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Redskins-Colts, Best and Worst


( By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)


Best and worst from the Redskins' 27-24 loss to the Colts.

Best Feeling: Remember the swinging gate on Monday Night Football a year ago? Needless to say, Washington's professional football team will no longer embarrass itself in primetime on national television. You will be entertained for a full 60 minutes. "We didn't give up, like the Redskins of last year," Fred Davis said on Comcast SportsNet's postgame show.

Worst Final Play: With the way the fourth quarter was going, I was convinced that this game would go down to the final play, as four of the five previous games had. Silly me. Instead, the game was decided on the second-to-last play, that insane Aaron Francisco interception. The last play was a kneel-down. My keyboard will be lacquered with dried sweat by the end of this season.

Best Breakthrough: Washington's first scoring drive showcased Ryan Torain in all his glory: oddly upright, sometimes awkward, tackle-breaking, and, ultimately, effective, . He wound up in the end zone on that drive, and with Washington's first 100-yard rushing game since last November. Bless Clinton Portis's heart, but the drive also showed why you don't want a running back who is willing to go down in traffic to protect the football.The Janky Spanky Era had many many highlights, but barring something bizarre, it's over.

Worst Urgency: The Skins' final touchdown drive seemed awfully slow-paced, considering the ticking clock and the fact that they were down by 10 points. Like, that might have been a good time to stop huddling. And to stop pretending that Andy Reid was on the sidelines. They got the touchdown, and eventually got the ball back, but spending nearly six minutes on that drive was painful to watch.

Best Broken Play: The end result was a glamor-free short catch for a first down, but the play itself -- Donovan McNabb pressured and on the verge of going down before he broke free, spun away and found Mike Sellers, who broke three tackles and kept running -- sort of symbolized why this team is likable, if nothing else. They sure seem to try hard.

Worst Hands: Hahahahahahahahahaha. Never ask this again. If Carlos Rogers were in Field of Dreams, the touching scene where Ray Kinsella has a catch with his dad would have been some sick nightmare horror gimmick that would have ended with blood in the cornfields.

Best Matchup: Phillip Buchanon on Reggie Wayne? Who knew. Buchanan mostly held his own all night, and then shined in the final minutes, making two outstanding pass breakups. He's certainly the least-quoted member of this secondary, but you couldn't have asked more from him this week.

Worst Ball Security: The Colts fumbled four times, losing three.

Best Hands: Peyton Manning could throw a ball high over Rogers's shoulder 43 million times, and he would never make the catch that Pierre Garcon made with his fingers near the end of the first half, seen above. Ditto for the Francisco interception. The Rogers stuff used to make for great jokes, but now it's actually costing the team games.

Worst Realization: Some critics have gotten on Jim Haslett for the lack of turnovers forced by his 3-4 defense, which was installed partly for its ability to force turnovers. But maybe the 3-4 just forces balls to hit defensive backs in the hands. The Colts' first two touchdown drives could have been prevented by caught interceptions, and four dropped interceptions this season would make the stats look a lot differently. "We had opportunities today to get a few turnovers early, maybe the difference in the game, but we didn't capitalize on those," Mike Shanahan said.

Best Karma: I know the Redskins have had placekicker issues forever, but now they're profiting on the misery of others. During one magical stretch, their opponents missed 3-out-of-4 field goals, starting with Mason Crosby's potential game-winner last week and continuing with Adam Vinatieri's brutal first half on Sunday. I credit the Shanahan glare.

Worst Stat: The Redskins are virtually assured of having one of the worst defenses in the league for weeks to come, based on the yardage stat used by the NFL. Here are the game-by-game totals this season: 380 yards, 526 yards, 365 yards, 353 yards, 427 yards and 469 yards. This might not be the greatest way to measure a defense, and the NFL should find a better ranking system, but this is not good.

Best Decision, Silly Edition: Loved the return to the gold pants. It's just a brilliant look, especially under the lights. It looks like a team you want to cheer for.

Best Decision, Less Silly Edition: This is Steve Czaban's theory, but I'll parrot it: if you're the home team and you win the toss and defer, your crowd will go crazy on the first drive of the game and possibly make a difference. If you win the toss and receive, the other team will get the ball first in the third quarter, when fans are still in the bathroom or in line for beer. Stadiums are louder on the first drive of the game than on the first drive of the second half. That's Czabe's theory, anyhow. He tried to explain it to Jim Zorn once, but Zorn had no idea what he was talking about. Would love to hear why Shanahan elected to defer.

Worst Response: When the Redskins got that forced fumble and subsequent touchdown early in the second half, it suddenly felt like last week all over again: a miserable first half, followed by a bizarre comeback win. Instead, the Colts got a nice kickoff return, the longest run of Joseph Addai's career (at 46 yards), and a quick touchdown. Then it didn't really feel like last week any more.

Best Special Teamer: If Brandon Banks can stay healthy, avoid fumbles and remain in Washington for three or four years, he will be popular in this town for the rest of his life. If you can't like this kid, you surely also dislike chocolate cupcakes and baby pandas. He is, in every way, the anti-Randle El. (And yeah, Lorenzo Alexander was probably the actual best special teamer Sunday night, but he's not nearly as huggable.)

Worst Television Sequence: Shot of Albert Haynesworth, lounging in luxury suite. Shot of Daniel Snyder, wearing Redskins tie. Seventy-third recitation of The Albert Haynesworth Story, interrupted finally when Addai fumbled and the ball was, you know, rolling around on the ground.

Best Broadcaster Line: Cris Collinsworth, "If Carlos Rogers could catch the football, he'd be in the Pro Bowl every year....The guy cannot catch."

Worst Broadcaster Line: Collinsworth, "Once you play in the Intense League, you play intense-ly."

Worst Broadcaster Line, Part II: Collinsworth, on the Hogettes: "Is that supposed to be the Hogs' wives? I don't know that I've ever fully understood that." Al Michaels followed up with "your guess is as good as mine." No, gents. They're just supposed to be cheerleaders for the offensive linemen, in the model of the dress-wearing early NFL cheerleaders. Someone in research better be fired by Monday morning.

Best Drive: Colts, post-McNabb first quarter interception. One play, 57 yards, 0:09, touchdown.

Worst Drive: Redskins, post-that touchdown. Three plays, minus-9 yards, punt.

Best Divisional News: The Cowboys are the dregs of the NFL.

Worst Divisional News: The Eagles and Giants both won, and the Redskins are no longer tied for first.

Best Pre-Game Scene. The alumni parade around FedEx Field was awesome. Just awesome. I can't think of a single bad thing to say about it. Also, I'm furious that Pat Fischer isn't my uncle. Thanksgiving would be amazing. I'll have more on this later.

Worst Post-Game Answer: Shanahan saying Albert Haynesworth was deactivated because the gameplan had already been installed didn't seem credible.

Worst Post-Game Controversy: And yet, I'm so, so, so, so, so, so sick of hearing about No. 92. "I'm worrying about the Redskins winning football games, not Mike Shanahan's ego beating up over Albert Haynesworth's ego," Brian Mitchell said during Comcast SportsNet's postgame show. "We definitely could have used him tonight," Buchanan said on the same show. "We want him out there," Lorenzo Alexander said. "We definitely want him out there."

Best Point Spread: Indianapolis (-3). Vegas does it again! They've now hit the number exactly in two of Washington's six games.

Best Parity: The Redskins are 3-3. Six of their next seven games come against teams within a game of .500. At least eight of those games will be decided in the final two minutes.

By Dan Steinberg  | October 18, 2010; 12:05 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Comments

Peyton Manning looks like he's playing Madden on easy mode.

Posted by: ThisGuy | October 18, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

" This is Steve Czaban's theory, but I'll parrot it:"

That joins "You people ..." and "I don't mean to be racist ..." on the "nothing good can come of a sentence that starts with this phrase" list.

Posted by: zimbar | October 18, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

"And yeah, Lorenzo Alexander was probably the actual best special teamer Sunday night, but he's not nearly as huggable."

That might be true, but if 'Zo catches sight of you anywhere within a 30-yard radius, he'll hug you good, whether you want him to, or not.

If you think that sounds a bit too much like prison, note that "Zo" is an easy anagram of "Oz".

Lorenzo Alexander. Be afraid, be very afraid...

Posted by: stevebeagrie | October 18, 2010 3:31 AM | Report abuse

Best Parity: The Redskins are 3-3. Six of their next seven games come against teams within a game of .500. At least eight of those games will be decided in the final two minutes.

70 of the next 84 games in the NFL fit this description. 92 of these games will not be decided until the final whistle.

Anyone else wondering why Shanny Jr. still has a job aside from the fact that he's Shanny Jr.? Run works. Run works. We're losing THROW UNTIL WE'RE WINNING! It's like Gibbs 3.0

Posted by: ncromcr | October 18, 2010 3:37 AM | Report abuse

"The Rogers stuff used to make for great jokes, but now it's actually costing the team games."

Uh, it's been costing the team games for years. Most notably the playoff game in Seattle, which was almost five friggin' years ago. As I recall, the dropped INT in that one would've almost certainly put the Skins into the driver's seat. Ah, well.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | October 18, 2010 4:27 AM | Report abuse

Sadly, every OC in the league knows that, with Rogers, the worst outcome of throwing on him is an incomplete pass. He's a good tackler, but you don't need to tackle until the reception has been made, usually for significant yardage.

His INTs are so rare as to be statistically non-existent, so the risk-reward ratio of throwing to Carlos is something any QB will gamble on.

Seriously though, those two he dropped yesterday were unbelievably bad. Does he need contacts?

Posted by: stevebeagrie | October 18, 2010 5:55 AM | Report abuse


Major brands always give out their popular brand samples (in a way it is similar to coupons) I use these guys to get mine http://bit.ly/aJWSXv enjoy your samples

Posted by: jeremyrenner18 | October 18, 2010 6:04 AM | Report abuse

Carlos Rogers has got to go. It's not funny anymore. He's simply failing at his job.

I'm not sure if Torain is a great runner or the Colts are the worst tacklers. They have this obsession with trying to tackle high.

Stop talking about the color of the pants. Sounds like something my wife would talk about because she doesn't understand the game enough.

Posted by: tristesse27 | October 18, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Three cheers for the gold pants!

1) No VPL!
2) No looking like the Kansas City Chiefs!

Posted by: malcomj | October 18, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

When players fumble a lot they are made to hold a football for hours. Rogers and Moore should be doing the same so that they know what one looks like and they get used to holding onto it. I think these guys drop those pillowsoft tosses in pre-game warmups as well.

Posted by: bbmcoachk | October 18, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

"If you can't like this kid, you surely also dislike chocolate cupcakes and baby panda."

I have no idea what baby panda tastes like but given the context I'm assuming it's great stuff.

Posted by: dalison | October 18, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Nice post - I would say this team is showing some serious improvement over last years. These games are F-U-N to watch, even if they don't always pull the tight ones out. I think this is a good 3-3 team that needs their DBs to spend extra time after practice catching balls and get Haynesworth out on the field. It's nice to see the SKINS competitive again.

Posted by: biffandchet | October 18, 2010 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Look, we are 0-5 except for some gimme ref calls and some fluke injuries to major starters to opponents. Colts even missing Bracket at MLB and playing a rookie held us to chuck and duck and Torrainwreck looks like my aunt Mildred running wide. we will end up 5-11 again at best as teams get McChicken dialed in and fat cooley keeps tripping over his feet. and get rid on the Barney Fran fan club uni's cause they are putrid.

Posted by: doyouktt | October 18, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Yes and they are also 5-1 if Heyer doesn't have that holding penalty in the last 2 minutes of the Texans game and Francisco does not make INT, as the ball was nearly in Galloway's hands for an 80 yard TD to win it last night.

Picking nits might be fun, but it does not make you winless nor does it put you in the playoffs.

Parcells was right when he said you are what you are.

Posted by: NosferatusCoffin | October 18, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Based on my intense film study over the years, I've discovered that for the past several seasons NFL quarterbacks have thrown the ball to the Carlos Rogers' receiver even when he's well covered, knowing that the receiver will either make a great catch or the pass will be incomplete. NFL quarterbacks know that, no matter how poor the toss, the risk of Rogers intercepting the pass is somewhere around infinitesimal.

Posted by: ShovelPlease | October 18, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

You'll never have to change the worst hands one... you can put that in every "best and worst."

it'd always be Carlos "hands of stone" Rogers.

Posted by: rachel216 | October 18, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"This might not be the greatest way to measure a defense, and the NFL should find a better ranking system, but this is not good."

Here is a blog post about a more logical way to rank defenses:

http://dneckel.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-defensive-rankings.html

Posted by: klofton798 | October 18, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Completely disagree regarding your assessment of the running game. You actually make the argument for why this team needs Portis. Torain, "bless his heart" is a change of pace running back, not one that needs to be taking the bulk of the carries.

His performance last night was against one of the worst run defenses in the nfl -- against the Packers, the running game was non-existent.

Posted by: bekessler | October 18, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Forget Wade Phillips, when is Jim Haslett going to be fired?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | October 18, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of egos, let's go to Brian Mitchell for his thoughts...

Posted by: tha_prophet | October 18, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Once again Shanahan fails to put our best defensive lineman on the field. Instead he gets him a VIP pass to watch the game from the owners box. With Albert wanting to play, and Shanahan sitting him out anyway what does this tell us about this guy? McNabb? I keep hearing elite QB, Hall of Fame, he helps us win football games. Are we watching the same person? Because the McNabb I see play on Sundays isn't any of these things. I swear if he smiles one more time after missing an open target 20 yards down the field I am going to lose my mind. It isn't funny, it's not something to smile about. I hate this guy and I want him to go to the Vikings next season!

Posted by: dwilcox2 | October 18, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I knew the defence would have its hands full. But why did the Offence do so pathetically last nite?Since we had a good running game, that leaves one answer: McNabb is still struggling in this offence. His passes are not accurate and he freakin smiles every time he misses a target. If he hits Banks on that fly or the old man on the last play of the game we are in business. He needs to pick it up. Where was the sense of urgency on that last drive? That's the coach's fault.So close, so close....

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | October 18, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

I knew the defence would have its hands full. But why did the Offence do so pathetically last nite?Since we had a good running game, that leaves one answer: McNabb is still struggling in this offence. His passes are not accurate and he freakin smiles every time he misses a target. If he hits Banks on that fly or the old man on the last play of the game we are in business. He needs to pick it up. Where was the sense of urgency on that last drive? That's the coach's fault.So close, so close....

Posted by: mustang_johnny1 | October 18, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Forget Wade Phillips, when is Jim Haslett going to be fired?

Posted by: disgruntledfan | October 18, 2010 11:35 AM
===================

His Defensive scheme produced 3 turnovers and we had players in position to catch 4 interceptions and you want to fire him?

ridiculous.

Posted by: ProfessorWrightBSU | October 18, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Two things.
The worst decision was a PITCH PLAY ON THIRD AND ONE!!!! After causing a fumble and shifting momentum in our favor, on third and one give the ball to the running back with your hands and let him drive it up the gut for one yard! In a shootout, you can't give the other team a two-score lead. They did, and the game ended at that point.
Secondly, our DB's have HANDS OF STONE! Hold onto the ball and we win the game!
Frustrating loss that we should have won.

Posted by: bricksolidbrick | October 18, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

To Tristee27, yes, the Colts are horrendous tacklers. Week in, week out. That's why they have to swarm to the ball. Nobody can make a one on one tackle. And those special teams are a joke. If you are a punt returner for Indy, your only job is to catch the punt. Call a fair catch before the play even happens. It is a field position-resistant offense. Just give Peyton the ball. Washington only stayed in that game because the Colts played at a C+ level.

Posted by: cao091402 | October 18, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

The comments this week are terrible. Can anyone on this message board name another year in the last 10 years where we would have won this game? I think not, this is by far the closest this team has come to beating a premier team such as the colts. The truth is that this game could have gone either way. The bigger concern is not playing down to the lesser opponents. If we figure out how to solve that problem, we would be playoff bound.

Posted by: SkinsWins | October 18, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I thought the pants were Gold, not Yellow. Burgundy and GOLD, people!

Not Burgundy and Yellow.

Not Maroon and Black.


Burgundy and f'ing GOLD, OK?

I don't think that's too hard

(that's what she said)

Posted by: Thinker_ | October 18, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

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