“Breathe in slowly . . . hold for three seconds . . . exhale slowly . . . and repeat.”
I’ve been doing the above since Robert Griffin III’s death knell interception with slightly over 5:00 to go in the Washington Redskins (1-4) loss against the Dallas Cowboys (3-3) last night.
It’s not helping. I’m trying to stay calm, but it’s very difficult to do after witnessing a performance like that, after having two weeks to prepare, no less.
The Redskins had a chance to get right back in the division race with a win. Instead, they are now 2 games behind Philly and Dallas for the division, and the playoffs seem out of reach unless the team goes on a massive win streak like they did in 2012. That team, however, at least had hope. They had RGIII playing at the top of his game, with only the defense struggling to hold up their end of the bargain.
This team? This team is just not very good at anything right now. Sure, they miraculously held Dallas to only 213 total yards of offense. But they cancelled out their defensive effectiveness with one of the worst looking special teams units I’ve ever seen, giving up an 86 yard punt return TD and a 90 yard kickoff return, both to Dwayne Harris.
RGIII threw for 246 yards, but only completed 48.7% of his passes in the process. He also fumbled twice, something that has been a recurring problem dating back to last season. The offense as a unit struggled when in the red zone, settling for three field goals, the longest of which was 33 yards.
The offensive line was absolutely putrid. Griffin had zero time to plant his feet and throw all night long, and that was without Dallas’ All-Pro DeMarcus Ware, who left the game early with an injury.
The ‘Skins didn’t get any help from the officiating crew, either, having a fumble on a punt in the second quarter wrongly overturned and also getting flagged for having an assistant coach too close to the field of play, something that happens multiple times in every game but rarely if ever gets called.
But the Redskins cannot think negatively right now. They have to simply keep fighting and set their sights on Chicago. That means us fans shouldn’t get too low either, so here are a few positives to take away from last night:
- RGIII has his legs back. The QB rushed for 77 yards on 9 carries, and had a burst that no one has seen since the Ravens game last year. It opened up the offense and gave Alfred Morris (16 car., 81 yds) a little more room to maneuver. Griffin also said after the game that “no one can tell [him] how to play football,” an indication that he continues to keep on running and utilize his natural tools instead of playing cautiously after his injury.
- The defense shut down Dallas’ passing attack. I have no clue how they did this, because they aren’t good to begin with and David Amerson left the game with a concussion in the second half, but they did. If they can continue to do this in the future, it will be a huge plus. They’ll be tested again next week when they’re tasked with covering Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
- Jordan Reed had a breakout game (as I predicted in my game preview, FYI), catching 4 balls for nearly 60 yards in the first half before being completely ignored by the offense in the second. Why? I have no clue. But this young TE will continue to develop and make a name for himself as the year drags on.
I . . . uh, well . . . That’s really all I have, and two of those positives had murky footnotes attached to them. At this point, Redskins fans, I’d start looking forward to April. At least we’ll have a pretty high dra— oh, wait, we don’t have a first rounder this year. Hmm.
Try and have a good week, people. I know it’ll be a struggle. Maybe this will cheer you up. At the very least, it’s a reminder that it could be worse.
Albeit, not by much.