Special Teams: D
It would be fair to wonder how much the coaching/front office situation might have distracted the players this week. The hiring of Bruce Allen has led everyone in town to believe that Jim Zorn is 100% finished as the Redskins' head coach, and they're all probably correct. So it's not unreasonable to think that the resignation of Vinny Cerrato and the addition of Allen might've caused some players to lose focus.
But the cause for this awful performance was beyond just a lack of focus. The offensive line prevented the 'Skins from getting any sort of momentum, though I'm willing to attribute some of that to the Giants' elite front four. But outside of a 20-yard scamper by Marcus Mason, the running game was stifled. Jason Campbell wasn't ineffective at quarterback, but he was sacked five times and threw two interceptions, so it's not like the passing game offered much more.
When you give up 45 points, though, blame has to be directed at the defense. Eli Manning is generally overrated, in my book, but the Washington defense was all too happy to let him have open looks all night. You know I'm not crazy about passer rating as a statistic, but when you get up to 144.4, that's sort of beyond the "reasonable doubt" zone.
Ways to improve? I don't know. I feel like you just want to get through the end of the season without costing yourself anything for next season, injury-wise. So I'd limit the snaps of guys like Fred Davis, Devin Thomas, and honestly, Quinton Ganther. The young fella can play, and perhaps most importantly, he seems to have a nose for the end zone that nobody's had in this town since Terry Allen.
Around the League
- Despite the Colts' victory, Jack Del Rio finally forced Maurice Jones-Drew down the throat of his opponents, and the result was a competitive game against the best team in football. Maybe continue to employ your best player, Jackie boy?
- Can we finally put to rest the idea that Tony Romo turns to a pumpkin after December 1st?
- Jerome Harrison and Joshua Cribbs shredded the Chiefs like tissue paper. Like red and yellow tissue paper. Am I the only one who's not surprised that Mike Holmgren agreed to come to town after that showing?
- While the Bengals couldn't pull off a victory, they played a fantastic game against the Chargers. Chris Henry would've been proud.
- Was JaMarcus Russell the problem the whole time? Suddenly the Raiders are a tough spot on the schedule. The Raiders.
- It might just be me, but the way that the Ravens are playing, I'd hate to get matched up against them in the first round.
- I think the Golden Gophers and Vikings must've gotten on the wrong planes, because Minnesota looked like a college team against the Panthers.