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Posted at 4:06 PM ET, 12/12/2010

Redskins-Buccaneers, Best and Worst

By Dan Steinberg

(By Ricky Carioti - TWP)

Best and worst from the Redskins' 17-16, eye-gougingly awful loss to the Buccaneers.

Worst Everything: If you sit through the rain, the cold, the slop, the mistakes, the missed field goals, the blown lead, and you're finally rewarded with a fourth-down last-minute touchdown, you can't hike the extra-point snap to Milwaukee. That's just not fair. What is that? What was that?

Worst Special Teams: Two missed field goals, a fumbled kickoff, a holding on a kickoff return, a punt fielded inside the 5, and a botched extra point. Vomit.

Worst Confusion: Maybe I'm slow, but between, the stadium scoreboard, the press-box announcer, the chain gang, and a lot of reporters, there were sure a lot of people who didn't know what down it was inside the final 30 seconds.

Worst Disappearance: Chris Cooley had zero catches -- and, I think, zero targets -- until the Redskins' final drive. He still had more receiving yards up until that point than Fred Davis.

Worst Crowd: Cold, rainy, miserable. Sure, but that didn't stop the Redskins cheerleaders from showing up in their Naughty Santa outfits. There were a lot of empties at the start of the game, and appeared to be even more after halftime, though maybe everyone was hiding in the bathroom stalls. The announced attendance was 66,124, which the AP said was the lowest at FedEx Field since 2002. It was also the fourth-smallest crowd in stadium history. People were loud, though, and they started chants organically and the rest. And I can't really fault anyone for staying away. Small is small, though.

Best Press Box Innovation: Sushi, spring rolls, orzo with wild mushrooms and a carving station in the FedEx Field press box? Really? We're like one step away from the craft beer refrigerator that haunts my dreams. Thanks, Redskins.

Worst Missed Call: Holding. Brian Orakpo. Now and forever.

Worst Game Management: Maybe after you call a timeout you don't need to take the delay-of-game call that pushes you back from the 2 to 7. I mean, just for variety I guess it's ok to try that move, but I just don't think it's a high-probability option. Andy Reid was surely proud, though.

Best Challenge: Mike Shanahan has just the oddest ways of deploying that red challenge flag, doesn't he? Just kind of plops it on the ground. The results of Sunday's challenge -- on that weird pass to Santana Moss -- were poor, but the style was excellent.

Worst Start: The Redskins began the game in typical fashion, with a false start call against Will Montgomery. It wouldn't be the Redskins offense without a first-play head-scratcher. I prefer the false start to the quarterback trip, personally.

Best Run: On the next play, which was technically the team's first offensive play, Ryan Torain ran for 54 yards, the team's longest run of the season. Before the quarter was over, Torain had passed 100 yards, making him the first Skins back to reach 100 since Torain, before he was hurt. He was also the first Redskins running back in at least 20 years to top 100 in less than a quarter. And his 121 first-quarter yards were the most gained by any NFL back in the first quarter this season. And on and on and on. Seems the Gravy Torain is back to spitting warm, fatty liquids again.

Worst Block By a Running Back: That one where Torain didn't block that one guy on the other team and he jumped on top of McNabb.

Best Response to Mid-Week Radio Criticism: Brian Mitchell to Phillip Daniels: "I would advise you to just go play better football." Daniels responded with his second sack of the season.

Worst Start (Second-Half Edition): Kickoff fumbling makes my gall bladder vibrate. Is there a world record for special-teams gaffes in one season? Someone make a list of this year's miseries. Also, the Redskins offense began the second half with a trio of three-and-outs.

Worst Kick: Well, we'll call it the worst "operation," to use the term special teams mavens prefer. Not sure if it was the hold or the snap or the leg-snapping action itself, but Graham Gano's 34-yard attempt in the first quarter doinked left. His next attempt skipped the doink. Seems to me you want to maximize your points when you have the ball inside the 20. Also seems to me that green tea is almost a better cold-rainy weather drink than coffee. Those were Gano's ninth and 10th misses of the season, giving him for the NFL lead.

Worst Future Job Prospects: If I were Gano and I were thinking about buying in Leesburg, I'd temporarily postpone plans.

Best Job of Falling onto a Ball Miraculously Fumbled Into the End Zone: London Fletcher.

Worst Hands: In a ridiculous upset, it's DeAngelo Hall! First time ever! I wouldn't be this surprised if "How Do You Know" wins an Oscar for most hilariously clever comedy. Hall's first quarter dropped pick likely would have been six points; he responded by pounding his helmet with his fist repeatedly in agony. Honorable mention to London Fletcher.

Best Punch Out: Hall cleverly declined to tackle LeGarrette Blount in the second quarter, instead choosing to let Blount inch past him before catching up and slamming the ball out. When Phillip Buchanon then failed to recover the ball, Hall did that, too. This man doesn't miss a turnover twice.

Worst Playcall: I'm torn here. Do I give the prize to the Buccaneers for passing on two consecutive 3rd-and-1s against a defense that has been gashed by the run in recent weeks? Or do I give it to the Redskins for calling run right on 3rd-and-goal from the 12? Co-champs!

Best Playcall: I hated the Redskins going for it on 4th-and-goal from the 1.39-yard line, or wherever it was. You can't make that call based on Gano's awfulness, because he'll still make 99 percent from that distance, and failure there would be devastating. All that said, the pass play to Logan Paulsen was purty.

Worst Realization: There's virtually no chance I can write a post about Albert Haynesworth this week. The Haynesworth traffic machine has spit its final bullet.

Worst Jinx: As the Redskins were driving, I wrote this on Twitter:

If the Redskins score here and Gano misses the extra point, I'll bet people would be mad at him.


Best Betting Outcome: You know who that final sequence was good for? People who had the Redskins +1.5 or +2. If they don't score there, the Redskins lose by 7. If they score and make the extra point, it's going to overtime and who knows what happens. The ideal result for the Redskins bettor is a touchdown and a missed extra point. So at least someone was happy.

By Dan Steinberg  | December 12, 2010; 4:06 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Here's Brian Orakpo being held, again


Dan were you drunk when you wrote:
"Seems the Gravy Torain is back to spitting warm, fatty liquids again."?

Posted by: AWiseManOnceSaid | December 12, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The Fox announcers not being able to keep track of what down it was during the final drive rates a spot on this list. If you believe them, Washington scored on fifth down at the end of the game.

Posted by: c5karl | December 12, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

I just keep telling myself, "I don't care anymore. I don't care anymore."

Posted by: justmike | December 12, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

the final touchdown was 5th down. we replayed it and the officials did not change the chains after the first 2nd down. anyone who had the skins + 1.5 must be livid

Posted by: natsfan76 | December 12, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

@natsfan76: If you had the Skins +1.5 you would have won, since they lost by 1.

The Skins did not get 5 downs. What Fox was calling "2nd and one" was actually first and goal. The previous play was deemed a first down by the officials.

Posted by: smshadowman | December 12, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

@Steinz: The fox announcers similarly foreshadowed the botched PAT. After scoring the field goal, one said something like, "This game's not over yet, remember Gano already missed 2 short field goals."

Posted by: smshadowman | December 12, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

@Steinz: The fox announcers similarly foreshadowed the botched PAT. After scoring the final TD, one said something like, "This game's not over yet, remember Gano already missed 2 short field goals."

Posted by: smshadowman | December 12, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

ya can't make this stuff up

Posted by: funkey | December 12, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

from Mr. Steinberg:

If I were Gano and I were thinking about buying in Leesburg, I'd temporarily postpone plans.

Maybe, maybe not.

When you place the misses he made today against the clutch kick made against Green Bay, for example, I'd say he'll remain a redskin.

He has had the most field goal (10+) misses of any kicker in the NFL, but when an offense can't get the ball into the end zone like ours can't, I'd say his failures are minimal by comparison.

Our overall special teams play was bad today.

Maybe special teams coach Danny Smith is the guy who'll be looking for a new place to live: remember, a dumb special teams play cost us that game, too.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 12, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse


I told myself this would be the last year i let them break my heart, that I would just stop watching. I can't think of a worse loss from this team.

The father needs to fire the son, the play calling is one-dimensional tunnel vision. And the father should also learn how to call a time out

Posted by: jgziegler | December 12, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

It's time to admit McNabb has been no good this year. Low throws, terrible decisions, just painful to watch. Meanwhile, JC had ANOTHER outstanding game. Hmmmm....Also time for Steinberg to eat a big old bowl of crow. C'mon, just be a man and admit you were dead wrong.

Posted by: dbunkr | December 12, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins definitely had five downs. They started at the 12 and gained nine yards. The subsequent plays were run from the 3 yard line (not the 2). It was a mistake by the chain gang. If the Redskins got the first down, they would have been running plays from the two yard line, not the three.

Posted by: bperk420 | December 12, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

The refereeing was terrible but for both teams. Pete Morelli is the worst ref in football, but the league protects him for some reason. Overall refereeing has taken a nosedive this year.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 12, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

can all of the hillbillies and hood rats that support this dumpster of a team please shaaaaddddduppp.. they stink and have not won crap in forver. why do we act surprised when bums don't win? keep cress-dressing and wearing those barney frank pig snouts, keep buying snyders luke warm cocoa for $6 a cup, keep wearing the jerseys that change names year after year because no one who comes here and sees what it is, puts out 10% effort. it is a joke, they can't beat Howard.

Posted by: doyouktt | December 12, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

If there were 66,000-plus fans out there most of them must have come disguised as empty seats. Credit those who did suffer the miserable conditions (not the luxury box folks) for making plenty of noise.
Better double check those smallest crowd figures too. Navy-Air Force games in late 1990's and early 2000's only drew around 35,000 or so at best.

Posted by: martynchase | December 12, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

If there were 66,000-plus fans out there most of them must have come disguised as empty seats. Credit those who did suffer the miserable conditions (not the luxury box folks) for making plenty of noise.
Better double check those smallest crowd figures too. Navy-Air Force games in late 1990's and early 2000's only drew around 35,000 or so at best.

Posted by: martynchase | December 12, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

No Fifth Down
There was confusion during the Redskins’ final drive when both down markers on the field and the television graphic had the wrong down.

On a first-and-10 play from the Buccaneers 12, McNabb threw to Armstrong. The initial gain was posted as 9 yards. In reality, it was a 10-yard gain and a first down.

Posted by: wootens | December 12, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Please. The worst missed call was giving the 'Skins 5 downs to score. The botched extra point was fitting.

Posted by: kmdobrz | December 12, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Read the play-by-play. The skins did not get 5 downs.
First down started at the 12 and was a 10 yard pass to the TB2, for another First down.

Then after a time-out, 4 plays followed.

Posted by: smshadowman | December 12, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The 400 section looked pretty empty on TV and the lower bowl was sparse as well. I bet that 35-40K is a lot closer to the number fans who actually went through the turnstiles.

Posted by: AlligatorArms | December 12, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Really only one "Best" in this game - Ryan Torain. Maybe half a Best to the OL for opening some holes.

Worst 2-minute drill: End of the first half play calling and clock management. Go ahead, Shanny - throw yourself and Kyle under the bus for not being prepared.

Posted by: pyrotech | December 13, 2010 12:12 AM | Report abuse

I could be wrong, but I think it was Doughty: On the Bucs' final TD drive, on the TD pass that sailed over Rocky McIntosh, a Redskin comes racing up to hit the receiver.. and then "slips" (re: avoids contact), letting Winslow waltz into the end zone. Doughty has been bothering me for weeks, and I thought he needed to be gone before this (numerous blocks in the back, bad tackling, coverage etc he just sucks). But anyone have a good replay that can confirm it was him on this particular play?

Posted by: rfjh1 | December 13, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

@rfjh1- It was Doughty.

Posted by: AtDawnTheySleep | December 13, 2010 4:45 AM | Report abuse

The play-by-play is one thing, but it's not video evidence. You can't get a first down going from the 12 to the 3.

Posted by: kmdobrz | December 13, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

If you have been paying attention to the Vegas line for Redskin's games, it's uncanny how accurate they have been all season. Makes one wonder...

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | December 13, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: ShovelPlease | December 13, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

football gods had to intervene after the Skins scored on 5th down

Posted by: coparker5 | December 13, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

WHat's the best prospect for improvement? Go to the core of 12 years of ripping off the fans financially and disappointing to dismal performance on the field: Daniel Snyder. Wouldn't it be great if he would accept responsibility and do the honorable thing: sell the team? Since he hasn't done it on his own, force him to do so: Fire Dan Snyder. When you fire someone, you no longer pay them. So: Don't buy tickets. Enlist others in so firing Dan Snyder. As income drops, empty seats increase, and the value of the franchise drops, Snyder will be forced to do what he should have done on his own: Sell the team. The new owner, seeing the power of the fans, will proceed rationally and responsibly to restore the Skins to their proper place in the NFL.

Posted by: jimb | December 13, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

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