By Kevin Ross II
The Washington Redskins effectively ended their season on Sunday by falling to the Philadelphia Eagles by the final score of 24-16. This loss sums up the season for Washington, who once again displayed a poor effort on special teams, a late starting offense, and a defense that is prone to giving up the big pay.
The Redskins found themselves in the midst of their worst effort of the season, trailing Philadelphia by the score of 24-0 in the fourth quarter. That’s when Robert Griffin III decided enough was enough and lead his team on a comeback that fell just short.
This is how the Redskins grade out after a valiant comeback that ended in defeat.
Robert Griffin III Grade: C-
The Redskin offense has been wildly inconsistent; they go from horrendous, to dynamic, to average, and back to horrendous all in a four-week span. They say an offense will always take on the identity of its quarterback, and that holds true especially for this unit. Griffin’s inconsistency has trickled down to the offense and is the reason why Mike Shanahan’s ball club cannot string together a group of wins.
And this proved true in Philadelphia, where Robert Griffin couldn’t find any type of rhythm until it was too late. For the first time this season, Washington had not scored any points entering the fourth quarter. Things changed as Griffin had two long touchdown passes, converted two two-point conversions, and the comeback was on! The Redskins then had a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but Griffin threw a ball up for grabs that was easily intercepted.
Griffin’s level of inconsistency against Philadelphia seems to be a microcosm of his season so far.
Jordan Reed Grade: Incomplete
Without a doubt Jordan Reed is one of the top steals of the 2013 NFL draft. The tight end has quickly emerged as the team’s top receiving playmaker next to Pierre Garcon. Reed is a nightmare matchup for opponents as he is quicker than linebackers and too big for defensive backs. Reed has great hands and already understands how to run routes, but so far he’s not reliable.
Once, twice, or sometimes three times per game, Reed will leave the field with some type of injury. The injuries are usually minor and he returns in a few plays, but Reed needs to find a way to stay on the field.
Reed’s injury today, however, was not minor as he left the game in the third quarter with a concussion. Reed finished the game with only one catch for 12 yards, and was a non factor.
Reed’s inability to consistently stay on the field has hurt Washington in spots this season. And Jordan Reed being concussed and out against Philadelphia was a contributing factor to the loss. Reed has been collecting minor and major injuries already in his short career, and it makes you wonder why the organization has been adamant on blacklisting TE Fred Davis.
Defense Grade: B
Out of the three units, the defense performed best for the Washington Redskins in this game. They were gashed by the big play early and often, but defensive coordinator Jim Haslett seemed to again make second half adjustments and the defense was able to contain Philadelphia. Entering into Sunday, if you were told that the defense would hold the Eagles to 24 points, you would assume that the results would’ve been much different. This loss cannot be put at the shoulders of the defense.
Special Teams Grade: D
For once, the special teams did not allow the opposition to score a touchdown. For this unit that’s a step in the right direction, but the special teams still underperformed as a whole. Sav Rocca was again shaky, and did not punt well. And rookie Nick Williams seemed to be completely baffled about when to fair-catch a ball on punt returns. This seems to be something that most teams master during training camp, but the Redskins have had problems all season long. With Sanatana Moss’s reduced role on offense, it’s hard to understand why he is not this team’s primary punt returner.
With that being said, it’s time to start evaluating the young guys because this season is over for Washington.
For more Redskins news and updates, visit Redskins Central.
Kevin Ross is a freelance writer covering all things Washington Redskins. His work can be found on Examiner.com.