The Washington Redskins week 2 loss to the St. Lois Rams was characterized by poor decision making, bad calls, and inconsistencies. And I’m not just talking about Redskins performance.
The caliber of officiating during the game could best be compared to my little brother (when he was much younger of course) playing monopoly. The calls were haphazard, unsystematic, and at times it appeared that the refs were making the rules up as the game progressed. However, unlike the 5 year old version of my brother who seemed to have an innate talent for trickery, the “officials” did not even bother to try to give the appearance that they had any idea what was going on. It was officially the worst officiating I have ever seen. So please NFL, give the refs what they want. The game depends on them.
The safety of the players also depends on them. The hit on Fred Davis below his chin is exactly the kind of play the NFL has committed to stopping. And it went seemingly completely unnoticed by the refs.
Not that the loss can be entirely attributed to this fact. Despite starting the game with an interception that was returned for a touchdown, the Redskins failed to establish the same kind of rhythm and control over the game that we saw last week.
Of note was also the amount of fighting that took place during a game that wasn’t even against a division opponent. The chaos and disorder surrounding the officiating seemed to extend to the players as well. DeAngelo Hall, a man who had worked so hard to sit back and control his temper, unfortunately took a role in many of these.
All in all, RGIII had a pretty good game. It almost served as his initiation into the NFL, with a pretty large dose of hazing included. After the game he talked about the nastiness exhibited by the Rams, stating his surprise at the post-whistle “dirty extracurricular,” such as Jo-Lonn Dunbar shoving his head down after he threw the ball. He also stated that “It was weird….People want to hit me because they don’t think I can take a hit.” And while he was only sacked once, he took plenty of other hits and this game should only serve to make him stronger. He threw for 206 yards and ran for an impressive 82 yards and two touchdowns.
In week 1 the Redskins had 306 net yards passing. They only had 197 against the Rams. A big factor was likely the absence of Garcon. RGIII was able to connect with Leonard Hankerson, however, for a 68 yard pass and Hankersons first touchdown of his career.Griffinthrew what seemed to be a perfect long pass to Aldrick Robinson, but Robinson dropped the ball.
The offense seemed less effective in the second half, scoring only once after halftime. An interception late in the 4th quarter gave the Redskins another chance to score. After a pass to Morgan for 7 yards to bring them to the Rams 29 yard line, the refs called unsportsmanlike conduct on Morgan for a 15 yard penalty. So a 47 yard field goal try (on what would have been 4-1) became an unsuccessful 62 yard attempt.
The defense also appeared to struggle more than they had the previous week. They did not exhibit the same level of dominance over the Rams as they had against the Saints, and seemed to have less tackles. One thing they seem to be improving on however is forcing fumbles. The first play of the game was a forced fumble by Riley which was recovered and run in for a touchdown by Wilson. Fletcher also did a great job of this in the 4th quarter, and Hall did an equally great job in his recovery. And then there was the sack and forced fumble by Orakpo which in hindsight I’m sure we all wish had never happened, as it will sideline him for the rest of the season.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, Santana Moss once said “We are our own worst enemies.” And while the officiating was downright horrendous, the fact remains that the Redskins lead the NFL in penalties. Against the Saints they racked up 12 penalties for 127 yards, against the Rams they had 11 for 96 yards, including one that ended the game. This has been an issue for the Redskins for the last several years, and for all the work the team has put into making itself a formidable opponent, it is beyond frustrating to see guys fall to carless mistakes and outbreaks of aggression. I think we can all agree that they are better than that.
Not to mention that we as fans deserve better than that as well.