Ten Thoughts As the Redskins Fall to the Giants

Washington Commanders Washington Redskins

1. The Redskins Special Teams is a comedy of errors:

-Another week another series of special teams mistakes. The botched snap, 18 yard punt, holding scenario is nearly unbelievable. Now that is one 18 yard punt that isn’t on Rocca, as he did a nice job to get the ball away. Rocca probably had one of his best day’s punting as a Redskin, but he had a 38 yard punt late in the game that set the Giants up with great field position for their final drive that milked the clock and got them a field goal. Elsewhere on special teams, the Redskins had a limited return game once again and we saw opposing gunners have a free shot at our return men as the blockers missed their man. The Redskins did down the 1 punt at the 1 yard line, which was a positive, but it was still a game where the special teams cost the Redskins.

2. Penalties continue to be a big problem:

-The Giants committed 1 penalty for 1 yard, while the Redskins committed 8 penalties for 55 yards. Those are just too many free yards the Redskins are giving up. A number of their offensive penalties cost them drives and field position. It happens just about every week and it’s something that can’t keep occurring if the Redskins are to ever be a consistent contender.

3. Where was Morris in that 2nd half?:

Alfred Morris didn’t have great first half numbers by any stretch, but for him to get only two carries in the 2nd half is completely unacceptable. Not only that but Morris wasn’t involved much of the second half, due to a variety of reasons (turbo package, 3rd downs, final drive) which meant that the Giants had the advantage as the Redskins best player was off the field. How Morris doesn’t get a single carry from 1st and 10 from the Giants 12 yard line is beyond me. You don’t shut down Morris even if the defense is limiting him like they were. The Giants biggest fear was Alfred Morris, and the Redskins helped them out by limiting him. It just makes no sense whatsoever.

4. The Offensive Line continues to get abused:

-Early on the Giants weren’t blitzing much or fully attacking against the pass, that changed as the game wore on as the Giants increased their pressure and the sacks and pressures started pouring in. Griffin was sacked 5 times and under pressure quite a few others, as the Giants defensive line began to get the better of the line. Now some of it is do to Griffin still taking too much time in the pocket, but the reality is that is expected and the Redskins need to game plan to ensure that isn’t an issue. They didn’t do that and the line was abused.

5. Pierre Garcon had a really bad game:

-Garcon has undoubtedly been the Redskins number one target this season and has done plenty to bail out the Redskins offense and RGIII, but last night it was Garcon who needed bailing out. Garcon dropped multiple easy catches, ran a lazy route in the end zone, was called for a penalty and had the ball stripped away from him on the final Redskins offensive play of the game. Just a bad all-around game for Garcon and absolutely not what the Redskins needed if they wanted to break their losing streak.

6. Fred Davis shows why he’s been riding the bench:

-Davis did have a pair of catches, but really he didn’t provide anything to the Redskins offense in this game. Davis also dropped the ball in crucial situations, and had a false start penalty. His run blocking was just as poor as before and his missed blocks cost a couple of the Redskins poor rushing plays. For a guy who has been complaining about not having an opportunity, he really didn’t show the Redskins that they had been missing anything. This further proves that re-signing him and keeping him was a mistake and a waste of money.

7. Poor offensive game planning strikes again:

-Yes defenses were keying in on Alfred Morris and maybe he shouldn’t have had 30 carries in this game, but should he really only have had 11? While Griffin was able to run the ball pretty effectively, the stats look better than the actual results. That final play before the half was just 20 empty yards. The Redskins needed to run Morris more to try to get some bigger carries. Earlier in the year Morris was having some of the same problems running early on, but they stuck with it and he’d break a couple bigger runs. The Redskins needed to continue that in this game. Griffin’s running is nice, but it can’t be the bread and butter of this offense. The Evan Royster runs were just poor decisions as well. I guess they thought the Giants would be surprised the Redskins would run their 3rd string fullback in those situations, but that was a big mistake. Those were high leverage situations where the Giants have to account for the FB regardless of who is lining up there.

8. Will someone other than Brian Orakpo step up in the front 7:

-For the last four games now, Brian Orakpo has been a force all over the field for the Redskins front 7. He’s notched 5.5 sacks in that time and has been responsible for numerous stops in the run game or additional pressures. Unfortunately no one else has really played at a strong level over that time period. Last night it was no exception. Barry Cofield made some nice plays, but was a bit inconsistent. Ryan Kerrigan really didn’t have a strong game, and wasn’t able to apply the same level of pressure that Orakpo is providing. Some of it is definitely the defensive scheme, but it goes beyond that. The Redskins need what few talented guys they have on defense to step up and unfortunately with the exception of Orakpo up front that hasn’t been happening.

9. The middle of the field was too wide open on defense:

-The Redskins looked liked they cared primarily about stopping the outside throws and the deeper throws. This took Hakeem Nicks and Rueben Randle out of the game for the most part, but it allowed a lot of freedom in the middle of the field. Victor Cruz, Brandon Myers and the running backs were able to capitalize on some wide open opportunities in the middle of the field and Eli Manning picked the Redskins apart. On the Giants 2nd TD, Myers was wide open for an easy score. The Redskins had to defend that goalline better at that point in the game. It’s 2nd and 8 and only 40 odd seconds on the clock. The Giants only had 1 time out remaining at that point meaning they were pretty limited in their ability to run. The Redskins made it too easy and it tied the game up. Whenever Eli needed a big pass he knew he could challenge the middle of the field and it paid off. The defense needed to make some more adjustments and take away some of these routes.

10. Missed opportunities set the tone in the game:

-The Redskins average starting field position was the 32 yard line last night and were only able to manage 17 points. That is not the mark of a complete offense or one that is capable of contending. You are at home versus a below average defense with great field position and you can’t crack 20 points? That is pretty embarrassing for a team that is supposed to be carried by their offense. The Redskins had four drives start from their own 41 yard line or better and were able to turn those into a total of just 10 points. You can’t expect to win football games if you can’t take advantage of field position like that. The worst was after the Brandon Meriweather interception put the Redskins on the Giants 12 yard line, the Redskins had to settle for 3 points after they lost a net of three yards (due to Garcon’s penalty). Your chance for scoring a TD there is extremely high and you have to settle for three  points is really just a killer.

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