Believe it or not there are positives from yesterday’s Redskins 21-13 loss to the Panthers, and they are the same positives the Redskins have had all season. RGIII wasn’t dynamic and didn’t make much of a difference in this one, but that is hard to do when you are on a team that has so many receivers they trust to catch the ball they have resorted to lining up four in the backfield. It is hard to play quarterback when your number one receiver has spent most of the season injured and was recently joined by pass catching tight end Fred Davis. RGIII had a disappointing game, but look at what that is for RGIII.
No touchdowns and no interceptions with 215 yards on 23 of 39 attempts. That is still a 59% completion percentage, and 60% is considered the benchmark for a good quarterback. A down game for RGIII is a good game for all of the quarterbacks the Redskins have had since Brad Johnson left town. Alfred Morris ran for 76 yards on 13 attempts which is good for an average of 5.8 yards an attempt. That isn’t just good. That is otherworldly. The most pleasant surprise this season for Redskins fans has been Alfred Morris.
Aside from those two the rest of the Redskins were downright bad. This was the most un-watchable Redskins game I have ever watched, and if you have watched the Redskins over the past two decades that is saying something. This one was painful. The Redskins came in as the favorites and could do nothing against the 1-6 Panthers. Cam Newton didn’t have a great game throwing one touchdown and zero interceptions on 13 completions out of 23 attempts for 201 yards and added 37 on the ground on 8 rushes.
The real problem with the Redskins is their secondary. They have zero players that would be starting on a playoff caliber secondary. Josh Wilson could be a nickle cornerback for a good team, but he is the only one that would even make the squad. The Redskins bigger issue in the secondary is that they have no safeties. None of these are problems that can’t be fixed through good scouting for the later rounds of the draft and free agency. The one thing to keep in mind about the Redskins is that despite the record they have a quarterback and a number one running back which is more than they had last season and a huge step in the right direction.
Speaking of steps in the right direction Mike Shanahan made a giant step of putting his foot in his mouth in his post-game press conference. He said what many of us watching already know, but it is something a coach should never say. He is right that this season was never about winning or losing, but evaluating talent, but that is a quick and easy way for a coach to lose the locker room and then his job. Shanahan hasn’t been a good coach for the Redskins and their lack of discipline in getting penalties and inability to stop the big play come from the top. The Redskins are not a good team nor were they expected to be, but Mike Shanahan is not handling the team well and is in danger of no longer being the Redskins coach in 2013 and getting to see where RGIII can take the Redskins when he has talent around him.