Greetings my friends, it is JimmiJo and I am joined by the man with a tripod stuck up his...backpack; Spaceman Spiff.
I am so excited I am about to pee myself. Not just because I am sitting next to Spiff. But also because this team played one of the most solid football games last week in a long time. I will put last week up against any game I can remember over the past, what, 5-seasons? I haven't been this excited after a season-opener since probably 2012 and the big win against the Saints.
The run game was magnificent. The defense spectacular. And the level of competency at the quarterback position an obvious upgrade.
In fairness it was a game of two-halves. The offense cooled significantly following halftime. But their objectives were different. They had the Cardinals beaten and needed only to hold-on
What say you?
Here's the question; was that the real Washington Redskins? Or, was it a game where things came together? I think we begin to answer that questions today. In come a very beatable Indianapolis Colts. They have a quarterback and they have a running back. Not much else.
If last week was an example of the real Redskins; today should be another W. But if not, or if they come out anemic and struggle for the win, we might be having a different conversation next week.
The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 13 WR Maurice Harris
o No. 30 S Troy Apke
o No. 32 RB Samaje Perine
o No. 39 CB Adonis Alexander
o No. 55 C Casey Dunn
o No. 74 T Geron Christian Sr.
o No. 99 DL Caleb Brantley
The Colts declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 28 CB Chris Milton
o No. 37 CB Lenzy Pipkins
o No. 38 RB Christine Michael
o No. 58 DE Tarell Basham
o No. 71 T/G Denzelle Good
o No. 74 T Anthony Castonzo
o No. 96 DE/DT Denico Autry
Ok gang, we are ready to roll. Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast
This team is exactly who they have always been. Middle of the pack? If we are being generous.
I admit it, I got pretty excited last week when they played a really solid football game. Today, was like so many other games I’ve watched them play over my 13-seasons.
Muddling. No identity. Anemic offensively. A defense just as apt to collapse on third-and-long as to stop the opponent.
They were so poor Indianapolis took the entire 3rd quarter off and still made it look easy. The problem with that is they allowed the Redskins to pad the stats, making it seem like a much closer game.
In fact, the Redskins earned more first downs (20-17), total yards (334-281) and time of possession (33:20–26:40) than the Colts. They won the turnover battle (2-1). And ran 11-more plays (71-60).
Not only did I never believe they were going to win; I never even thought they were in it.
So what went wrong?
Offensively, Washington never got into a rhythm. The run game never got going. And the defensive-pressure cause problems all day for Alex Smith and the Redskins. I asked Smith if one area contributed more than the other (lack of run game versus defensive pressure) and he admitted that both played a significant role to their lack of production.
Smith finished the day 33/46 for 292-yards for a 88.3 passer rating. Not exactly Kirk Cousins’ type numbers (all he did was throw for 425-yards and 4 touchdowns with one pickin Minnesota’s tie with Green Bay).
Jamison Crowder was the leading rusher for Washington on the day. That’s right; a wide receiver was the leading rusher. Crowder ran for 29-yards on 2 carries (reverses). Second was Adrian Peterson for a scant 20-yards on 11-carries and a paltry 1.8 yards per carry (give me a second while I breath into this bag).
Given Crowder was the leading rusher, it is only right that Chris Thompson led all receivers with 92-yards on 13-catches. Those are wideout numbers. Next came Jordan Reed who logged 55-yards on 6-catches.
If your top two receivers are a running back and a tight end, you can suppose there were a lot of check downs in the game. As in;
All. Damn. Day.
Defensively, Mason Foster was all-world. Every time Washington made a play on defense, he was in it. Foster logged 11-tackles (8-solo). Then there was D.J. Swearinger. All he did was intercept Andrew Luck twice, at the most-needed times (when the game was getting threatening to get away).
But they were the exceptions. By and large this was a thorough butt-whooping by the Colts. Their pressure defensively created all kinds of problems for Washington’s offensive line. Offensively, they spent the day in third-and-short. And on those occasions where they had a long way to go on 3rd down, they seemed to convert more often than not.
It is just week 2 however. Likely no-one will think about this game in December. This assumes they begin playing better and winning some games.
Here’s hoping they do.