It's too bad that the Redskins have to play a game in week 17, because this game seemed like a perfect bow to put on Jim Zorn's tenure in Washington. A horrific, grotesque bow.
Special Teams: C+
Getting shut out by the Cowboys is a tough pill to swallow, but particularly bitter when it's a home game. The Redskins' farthest drive in the game was their last, a 51-yard march that ended when Washington once again got into a bad down-and-distance situation, and couldn't convert. When you can't make big plays down the field, you have to get yourself into good situations through runs and short passes. When you can't extend drives, you have to go for home runs. When you can't do either, you're the Redskins.
I've often wondered how a team would fare if they had a great punter but little else. Turns out, they would get shut out by the Cowboys. Hunter Smith is a real asset on this team, with five of his eight punts putting Dallas inside their own 20 yard line. But field position only gets you so far, and Washington couldn't do anything with theirs.
About the only positive you can take away from this game is that it looks like the Cowboys have as little faith in Shawn Suisham as the Redskins did. Three times they elected to go for it rather than give Suisham a 47-52 yard field goal attempt. So at least one other team doesn't think much of the same kicker.
Next week pits the Redskins against the San Diego Chargers, who have absolutely nothing to play for, and who probably will be sitting half of their starters. I think Stan Humphries is slated to start at QB.
Around the League
- San Diego is playing as well as anybody in the NFL right now. If you've got money burning a hole in your pocket and you want to bet on someone to win the AFC, I think the smart money is on the Chargers.
- Hmm, the Patriots might be back. Uh oh.
- Has any team ever swung as hard as the Giants from last week's domination of the Redskins to this week's embarrassment against the Panthers?
- What the hell happened to the Saints?
- In a game with intense Mattingly fantasy football implications, the Ravens fell to the Steelers. A pair of running back fumbles were NOT appreciated.
- The Packers sure are peaking at the right time.
- I told you Cutler would be fine. Or if I didn't, I told other people, and they can attest to the fact that I said it.