Monday, November 24, 2008

Redskins Report Card: Week 12 vs. Seattle Seahawks

Redskins 20, Seahawks 17

Another week, another agonizing game for Redskins fans. I mean, the Steeler game sucked, but at least I could go to bed. I didn't, but I could've.

Offense: B

The 'Skins had good yardage and lots of first downs, getting back to what helped them rattle off four straight wins earlier this season. Clinton Portis carried 29 times for 143 yards, and Jason Campbell had generally another mistake-free day. The passing game wasn't fearsome, but it hasn't been all season, and it got enough done to seal the deal. Additionally, one of the most important offensive plays was a pass interference call against Seattle that resulted in a crucial first down on an eventual touchdown drive.

The Seahawks' defense wasn't exactly stout, but they had good pressure from linebacker blitzes, and it seemed like their defensive backs made a lot of plays on the ball. I'm glad that Washington was able to power through it, but Jason Campbell looked a little frazzled after some of the hits he took. He's still got to work on his poise and composure, but he's obviously a good passer, and I still like where this team could be offensively in two years.

Defense: B+

The secondary played great, getting two important interceptions and sacking Matt Hasselbeck twice. It's plainly clear to see how much of an impact Shawn Springs has on this defense when he's available. Jason Taylor is still a disappointment, but if Springs can stay healthy, I like this group of corners and safeties as much as any in football. The defense did get gashed by Maurice Morris for 7.4 yards a carry, and the Seahawks as a whole averaged 7.0 yards per rushing attempt. Yikes. Nobody tell the Giants, maybe they'll forget to run the ball.

Special Teams: C+

Shaun Suisham missed a very reasonable 43-yard field goal, which didn't end up costing the Redskins, but is the kind of kick you want your kicker to make. Plackemeier's punts weren't as good as they've been in the past few weeks, and as I've said all along, field position is very important to this team. That may be as much of a reason as any that this game came down to the wire.

Speaking of the importance of field position, I'm happy that they put Moss back there for another punt return, even though it only went for 4 yards. It also seems like Randle El has responded to Moss being rotated in on punt returns, picking up 14 yards on his only punt return on Sunday. Cartwright once again was solid on the kickoff returns, but really, wouldn't it be nice to have one of those explosive guys who could take it to the house on any play? If the Redskins are going to make a free agent splash sometime soon, I'd like it to be for someone like Devin Hester or Roscoe Parrish, because I really think one of those guys could've given Washington one or two more wins already.

Overall: B-

It was a hard fought battle against a scrappy team with very little to play for. I worry about how the 'Skins are going to fare against the likes of the Giants and Ravens over the next two weeks, specifically the Giants with their dominant ground game. I could see Eli getting less than 15 pass attempts next week and the Giants winning handily, or Eli getting 40 passing attempts and it being a close game. Either way, I'm not counting on a win here. As long as they can come out the other side of the game without losing anyone to injury, I'd feel alright.

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