As some of you know, I take part in the Football Outsiders game-charting project. I have been assigned the Redskins game this week, which means once FO gets me the play by play template I will be re-watching the game on my TiVo and tracking details. I have found that re-watching the game in slow motion leads you to notice alot of details that would otherwise be missed, so I won't be doing a full, in-depth game review until I've charted the game, which realisitically won't be until late Wednesday or Thursday. This will probably be a rather standard timeline throughout the season. After all, the point of this particular blog is not immediate reactions, which you can find plenty of on the internet, but relatively measured evaluation.
However, reaction to this win seems to be so violently negative that I want to lay down some quick thoughts now, with the caveat that these are all subject to revision when I see the game again in slow motion (and I was at the game Sunday, and truthfully the stadium is great for getting into the atmoshpere and intensity of gameday but pretty lousy for having a detailed grasp of what is happening).
- The Redskins won the game. Just thought I'd mention that part.
- The redzone failures are worrisome, to be sure. But redzone performance also, but nature, involves a very limited sample of plays. I wasn't thrilled with the gimick play giving Portis a chance at a touchdown pass, but one point I want to make before I totally blame the play-calling: Within those very few plays were two dropped passes (one by Devin Thomas and one by Mike Sellers) that would have been sure touchdowns. Zorn called the plays that got the ball into those guys' hands with a chance to score. If they had made those catches I don't think Zorn would be under such heavy fire right now.
- Of course even if those two touchdowns had happened, we would still be looking at a 17 point performance against a weak defense. That would be less than we should probably get, and we'd be still be talking about how the offense should be more conistent, but it wouldn't be nearly the atmosphere of disgust and despair that seems to be permeating the Redskins fanbase today.
- The Rams may be a bad NFL team, but they're still in the NFL. Seriously, they get paid and everything, and it's quite possible the Rams players may not have wanted the Redskins to beat them by 40 points and actually put some planning and effort into preventing that.
One of the Hogs Haven writers summed it up better than I probably could:
"So, frustrating? Yes. Time to panic and boo your own team? Hell no. There is no such thing as a must-embarass game in the NFL. We aren't playing to impress for the coaches poll. This was a must-win game. And we won."