Redskins Report – Week 10 – Frozen Out in Minnesota

Posted: November 13, 2013 in Football

This is a season of hopes dashed, tempted, and dashed again. Just when things seem like they are getting back on track, the bottom falls out and the weaknesses of the team are brought back to the forefront.

PHOTO_1_RedskinsEnter the game against the Vikings…At a record of 1-7, it was assumed that Washington would have its best shot to recover from the early season sloth and stay in the hunt in the NFC East. Instead, Washington played the first half like champs and followed that up with a second half that all but eliminated the hopes of making the playoffs. Although the NFC East will likely only get 1 team in, the Redskins are still not necessarily out of the hunt but definitely not in a good position.

The first half looked like the expectations the team had to start the season. The preseason had the team starting off hot but falling flat for the first few games of the season. When we have won games, it has been against teams that had lost something (a QB or a defensive player). While the previous games had touchdowns in the first half being a tough commodity, RGIII passed for 3 over the first two quarters (Garcon, Reed, and Paulsen). The offense was 8 of 9 on 3rd downs, including 2 of the touchdowns. Meanwhile, the defense maintained a 10-point lead going into the half.

Then the bottom fell out…After scoring a field goal on the first drive of the 3rd quarter, Washington’s offense stopped playing. The Redskins ran two 3 and out drives and had only 4 converted first downs compared to Minnesota’s 8. Ponder even went down and left the offense in the hands of Cassel. Minnesota was allowed to score 20 unanswered points. Minnesota appeared to travel up and down the field with much more ease as the Washington defense began to give up the yards and struggle against Ponder’s do-no-wrong play on Thursday night.

Positives

  • sp-skins1108_0151383879432RGIII looked much more confident throughout the first half, but something changed in the second. If he can play like the first half throughout the entire game, the Redskins will be in a much better position.
  • The run game was solid. Alfred Morris ran for 139 yards, with another 44 from RGIII.
  • While the special teams have struggled, Niles Paul seems to be a more consistent return guy than the previous tries.

Negatives

  • The defense is inconsistent again. Played well in the first half and collapsed in the second. Left the running lanes for Peterson to exploit.
  • The play-calling is a real problem. The run game was abandoned during parts of the second half, even when they had the lead.

Around the rest of the league…

  • The Falcons are in some real trouble as their offense has stalled and looks nothing like last season. The Seahawks handled them comfortably, 33-10.
  • The Lions and Bears faced off in a divisional slug match but Stafford and Megatron were able to outpace Cutler and Marshall, 21-19.
  • Without Rodgers, the Packers are not the same team and are in real trouble of falling out of the race in the NFC North. Foles looked great with 3 TDs in the win.
  • tates-career-dayAfter Locker left the game, Fitzpatrick tried to fight off the upset to the Jaguars but fell short and gave Jacksonville their first win of the season.
  • Luck ran out in Indy as Clemens outplayed the Indy sensation and stormed to a 38-8 Rams victory.
  • The Giants seem like they are the Redskins this year after pulling off their 3rd straight win over the Raiders.
  • Levon Bell might be the breakout player of the Steelers, helping them overtake the Bills for a 23-10 victory.
  • The Ravens learned when to play the tip drill and when to let the ball go to the ground. Luckily, it did not prevent their chance to take a win from the Bengals and put the pressure back in the AFC North.
  • The Panthers defense may be the best of the NFL, making the 49ers look unprepared to defend their home turf.
  • Keenum looked solid again for the Texans, but the Cardinals were able to defend their home field and get above .500.
  • The Broncos continue to take care of business behind Manning’s 4 TDs and take down the Chargers before facing the perfect Chiefs. Watch Manning’s ankles though.
  • The Saints pull of a record 40 first downs in a demolition of the Cowboys, 49-17.
  • Getting their first win of the season against the Dolphins, the Bucs may have found a decent running replacement for Martin after Rainey and Leonard replaced the injured Mike James.
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