Giants 19 - 10 Redskins
Redskins Out of Playoffs
Welcome my friend to Extremeskins coverage of the Washington Redskins versus the New York Giants. My name is JimmiJo and I am joined by my partner; Spaceman Spiff.
The most reasonable thing a football fan can expect and hope for is for your team to be playing meaningful games at the end of the season. Sure, there are times when you run away with the division, ala Dallas this year, but at a minimum you want to see the games late in the year have a larger significance than just the football on the day.
My friends, you can't ask for much more than we have in front us day today.
Win and you're in (barring a freak-of-nature tie between Detroit & Green Bay). That's more than than you can ask. For the second-year running the Washington Redskins can go to the playoffs (1st time in 25-years). By virtue of the tie in London the Redskins are already assured a winning season (first time since 1993).
So what can we expect from the team today? I expect a win. For one, Washington has everything to play for while New York are already in the playoffs and cannot help themselves with a win. History also appears to be on Washington's side. According to Rick Snider of Washington Post Express; the Redskins are 9-2 in win-and-in games since 1974.
There is also the fact they are playing at home against a division rival. Then too, the rumor is the Giants will yank their starters early.
Finally, it is not Monday Night Football.
So what are your thoughts? Are you feeling good about today's game?
Stand by for inactives...
The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 2 QB Nate Sudfeld
o No. 31 RB Matt Jones
o No. 36 S Su’a Cravens
o No. 45 S Josh Evans
o No. 47 CB Quinton Dunbar
o No. 60 OL Vinston Painter
o No. 78 C Kory Lichtensteiger
The Giants declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 29 S Nat Berhe
o No. 30 CB Coty Sensabaugh
o No. 44 RB George Winn
o No. 68 G/T Bobby Hart
o No. 89 TE Jerell Adams
o No. 90 DE Jason Pierre-Paul
o No. 97 LB Ishaq Williams
No. 73 Marshall Newhouse is expected to start in place of Hart at right tackle.
Keys to Victory
The Washington Redskins have every excuse to win and very little to lose. They have enough offense and motivation to wrap this up and then get ready for the post-season. That said, a quick punch in the mouth from the New York Giants and the expectations for the game and playoffs could change dramatically.
To that end, the Redskins should jump out quickly to establish momentum. They also need to be extremely physical. Washington needs to paint the specter of potential injuries so that the Giants will pull starters.
Talk at the half...
I will make this quick and direct; this team was not ready to play in the biggest game of the year. And I am starting to see a trend with this current squad. I tweeted something to the effect that you cannot coach things like injuries, calls by the refs, and weather. But you can sure get your team ready to play.
Gruden didn't. And it is not the first time.
On the biggest stage Gruden tends to either fail to get the team ready or, is flat out coached.
This team coming out as flat as they have been in inexcusable. You thought Carolina was an aberration. Perhaps not.
Gruden is an offensive coach and the offense looks like crap. If my name is Daniel Snyder, Gruden has 30-minutes to prove hie deserves to keep his job.
Some losses hurt more than others. Then too, some seasons hurt worse than others. For me, this is true of both tonight and this year.
Following the success of last year my expectations were that the Washington Redskins would at a minimum be better. Instead they muddled through a season most memorable for the opportunities this team gave away.
Following the game and setting up my question for head coach Jay Gruden, I pointed out how this team has controlled their playoff-destiny many times this year and given it up. In fact, one could argue they were knocked out of the playoffs many times this year. Even back to the tie in London.
My question to Gruden was, knowing they controlled their fate multiple times, is it all the more frustrating to have lost tonight? Gruden gave me a great answer where he started listing all the areas where they struggled this year; red zone offense, rushing offense, third down defense, et al. His point being that while the offense racked up a lot of yards, there were areas where the team struggled so that missing the playoffs was not too much of a surprise.
Liz Clarke from the Washington Post asked the best question, and the one I really wanted to ask: did Gruden feel like he had the team prepared to play today?
His answer was based on the results, probably not. I couldn't agree more. In fact, it seems like in the biggest games, this team is not prepared. And this speaks directly to head coach.
I like Gruden quite a bit, but I feel like he lacks intensity sometimes. Check that. I think he possesses plenty. I think he lacks displaying intensity sometimes.
I was talking to another reporter after the game who has been around since the Joe Gibbs' era. And I remarked to him how Gibbs would handle a week like this; he would be darn-near unapproachable. Gibbs would be a ball of tension before big games. And whether some of that was an act I cannot say. But I do know a Gibbs team today would have been more than ready mentally.
As for the game itself; Washington came out flat. The run-game never got going. Kirk Cousins had a very flat performance. And the result was an anemic offense until late in the third quarter.
That said, I just knew they were going to win when the score became tied at 10. The Giants had by that time gone flat and the Redskins had all the momentum.
Sure enough, once Washington got the ball back after tying the game and then went three-and-out, New York did what they do; let Eli Manning march the offense down to win the game with a field goal.
Even then there was a chance with the Redskins marching. But then Cousins decided to try and force a ball that never should have been thrown.
Gruden usually tries to cover for his quarterback, but even he admitted it was a poor decision to throw the ball.
And just like that, the season is over.
I am curious to see what changes come this offseason. Today was the type of game that cost head coaches their job, IF their job is in any way on the line. I do not think this is the case with Gruden. Sure, it is a direct reflection on the coach missing the playoffs. But with this defense they weren't going far.
And to that end I do expect a change at defensive coordinator (or perhaps just hope for it). There are some pretty good defensive coaches available right now so I hope this is what they do.
As for Cousins, I expect the franchise tag again. Based on his comments post-game it does not sound like he and the team are anywhere close. To be truthful I think throws like the one that cost the game is why the team is not fully sold, at least not enough to give him the fortune he wants. On the other hand, Kirk knows someone will him so he doesn't need to settle for less.
The only way I do not see Cousins here next year is if the team decides both he AND Gruden are not the answer. Otherwise, I expect both back.
Well, it has been another fantastic year. Thanks to ES for allowing me to pose as a reporter for another season. I am looking forward to next year to hopefully do it again.