By Kevin Ross II
The Washington Redskins stood tall against one of the league’s very best teams, and jumped out to a 21-7, third quarter lead against the Broncos. And then things got ugly, and Denver’s defense suffocated Washington for the remainder of the game. The Broncos cruised to a 45-21 win and left Washington with a bruised quarterback to go along with their bruised season.
Here’s how the Redskins were graded after a long day at Mile High Stadium.
DeAngelo Hall Grade: A
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall has suddenly emerged as the Redskins best and most consistent defensive player this season. Early on in this year, it was thought that Ryan Kerrigan would be the leader of the defense, as he appeared to be taking the next step in his career. But surprisingly Kerrigan has been outshined by Hall, who is making his 10th season in the league his best one.
DeAngelo Hall receives plenty of unfair criticism from the local fanbase, but when you look at his resumé this season, he has held his own and has even dominated some of the game’s best receivers.
Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas, and Calvin Johnson highlight a few of the pass catchers that Hall has handled this season. Hall kept things up against Denver, intercepting two passes off of Peyton Manning, and of course returning one of those to the house. Hall’s touchdown added him to the history books as the first Redskin defender to score three touchdowns in a season.
Hall is unsuspectingly having the best season of his career, and is penciling himself onto the 2014 Pro Bowl roster.
Wide Receivers Grade: D
Week after week the Washington Redskins continue to have one of the most unproductive receiver groups in the league. Each game they have major drops in critical situations, and that trend continued against the Broncos.
Santana Moss had another drop this time in the end zone; Aldrick Robinson displayed his normal brick hands but this time on a crucial third down, and overall the entire unit played poor.
It would be easy to sit back and give quarterback Robert Griffin III a poor grade as well, but when the receivers can’t gain any separation on one of the league’s most inept secondaries, then you can’t blame Griffin.
After eight weeks of football the Redskins have still not had a true number two receiver reveal himself. We thought it would be Leonard Hankerson, but now it appears that Josh Morgan is getting the majority of the snaps. Pierre Garcon can only do so much by himself, and teams will eventually begin to key on Jordan Reed. Washington is in desperate need of a number two receiver, as well as a slot receiver than can consistently get open.
Kyle Shanahan Grade: D
Kyle Shanahan for the most part, has been a play calling savant since joining Washington. But he wasn’t at his best on Sunday, and deserves a good majority of the blame for the crushing defeat. Shanahan started the game by dialing Alfred Morris’s number over-and-over. And the results proved solid for Washington. However, in the second half, Kyle got away from the run and tried to win the game with the long ball.
He got away from what worked, and went to what didn’t work, which helped to decide the game’s outcome. Kyle Shanahan’s amateur play calling should receive equal blame to any player for this week’s loss.
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Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.