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Skins Lose, Go into Bye Week at 6-3

We talked a lot on the blog this week about the need to protect the passer above all else against this particular defense, and, well, that was the ballgame. Dick LeBeau abused Jim Zorn on this night, and the Redskins got worked. This offensive line needs more help in pass pro, especially with Chris Samuels on a bad knee, and Zorn spread the field a lot and never got going calling plays.

He had no answer for the pass rush, which dominated all four quarters. The Eagles, Giants and Ravens, who employ a similar philosophy, will be taking notes off this one, and Zorn's ability to adjust to teams the second time around will be a major factor in the second half. They're lucky Campbell didn't leave this one with an injury.

By Jason La Canfora  |  November 3, 2008; 11:41 PM ET
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Next: Tuesday Morning H-Back


What should be the Redskins' biggest concern over the final seven games?

Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya | November 3, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

FIRST bad game, scorewise.

Posted by: Alan4 | November 3, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

The game was rigged from the start. Are the Redskins purportedly defeating themselves so they can let Obama win the election? Say it ain't so, Joe!

Posted by: robund | November 3, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

A bad looking loss, but actually the games against AFC teams are the 4 least important games on our schedule. Much more concerned about FedEx in the middle of a 6-2 season.
Season ticket holders, if you were there tonight and had a Steelers fan next to you, give the owner of that seat hell next time you see them. Don't let them live it down. Point out to everyone in the section that they sold out the Skins. Make it extremely unpleasant for them to attend a game until they realize that they gave away home field advantage and are sure to never do it again. Aren't people in DC who are skins fans dying to get tickets? Isn't DC ( and 'burbs) known as a big money town and Pittsburgh known as a "blue-collar" town where wages and C.O.L. are low. It makes no sense, but it sure is pathetic.

Posted by: junkiwonteverread | November 3, 2008 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit:

I'm happy for Byron Leftwich. Being a DC boy and facing adversity in the NFL......

Posted by: 4thFloor | November 3, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

This season the Skins have only lost twice, to the giants and to the stealers. Rams game was given to them. These are the only two games that we did not look good on offense.

Going to be a long two weeks, even if it is only 13 days.

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 3, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

Anvil hands Rogers is killing me! I'm not saying we would have won the game, but I think dropping the pick was a turning point.

Posted by: bonzo74 | November 3, 2008 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Biggest concern: none of the above. My biggest concern is anemic offense and especially the miserable passing game. We need some serious upgrading at wide receiver. Big time.

Posted by: gringoinmiami | November 3, 2008 11:59 PM | Report abuse

gringo, I think that Zorn needs to game plan for devin thomas. I have not seen thrash is several weeks. Get DT involved and Kelly if he is healthy after the bye.

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 4, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Can you believe Kornheiser? Quite a turn around since his days of the "bandwagon." Not much a backbone in a guy that turns against his home town like that. Benedict Tony?

Posted by: mldoxey | November 4, 2008 12:01 AM | Report abuse

My take on this game and the last three is that Zorn has played safe. His play calling is cautious. Playing not to lose. We need to grab teams by the throat and not be afraid of turnovers.

Still, we are in position to make a run and 7 games is plenty to change things up in the NFL.

Posted by: Curzon417 | November 4, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse


Tony Kornheiser is PAINFULL to listen too- absolutley sucks. Worse than Dennis Miller.

Jon Jansen cannot pass block.

Fred Smoot is a major weakness- Shawn Springs suck it up and return.

The number of Pittsburgh fans at teh stadium (all nfc teams for that matter) is ridiculous. Stadium might hold 90,000 but it's always a 60-40 split for big games.

Posted by: yellow_jacket98 | November 4, 2008 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Curzon, apparently Zorn hasn't game planned for Thomas because Thomas is taking a way long time to learn the offense. And you're dreaming if you think that Kelly is going to produce this season. I just hope he doesn't end up being a total bust.

Posted by: gringoinmiami | November 4, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

WOW!!! What a buzz kill!!! Does anyone know why Moss was held out?? The MNF crew said it was "not injury related."

Posted by: GLFLVER3 | November 4, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Blog should be back up!

Posted by: CindyBoren | November 4, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

That bunch of junkyard dogs known as the Steeler defense really gave that WCO an old fashioned butt kicking tonight. Even with the game won and the Skins trying for a cosmetic score the Steeler defense wasn't having any of it. Carlos Rogers wasn't bad tonight but I wonder if the man ever catches a cold. I swear the man couldn't catch a cold in a Siberian ice storm. IMO two plays turned that game around; Carlos' muffed pick six and that blocked punt after which the Steelers never looked back. Now we have to face Dallas in a must win game for both teams and being honest, I don't think the Boys are dead yet. Stay tuned folks and let's send JC something for body aches. He needs it after tonight.

Posted by: renaw9 | November 4, 2008 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Skins played two great teams and got banged up and humiliated both times. They're not a bad team, but nowhere near ready to play with the big boys. Receivers, aside from Moss, are a non factor. Randal El is overpaid and ineffective. Offensive line is too slow against fast young players. If they're lucky, they are looking at 8-8. Not enough talent on this team.

Posted by: Almazar80 | November 4, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

I was so pumped for this game and I'm sickened.
-Steelers D is good, but we haven't had a good offensive output in weeks. That's a concern.
-Zorn didn't seem to make any adjustments when offense didn't move in the first half and his decisions at the end were questionable.
-Jansen simply can't pass block and the whole O-Line was bad.
-Even when Campbell had time, he wasn't sharp.
-We again get no returns from ARE and Rock.
-Fletcher, Carter, Evans, Rogers (aside from that drop) played well.
-The defense was good until they wore down realizing they weren't going to get help from the offense.
-Portis can't run loose if there's no threat of downfield passes and we went downfield once or twice I think.
-Settling for FG's continues and sucks.
-Offense didn't show any emotion.
-This was an embarrassing show to put on MNF at home.
-After the bye, it's Dallas at home on national t.v. They'd better get it going or it's going to be another blow and after tonight, I am concerned. Dallas will be hungry. Will we?
-On a positive note, if the season ended today, we'd still get that last wild card spot.
But this game just felt weird, contrived. Like this is how it had to be so Obama can win. Just felt lifeless after the first quarter. The Steeler fans there seemed louder than us. That's embarrassing.

Posted by: austin987654 | November 4, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Also, I agree: Kornheiser has no place in that booth. All he does is try too hard to be witty and ask Jaws football questions because he doesn't know. It's hard to listen to. Jaworski knows his stuff though.

Posted by: austin987654 | November 4, 2008 1:53 AM | Report abuse

This is no time to panic.

The Redskins looked lousy Monday night, and it was frustrating. But Campbell was bound to throw an interception (or two), and Zorn's offense was bound to get taken to school (especially by an elite defensive team like Pittsburgh). Those things happen over the course of a 16-game season.

The blocked punt, however, was unacceptable.

But if the great Redskin in the sky had come down before the season and offered me a 6-3 start, I'd have taken it in a heartbeat. I don't think I'm alone.

The week off couldn't come at a better time. The guys need to rest and heal.

We're in the think of the playoff chase, people. Enjoy it. The real test starts Nov. 16, when the Cowboys come to town. They'll be mad, with both barrels blazing. We've got to win that game. Win that one, and we're on our way.

Let's turn the page on the loss to Pittsburgh and keep our priorities in order.

One thing to remember about the Steelers: They defeated the Cowboys in Super Bowls X and XIII. As a third-generation Redskins fan, I appreciate that.

Posted by: gaspeny | November 4, 2008 2:03 AM | Report abuse

OK, we got our butts kicked by a very good team.

1. Rogers dropped pick was, like others have pointed out, a game changer. If nothing else, the game would have been much closer

2. The red zone defense was poor. We made some good plays but managed to gave them back each time. They converted from 2nd and 21 at one point, meaning they'd been pushed outside the red zone and still got a TD on that drive. In the red zone, they got 3 TDs and 1 FG.

3. Too much blitzing. Their WRs didn't get much separation on our cover guys. A 4 person rush, while giving a bit more time to their QB, would have meant tougher throws.

4. This game gives us a glimpse of the limits of our WRs, especially our 3rd WR combo of Thrash and Thomas. When Moss wasn't out there, Campbell simply had no chance.

5. Our punt team continues to be a problem.

6. Our o-line really struggled, but the blitz pickups by the TE and RB weren't very good either

7. We rarely used RBs are receivers prior to this game. Maybe we should do more it against teams that play strong at the line

8. We got beat by a better team

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 4, 2008 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Portis entered the game with 77 receiving yards in the first 8 games and had 78 vs Pitt

Cornelius Griffin is in a 3 way tie for second on the team -- with 1 INT.

Jason Taylor's pass rush (from prior years) would have made a significant impact on this game

Some people commented on this blog prior to the game, saying in effect, the Skins were sounding like a team a little too anxious to get to the break. I'm thinking the folks who said that were onto something

Posted by: zcezcest1 | November 4, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

Campbell appeared tight and did not play well... his throws were off especially early.

I called for a Carlos Pic 6...and was within the back half of a football of getting one. Dude, you GOT to catch the Rock!!

Jansen was over matched and overwhelmed in pass protection. Again.

Kareem Moore punt protection... gotta block the guy on the inside.

Now we see what kind of team we have. They got their asses its time to shrug it off... sleep for a week ...and get back truckin' on. Romo and the girls defense are gonna get pounded. Mark my words.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | November 4, 2008 2:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey, at least we got whupped by a hometown boy. Wilbon wrote a nice article about Leftwich, we should have drafted him. And yeah, Kornheiser got wierd. The Bandwagon will get fitted for new tires after we crush the cowpukes!
Darn, just Darn

Posted by: ILikeSonny | November 4, 2008 6:13 AM | Report abuse

I would like to point out that when Heyer is in we throw better, hell with Heyer in an Samuels out we threw for 300. We should have started SH over JJ, to help the passing game.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 4, 2008 6:28 AM | Report abuse

has anyone ever thought of getting rogers some better gloves?

Posted by: alex35332 | November 4, 2008 6:32 AM | Report abuse

A disappointing loss for sure.

To me the difference was Byron. The Steelers had no offense except Big Ben's 3rd and 12 strike to Hines Ward affter the blocked kick. He hurts his shoulder in on the qb sneak and suddenly Leftwich gives the team some offense. Looked like Todd Collins.

Plenty of woulda, coulda, shouldas beside the Rogers drop. What about Mac missing the sack on the 50yard throw? Or either of Clinton's big plays? The last guy has to make the tackle and he does. The pass to Moss on 1st and 10.

JC was off before the avalanche. Both pathetic offense-games came on night games. Is the big stage too much or was it just fatigue?

Posted by: bangkokben | November 4, 2008 6:42 AM | Report abuse

beep beep
time to go to every starbucks on the way coffee if you voted (and you don't have to prove it, which is good since I voted two weeks ago).

Posted by: CindyBoren | November 4, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Redskins were home last night?
Yes, they were . . . Geez was it terrible towel giveaway night at Fed Ex?
The crowd appeared to be about 50-50.

Posted by: CharmCity1 | November 4, 2008 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Plain and to the point the Skins were out coached,the Steelers assistants did a better job of game planning then Jim Zorn's staff Dick LeBeau(def.cord.) had Zorn's number from the opening series Danny Smith was asleep at the wheel last night if anything the Skins should have been the team with punt block, Mitch Berger was kicking on two bad hamstrings and the Steelers had a new snapper(their regular snapper was injured against the Giants)and with the game being a defensive struggle someone should have suggested the Skins go for the punt block as a momentumn changer but the Steelers beat them to it.This game should go down as a learning experience for Zorn who still has a lot to learn about being a head coach in this league leave no stone unturned,they are 6-3 better than most people thought so they need to go 5-2 or better to get a good seed in the playoffs.

Posted by: dargregmag | November 4, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Redskins good won-loss record has hidden a fundamental flaw: the offense has insufficient passing power. Moss and Cooley are not enough. They need a second and even third wide-receiver threat. They are not getting the ball to Randle El, Thrash or Thomas. Campbell isn't throwing to these guys, and not sure if it's because they're not getting open or Campbell is not looking for them (for whatever reason). But unless they have another passing threat to keep defenses honest, it's going to be hard to ride Moss, Cooley and Portis. They can run it all day on the Lions of the world, but when you get to the top defenses, you've got to be more multidimensional. We need to at least TRY to involve one of the other receivers in the game, just to keep defenses slightly off balance.

Posted by: jdsp2000 | November 4, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

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