The Redskins Week 17 game was essentially a microcosm of their entire season. Penalties, missed opportunities and poor decisions largely defined a very frustrating end to an equally frustrating season. But there is reason for optimism for next year, as many of the young players continue to show incredible potential.
Well, for starters, the season is over. The Redskins will have ample time to heal the wounds dealt to the players bodies and the teams ego. Next year they will start fresh, and all considering, there is quite a lot to look forward to.
After Hightower’s season ending injury Week 6, the Redskins ground game suffered tremendously. However, with Helu and Royster’s strong performances lately, there is reason for optimism. This week Helu was very impressive, becoming the “little running back who could” as he limped into the end zone for the only Redskins touchdown of the game. Evan Royster had another strong game, amassing 113 yards rushing and an additional 52 yards receiving.
These guys are both rookies, adding to a youth-factor the Redskins have not possessed in quite some time. They will (hopefully) continue to grow with the team and be integral to the development of a newly revamped offense. While second-year tight end Logan Paulsen only had two receptions for 29 yards, he has certainly showed improvement in the absence of Cooley and Davis.
On defense, the Redskins also have a great deal of youth, many of whom continued to impress this week. Ryan Kerrigan and DeJon Gomes, both rookies, show great potential and should continue to develop in the off season. Brian Orakpo, although injured during the game, had one of his best games of the season, sacking Vick twice and forcing one fumble.
London Fletcher, while certainly not young by any accounts, showed he still has it in him, as he had another strong game to wrap up the season.
The Redskins, in typical Redskins fashion, made mistake after mistake throughout the game. Grossman at times seemed to lack the capacity to both pinpoint targets and deliver the ball accurately. He blew through entire sets of downs without anything that even remotely resembled a decent pass. Maybe his eyesight was off, or maybe the Redskins need to get a new quarterback this offseason. I’m leaning towards the latter. He was 22/45, and only converted on 37% of third downs.
Penalties remained an issue, though there were some poor decisions on the parts of the refs. Santana Moss was outraged after the refs failed to call what was clearly pass interference. He dealt with it by taking off his helmet, resulting in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and moving the ball back to the Eagles 19 yard line.
As the second quarter wound down, the Redskins saw themselves with an opportunity for a field goal. However Shanahans mind-boggling decision to call a time out a minute or so earlier resulted in the clock expiring before long snapper Nick Sundberg ran onto the field.
The Redskins had another blocked field goal, bringing their season total to 5, and generating a great deal of momentum for the Eagles.
I’m not going to go blaming this game on the refs or Grossman or anybody because it was a collective decision to not play very good football. So many players have been showing so much promise, and there were quite a few bright spots in the game. But generally they were followed by a blown opportunity, or just poor decisions.
The Redskins are 5-11 and finish last in the NFC East for the fourth straight year.