Redskins-Buccaneers, Best and Worst
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 NFL.com, 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.
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