Kai Forbath hasn’t missed a field goal yet in his short NFL career, and that might be the only positive to take from Sunday’s 27-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Nearly every aspect of the Redskins looked lackluster at best. The pass rush couldn’t get to Ben Roethlisberger, the secondary could stop the Steelers receivers and at times it appeared RGIII wasn’t just trying to beat the Steelers but the ineptitude of his own offensive unit. Eight dropped passes is tough to overcome. Especially when the Steelers could seemingly score at will against the beleaguered Redskins defense.
The first drive of the game was a methodical dissection of the Redskins defense by Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. The Redskins could do nothing to stop the Steelers from imposing their will on them. Short pass after short pass led to big yards as the Redskins defenders insisted on lazily trying to arm tackle the Steelers strong wide receivers. Third string running back Jonathan Dwyer was able to run the ball down the throat of the Redskins gaining over 100 yards on the day, and Ben Roethlisberger ran the dink and dunk offense of the Steelers to perfection passing for three touchdowns.
The Redskins defense looked helpless, the offense looked inept, and RGIII looked like he was trying to win a football game by himself. His overall numbers of 177 yards and one touchdown on 16 completions out of 34 attempts doesn’t look impressive, but that is where the eyes and stats diverge Give him receivers that can hold onto a ball and he is suddenly 24 for 34 and who knows how many yards and if there is an extra touchdown or two in there. It still might not have been enough to overcome the Steelers offensive output, but it would have been a closer, more interesting game.
RGIII can’t do it all by himself. The Redskins have played decent at times and horrid at others. With an offense near the top of the league and a defense near the bottom the Redskins are heading for a near .500 record. If they can get to .500 it will be an improvement especially with all the injuries that have been suffered. Pierre Garcon has barely played as a Redskin, Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker are huge factors in the Redskins pass rush, and don’t forget about the impact a large pass catching tight end can have. The Redskins missed Fred Davis this week. Having him and his ability to run after the catch as a check down for RGIII is a huge component to the Redskins offense.
Winning football is on the horizon for the Washington Redskins. It is a process that began with the acquisition of RGIII and can continue this off-season. The Redskins needs have shrunk and the most important piece for a winning team is the quarterback. The Redskins have that, and believe it or not they have a lot of good complimentary pieces at other positions. The Redskins are a shutdown corner, two breathing safeties, and healthy front seven away from being a good football team. The difference between mediocre and good in the modern NFL is a small one, and the biggest step the Redskins could take towards winning they did when they acquired RGIII, but as demonstrated against the Steelers. He can’t do it all by himself.