Let’s not dwell on this one too long. It was likely the ceremonial end of Washington’s season, but the chances already weren’t good at 1-3 and now at 1-4 they are even worse. Let’s examine this loss from a couple different areas, or let’s not. There are going to be plenty of columns by smarter people than me breaking down what went wrong on special teams, offense, and defense, but mainly special teams.
For many the problem with the Redskins last season was Danny Smith. He is gone and the special teams unit isn’t much better. They allowed one big punt return for a touchdown and a kick-off return that set-up a touchdown, and could never get anything going themselves. It is hard to think of the last good or even decent Washington return man not named Brian Mitchell and he might even be able to step out of the studio and do a better job than the guys they are putting out there now, but the special team issues aren’t limited to special teams. Washington defenders suffer from an allergy to pig skin. That has to be the answer when it comes to there issue with tackling the ball carrier.
The only reason Dallas was held to 48 yards rushing on 19 attempts is that they didn’t need to run the football. Every receiver that suited up was open against a Washington secondary full of rookies and cast-offs. Part of that is the massive salary cap penalty the team took. Think back to the 2011 season and how good the front seven were and then the offense was improved for 2012 and the final step had to be the secondary, and Washington attempted to do it only through the draft, but that left them a complete lack of depth. They lost one draft pick to injury in training camp and Bacrri Rambo sat inactive this week after not playing the previous two. It was making the best of a bad situation but it left them exposed with no plan B if plan A didn’t go their way, and so far it hasn’t.
As this is a quarterback league and RGIII had moments where he looked like the RGIII of 2012 and other moments where he looked like a diminished shell that debate will continue and he will get blame heaped upon him for this loss. He had another fumble, a near fumble, and a late interception where he threw the ball in the direction of four Dallas players with no burgundy in sight. He completed less the 50% of his passes, had the costly turnovers, but it is still hard to blame just him. The offensive line couldn’t stop the Dallas pass rush or open holes for the running game, and the Washington receivers couldn’t shake the Dallas corner backs. And as Dallas defender after Dallas defender left with injury the new guy stepped in and had the game of their lives, and that might not be so much because they are good but because Washington lacks a number of pieces on offense.
As I said at the beginning let’s not dwell on this. Washington’s football season isn’t over. A team can’t be eliminated from the regular season. It has to be played all the way to its miserable and inevitable conclusion.