Here is what you need to know on this Monday, October 29, six days before the Redskins take on the Panthers at FedEx Field.
No margin for error
Against the Steelers we saw what it looks like when the bend but don’t break defense doesn’t get much help from the offense and breaks.
While Ben Roethlisberger and company were doing the proverbial hot knife through butter thing through the Redskins defense, scoring touchdown, field goal, touchdown, field goal on their first four possessions, RG3 and the Redskins offense struggled.
--First possession (Steelers 7, Redskins 0): After gaining nine yards on first down they tried sending Alfred Morris on the stretch play left twice. The results were zero and minus-three yards and a punt.
--Second possession (Steelers 10, Redskins 0): Griffin dragged the Redskins kicking and screaming into the end zone. After Leonard Hankerson and Dezmon Briscoe dropped touchdown passes, RG3 fired one into the end zone on fourth and goal at the two and Santana Moss held on.
--Third possession (Steelers 17, Redskins 6): This possession ended after Josh Morgan’s pass to RG3 fell incomplete. Griffin pushed off on Ike Taylor, drawing a flag, and took a pretty good shot from Ryan Clark as the pass sailed long.
--Fourth possession (Steelers 20, Redskins 6): With perhaps a chance to creep back into it with a score before halftime, Redskins pulled off the hat trick of drops. First Evan Royster couldn’t handle a screen. Then Morgan couldn’t secure the ball before being hit. Finally, Moss had the ball squirt out on a pass that would have moved the chains.
The point here is not to “blame” the offense for the loss. The Redskins did not turn the ball over and the Steelers had to drive from inside their own 30 on all but one of those four first-half scoring drives. The defense did not hold up its end of the deal.
The point is that the Redskins have no margin for error. If the defense can force an occasional punt and the offense can hum along unencumbered by drops and other miscues they can stay in most games. If one aspect breaks down, it’s tough to win. If there are multiple failures (let’s not forget the special teams problems, with a blocked extra point and 12-yard punt), they get the ugly result we saw on Sunday.
Slogging through Sandy
We are going to keep our coverage rolling here on CSNwashington.com as best we can during Hurricane Sandy. The Redskins will announce later this morning what they are going to do with their Monday media schedule. It is hard to see them having the usual 3:00 p.m. Mike Shanahan presser in the auditorium at Redskins Park but we will see.
As long as writers and/or producers have power and an Internet connection we’re going to continue to analyze and cover any developments surrounding the teams we cover. So if you’re stuck at home, either off work or telecommuting, check us out as you usually do.
Oh, and stay safe. This storm looks huge and nasty.
As noted above, to be determined.
In case you missed it
RG3 doesn’t get much help on his worst day.
Days until: RG3 vs. Cam @ FedEx Field 6; Eagles @ Redskins 20; Thanksgiving Redskins @ Cowboys 24; Ravens @ Redskins 41