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Redskins-Lions, Best and Worst


(By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)


Best and worst from the Redskins' 37-25 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Worst Destination: The Detroit Lions have been one of the NFL's shoddier outfits in recent years, and yet in three straight trips over three straight seasons, the Redskins have flirted with disaster. In 2008, they were largely saved by a Santana Moss punt return. In 2009, they lost in horrific fashion, breaking Detroit's 19-game losing streak. This time, they frittered away much of the season's good feelings with a dreadful fourth quarter and a 12-point loss.

Worst Decisions: I'd prefer to call them "weirdest decisions," but the format doesn't allow for that, so I'll go with worst. The early two-point conversion attempt with more than 11 minutes to go, the decision not to punt trailing by just three points with two timeouts and the two-minute warning conversion in your pocket, and oh yeah, the decision to bench your starting quarterback on the game's most important drive in favor of a dude renowned for flightiness...that was all weird. Mike Shanahan said he thought Rex Grossman gave the Skins "the best chance to win" in that two-minute situation, and repeatedly cited his knowledge of the offensive terminology. If Jim Zorn was making those decisions, this town would be in flames.

Wait, Worster Decision: And yet, worse than all of that was Donovan McNabb throwing an interception into triple coverage with the Redskins ahead in the fourth quarter. This team can win games if it limits turnovers. It can't win with junk like that.

Best Player: If Brandon Banks played any snaps on offense, I missed it, but he was still the Redskins' best offensive weapon by 100 yards. He set up the Redskins with field position that led to 17 of their points, recorded the team's first touchdown return for a touchdown in 70 games, and had another brilliant return for a touchdown called back by penalty. Plus, he's as lovable as a toddler dressed as a bumblebee. Aside from LaRon Landry's resurgence, Banks has been the single best thing about this season.

Worst Offensive Line: A week ago, I jokingly noted that the Redskins did not, in fact, have the worst offensive line when facing the Bears. This week, they did again. Seven sacks, two fourth-quarter penalties, 7,000 pressures. (Fox said it was 11 hits and 10 hurries in 36 McNabb dropbacks, and Grossman didn't fare much better.)

Best Minute: The final minute of first half was a perfect example of how the Redskins have been winning games this season: with random slop. Matthew Stafford missed a wide-open Calvin Johnson on third down. Banks put the offense in business with a 24-yard punt return. Two quick passes to Santana Moss and Ryan Torain put the Redskins in range for a long field-goal try, and Graham Gano converted. Then the Lions were booed going into their locker room, and I was convinced the Skins would win.

Worst Start: Casey Rabach stepped on McNabb's foot on the first play from scrimmage, and McNabb fell awkwardly and lost nine yards. On the next play, he missed Torain with a poorly thrown screen attempt. After another screen, the Redskins punted. McNabb would be hit on four of his first six dropbacks.

Worst Start, Part II: Does the start of the second half count as a start? Because the Redskins offense looked just as bad then with a botched and fumbled handoff, a short completion and a poor pass to a wide open Chris Cooley.

Best Streak: London Fletcher played in his 200th consecutive game. He managed to do it without any fake pre-game posturing, without limping over injuries that miraculously disappeared after good plays, without any TV analysts having to take smelling salts in order to behold his majesty, and without any stupid ads for jeans. At least he got repeated praise in Sunday's broadcast.

Worst Hands: Lions cornerback Alphonso Smith had about the easiest pick-six you could imagine late in the first half, a softly tossed McNabb ball to the flat with no one between Smith and the end zone. He botched it, and the Redskins wound up with a field goal. Had Smith caught that, a weird performance by McNabb would have been even weirder.

Best Hands: DeAngelo Hall could not possibly be on a better turnover roll. His first-quarter interception gave him six on the year, tying his career high and leading the NFL. Rick Maese reported that it's the most for any Redskin since 1999. Saying Hall has better hands than any Skins wide receiver started as a hyperbolic joke, but it might actually be true.

Worst Tackle: And yet, after a season of mostly solid tackling, Hall was victimized by a Calvin Johnson broken tackle in the second quarter, which gave the Lions a touchdown.

Best Run: With the Redskins' offense showing the liveliness of a Giant African Land Snail, McNabb came to the rescue, tying the Redskins longest rushing play of the season with a 36-yard gallop in the second quarter. That was his longest run since 2007, and it led to Washington's first touchdown.

Worst Celebration: Love LaRon Landry. Love his goofy celebrations. Hate his goofy celebrations when they come after the other team has gained a first down.

Best Strip: Phillip Buchanon's strip of Nate Burleson ended a Detroit trip into scoring position. I'm not sure if the 3-4 helps harden Buchanon's fist of fury, but man, they do have a knack for getting turnovers right now.

Worst Punting: Last week, Hunter Smith's atrocious punting numbers had an explanation: the Redskins were punting away from Devin Hester. This week, I can't think of a good excuse. Smith averaged 40.1 31 yards on 9 punts, and when he got off a long one in the second quarter, it appeared to have poor hang time, leading to a 71-yard return.

Best Run Stop: The Lions had a 3rd-and-1 late in the first quarter, and Albert Haynesworth flung some puny 300-pound offensive lineman away and swallowed Kevin Smith whole, without any condiments. Not too many 350-pound dudes can make a routine tackle on a running play up the middle look awesome.

Worst Penalty: After holding the Lions on 3rd-and-short in the third quarter, the Redskins seemed to have forced a field-goal attempt. But Phillip Daniels jumped offsides on the attempt, and with a 1st-and-goal, Detroit wound up with seven points instead of three.

Worst Penalty, Part II: And on the ensuing kickoff, a 95-yard Banks touchdown return was negated by a block-in-the-back call against Reed Doughty.

Best One-Liner: Tracee Hamilton, on Twitter: "Albert Haynesworth dressed up as a nose tackle for Halloween."

Best Offense: Washington Capitals. Ok, this isn't the right place for this, but if you stayed up to watch the second period in Calgary on Saturday night, you saw why this hockey team is winning over D.C.'s kids. I watched much of John Wall on Saturday night, and he was captivating. I've watched every Redskins game this season, and they're certainly a much more respectable team than they were in the past. They're 4-4, and have been competitive every week. But the Caps can do things on offense that are more entertaining than anything else going in this town. They can do things that just make you marvel at their talent and skill. That second period on Saturday night was one of them.

Best Bye Week: This one. I think it'll be good for McNabb to rest. I think it'll be good for the team to catch its breath. And I think it'll be good for sports-talk radio in this town to have 14 full days to chew over this one. Sports-talk radio lives on benched quarterbacks.

By Dan Steinberg  | October 31, 2010; 5:01 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Shanahan's decision to bench McNabb gets panned

Comments

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Posted by: matt1365 | October 31, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Watch all NFL Games free live streaming at http://videosvision.com

Posted by: matt1365 | October 31, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I love these post-game Best and Worst pieces. That was an incredible second period yesterday. Regarding Hall and the "broken tackle" - Hall tackles. Others hit. I think it was Landry who came in for a hit and took two Redskins out of the play. One of the many things I couldn't understand was Hall covering Johnson in the slot. Hall isn't going to win that battle? Where was the help? Those were my biggest defensive gripes since the personnel the team has is the personnel the team has. I could go on for days about the offense. I'll let sports talk radio do that for me though.

Posted by: sitruc | October 31, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I love these post-game Best and Worst pieces. That was an incredible second period yesterday. Regarding Hall and the "broken tackle" - Hall tackles. Others hit. I think it was Landry who came in for a hit and took two Redskins out of the play. One of the many things I couldn't understand was Hall covering Johnson in the slot. Hall isn't going to win that battle? Where was the help? Those were my biggest defensive gripes since the personnel the team has is the personnel the team has. I could go on for days about the offense. I'll let sports talk radio do that for me though.

Posted by: sitruc | October 31, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I love these post-game Best and Worst pieces. That was an incredible second period yesterday. Regarding Hall and the "broken tackle" - Hall tackles. Others hit. I think it was Landry who came in for a hit and took two Redskins out of the play. One of the many things I couldn't understand was Hall covering Johnson in the slot. Hall isn't going to win that battle? Where was the help? Those were my biggest defensive gripes since the personnel the team has is the personnel the team has. I could go on for days about the offense. I'll let sports talk radio do that for me though.

Posted by: sitruc | October 31, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

ultimately MC5 lost the game with that int period, but at the same you dont pull your starting qb, since 2009 only two qb's has had more game winning drives then mc5(manninng 9 brady 7 mcnabb 5 josh freeman 5). This team is mediocre at best the wr's are bad mc5 got sacked 8 times, and shanny ego is too f.u.c.k.i.n.g huge.

Posted by: fbelton | October 31, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Yikes. My bad on the multi-post.

Posted by: sitruc | October 31, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

ultimately MC5 lost the game with that int period, but at the same you dont pull your starting qb, since 2009 only two qb's has had more game winning drives then mc5(manninng 9 brady 7 mcnabb 5 josh freeman 5). This team is mediocre at best the wr's are bad mc5 got sacked 8 times, and shanny ego is too f.u.c.k.i.n.g huge...

Posted by: fbelton | October 31, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan can't coach girls youth soccer and the skins are a whisker from being 0-8 which they should be as they are Buffalo south. they stink so let's all shut it down and call it like it is. change tha racist name, get bob marley off the helmet, and scrap those crap uni's. cut all the vets and draft over 3 years and build a winner from the ground up.

Posted by: doyouktt | October 31, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I love these post-game Best and Worst pieces. That was an incredible second period yesterday. Regarding Hall and the "broken tackle" - Hall tackles. Others hit. I think it was Landry who came in for a hit and took two Redskins out of the play. One of the many things I couldn't understand was Hall covering Johnson in the slot. Hall isn't going to win that battle? Where was the help? Those were my biggest defensive gripes since the personnel the team has is the personnel the team has. I could go on for days about the offense. I'll let sports talk radio do that for me though.

Posted by: tristesse27 | October 31, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I love these post-game Best and Worst pieces. That was an incredible second period yesterday. Regarding Hall and the "broken tackle" - Hall tackles. Others hit. I think it was Landry who came in for a hit and took two Redskins out of the play. One of the many things I couldn't understand was Hall covering Johnson in the slot. Hall isn't going to win that battle? Where was the help? Those were my biggest defensive gripes since the personnel the team has is the personnel the team has. I could go on for days about the offense. I'll let sports talk radio do that for me though.

Posted by: amorris525 | October 31, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Best impersonation of a good football team by a mediocre football team: the Skins during the 1st half of the season.

The offense continues to score points for the opposition. Not a good trend.

Worst trade: D McNabb for 2 draft picks. Nobody can survive behind that O-line. D McNabb has been like fools gold. He looked shiny, but has never been able to ever get comfortable behind one of the worst O-lines in football. Oh, and his receivers don't exactly inspire fear in the opposition.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | October 31, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I love these post-game Best and Worst pieces. That was an incredible second period yesterday. Regarding Hall and the "broken tackle" - Hall tackles. Others hit. I think it was Landry who came in for a hit and took two Redskins out of the play. One of the many things I couldn't understand was Hall covering Johnson in the slot. Hall isn't going to win that battle? Where was the help? Those were my biggest defensive gripes since the personnel the team has is the personnel the team has. I could go on for days about the offense. I'll let sports talk radio do that for me though.

Posted by: don5438 | October 31, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

I love these post-game Best and Worst pieces. That was an incredible second period yesterday. Regarding Hall and the "broken tackle" - Hall tackles. Others hit. I think it was Landry who came in for a hit and took two Redskins out of the play. One of the many things I couldn't understand was Hall covering Johnson in the slot. Hall isn't going to win that battle? Where was the help? Those were my biggest defensive gripes since the personnel the team has is the personnel the team has. I could go on for days about the offense. I'll let sports talk radio do that for me though.

Posted by: sitruc | October 31, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

comment section - wtf?

"two minute conversion" - wtf?

Posted by: philarmy | October 31, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

where was orakpo? where was the pressure on stafford? This game was won and lost in the trenches, and the skins got bested on both sides. Once again, the D plays well enough to win, and the offense cannot come through. Let's not pretend like this team is anywhere close to a contender. Moss is losing a step, 4/5ths of the line is patchwork, Cooley is banged up, inconsistent pass rush, Joey Galloway? We've overachieved throughout the first half of the season, and thankfully Dallas has done the opposite. Let's see how the Philly game goes..

Posted by: John_Keats | October 31, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

taking mcnabb out the game was the worst move i've ever seen in nfl football. i dont think the redskins will ever be a good team after witnessing that. shanahan will be here for about 3-4 yrs then he'll leave and we'll have another coach to root for. then the process will repeat again and again like the distorted time loop we are already in.

Posted by: remarkable4real | October 31, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I thought that our O line had started to gel, but. NO, they trip the QB, make him feel like Jason last year and show no sense of professionalism - Oh, the "brilliant" mini-Shan failed to adjust the scheme to adjust to getting our butts whooped. AND THEN they pull the best deep threat QB in the game in the final two minutes for REX?!!?!?!?

I quit, wit6h this king of coaching incompetence, we should just mail-in the rest of our games and go for draft picks.

(BTW - great job D - best game of the year!)

Posted by: fr3dmars | October 31, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Jason Campbell threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, and Oakland's defense delivered one of its best performance in years to help the Raiders even their record at the midpoint of the season with a 33-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Posted by: gwest1 | October 31, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

All three players (Williams, Torain, & Banks) that scored touchdowns today were released at one point during the season. The Redskins traded for an eleven year veteran who they have no confidence in running the 2 minute drill(after 8 games) with the game on the line. Of the Redskins 6 draft picks only 2 of them made the original 53 man roster. The Shanahan/Allen regime is just as incompetent as the Cerrato regime.

http://tinyurl.com/38g8ef8

Posted by: pearlbullets | October 31, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

That O line is a bit too soft in my opinion.

No protection none what so ever. I just don't understand it. It has begun to be an embarrassment to even watch these guys play, because you can almost expect something WACK to take place during the course of the game.

What's up, what's going on with this team?

I know one department that needs upgrading...the whole organization (period)

Posted by: dabmeister | October 31, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Love the column Mike, but you need two more headings:

Worst of the the Worst: Kyle's OL blocking scheme (but credit Torain for some good saves).

Worse then the Worst of the Worst: Pulling the best long ball QB in the game in the final 2:00, just because he got pounded into the turf by the preceding.

Deflated game Ball award: Kyle Shanahan for his hopelessly incompetent offensive blocking scheme.

Exploded-due-to over-inflated-ego Ball Award: Mike Shanahan, for choosing a proven chump to finish the game.

Walk away Donovan - nothing here to see.

Posted by: fr3dmars | November 1, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

The most difficult offense in football to watch: Your Washington Redskins.

Teams that should most consider going for the high draft pick at this point: Your Washington Redskins, and the Cowboys of Dallas.

Posted by: josettes | November 1, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

"Plus, he's as lovable as a toddler dressed as a bumblebee"

Now thats funny.

Posted by: BacktoGlory | November 1, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

"Plus, he's as lovable as a toddler dressed as a bumblebee"

Now thats funny.

Posted by: BacktoGlory | November 1, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Will someone please tell Kyle Shanahan he isn't in Houston anymore. He has not tall talented receivers like he had there. He has no strong O line like he had there. He has no up and coming QB like he had there. He has no big time runner like he had there. He has no offense like he had there.
He has different and inadequate personnel here. If he is a offensive genious, he tailors his game plan to fit the talent (or lack thereof) that exists here.

Posted by: bbmcoachk | November 1, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Philip Daniels penalty was not a penalty. It was incorrectly called by the refs. I rewinded it and you can see the center flinching before the snap which caused the defense to go offsides. Blown call not bad play. I am tired of hearing about how Philip Daniels cost us. He didn't. The refs did on that play.

Posted by: aarseneault06 | November 1, 2010 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Philip Daniels penalty was not a penalty. It was incorrectly called by the refs. I rewinded it and you can see the center flinching before the snap which caused the defense to go offsides. Blown call not bad play. I am tired of hearing about how Philip Daniels cost us. He didn't. The refs did on that play.

Posted by: aarseneault06 | November 1, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

worst radio segment openeing - chris cooley opening on the junkies with "i can't wait for the bye week" on friday... way to overlook this team again buddy. oh and great hands too.

Posted by: MondoTE11 | November 1, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

If the Redskins organization doesn't
re-sign DM5 just prior to the nationally televisized Monday night Philly game then
all semblence of team cohesion will be lost. To show a lack of confidence in your
newly acquired All Pro QB to run a two-minute drill demonstrates poor judgment by
both Shanahans. Besides, if they felt he
couldn't run it after 8 weeks, then that's
a coaching fault. To reinstate confidence
and renew a sense of cohesion, prepare a
new contract for DM5. Hopefully, he will
accept it given that he will be facing Philly next time out. It would be a great
psychological bench mark just prior to the game.

Posted by: DeployedFan | November 1, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The offense, especially the line is a JOKE! C'mon folks, even IF we got anywhere near the post-season we'd be stomped by a truly good team.

Posted by: talabereldon | November 1, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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