Last week’s Cheat Sheet ended on the note, “The Cheat Sheet will continue until morale improves.” After yesterday’s beatdown in the Meadowlands at the hands of the New York Football Giants, it looks like there is a much clearer end point for this season’s iteration of the Cheat Sheet – Week 17. Still, if your office is talking about the 5-7 Redskins this morning, you may need all the help you can get since that was pretty unwatchable. The Cheat Sheet is here to save you.
I mean, what do you even say about that game other than, “Damn, that sucked.” The 31-7 final looks just as ugly in the box score as it did on TV yesterday afternoon. Since winning in overtime in Nashville back before Thanksgiving, the ‘Skins have now posted two really poor performances en route to dropping both contests. What happened yesterday? Read on to find out your bullet points for conversation around the water cooler.
Demoralizing Defense – There is something to be said for letting a team beat you in a 24 point blowout. The problem with yesterday’s game wasn’t just the score differential – it’s how it was happening. The Giants put up four touchdowns on the ground, two scores each for Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. At least when you are being beaten through the air, usually there’s a spectacular catch or big play that causes the wider margin. The longest scoring play for the Giants yesterday was a 28-yard run from Jacobs that made the score 28-0. You are not going to catch a team from behind if they are controlling the clock and running the ball constantly down your throat.
Fumblerooski – I also guarantee the following: you will not win football games if you put the ball on the turf four times. As Christmas Ape joked over at KSK, you could count a fifth if you include Coach Shanahan mishandling the challenge flag. New York got a short field all day, and the Redskins failed to help themselves out much at all.
Wait ‘Til Next Year - While not mathematically out of it, the Redskins can probably go ahead and start planning for some January golf. At 5-7 and only 4 games to go, a highly-unlikely 9-7 record will probably see the ‘skins on the outside looking in. It’s a pretty safe gamble that the runners-up in both the NFCs North and South will be the recipients of the Wild Card spots, unless New York can continue to keep up with Philly in the East. Oh well, who wanted to go to a Super Bowl in Jerry World anyway?
Speaking of the NFC South, the Tampa Bay Bucs will be traveling to FedEx for Week 14 against whatever is left of the Washington Redskins. Arggh, mateys, the Cheat Sheet will be back in a week’s time and will commit right now to making pirate puns for the entire post.