Here is what you need to know on this Monday, November 5, 13 days before the Redskins take on the Eagles at FedEx Field.
Familiar sight: A lot of laundry on the ground
The Redskins picked a bad time to have their worst game of the season.
They were playing a very beatable Panthers team in what the coach called a “must-win game” and they played uninspired football.
And they played dumb football. It seems almost certain that they will remain the league leaders in penalties after drawing 13 flags for 97 yards. The yellow flags also nullified 29 yards of offense and three first downs. They just can’t afford to give back all that yardage when they are struggling the way that they are.
I get that the Redskins weren’t very good when Mike Shanahan and company took over after so many years of personnel mismanagement. It takes time to build talent and the Redskins timetable certainly was knocked back by the unfair $36 million salary cap penalty they will pay this year and next. Also, building through the draft takes time.
But even if the players you have on the field are not of championship caliber, after two and a half seasons, the coaching staff should have them executing the fundamentals properly and not leading the league in penalties and making other critical mistakes.
Fail with your best
I generally don’t take shots at the play calling but I was truly baffled at times yesterday. With the game still very much competitive in the second and third quarters the Redskins drove inside the Carolina 10. And with one of the most accurate passers in the league they didn’t once throw a pass into the end zone. They came out of the two possessions with three points.
Logan Paulsen and Josh Morgan were catching everything thrown their way. Leonard Hankerson also had a good day. All three would be inviting targets for Robert Griffin III in the end zone.
Instead, on two third down plays they put the ball in Brandon Banks’ hands. He is the kind of player who needs space to operate. There is no space when 22 players are jammed into less than 20 yards of playing field.
Putting the ball in Banks’ hands resulted in third downs becoming fourth downs. The Redskins kicked a field goal once and went for it once. They didn’t make it on fourth down but at least they put the ball in RG3’s hands.
If you are going to go fail and get only three points out of two trips to the doorstep of the goal line, you should fail with your best players in the best situation. You should go down to defeat because Griffin, your top draft pick, or Morgan, a high-dollar free agent, can’t make a play. You shouldn’t come away empty because a marginal player couldn’t get it done on gimmick plays.
No player availability
5:00—Mike Shanahan press conference
Due to the time change of Shanahan’s presser, it will not be telecast on Comcast SportsNet as it usually is. We will do a live blog of it here as it unfolds.
In case you missed it
Faced with a “must win”, the Redskins falter.
RG3 vows to become “a better quarterback”.
Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 13; Thanksgiving Redskins @ Cowboys 17; Monday night vs. Giants @ FedEx Field 28