By Kevin Ross II
In a season defining game, the Washington Redskins reverted to a rather patented move that they have become accustomed to. Which means they found a way to lose 34-27 to an inferior opponent on primetime television.
It seems to happen every year, it’s simply what the Redskins do. This time it was against the Minnesota Vikings who limpe
d into the competition missing five starters do to injury. However, the Vikings didn’t care about their injury woes, instead they cared about exposing the Redskins as a fraud to the rest of the league.
That’s right, a fraudulent team that includes an offensive line that can’t pass protect, a defense that has no idea how to keep a lead, a franchise quarterback who feels as if he has to be Batman and Superman combined for his team to win, and last but not least they were exposed as a pretender in the National Football League. Because a contender would not lose that game against that Minnesota Vikings team. Period.
The Washington Redskins did a few things well, and a whole lot of things not so well. This is how the DC football team grades out after losing to the Vikings.
Offensive Line Grade: D
Robert Griffin III was sacked four times and was harassed – or should we say bullied – all night long. In the second half when Griffin desperately needed to move the chains to establish some kind of momentum, it was defensive tackle Kevin Williams leading the charge for the Vikings to disrupt RG3. The Vikings applied pressure by attacking the middle of the offensive line, and by manhandling both guards. Kevin Williams of the Vikings appeared to be the best defensive lineman to ever play the game; he was uncontrollable, he was an animal off of his leash. Williams finished with 2.5 sacks, a number that he had not reached in 27 previous games combined. That’s how bad the Washington Redskins are on the offensive line.
Defense Grade: D
The defense receives a failing grade, for making Christian Ponder look like a top 10 quarterback in the National Football League. Before being knocked out of the game with a dislocated shoulder, Ponder was not only managing the game but he was controlling it as well. Ponder completed 81 percent of his passes, and had a quarterback rating of 113.1 which is a season high.
The Redskins thought that if they contained Adrian Peterson, that would be enough to win. But they were proven wrong as they didn’t take their lack of pass rush into account, and even the Christian Ponders of the league, will look like All-Pros when they have time to pass. The defense was exposed as abysmal, as they seem incapable of holding a lead when their offense gives them some breathing room. When the Redskins were up by the score of 27-14, it was all but inevitable that the defense would give up the lead.
Special Teams Grade: C-
Washington DC has to be the only city in America where the play of the special teams dominates a good portion of the conversation every week. If it’s not blocked punts, it’s blocked field goals, and if the kickoff coverage is decent, then the punt coverage is abysmal. That’s the story of the Redskins special teams and the trend continued this week.
It seems as if Punter Sav Rocca waits for the worst possible time to shank a punt, which he now does on the regular. Rocca will never shank a punt in the first quarter. No, he’ll wait until the game is on the line. This time Rocca whiffed on another punt, and a 15-yard penalty on Darrel Young helped the Vikings to begin that drive in Redskins territory and to take the lead for good. Should the special teams coach be fired? I’m not sure, but I am sure that someone needs to be held accountable for such a consistent level of poor play.
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Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.