It's taken me over a day, but I am no longer in the fetal position gently rocking myself and I think I'm ready to talk about what happened yesterday. I had about 30 seconds of confidence as we recovered a fumble on the opening play and then immediately capitalized for a score. But of course Chris Samuels got hurt on that touchdown play, and the offense was all downhill from there. And despite the Redskins poor play, the loss was made all the more torturous because we may have eked out yet another ugly win if not for the flukiest of all fluke plays.
Only one game is left in the so-called "easy" part of the schedule, and the Redskins are 2-3. And as we all know, those two wins could have been easily been losses based on a couple of bounces of the ball.
The masthead of this blog says it is opposed to irrational despair following a loss. Note that rational despair is still fully bounds. I think we're there.
Yesterday it was at least reasonable to hope that the Redskins offense was underperforming its true level and there could be an outside chance it could turn it around. Instead, the Panthers loss had a feeling of conclusiveness. The receivers can't get open (whether through lack of ability or failed play calling is not clear), the line cannot protect the quarterback or open holes in the run game. These have been problems for some time now, but it finally is decided that this is who the Redskins are and there's no adjustment that can patch these flaws. Not only that, they are likely to get worse still.
The worst case scenario on the offensive line has come to pass - according to WaPo next week we're looking at this starting lineup:
LT Stephon Heyer
LG Derrick Dockery
C Casey Rabach
RG Will Montgomery/Chad Rinehart
RT Mike Williams
I would not blame Jason Campbell for calling in sick next week. And for the record, neither Jay Cutler nor Mark Sanchez would survive behind this line either. And even if they did the receivers wouldn't be open or Devin Thomas would drop their perfectly placed passes down the sideline.
Chris Samuels' injury, initially described as a stinger, now apparently has something to do with Stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spine, which sounds both chronic and really damn scary. I'm not a doctor and don't pretend to understand Stenosis. But any time I start hearing about tingling in a narrowed spine, I figure its pretty serious.
So the question cannot be avoided: if we're 2-2 against terrible teams (not counting the Giants, obviously), and the two wins were by the skin of our teeth, and the offense is likely to get worse instead of better, what's going to happen againg the NFC East, Atlanta, Denver, New Orleans, and San Diego? Is the hope now to eke out at least six wins so we can be merely a bad team, rather than laughable?
I still see nothing at all to be gained from a head coaching change mid-season, but clearly the chances of Zorn being brought back next year are exceedingly slim, barring some sort of miraculous comeback which at this stage just doesn't look like a reasonable hope.
I will be diving into the TiVo right after posting this, so maybe I will emerge from the game review more level-headed, as is often the case. There is an outside chance the first half review will go up tonight, but at the latest it should be up Tuesday.