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Posted at 10:53 AM ET, 01/ 3/2011

Redskins-Giants, best and worst

By Dan Steinberg

(By John McDonnell - TWP)

Best and worst from the Redskins' season-ending 17-14 loss to the Giants.

Best Sporting Event of the Weekend: Well, it wasn't this game. I know at least two non-media members who went pretty much directly from Pittsburgh to FedEx Field -- thanks for the ride, Jenn and Kenny! -- and more power to them. But I couldn't do it. On Saturday night, I went to a sporting event that was thrilling and memorable and touching, the kind of thing you'll flash back to again and again. I just wasn't ready to follow that up with a three-point Redskins home loss. In fact, I only watched the game in bits and pieces, and I didn't feel sorry for what I missed.

Worst Stretch: Since the midway point of the 2008 season, the Redskins have won 12 games and lost 28. That's a winning percentage of .300 over two-and-a-half seasons. From 1987 through 1991 -- five full seasons -- the Redskins lost a total of 27 regular-season games.

Worst Stretch, Part II: Over the last two seasons, the Redskins are 12 games under .500. Over the past 40 years, that's the franchise's fifth-worst back-to-back seasons: 60-61 (19 games below .500), 93-94 (18 games below .500), 94-95 (14 games below .500), 61-62 (13 games below .500).

Worst Stretch, Part III: The AP's Joseph White reports that this is the first time the Redskins have ever finished in last place three years in a row.

Worst Home-Field Advantage: The Redskins finished 2-6 at home. That's their worst home record since going winless at home in 1994.

Worst Place Kicking: Graham Gano ended the season with 11 field-goal misses. He made 69 percent of his kicks, which ranked 38th in the NFL. The 11 missed kicks were the most by a Redskin since Chip Lohmiller missed 12 in 1993.

Worst Quarterbacking: Rex Grossman and Donovan McNabb combined to throw 19 interceptions and lose five fumbles this season. That's a combined 24 quarterback turnovers. Last year, the Redskins only had 18 quarterback turnovers, plus one on a fake field goal pass. In 2008, they had seven. In 2007, they had 21. In 2006, they had 11. So the Jason Campbell Redskins never had as many quarterback turnovers as this outfit.

Worst Defense: The Redskins yielded 6,228 yards this season. That's more than 1,100 yards more than last season, and more than 1,600 yards more than in 2008. It's also the most yards the Redskins have ever allowed in one season.

Worst Heartbreak: The Examiner's John Keim reported that the Redskins tied an NFL record with nine games decided by three points or less. They're the seventh team to reach that mark. The Redskins went 4-5 in those games. They went 1-3 in their final four games, with a total point differential of -4 in that span.

Worst Heartbreak, Part II: The Redskins went 3-2 against teams that qualified for the playoffs, including 2-0 on the road. They went 3-8 against teams that missed the playoffs.

Worst Hard Truth: "You know, their fans were all cheering and what not," Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield said after the game, via SB Nation DC. "That shows you the state of their team, that they were cheering about us failing. That's when you have no success, those are the kind of things that excite you."

Worst Prediction: After the draft, DeAngelo Hall told a crowd of Redskins fans that he expected 11 or 12 wins this season.

"It's based on the talent we feel like we've got," he said then. "It's based on the improvements I feel like we've made. It's based on the scheme. The scheme alone is gonna give us four or five more wins. The games we lost by two, three points, we'll win those games, easy. We'll dominate our division, off of bringing Donovan McNabb in here, a guy who's dominated the division in the past. So that's just an educated guess. That's an educated guess, and I stand behind. I'll stand behind that. I'll fight and claw to try to make that happen."

Worst Marketing Campaign: "The Future Is Now."

Worst Crowd Shot: The TV broadcast had boatloads, especially late, but I'll chose the one you see above. That was taken with about four minutes left in the first quarter, so there really wasn't any sort of excuse. But hey, what can I say? I didn't go, either.

Best Parts of This Season: Brandon Banks. Anthony Armstrong. Beating the Cowboys. McNabb's post-game speech in Philadelphia. DeAngelo Hall's four interception game. The fact that it's over.

By Dan Steinberg  | January 3, 2011; 10:53 AM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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Next: Who had the worst week in Washington sports?


I can't wait until all the Redskins fans get all excited about Ryan Mallett. It's going to be great.

Posted by: Aerowaz | January 3, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

That's a lot of worsts and not too many bests. I'll be watching the Caps for the next few months. Hopefully that will take my mind off this languishing team.

Posted by: kjhealey | January 3, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Steindude: Please lie to me next time and tell me you watched the game. Reading an article from a sports journalist (and enjoying it) when the writer doesn't give enough of a $hi+ to watch the game is just plain sad. Extend to your readers the dignity/courtesy of either watching the game or staying silent on the point. Bits n' peices are not enough.

Notice I'm not mentioning how pathetic WaPo is for allowing you to do what you did. That a major paper permits its sportswriters to do this is pretty shameful.

But it's becoming classic WaPo. I feel sad for the ole' hometown rag.

Posted by: ktp70 | January 3, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

A good cook makes do with what they have, not try to make their specialties with the wrong ingredients.

A good poker player wins with the cards they are dealt, not by having the best cards.

You don't need to be the first webpage to do something, you just need to do what everyone else is doing better.

Three years from now, if my-way Mike hasn't produced a playoff team, we can look at this season as a clear indication that he was the wrong guy to rebuild a team. You rebuild by blowing the whole thing up and starting from scratch. Even if the Caps haven't been successful in the post-season, they are at least entertaining (and they are making proper adjustments for playoff hockey this season). They have TONS of young talent and have wisely invested in role-veterans.

A guy who makes the conference championship game 5 times is good enough to lead an offense. Adjust to him as he learns.

Even if he is a bum, use fat Albert to his potential. Play him every down at nose tackle until he starts playing.

The one good thing about this season is that fans will be very skeptical at the start of next season. In order to break our hearts again, they will have to win several games at the start, and then fall apart.

Are the Saints an appropriate bandwagon to jump on as a Skins fan? We need another team to root for...

Posted by: salparadise661 | January 3, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that someone who admittedly only watched the game "in bits and pieces" can offer so much in the way of opinion. And, contrary to his opinion that there was no excuse for not showing up; how about the change in game time from 1PM to 4PM? I did not go for that reason (nor did my wife, son and grandson)so there are 4 seats right there.

Stienberg, not a true football fan anyway, is, as usual, short on meaningful data and long on finding obscure facts to support his disdain for the 'Skins. He probably thinks he is "objective" but he is just another Redskins basher.

Posted by: jimbrooks99 | January 3, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Why are you covering the Redskins if you don't want to watch the game? You are insulting every one of your readers. Is your goal in life really just to be a negative, snarky, complaining whiner?

The season was a two game improvement from last year, and we easily could have been .500 if not for terrible accuracy from the field goal kicker. Shanahan inherited a team with very little talent and did an absolutely tremendous job of finding unwanted players who made positive contributions (Brandon Banks, Armstrong, Ryan Torrain, etc). I can't remember the last time a Redskins coach found so much talent that didn't even have an NFL roster to call his own.

No doubt, he made some mistakes and it was not a good season. But you should not be writing about the team for the Washington Post if you cannot be bothered to watch the games.

What an idiot... I feel like I was just trolled.

Posted by: scottsdale | January 3, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

To those who are bashing Dan...If you read the article, he doesnt mention much of the game yesterday but just sad facts of the Redskins season. So what if he didnt watch the whole game. As a life long Redskins fan, Im actually happy that another miserable season is over. Dont bash Dan because he didnt want to be depressed after such a thrilling Caps victory

Posted by: dank32 | January 3, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, I don't think I'm really "covering" the Redskins for the Washington Post. We have three full-time reporters who do that. I'm writing blog posts about the team, and this one used a lot of season-long stats. I don't think there was any opinion at all about Sunday's game.

And look, it wasn't just that I didn't want to lose a Winter Classic high. I spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day in Pittsburgh, and sorta wanted to see my family yesterday. I was following the game online, while trying to play with my daughter. I don't think that's the worst thing in the world, considering the nature of my job.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | January 3, 2011 12:45 PM | Report abuse

No complaints here with regard to the blog post - it is not intended to be full coverage of the Redskins (or any other team). Everything Dan said is pretty much spot on as far as the season goes and it was a nice summary and confirmation of what we have been watching over the past decade. Personally, I rarely went to a game at FedEx when there was a 4pm start, but that was before Snyder took my season tickets after 30 years because I had the audacity to get sick in 2008 and sell them at face value on eBay.

Posted by: AlligatorArms | January 3, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg, don't apologize to these idiots that can't read and comprehend. If they are too dumb to realize that you wrote about the season and not about yesterday's game, that's lifelong stupidity that you can't fix.

Big fan; keep doing what you've been doing.

Posted by: detox04 | January 3, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

That's fine Dan -- just would expect a writer that writes about the Redskins a large percentage of the time to actually watch their games. Presumably you need to see the game to have minimal credibility in discussing them. It's a pretty low standard to uphold.

Posted by: dbunkr | January 3, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

@dbunkr Before the last two weeks, I've watched every Redskins game since this blog was created. Last week I listened to the entire game on the radio. And I watched the final eight minutes yesterday.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | January 3, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse


You need to familiarize yourself with the term "blogger." This is not a game story and your complaints just make you seem stupid.

Nice post, Dan. This is not a team or organization worth wasting any more of your life on than you have to. Hope you had a fun day with the fam.

Posted by: thediesel | January 3, 2011 1:30 PM | Report abuse


Ok -- I realize you are a blogger not a beat reporter. Just would still expect that watching the final game of the Skins season would make it on your schedule. Not an indictment, just think that makes sense. I think you realize that too.

@ thediesel

And your sucking up to a "blogger" make you look beyond pathetic. Get a life you loser. Nice screen name BTW. Do you think you're J Riggins? Wannabe...

Posted by: dbunkr | January 3, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I don't need to read this post to know that it is lame and negative.

Posted by: arlingtonJAM | January 3, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Dan, to say that you've watched every Redskins game since this blog was created is only making dbunkr's point stronger. You clearly watched the games so you could make informed opinions and provide hilarious commentary after the game from your unique perspective in the press box. The product was awesome. These "Best and Worst" entries have become must read material every Monday.

I think what you're missing is that we love what you write because you present the die-hard true fan's perspective in a way that no one else does (can). The problem that I, and guys like dbunkr, have is that you clearly can't bring the same perspective without putting in the time to actually watch the games as the rest of us die-hard fans do. No, you didn't offer any insight into the Redskins-Giants game, but you did call the post "Redskins-Giants, best and worst".

And lastly, how do you film a show called "Redskins Live" if you don't watch the games? All of them. In their entirety.

Again, I'm a huge fan of the Bog... I thought your piece on Friedgen was incredible, I thought your take on your Winter Classic experience was awesome, I thought the majority of the "Best and Worst" series were hilarious and right on point, but these last two (Skins-Giants and Skins-Jags, best and worst) were a huge disappointment.

Posted by: champ82 | January 3, 2011 2:34 PM | Report abuse


Yes -- exactly. Spot on.

Posted by: dbunkr | January 3, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Aren't the Cowboys technically last in the NFC East based on a strength-of-schedule tiebreaker? Or does that only count for draft order and they remain officially tied for the purpose of division standings?

Posted by: zimbar | January 3, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

thanks for the shout-out! it was our pleasure. and for the record, no dismal performance by the redskins could touch the high we were still riding from the winter classic roadtrip... we were definitely still pumping our fists (beat that beat!) with huge grins on our faces, even as we rode the escalator down from the 400s after the loss. LET'S GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: rubyx4soho | January 3, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm an Alabama alum. I was at some memorable National Championship games, and had the privilege of meeting Coach Bryant - we got out hair cut at the same $2.50 barber shop. He NEVER blamed a player for a loss. He ALWAYS took the blame himself. The worst thing about this season is seeing Coach Shanahan blaming everyone but himself and his son. Yesterday, it was Sellers running the wrong route. Before that, it was Donovan. I think back to the grueling camp Donovan hosted in the Phoenix heat. The receivers attended voluntarily. And the WORST thing about the season is that, after failing to build on their hard work and thirst to win, Coach Shanahan says that he's going to start "telling the truth" i.e. blaming everyone but himself for failing to take proven, motivated athletes and win with them. He has no class. His public shaming of players will produce nothing but failure. I look forward to his departure.

Posted by: flynnie321 | January 4, 2011 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Steinberg -- I remember the 1960-'61 Redskins. These recent clubs are much better. The '60 club won 1, lost 9, tied 2. Their only win? Beat the 0-11-1 Dallas Cowboys. They had let QB Eddie LeBaron go to Dallas in the expansion draft. Replacement Ralph Guglielmi had 9 TP & 19 INT. His backups, M.C. Reynolds & Eagle Day, had 0 & 4. They rushed for 9 TDs & averaged 3.2 yds/att. The '61 Redskins had rookies @ coach & QB. They were 1-12-1. They tied Dallas on Nov. 19 & beat them the last game of the season. They scored the fewest points & gave up the 2nd most in the NFL (the expansion Vikings gave up more). Norm Snead completed 45.9% of his passes with 11 TP & 22 INT. His backup, George Izo, had 1 & 6. They rushed for 1072 yards (IN 14 GAMES!), 3.0 yds/att, & 9 TDs. Forget complaining about placekicker Gano: in '61 Bob Aveni attempted 28 FG, & made 5 -- 17.9%. He also missed 2 XP attempts out of 23. BTW, those Redskins were the last NFL club with no black players. In '62 they had Bobby Mitchell, Leroy Jackson, & John Nisby, were 5-7-2 & started the season 4-0-2!

Posted by: 1952dad | January 4, 2011 9:30 AM | Report abuse

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