ES Coverage – Redskins vs Bears – MNF Edition
Can you say; “Must Win?”
“But Pappas, it’s only week 3, there’s all this football to be played, they could turn it around, there’s lot of stuff left to play for.”
Blow it out your rear end.
Evening friends. My name is JimmiJo (or John Pappas for short) and I am joined by The Spaceman Spiff for this latest installment of Washington Redskins football.
Speaking of which; if this team loses this game in this stadium on this night; something bad is going to happen somewhere. To somebody.
Look, what do I know? But this season and this team have already a sense of desperation. As in, fear of unemployment desperate.
Sure, we all knew the schedule was tough. But the hope was surely the Redskins would snatch a win out the first two weeks. And for one-half of week 1 it looked probable. Until it didn’t.
And if they couldn’t win, could they at least be competitive?
Apparently not, as the Redskins have not looked likely to win a match at any time since the first half of the Week 1 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Sure, they took an early lead against the Cowboys. And for approximately 20-mintues they were competitive.
But in both matches, once the wheels came off, defeat seemed inevitable.
And there is something to be said by the manner of the defeats. These were not down-to-the-wire close battles that could have gone either way. Both Philadelphia and Dallas won convincingly.
With that as a backdrop, there is the understandable unease surrounding the team.
On paper, Washington was expected to have a stingy defense that would create problems for offensive lines. Instead we have seen a defense allowing hundreds of yards of production rushing, while surrendering big explosive pass plays for scores.
Offensively, the Redskins have looked better than expected in areas, if those areas are quarterback. If you can’t say Case Keenum has played well (and I think you can), you can at least say there will be no controversy.
But they need to do more than look good in areas.
In Chicago they have a chance to get well. Chicago comes in 1-1. They are ranked 30th in overall offense, but 4th in defense total yards. They struggles on offense should present opportunities for the Redskins.
Opportunities Washington must take advantage of.
We predicted a Washington win. It would be kinda nice to be correct.
The Redskins declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 12 QB Colt McCoy
o No. 23 CB Quinton Dunbar
o No. 58 LB Cassanova McKinzy
o No. 64 C Ross Pierschbacher
o No. 67 G Wes Martin
o No. 78 DL T.Y. McGill
o No. 86 TE Jordan Reed
The Bears declared the following players as inactive:
o No. 22 DB Kevin Toliver II
o No. 27 DB Sherrick McManis
o No. 38 RB Kerrith Whyte Jr.
o No. 55 LB Josh Woods
o No. 70 OL Bobby Massie
o No. 88 WR Riley Ridley
o No. 98 DT Bilal Nichols
Follow along in-game on Twitter @Skinscast
Stuff just got real.
I believe some games reveal things in a new way or in a manner that cements a point of view, or intuition.
For us, this was the night where I witnessed the rigidness of an offensive coach and seeming refusal to change a scheme based on the realities before him.
Of course I am talking about head coach Jay Gruden. He would disagree with this. How do I know? I asked him.
“We tried,” said Gruden was asked if there were things he could do to help counter the effect Khalil Mack was having on his offense (and the other rushers for Chicago. “We left a back in, would have the tight ends chip on the way to their routes, but he is a special player.”
It was encouraging to hear, as these are the types of things teams do to help with a premier rusher. Only I didn’t recall seeing it. But then Gruden then pointed out an extremely credible aspect.
“The real problem was being down three scores and then they know we become one-dimensional, having to pass. When that happens you get to see a special players do special things.”
Fair dues. But for my money this was a game of slow-to-no reactions to what was obvious issues protecting Case Keenum.
And then six turnovers happen. If Washington ever had a real chance in this it ended when they started giving the Bears the ball inside the 10-yard line.
And before you know it the Redskins were down 28-0 before they got off the snide with a 35-yard field goal with 43-seconds remaining in the 1irst half. A quick scan of the drive chart will reveal the success the Bears enjoyed:
6. Missed field goal
9. Field goal
Just under 50-percent scoring effectiveness. And the drive chart does not reflect the pick-six interception to start Chicago’s scoring.
Conversely, the Redskins fared much worse in the first half.
3. Missed Field Goal
6. Field Goal
Washington was more effective in the second-half
5. End of game
As for stand out players, there were a few, but for all the wrong reasons.
As good an early season as Case Keenum had, he strove to completely reverse it tonight, being involved in six separate turnovers, with five ultimately lost.
Keenum finished the night 30/43 for 331-yards, 2 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and a passer rating of 78.7. What is not included in his QB stats are the three fumbles he was involved with it, two which were lost.
The Redskins were a little more productive in the run game; but barely. They finished the night 70-yards on 21-carries across three runners in Keenum, Adrian Peterson, and Chris Thompson.
Peterson went 37-yards on 12-carries for a 3.1 yard avg. Thompson finished-up 29-yards on 7 carries for a paltry 1.5-yard average.
Defensively, the team surrendered 298-yards total. They registered 3-sacks and an interception.
But they also allowed a third-down efficiency of 62-percent to Chicago.
Penalties were again a problem, with Washington logging 9 total for 61 yards.
Bottom line, this was a failure of coaching for me. Washington’s offense did not adapt to the pressure of Chicago’s front seven. And as they slipped further and further back their challenges became more profound as the Redskins had to more and more abandon the running game.
Despite Gruden’s assurances, the instances of keeping a back home to block or chipping Mack and others were noticeably absent. And it costs them as the front pressure of the Bears was the major contributor to the loss.
And where do they go from here?
This game may not be the catalyst for a change on coaching staff at the coordinator level. But it may have lit the fuse. At the end of the day the same old problems emerged and there are only so much excuses to give before it is apparent where the issues really lie.
The good news? There are still 13-games to go. Groan.