Following the Washington Redskins’ 30-13 loss to the L.A. Chargers, 106.7 The Fan’s beat reporter Craig Hoffman caught three need-to-know notes:
The Redskins were an abject disaster Sunday in Los Angeles. They were attacked relentlessly defensively early, turned the ball over offensively to deepen the hole and then never showed any semblance of an ability to dig out.
1. I do not know what “not being ready to play” really means in terms of specifics, but it was pretty clear the Redskins were not ready on Sunday. Jay Gruden said it. DJ Swearinger said it. Those two and everyone else in burgundy and gold lived it.
“We weren’t competitive and we weren’t ready to play today,” Gruden said following the 30-13 shellacking. “That’s on me (and the) staff. We’ve got to do a better job of getting these guys ready.”
What that means is open to interpretation. I am of the school that professionals don’t need to be motivated, however, they do need to be guided and put in positions to succeed. The tape will tell whether the Redskins players were in those positions or if they were run into a buzzsaw by their coaches. With a loss this dominant, there is some of both.
“These last two weeks we haven’t been prepared,” an extraordinarily frustrated DJ Swearinger added. “Whether it’s watching film or competing, we’ve got to figure it out,” Swearinger added that it’s on the players as professionals, especially the older players, but indicated coaches could help the younger players that the Redskins are now relying on more.
2. Thanks to the extreme volume of injuries, the Redskins margin for error is slim and their best players have to play near perfect. They did not.
Swearinger and Josh Norman combined to give up multiple big pass plays. Zach Brown started the game giving up a big play in the passing game. Ryan Kerrigan had just two tackles and one quarterback hit. On offense, Kirk Cousins threw a wretched interception on a play that was installed this week and he admitted afterward he wasn’t fully comfortable with on the Redskins first offensive drive.
Without those players making a distinctly positive impact on a game, the Redskins have little shot. With them all tallying important negative plays, the performance is going to be exactly what it was on Sunday.
The NFL is full of talented players. It is simply unreasonable to expect a team with over a dozen borderline to practice squad level players not only playing but starting to succeed. That’s what the Redskins are.
“(The injuries) have a lot to do with it because we’re playing with a lot of inexperienced guys who we basically signed off the street and we’re asking them to perform like a full-time starter,” Trent Williams responded when asked about the role of injuries. “We’ve had some good teams we’ve been playing so it has a lot to do with it, but it’s the NFL so everyone has those types of excuses built in so it’s no reason to make an excuse.”
Without top-notch performances from their studs, this is what we get.
3. This season is as depressing as I could possibly imagine a season being. Injuries happen, but the unyielding attrition week after week is demoralizing. Chris Carter’s fractured fibula is the latest on the severe list. The Redskins special teams ace’s season is over. Zach Brown left on crutches, which is only a departure from his recent usual in that he’s previously left in a walking boot. Byron Marshall, who was starting to show real promise as a 3rd down back as he got more and more comfortable with the offense, tripped on an atrocious StubHub Center field and left with a hamstring injury. This season is survival in the absolute literal sense.
Quote of the day: “I said on Wednesday we either gon’ ball or get embarrassed. We got embarrassed today.” –DJ Swearinger
Stat of the day: 151 yards. That’s Cousins’ total on the day, his lowest of the season. His second lowest came up the road in the Week 2 win at the Rams. Despite trailing the entire game, he threw just 27 times, completing 15.
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