As some of you know, my "theme" on ES this year is that I'm holding Shanny accountable in terms of wins and losses this year. My expectations/goals are pretty modest... 7 to 9 wins and clear development in key spots. I won't pass final judgement on the season until its over of course, but I will update where I think we are along the way.
Through five games, I am content with what I see AND the results. Not thrilled, not doing cartwheels, but content. I think our 2-3 record and how we've attained it are acceptable at this point. I marked Tampa as a must win for several reasons and they got it done.
I think it's natural in an emotional game like football to try and cast blame after every loss. And sure, technically, someone is always at fault. But I am process driven. I liked the process the Redskins followed yesterday and it left me with no anger or frustration after our loss:
The defense was great--- executed the plan as best as they could. Atlanta had ZERO points with 2:00 left in the half AND the defense scored a TD. If I told Atlanta would be scoreless at the 2:00 warning and Kerrigan would have a TD, 100% of fans would have jumped for joy and probably assumed we had a 14-17 point lead.
But the offense was unable to help the defense.
So am I mad at the offense?
Not really. I liked the plan. They clearly wanted to try and control the clock. Morris was running well and the staff made obvious calls in an effort to protect RG3... Lots of quick passes that didn't even leave him th option to scramble. I would say that I think Kyle probably went a tad too conservative and probably should have given RG3 a few more chances, but again, I really don't have a problem with the gameplan... It just didn't quite come together. Drops killed us. Davis, Garçon, and Moss all had key drops that stalled drives and put our D back out on the field.
The one man I am mad at is Cundiff. That miss was killer. Not only did it cost us 3 points, but it shifrs momentum. No guarantee Atlanta scores that TD after a kickoff.
The defense continued to hold firm in the second half... Then, the huge sequence when RG3 got hurt. And that play is 100% on RG3 himself. Just a really dumb decision considering he had nowhere to go. Bad move on his part and it hurt his team and put Cousins in a tough spot.
Am I mad Rex wasn't in?
No, the future is now. Cousins earned the job in preseason. He made some nice throws including the TD to Moss. People act as if Rex never threw an INT on a final drive....
The defense is getting way too hammered by fans. Absurdly so. Our offense went three and out, Moss TD, three and out, after RG3 went down. Ran 9 total plays. The D was gassed. Jones made a great play on the TD catch and then the D did stop them and force a long FG attempt... Which of course they made.
After the last three and out, the D had nothing left. The Falcons final TD drive was pretty easy, but up to that point the D made them work all day long for everything they got.
No way to know this, but my gut tells me we win if RG3 stays in the game. Not a fact by any means, but put a gun to my head and that's what I would say.
The plan was sound yesterday.... Execution at times a bit off, but I was pleased with just about everything we did outside of Cundiff and the drops. Atlanta made som really tough/clutch plays in the 4th.
It was as "good" as a loss gets.
Now, next week, I won't be so forgiving. The Vikings game is a must win for me just like Tampa... I will likely be forced to change my tune if RG3 doesn't play, but assuming he does, we need to win that game... No excuses. Catching Vikings at a great time.
Through five games, I am just fine with where we are.