Make no mistake about it, Sunday's Redskins loss at the St. Louis Rams surpasses the shame of last year's loss at Detroit. I know the Lions had a longer losing streak, but this was played with Mike Shanahan on the sideline and Donovan McNabb under center. That's what makes this one sting more, because there are actual expectations for this group.
We probably should have known it was going to be a long day when punter Josh Bidwell injured his right hip in the pregame. It's the same hip that kept him sidelined in 2009, and it prompted a call to Hunter "The Punter" Smith.
How costly could this loss be? Next three games: at Philadelphia, Green Bay at home and Indianapolis at home. Vegas money will be on a 1-5 start.
There are shaky starts, and there is what the Redskins did Sunday in St. Louis
You never want to give a struggling team life, but that is exactly what the Redskins did. They started the game by kicking the ball out of bounds, had two false starts, an illegal crack back block penalty, a blocked punt and a fumble that led to a touchdown, all in just the first nine minutes of the game.
Lesson for DeAngelo Hall: if you talk the talk, you better walk the walk
If you are going to ask to cover the best wide receiver and call it "your" defense, you sure as heck better show up to play BIG the next game. In other words, don't slip and let Mark Clayton run by you for a 30 yard gain on one of the biggest plays of the game.
Not that it was all Hall's fault. Safety Kareem Moore did pick off a pass, but missed a tackle on Steven Jackson's touchdown run.
Also, where was the pass rush? Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford was sacked just once, and he led a Rams offense that converted 7 of 16 third-down plays.
More piling on the defense
Lawerence Taylor, Reggie White and Warren Sapp were all difference makers. Albert Haynesworth in a Redskin uniform has not been a difference maker. No matter how many times we all say it out loud, it's just not true. He has not made the impact here that he was overpaid to make.
No matter what the scheme is, big-time players make plays when they are of the field. Big Al once again did not. He said he felt he "played alright," but that's not exactly what he was paid $100 million to do.
Running game shows life for a half ... sort of ...
Ryan Torain got almost as many carries in the first half as Larry Johnson did in his two games. Torain finished with seven carries for 46 yards (though he did get 36 on one carry), which begs the question: why didn't he make the final roster?
Clinton Portis showed some burst with a 27-yard run in the first quarter, but was tripped up suddenly on the play. Was he too concerned about covering up the ball? Was he worried about possible contact?
Either way, Portis had a great start, with 45 yards on six plays in first quarter, but then he got just one more carry the rest of the game.
Overall, the Redskins had 115 yards rushing in first half (89 on three plays) and just one yard rushing in the second half.
Is Trent Williams the LaRon Landry for the Offense?
Sure, the Skins ran the ball better than they have all season, but where was Chris Cooley most of the day? He appeared to be blocking on many occasions next to Stephon Heyer, who was at left tackle for the injuredTrent Williams. It certainly appeared to affect the passing game, which could only rely on Santana Moss. In the Red Zone, which is essentially the Cooley Zone, the Redskins were 0-3. On third down, also a time Cooley shines, the Redskins were 1-10.
This is how Trent Williams' absence can affect the Redskins in many different ways. Get well big fella, and hurry back!
Give Vinny Cerrato some credit
Despite a new front office, coaching Staff and quarterback, these looked like the same old Redskins. They showed Sunday there is still a long way to go for them to become a good football team. The team still lacks personnel on the offensive and defensive line, and they're second-rate at wide receiver, running back and in the secondary. Thanks Vinny!
More to the point: does this team have the personnel to play the 3-4 defese? It sure doesn't look like it. They have given up 380 yards, 526 yards and 365 yards, respectively in their three games this year.
The reality is this "regime" will need some time to fix the evils of years past.
Eagles don't look so silly anymore
Let me be the first to admit that I enjoyed poking fun at the Eagles and Andy Reid's expense since the the deal that sent McNabb to the Redskins went down. It especially looked bad after Kevin Kolb was benched last week.
However, you can now see what the Eagles saw as the safety net in the deal -- besides Michael Vick, of course. The Redskins clearly don't have the team around McNabb to be successful right now. McNabb surely would rather have the Eagles' weapons than the Redskins' ones as he heads back to Philly on Sunday.
Maryland fans, come on out. Plenty of good seats still available
The smallest crowd in the Ralph Friedgen era (33,254 officially, but probably less) saw the Terps beat Florida International 42-28 in what could be the beginning of the Danny O'Brien era. The Freshman quarterback went 18-27 for 250 yards and two TDs in his first career start. The Terps are now 3-1, but what can they do to get the fans to fill up Byrd Stadium?
One anecdote: Duke. The Blue Devils come to College Park next week, and you know how much the Terps fans hate the Blue Devils.