OK, it's pretty bad. But given that many people are already reaching for the panic button I feel somewhat obligated to live up to my blog title.
Let's start with the defense, which was expected to be weak. However the beating they have taken in the first two losses has led many to believe we are looking at a total defensive collapse (I believe I saw the words "historically bad" somewhere on Twitter). But it's important to remember the nature of these two losses:
- The first loss was to a team that was, as I wrote, particularly well positioned to take advantage of the Redskins' personnel weaknesses, and also had the perfect opportunity to stage an ambush by rolling out a brand new offense against a weak (in my opinion) defensive coordinator.
- In the second loss, the Redskins notably and expectedly poor secondary was shredded by one of the best quarterbacks of our era. The Redskins played a rookie corner (David Amerson), a rookie safety (Baccari Rambo), a slow safety (Reed Doughty) and a dumb/self-concussed safety (Brandon Merriwether). They were practically begging Aaron Rodgers to set records.
Both these results were foreseeable - an opponent's strengths matched up against the Redskins' weakness. The only surprise was the thoroughness which the defense got clobbered. What we don't know is whether the defense will continue to look this poor against weaker opposition, or if their two worst games of the season happened to kick off the year and from here on out they will approach mediocrity (glorious, glorious mediocrity!).
On offense most of the the hysteria has been about Robert Griffin's health and performance. Here's what's wrong with the argument for benching Griffin in favor of Kirk Cousins:
- Mike Shanahan had been the conservative voice all offseason when it came to Griffin's health and ability to play. I strongly doubt he would be playing Griffin if he thought he was putting his recovery and health at greater risk.
- If the issue is more about Griffin rediscovering his fundamentals/shaking off the rust (tomayto/tomahto) in the wake of the injury then putting him on the bench merely delays his return to form. The only solution to this particular problem is to play through it.
And if that second problem is what's going on... well then there is room for cautious optimism that we will soon start seeing better results.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the Redskins aren't even in that deep a hole - the Giants are down with them at 0-2, and the Eagles and Dallas are both only at 1-1. A timely win or two and maybe, just maybe, we could be back to talking about how the Redskins are in the driver's seat in the division.
So until we know whether or not we just saw two ugly losses happen to cluster at the beginning of the season, let's back off the ledge a bit. If the Redskins drop to 0-3 against Detroit this Sunday, then we can talk again.
(Note: some Xs-and-Os style posts to follow later this week)