Redskins Even Show Up Yesterday?

Steve O Speak

Is it just me or did it look like the Redskins just forgot to show up to the game yesterday. There was no sense of urgency throughout the game, despite being down a good portion of the game. As it stands I can only think of a handful of players who actually seemed to preform at or above their standard level of play:

Players who showed up:

Brandon Banks:

The little man was amazing yesterday as he accounted for 270 return yards and a score. Bank’s other returns constantly gave the Skins good field position which led to 17 of their additional points. He had another return for a touchdown called back, which would have given the Redskins a crucial score. Banks might be the smallest player on the team but he is having an incredible impact. I know they have tried a couple of plays in the past, but they need to give Banks more opportunities on offense. He especially could have been a jolt to a stagnant unit yesterday.

Albert Haynesworth:

Haynesworth had another big game yesterday. And for those keeping score that is three straight starts (Eagles, Bears, Lions) that Haynesworth has been the most dominate defensive lineman (despite limited snaps). He is 2nd among linemen in tackles (according the the league, the Skins have different numbers). He was the biggest force on defense, though unfortunately the rest of the team couldn’t capitalize on the Lions focus on stopping Haynesworth.

Honestly that’s it in my book, I’ll take the performances from our smallest player and (2nd) biggest player, but no one else really stuck out for me. Which is pretty sad since you have 45 active players, and only two stick out, not good. As for the rest:

Players who were there, but didn’t do anything great:

Graham Gano:

Maybe Gano could have gone in the first grouping since he made both field goals. But both were makable distances, in a dome so it isn’t that impressive. I was a little disappointed on his kick-offs. He had only one touchback in five kicks, and his usually reliable directional kicking didn’t work. They averaged 27.8 yards a return.

DeAngelo Hall:

Hall had a crucial interception, but he just could not cover Calvin Johnson man-to-man, and he got beaten on a few other key plays. The interception helps, but overall it was an average game for Hall.

LaRon Landry:

Landry made a few big stops, but he also missed some tackles (Calvin Johnson‘s first touchdown). Landry also got exposed a few times in coverage, and was nearly beaten deep by Johnson near the end of the first half (Stafford’s lame duck throw prevented the touchdown).

The linebackers:

London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, and Lorenzo Alexander all had solid games, but didn’t do anything spectacular. Some of these guys needed to step up and have bigger games, for the Skins to win. The Lions ran the ball pretty well against the Skins and Stafford completed a lot of stuff underneath.

Keiland Williams:

Williams did a nice job filling in for Torain, considering they have barely run the ball with him this season. He also showed himself as an effective back catching the ball out of the backfield. His blitz pickup wasn’t great today, but he was hardly the issue for all the quarterback pressure.

Players who didn’t show up at all:

Brian Orakpo:

Orak-Attack has had a great year, but yesterday was a game to forget. He did have a tackle for a loss, but only managed two tackles total. He didn’t really get too much pressure on Stafford, which is troubling considering the amount of focus the Lions had on Haynesworth. All-in-all he didn’t stand out, and either make the big play or force the penalty that we were used to seeing. He also seemed to be in coverage much more than we have seen this year, which didn’t really make sense at all. He did sustain an injury at one point, so that might have had something to do with it, but he was quite before as well.

Receivers and Tight Ends:

Sure Armstrong had a few nice long catches and Moss did good with the short stuff, but there were a number of cases of McNabb talking to the the receivers and tight ends after an incomplete. They obviously weren’t on the same page, and it cost Washington. Also, while some of McNabb’s passes were off the mark, they didn’t help him any by dropping a few on their own. Finally, Chris Cooley’s offensive pass interference penalty killed another drive, before it could get started.

Donovan McNabb:

McNabb has just been going through the motions these past two weeks, and this week it caught up to the Skins. Outside of a couple of scrambles, McNabb did nothing right yesterday. He had a couple nice deep balls, but he missed quite a few others. And while he was constantly under pressure, he just didn’t respond well to it (at least now how other quarterbacks in his salary bracket do). McNabb was ineffective plain and simple, and it cost the Redskins the win.

Offensive line:

Boy did this unit look bad yesterday, what what made it worse is that they weren’t going up against the Steel Curtain, or the Jets defense they were going up against a rookie (albeit a stalwart) and his merry band of slightly above average defensive linemen. This offensive line has given up more than their fair share of sacks, and quarterback pressures, but until yesterday it wasn’t as bad as last year’s unit (which is a good thing since they brought in three  four new starters (still unsure about Lichtenstieger being an upgrade). Yesterday was down right pathetic, whether it was giving up sacks, pressures, hits, tackles for a loss, committing penalties, or stepping on McNabb’s feet it was a horrendous showing by the O-line. While their performance doesn’t totally explain away the offensive struggles, it leaves open plenty of questions going forward.

The Redskins have a bye this week, but face a tough Monday night showdown against the Eagles in two weeks. If they want to right the ship and have any chance of winning, my first suggestion is that they show up.

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