Sunday, October 16, 2011
Redskins 3-2 Positives/Negatives Metasciences Week 6 Recap
[Each and almost every week, I will metaphysically testify upon the positive and negative influences on my beloved Washington Redskins team, who I've known since childhood and always felt in my heart, as seen in their on-field (via televisions) performance. As the year goes on, we shall have a metascientifical tabulation of who is the most valuable or biggest detriment to the future of this franchise, because I am a scientist.]
I still am not sure why so many people were talking about the Redskins in the same breath as playoffs before this game, or why people were shoveling dirt on the Eagles. I mean, yeah, they were 1-4, but really nobody in the NFC East has excelled towards the lead. To this point, it's like a race between gimpy cripples, so eventually somebody is going to hit a good stride for five or six weeks and get just enough ahead to win the division. I don't necessarily think the Eagles were out of that yet. Sure, in regular old school NFL, starting 1-4 is an albatross you cannot shake. But this is the New NFL, where everybody can compete, very mediocrely, every season, and nobody fills you with confidence.
As for the Redskins, this is exactly what I expected coming into this week. You could feel the Failure Demons all rested and ready to show themselves, on the grand stage of a homecoming after a bye week against a team that had popularly been seen as the worst underperformers in the NFL thus far in 2011. Nothing about this Redskins team, other than their record before today, was impressive enough to make you feel confident, if you were actually looking. The offense was impotent, and the defense - as great as it could be - did not give knockout punches and let losing teams hang in there for a final gasp effort every week.
Still though, this game was frustrating as fuck. When the major point of satisfaction for you on the day is your shitty QB being benched for some other shitty QB, then you are not quite yet in the upper echelon of the NFL as a franchise. I knew that already, and said so last week, but still... it makes you feel shitty when you get your face rubbed back and forth in it.
So now we know we are mediocre. Next week is at Carolina. Does this team prove it's actually high mediocre, and try to keep taking steps towards being good next year, or do they crumble against the lackluster Panthers and comfortably lay amongst the wretched of the turf yet again? I do not know, but I am afraid of how real this reality I feared can still become. Even with that, as I went through positives and negatives, I still came up with 4 pluses to 7 minuses. I thought it would've went much worse than that, but I guess I was psychically prepared for this that happened today. But nonetheless, here are my metascientific thoughts on today's game, as told through the tales of individual players...
FOURTH DEGREE POSITIVE: MLB LONDON FLETCHER - You know I love London Fletcher. But you know what made me be like, "That is something great that nobody else would make happen" about him today? It was when Vick got his face all muddied up, and the Eagles were surrounding him trying to help, although it also looked like he might be concussed, so Fletcher gets in the middle, as if he is checking out of concern, and starts waving to the Eagles training staff to come help him emphatically. This caused the refs to stop play and send Vick off, for Vince Young to come in long enough to throw a terrible interception in black Rex Grossman fashion. Now, I'm not entirely sure Vick wasn't concussed but the Eagles went all old school and gave him some smelling salts and sent him back up, long-term neurological consequences be damned. But still, Fletch made that happen.
THIRD DEGREE POSITIVE: S LARON LANDRY - Landry done well for himself today, and is apparently still hobbled somewhat, but he's a force. There were a couple shots he laid on people that were straight Laron shots, and one or two where he was keyed in but a teammate clogged up the path. But Laron is more than just a terminator, and has shown - both last year and in limited time this season - that he is ready to be a more complete player. I hope he doesn't get murdered trying to samurai sword felonious intruders to his home.
SECOND DEGREE POSITIVE: TE FRED DAVIS - Knock on wood, Fred seems to have shaken his fumble-itis from previous seasons, and has become the visual definition of "rumbling, stumbling" because every run after catch he has is sort of wobbly and drunken looking, yet always moving forward. And he cracked the fuck out of Asante Samuel. If there was a good QB out there in a burgundy jersey, I think Fred Davis would be like TE of the Year already.
FIRST DEGREE POSITIVE: P SAV ROCCA - Sav Rocca is great. We are back to having great, wacky punters who do well to pin other teams back to minimize the gradually deteriorating effects of an impotent offense. Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!
STAY MEDIUM DEGREE: T TRENT WILLIAMS - I know you can't fault a man for what with getting injured, but really, we are getting to the middle of our second season with Trent, and we're still just talking potential more than goods at this point. He was also a penalty machine before he got injured, with a holding and an honorable defense of Kory Lichtensteiger's honor personal foul. But man, we need that dude to be a dominant force. I mean, if we're only going to draft like three offensive linemen every nine years, they've got to deliver.
Speaking of which, man, that hurt us today, didn't it, with two injuries to starters? I feel very shaky about anything moving forward with Lichtensteiger (who has been developing well this year, plus has a solidly ominous Olde World O-lineman name) gone for the year, and Williams stifled by the dreaded and unpredictable "high ankle sprain". You could see the difference too, because the running game wasn't even there, all day long.
FIRST DEGREE NEGATIVE: OLB BRIAN ORAKPO - Similar to Williams, I'd like to see Orakpo kick it to the next level. Seems like in addition to constantly being held, offenses are learning the "push him far to the outside barely impeded so that he runs himself out of the play entirely" trick. Maybe it's because Vick and Shady McCoy were fast as fuck, but a lot of times it looked like Orakpo was doing wide sweeps out of position as some tiny dude in a white jersey dashed forward today.
SECOND DEGREE NEGATIVE: QB JOHN BECK - Okay, yes, the Mormon MacGruber era has begun, and not a moment too soon, as Rex Grossman was finally publicly admonished by this coaching staff for being Rex Grossman. But did you see him play? A lot of throws at the knees, like a cheaper Donovan McNabb, and a couple of lofts that seemed lucky weren't gobbled up by defenders, and shaky football protection during QB rushes, and just generally looking uncomfortable and not-so-good back there. Granted, it's still better than Grossman, because at least we don't have a long and storied body of evidence as to how John Beck sucks. But the Mormon MacGruber is not the answer to any question about this team I've had thus far this year. Which brings me to my next point to the negative...
THIRD DEGREE NEGATIVE: HEAD COACH MIKE SHANAHAN - How the fuck do you sit pat with Rex Grossman and John Beck, and actually say you've evaluated them and feel good about it? I mean, come the fuck on. I'll continue to give Mike Shanahan credit, even if I never liked him before he came to Washington, because he is considered smart and all, and I'd like to see him get at least three years to actually build something instead of this constant dismantling of the barely-mantled that is a Dan Snyder trademark. I think they call that impetuousness. Shanahan has made some good strides in this offseason, and I think if one was to stick with what I've said all along and that you don't expect playoffs this year, you hope for improvement, another solid offseason like this one, and then next year we think about contending for the playoffs, that's doable. I will give Shanahan credit and keep holding him to that, but damn man, the QB pantry is looking pretty fucking bare.
FOURTH DEGREE NEGATIVE: CB DEANGELO HALL - I want to like DeAngelo Hall, I really do. But every week he gives you a couple of big plays where he grabs for an INT that ends up being a big reception for the other team, or he slips, or he is outright beaten on a big pass play, or something. Sure, he makes a good play or two here or there that'll hit the highlight reel and you think, "Well, DeAngelo Hall ain't that bad." But he actually is that bad. He's certainly not a good #1 cornerback, and it seems to me I see Josh Wilson chasing dust storms down the sideline less often than I see #23 doing so. So going into this next offseason, where we should be drafting good again and not just signing free agents, we can agree that I've pointed out thus far we need offensive linemen, a QB, and a good top CB. Before I even start thinking about the receiving corps, let's just admit this team is most likely more than one more good draft away from being near a completely competitive team, so perhaps giving Mike Shanahan one more year ain't gonna be enough.
FIFTH DEGREE NEGATIVE: QB REX GROSSMAN - I tried to get hyped up for Gunslinger Eyes, but in the end, he let me down, like I knew he would. The Redskins offense this year has been impotent, like an actual impotent penis, but used the trickeries of darkness and occasionally satisfying cunninlingus skills, plus the usual array of Dan Snyder PR team scented candles, to create a weakly orgasmic mood, where dudes who are actual friends of mine were like, "Yeah man, we're 3-1. This is awesome." But then today the lights got cut on, the offense's jaw got sore, and you realized our gunslinger was just a little dick flopping around in a loose condom. This was bound to end in dissatisfaction.
SIXTH DEGREE NEGATIVE: OC KYLE SHANAHAN - Okay, here is what went through my mind today and made me very uneasy about this whole Shanahan era in Washington. I have always stood by the "give him three years" mantra for Coach Mike. But his son Kyle, the alleged offensive mastermind, was part of the deal as well. It is very obvious that Kyle Shanahan is not an offensive mastermind. Regardless of his lack of ingredients (of which he's had two years to help shop for, including hand-picking Rex Grossman to be his clipboard holder last year, because he "knows the offense"), young Kyle should be able to show something by this point. I mean, maybe the math answer is wrong, but he should be able to pull out a dry erase and show his work and a few appropriate clips and we go like, "Yeah, I can see that. Maybe he's onto something." But nothing. Absolutely nothing, in two years. We are still a shitty, ineffective, and inconsistent offense, that hopes a quick slant by Santana Moss will get us 30 points a game.
So if this team crashes and burns this year, and shows no offensive progress, you would have to think that young Kyle must be held accountable for this. The Sex Cannon was his boy. This was his offense, that vaulted the Houston Texans into historical successes (hahaha). So once it ends up being shit at the end of the year, which I imagine it's going to be, he has to be thrown under the bus. But can old man Mike do that to his boy? And if not, does that mean Mike resigns? Or Dan Snyder dumps the pair of them for like a 3-D hologram of Vince Lombardi created in Hollywood? Are we right back to starting over again in 2012? Will we ever make progress? Will Dan Snyder outlive me? I quit drinking a year ago, but how will the reckless degenerate lifestyle from my teens to about the age of 35 or so shave down my lifespan? Can the American economy continue to crumble in a way that at least makes Snyder sell the team? Am I willing to be homeless and destitute so long as one of the newspapers I cuddle under over a Metro grate makes mention of Snyder filing bankruptcy and selling the Washington Redskins?
I don't fucking know. But realizing how terrible and unaccountable Kyle Shanahan has seem thus far sent me spiraling down this terrible stream of thought. And for as realistic and grounded as I've tried to be about this team this year, it made me scared for the future. And no matter how I've tried to talk others down from stupid talk about playoffs and Grossman being good, I was feeling hopeful for the most part we were going in a better direction. Until today.
SEVENTH DEGREE NEGATIVE: OWNER DAN SNYDER - And all of that is because of this man. If I think about it too hard, I can envision him asking for the resignations of Shanahan & Son, and signing some dumbass free agents, hiring Jon Gruden to coach the team, and all sorts of other stupid Dan Snyder nonsense to continue to ruin my Sunday life. It sucks having spent your whole life becoming emotionally invested in a football team only to have it crushed into nothing by a little wealthy weasel of a human being.
ACCUMULATED INFLUENCES UPON THIS FRANCHISE 2011, BEST TO WORST: MLB London Fletcher (+16), TE Fred Davis (+15), OLB Brian Orakpo (+14), OLB Ryan Kerrigan (+14), S Laron Landry (+9), NT Chris Neild (+8), WR Santana Moss (+7), RB Ryan Torain (+6), TE Chris Cooley (+5), RB Roy Helu (+5), LB Rocky McIntosh (+5), P Sav Rocca (+4), KR/PR Brandon Banks (+4), DC Jim Haslet (+3), WR Anthony Armstrong (+2), CB Josh Wilson (+1), DE Adam Carriker (+1), RB Tim Hightower (even), T Trent Williams (-1), color commentator Sam Huff (-1), QB John Beck (-2), K Graham Gano (-2), S Reed Doughty (-2), HC Mike Shanahan (-3), QB Rex Grossman (-6), T Jammal Brown (-7), CB DeAngelo Hall (-10), OC Kyle Shanahan (-13), and owner Dan Snyder (-18).