With the alarm bells ringing in pre-season for the Washington Redskins, the mediocre offensive play continued into the regular season. Christian Burt goes Skin Deep and 3 & out on the 30-17 loss to NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles…
I’d really missed football…until that First Quarter
Sweet sobriety: a lovely place to be at the tail-end of a UK summer. A time for nourishment, to fill the body and mind with all the goodness this Planet Earth has to offer.
That all changed by the end of an eye nerve twitching first quarter demonstration of how not to play football by the Washington Redskins. And by the time the lights came down on the FedEx I’d reached for four ice cold cans of Red Stripe lager to ease the pain.
It was woeful including two turnovers and an inexplicable Jamison Crowder weird kind of amphibian jump to receive, and drop the football, from an Eagles punt.
There were plenty of lowlights; Terrelle Pryor Sr. on the first play of the season for the Redskins was hit long by Kirk Cousins. This was a play I quite liked, but at no point did Pryor Sr. have any idea of the location of the football and as it sailed a few yards ahead of the apparent #1 wide receiver and landed on the turf, I now understood the apathy that has locally surrounded the Redskins team for 2017.
There’s always the sun up there Terrelle, as I strangled the can of Red Stripe ever tighter.
13-0 down at the end of the first and with Cousins 2-8 and the leading rusher with 10 yards; it was lamentable stuff.
Josh Doctson: Missing in Action, Chris Thompson Last Action Hero
The departures of stalwart clutch WR Pierre Garcon and speedster DeSean Jackson, were, it was to be hoped, somewhat negated by the previously mentioned catch dropping Pryor Sr. and first round pick of 2016 Josh Doctson.
Josh was active and was on the field for 20 snaps, but we didn’t see him once. Strange use of a tall and talented WR that many on the Redskins roster thought had shone the brightest in camp.
For a brief time, Washington actually led 14-13 in the second quarter: Ryan Kerrigan pick sixed an intended Carson Wentz pass to Darren Sproles and the NFLs number one third down RB Chris Thompson went into human pinball mode to bounce off numerous Eagles and take the football 29 yards for six points. The contract extension to #25 was one of the few off season highlights. If nothing else, Bruce Allen seems OK on that level.
Of course, the Skins still went in trailing at HT when Wentz got Philadelphia into FG range and Caleb Sturgis boomed a 50 yarder between the sticks.
Blown chances, bad calls
In the final analysis, and despite some stellar play from Wentz and the dominant Fletcher Cox, the 30-17 scoreline arguably flattered the Eagles. Not in the sense that the best team didn’t win, but the Redskins shot themselves in the foot, with Cousins showing the first game jitters once again.
Taking Washington impressively to the Eagles 14, and trailing 19-17, Kirk inexplicably fired the football, on the back foot again, over the 5ft8 Crowder and the green haired Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills might never have an easier INT in his NFL career.
An improved overall Redskins DEF limited Wentz & Co to a FG to hand the ball back to Kirk for a potential heroic two minute game winning drive. Alas, it wasn’t to be as Eagles swarmed the dropping back Cousins leading to an unfortunate fumble and Cox taking it to the house.
It was a bad call that should have been overturned as an incomplete pass – instead Game Over and pyjamas on.
Extra Point – there are some vital signs of a heartbeat in Washington
The extra point of any 3 & out should try and be positive, and the CBs and ILB positions for the Skins are potential strengths. Zach Brown was a very useful Pro Bowl free agent and his 12 tackles and willingness to go beyond the line of scrummage were very impressive and lands Brown the Game Ball on Week One.
The CB core of Bashaud Breeland, Josh Norman and the now fully fit Kendall Fuller are pretty set and had a good day too.
Next up: an LA Rams Wade Phillips coached DEF that is highly ranked and highly skilled. Not much let up for KC in that regard and the O-Line will have to be far better than Sunday. I mean, Morgan Moses parted the offensive line waves more than his biblical namesake allowing three sacks after only five in the whole of 2016.
Sean McVay as the new HC of the Rams adds some extra spice to this one, the addition of Sammy Watkins was a big coup for LA to give the second year QB Jared Goff more weapons.
Here’s to keep hailing that Washington can bring the Rams down a peg after their excellent 46-9(!) opening day win vs the Colts.