It should not be surprising the Washington Redskins lost to the New York Giants on Sunday. What is surprising is how little effort they seemed to put forward in the 31-7 whipping. They were literally dead on arrival. You would have thought tackling was optional the way the Redskins' defense went about it. What's most alarming about the Redskins' poor play is that the team has regressed in the second half of the season.
To add to the frustration, the performance came against a division rival who flat out owns the Redskins. The G-Men have won five straight and nine of the last 11 games ... and unfortunately, the two teams play again this year. As Pedro Martinez might suggest, it's time to tip your cap to the Giants and call them your daddy. There will be no December run this year. Instead, it is about player evaluation as the franchise tries to rebuild and go towards relevance.
Another Albert Haynesworth Saga
Albert Haynesworth was inactive Sunday because he was too sick to practice Friday and maybe dogged it on Thursday or was late or missed a meeting, blah, blah, blah. Does it really matter anymore? Albert started this thing (skipping OTA's and whining about the 3-4 defense), but Mike Shanahan needs to finish it. It is time to cut ties as soon as possible, because despite all of Haynesworth's talent, he will never buy into Shanahan's system or the 3-4 defense, and the coach clearly is not going to change for him. They are a bad team with him and a bad team without him, so why bother? Time to cut the losses, even if it's millions of dollars worth of them.
Could the Redskins have used him Sunday? Sure, but let me make this clear, they still would have gotten run over by the Giants. Haynesworth hardly plays in running situations and they have been gashed all year with him on the field.
Phillip Daniels, who was sick all week and did practice, had this to say about the latest Haynesworth incident afterwards.
"We count on everybody and our mental attitude is to go out there with everybody we've got and when you find out that you're not going to go out there with one of our biggest guys, I think everybody starts talking about it, and it takes away from what we were trying to do," Daniels said. "But I can't call it. You've got to practice during the week to play well on Sundays. It's our job, and when you don't do the things you need to do, it just don't work out. I know he missed some practices this week, but I can't call it. All I know is, there was a lot of talk [in the locker room] about Albert before this game, and it could've been a distraction for a lot of guys."
Poor Tackling ... Actually NO Tackling
Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw may has well been running against one of those teams in the Tiny Football League with the way the Redskins attempted to tackle Sunday. The Giants' tandem racked up 200 yards and four touchdowns. Cornerback Phillip Buchannan was so bad that he got benched after a bad first half. However, the bigger is issue is the sorry play of the front seven, who got pushed off the line of scrimmage all day long.Shanahan did not bother saying he needed to wait to watch the film after the game. He summed it up succiently.
"We can't tackle that way," he said.
Donovan McNabb No Longer a Giant Killer
I have defended Donovan McNabb many times this season. I will not bother after Sunday's performance. No doubt he was the victim of poor pass protection (Stephen Heyer at left tackle ... really?) and some dropped balls again. However, he missed plenty of open wide receivers and threw an awful interception in the end zone when the game was 28-7 early in the fourth quarter. The fumble he had after a indecisive scramble was also really baffling considering he seemed to have open receiver options on the play. Overall he accounted for three of the team's six turnovers on the day. He hardly looked like the guy who owned a 10-6 record against the Giants as an Eagle.
Vinny Cerrato was Right about Devin Thomas
Devin Thomas got some revenge with three big special teams plays against the franchise that cut him. He made two big plays in coverage and also
blocked tipped a Hunter Smith punt. I know he still has done nothing as a wide receiver in the NFL, but has DeSean Jackson ever blocked a punt? Case closed!
Jared From Subway's Friend Loves Facing Redskins
Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck has been a one man wrecking crew when facing the Redskins. He has recorded a sack in six of his last seven games against the Redskins and he's forced three fumbles in that time. I'm sure he was foaming at the mouth to see Stephen Heyer at left tackle.
Let's Meet D.C.'s Newest Highest-Paid Athlete
The Nationals made quite a splash in the free agent market, locking up Jayson Werth for Albert Haynesworth type money: $126 million over seven years. Werth can hit and he can play the field, and while the price is high, at least the Nationals are trying. I have been tired of their talk of 'Wait until next year and look at our Minor League roster over the years. Did they overpay? Absolutely, but since the ownership group has not invested in the past, I'm not mad at them. I also hope Mike Rizzo is serious that this is just the beginning.
Maryland Finds Out Bowl Process Is Not Fair
Maryland probably deserved a better fate being the fourth-best team in the ACC. They deserved warm weather and a really cold goodie bag. Instead they will face the East Carolina Pirates at RFK Stadium, home of D.C. United. In today's bowl world, it is not about who earned it, but instead what sells. N.C. State, who Maryland beat on the final game of the season, is headed to Orlando because they sell out their own stadium and they travel. The Terps have not exactly been filling up their own stadium this season.
Season-ticket sales at Byrd Stadium slipped from 28,661 in 2005 to 22,804 last season, and were off substantially this season. Maryland has maintained that its fans have a reputation for traveling to postseason games.