Most of the talk from yesterday’s 31-28 lose to the Rams will focus on the Josh Morgan penalty that cost the Redskins a chance to tie the game with a late field goal, but more of the talk should be on the coaching staff. Mike Shanahan has not done a good job since he has become coach of the Redskins. The roster has been nothing special, but yesterday is a great example of how coaching can lose games.
After the Josh Morgan penalty that pushed the Redskins out of field goal range the Redskins tried a field goal. At that point in time there were just under 2:00 minutes left and RGIII had led the Redskins into field goal range before the penalty to begin with. The question is why try a play with a close to 0% chance of working instead of going for it on fourth and sixteen. With an offensive weapon like RGIII that is a higher percentage play than trying for a 62 yard field goal.
There should also be questions this morning on why the Redskins were unable to adjust to the Redskins passing attack or why for the second week in a row a blocked punt happened or why the players are undisciplined enough in the first place to get unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. It isn’t all Mike Shanahan’s fault. Ever since Dan Snyder has been owner it has been clear that the players run the Redskins, and it has bred a culture of unruliness. Mike Shanahan has tried to fix this, but it is starting to become clear that he will not be the coach when RGIII is developed and the Redskins are once again ready to win. There has to be a question if that is the case then should he even remain the coach now.
As far as the game went it got off to a good start with Perry Riley stripping Danny Amendola and Josh Wilson running it in for the early touchdown. The Redskins would then hold the Rams to a field goal on their second drive of the game and it was then time for RGIII to take the field. Griffin looked good in this game passing for 206 yards on 29 attempts with 20 completions and a touchdown with one interception. Griffin also ran for 82 yards on 11 attempts and two touchdowns. It was his second straight impressive performance in a row, but it got off to a bit of a slow start as the Redskins weren’t able to get much going on their first drive.
That first drive did give a preview of what was to come. Whenever Jo-Lonn Dunbar made the tackle on Griffin he made certain to lay on him a little longer than normal and a couple times gave him a shot to the back of the head. The replacement refs treated this as normal and didn’t through a flag or approach the player in anyway. These types of actions would continue all day and the replacements refs were unable to control the action. It was even worse than that though as they turned missed calls against the Rams into make-up non-calls.
In the fourth quarter Fred Davis leaped to catch an RGIII pass and while in the air and defenseless a Rams defender nearly took his head off. There was no penalty called on the play. Likely to make up for the phantom hit out of bounds on RGIII in the first quarters. The refs inability to control the players in this game could have gotten someone hurt. Perhaps Josh Morgan thought he could get away with his display of unsportsmanlike conduct due to the hit or miss nature of the refs in calling it, but they didn’t miss that call, and in part because of that and because of poor coaching the Redskins lost.