So much to say, so little time to do it..I'll try to get through as many things as I can in a quick fashion (not easy for me).
The Redskins season came to an end on Sunday as everyone knows, perhaps as quickly as the BCS Championship game ended on Monday night. Washington blew a 14-0 lead, and lost 24-14 to a better team. Period.
We can blame Mike Shanahan and the medical staff all day long, and I have voiced my concerns and thought process on this ad-nauseam. I strongly feel that Kirk Cousins should have been the Redskins quarterback at the LATEST, halftime. If it was my call, Cousins would have been in the game up 14-3, on the Redskins 4th series of the game. After the initial re-injury, Griffin III threw a touchdown pass to Logan Paulsen. You could see he did not plant and drive on the throw, but he did not have too.
The next series, Griffin was sacked by Chris Clemons on first down - a play that was wiped out due to a Brandon Browner illegal contact penalty. Griffin fumbled the ball, but the Redskins recovered. More importantly, was his inability to flow away from the rush and break the pocket. On 3rd down, Griffin was erratic on a quick throw to the right towards Logan Paulsen.
I remember saying right then and there (not after the fact) to get him out of the game to make sure he was OK and that he could do the things he needs to do to be effective. Clearly, the Redskins trusted the player and the leader, instead of making sure a football warrior was not just being what he is -- tough.
This is not a criticism of Robert Griffin III, but it will be viewed as such. Sometimes, your toughness and desire might get in the way of the reality. He is obviously not happy about any criticisms or questions about his body, but it's OK to be human. It's OK to say 'I can't do it' or 'I have to think of my health and the team in a different way.'
He should not have been left to make the decision. It was clear for everybody to see that he couldn't run, and his effectiveness in the passing game has clearly been altered since the injury, in more games than just Seattle -- and no matter what Mike Shanahan or anybody wants to say -- he was MORE AT RISK than you normally are on a football field.
***Now a off-season of afterglow, turns into the Maury Povich show minus the baby-daddy. The questions will linger no matter what Dr. James Andrews rules on the MRI and exam Tuesday in Pensacola, Florida.
The number one (OK not just one) question I have -- when does a (at least twice, likely) surgically repaired knee become arthritic or persistently sore, or continuously filled with fluid? When does the knee, which has been traumatized multiple times give out a lot easier, than a normal knee? When does Robert Griffin III's season end next year or the year after, on a freak play, that could have been avoided if he was able to spend this off-season on a strengthening program instead of a rehab program?
***Why did the Redskins abandon or move away from Alfred Morris after the first two series on Sunday. Clearly, the Seahawks were playing the run and loading up the box, because they made stopping Morris their first priority. Who wouldn't, right? It became especially more important as Griffin could not do anything to keep the Seahawks guessing. Again, this is a huge part of the reason why he should not have been in there. Morris ran for (7-41) on the first two drives, which helped paved the way for a 14-0 lead.
After that, he was (9-39) over the final 47:26 of the football game. The Seahawks dared the Redskins to run it, and the Washington offense went away from what they do best. If you have one criticism of Kyle Shanahan, it's that occasionally he tries to do too much to counter an opposing defense. The Redskins threw the ball 10 times for 71 yards combined on the first two series of Sunday's loss. Afterwards, they threw 19 times for 44 yards. YUK.
Again, with a 14-0 lead, the Redskins threw 19 passes for 44 gross yards, 2 sacks compared to 13 combined rushes (Morris, Griffin, Young, Cousins) for the entire team, and 53 total rushing yards (had 61 on first two drives, finished with 104). That's clearly not very good or doing what you do best, even if it was not working great.
***The defense was gashed on the ground to the tune of 224 yards, but it was more about bad tackling and over pursuit. Ryan Kerrigan, DeAngelo Hall, Barry Cofield, London Fletcher, Madieu Williams all come to mind as guilty parties. The Redskins were gashed by what they saw a lot of during camp, when it was closed to the fans and media. Maybe that was the problem. They don't practice against the Redskins offense during the regular season.
***Reed Doughty was simply fantastic. Even though his contested and dropped interception cost the Redskins three points, Doughty finished with 12 tackles, 2 sacks, and one pass defense. We tweeted it and talked about it in the back half of the week, that Reed Doughty was going to be a huge difference maker and he was.
Chris Russell // SFTheRoosoter@Yahoo.com // www.twitter.com/russellmania980