This list is for me but I'll share it with you. It's a list of things about the Skins' 2011 season that I want to remember when we get to free agency, draft, and beyond.
1. Rex Grossman Makes Throws But Can't Make Plays. After 13 games of Rex in 2011, my mind is made up. I like the way Rex throws the football and I love his competitiveness but I can't live with his inability to make a play when the play as-designed breaks down. His lack of mobility, lack of feel in the pocket, and overall lack of extend-the-play ability is just too limiting. Good teams in the NFL have quarterbacks who can extend plays. Teams that score touchdowns in the red zone usually have quarterbacks who can extend plays. It's Grossman's biggest limitation and it's why they shouldn't bring him back.
2. Evan Royster and Roy Helu. While neither is Chris Johnson speed-wise, they're both perfect for the Shanahan running-game scheme. As impressive as Helu was with three straight 100-yard performances in weeks 12-14, I thought Royster was the more-impressive pure runner.
3. No WR YAC. The Skins lack playmakers on offense for sure and much of that is simply that their wide outs can't turn 15-yard pass catches into 30+ yard catches. How many times did Moss, Gaffney, Stallworth, et al make a catch and either fall down or immediately get tackled. Other than QB, this team's biggest need is a playmaking offensive player. They need a WR who can score touchdowns from a distance.
4. Front 7 Impressed. The defensive front 7 was impressive all season long. The free agent additions of Cofield and Bowen were a huge net gain. Adam Carriker played well at times and the linebackers led by Fletcher and Kerrigan were solid. Orakpo can struggle at times against the run and he needs more consistency as a pass rusher but I'm still hopeful his edge speed can wreak havoc. Kerrigan's motor is non-stop and he's a natural playmaker. The emergence of Riley as the other inside LB was a nice surprise.
5. The Davis/Williams Disappointments. Here's the bottom line with this from my perspective. Both were dummies for doing what they did but the overall feeling about both of them from within is that they're not bad people. Given their talent and in particular, the investment in Williams, the Redskins have no choice but to give them a second chance. Williams is under contract which makes the decision on him easy. Davis is a UFA. I would do my best to sign him to a deal that minimizes the risk to the team but incents him to behave and peform.
6. Kory Lichtensteiger. With him, 3-1. Without him, 2-10. Lichtensteiger became late in 2010 and early in 2011 their most reliable offensive lineman.
7. 5 Blocked Field Goals. The Skins were lucky it wasn't more than five. They could've easily had 2-3 PAT's blocked. The problem was interior blocking. Each of the five blocks came from up-the-middle pressure.
8. Clock Managment. This was a problem all season long but reared it's ugliest head in the season-finallee at Philadelphia. With no timeouts and 17 seconds left, the Skins threw a pass short of the goal line, in bounds, and then tried to get the FG team on before the clock ran out. Other examples of horrible clock management included not knowing that they needed to spike the ball after a huge completion at the end of the Minnesota game and using timeouts on offense at the end of the Jet game. Additionally, they never seemed to have a true hurry-up offense. In the Jet game, it took them close to 25 seconds to get snaps off in their supposed "hurry-up".
9. 3rd and 21. If not for an all-out blitz on 3rd and 21, the Redskins would've likely started the season 4-0.
10. Rex's Return Equaled Offensive Competence. The three John Beck games (at Carolina, at Buffalo, SF) were offensive disasters. He seemed terrified and was clearly in over-his-head. When Rex came back against Miami, the Redskins were far more competitive over the final 8 games of the season.
11. Could've, Would've, Should've. A) Both Dallas games were winnable....3rd and 21 at Dallas and Gano's overtime miss at home. B) New England at home looked good until an offensive pass interference penatly was called on Santana Moss on the potential game-tying or game-winning touchdown. Remember, Shanahan indicated he would've gone for two and the win. C) Minnesota at home if not for a horrible holding call against Darrell Young on a Brandon Banks game-tying touchdown run. On the flip side, if not for a 4th and 5 TD pass from Rex to Moss the Skins wouldn't have beaten Arizona.
12. Biggest Offseason Needs. QB, WR, OL, CB, S, and a coach that knows how to manage the clock at the end of halves and games.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) It happened again Wednesday at Redskins Park. One quarterback talked about winning the starting job. The other talked about losing it.
This time it was Rex Grossman getting the special treatment, holding a news conference upstairs in the old Washington Redskins media room.
At the same time, John Beck was downstairs standing in front of his locker, dealing with another demotion.
"Well, this isn't the first rodeo that I've been through in my life," Beck said. "I've gone through adversity, or being in a situation where, for whatever reason, things just aren't working."
It's actually been a week since Beck and Grossman starting splitting first-team snaps in practice, portending the switch back from Beck to Grossman as the Redskins (3-6) search for their first victory since Oct. 2. Coach Mike Shanahan kept the change a secret until just before kickoff of the Grossman-led 20-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins, and this was the first chance to hear how Beck has dealt with the news.
"I'm always going to believe," Beck said, "because I know did everything I could. I sacrificed as much time as I possibly could to improve, to do the things to prepare me to put me in a situation to even have a chance to be the guy. ... I do believe that I can get better and that I will. I don't feel like where I'm at right now is where I'm going to be stuck at. I definitely know that I can improve, and that's my goal."
One could argue that it doesn't matter who has the job. The quarterback rating for Aaron Rodgersof the undefeated Green Bay Packers is 130.7. The rating for Beck (72.1) plus the rating for Grossman (65.3) adds up to 137.4.
Beck went 0-3 as a starter, leading one touchdown drive in his last two games. Grossman is tied for fourth in the NFL in interceptions with 11 - even though he sat out the three games after getting benched during the Oct. 16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. His return didn't do much to shake things up: The Redskins managed only three field goals against the Dolphins and have lost five straight headed into Sunday's game against the surging Dallas Cowboys.
Coach Mike Shanahan says Grossman will remain the starter for now.
"It's extremely disappointing when you get taken out," Grossman said. "But you have a month or so to reset yourself, and what your goals are, and what you need to get accomplished, and how to go about it by just sitting back and watching and thinking and going through mentally and just going back in there. I think it's good. Obviously I want to play every single week, but (it's been) getting a chance to kind of take a breather and get back in there - and re-establish how I want to go about things."
Grossman threw two picks against the Dolphins - his 5.6 interception percentage is easily the worst in the NFL - but one came when receiver Leonard Hankerson slipped. The other was a classic Grossman turnover - straight to a linebacker to ruin a promising drive deep in the opponent's territory - but on Wednesday he suggested receiver error also contributed to that one.
"You know, it's a play that not everything worked out the way it should have," he said. "And that's all I'll say about that."
While Grossman is pumped to have the job back, he has his work cut out for him. He needs to cut down the turnovers while making do with an offense constantly shuffling its lineup because of injuries.
"I'm an optimist," he said. "You never know. We have to just beat Dallas and get a victory and then everybody starts to have fun and feels better and come in here next week at 4-6. Nobody's giving up. Everybody believes that we should be a lot better than we are."
Notes: Injuries could force another offensive linemen shuffle. LG Maurice Hurt (knee) did not practice Wednesday, while Ts Jammal Brown (groin) and Sean Locklear (ankle) were limited. The Redskins could end up starting their fifth offensive line configuration in six weeks. "We're trying to decide that right now, what direction we're going to go," Shanahan said. "We have a couple of options that we're messing around with." ... LB London Fletcher (ankle), S LaRon Landry(Achilles), WR Santana Moss (hand), WR Niles Paul (toe) and LB Keyaron Fox (infection) also did not practice. Moss has already been ruled out for Sunday. ... TE Rob Myers was signed to the practice squad.
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Barry Cofield is concerned that the Washington Redskins season could get "historically ugly." One thing that sure isn't neat and pretty: the way Mike Shanahan explains his quarterback changes.
The coach who clumsily evoked "cardiovascular endurance" while benching Donovan McNabb a year ago meandered his way Monday through the surprise switch from John Beck to Rex Grossman.
Grossman started Sunday against the Miami Dolphins and - according to Shanahan - will keep the job for the upcoming game against the Dallas Cowboys as the Redskins (3-6) try to break a five-game losing streak.
"Rex is going to be our quarterback," Shanahan said. "When you go with a veteran quarterback, it's pretty easy - because usually that situation stays pretty much status quo. Unless there's an injury during the week, Rex would be the quarterback. But crazy things could happen. He could go down during the week.
The disclaimer is a must - because it was a week ago that Shanahan said "Yeah, we're going to stick with John" when asked who would get the call against the Dolphins. Instead, he had Beck and Grossman both take first-team snaps during the week and informed the team on Saturday that Grossman would start for the first time since Oct. 16.
Shanahan explained the change of heart on Monday with 90-second answer that even included a reference to a turf toe injury suffered by Niles Paul - a rookie receiver with only two catches this season - as one of the reasons to go with a more experienced Grossman.
Further questioning revealed more telling read-between-the-lines answers: Beck basically played himself out of the job with subpar performances in back-to-back games, and Grossman might have claimed the job back even sooner had he not been hospitalized with pneumonia three weeks ago.
Beck threw three interceptions, took 11 sacks and led only one touchdown drive in a 23-0 loss to Buffalo and a 19-11 defeat to San Francisco.
"I'm not going to go into a lot of detail in that," Shanahan said, "but I think that speaks for itself."
Regarding Grossman's illness, the coach said: "I'm not going to go through all the possible scenarios, but any time anybody has pneumonia, it usually lingers for a few weeks."
Shanahan no doubt is treading carefully because he infamously said before the season that he would stake his reputation on both Beck and Grossman as quarterbacks. Now he's benched both of them in barely more than half of a season, and he says Beck - who is 0-7 as an NFL starter, including 0-3 with the Redskins - was hurt by the offseason practices that were cancelled during the lockout.
"I like John's talent," Shanahan said. "I like what we have in John, but I'm always going to do what I think is in the best interest of the team to win."
The question now is whether either quarterback gives the team a chance to win, especially as the injuries kept mounting. Shanahan praised Grossman's confidence, poise and overall play in the 20-9 loss to the Dolphins, but the fact is that the Redskins failed to score a touchdown against a team that had previously won only one game. Washington hasn't scored a first-half touchdown or held a lead since Oct. 2.
Grossman certainly looked more comfortable than Beck while completing 21 of 32 passes for 215 yards, but he also had two interceptions - including a brutal fourth-quarter pick inside Miami's 10-yard line when the Redskins were driving with a chance to take the lead.
"Everybody says, `Well, you only had nine points,' but nine points obviously goes to a collective group," Shanahan said. "But I thought Rex played well."
Quarterback play aside, the Redskins have reason to feel snakebit. Third-round draft pickLeonard Hankerson got his second NFL start Sunday and had 106 yards receiving - but he dislocated his right hip and tore the labrum in the fourth quarter. He will become the fourth Redskins offensive starter to go on season-ending injured reserve, joining tight end Chris Cooley, running back Tim Hightower and left guard Kory Lichtensteiger.
Receiver Santana Moss and left tackle Trent Williams have also missed multiple games with injuries, and Shanahan said right tackle Jammal Brown is a "long shot" to return this week after sitting out Sunday with a groin injury. Backup defensive lineman Kedric Golston is also out for at least a week with a knee injury.
And, of course, everyone on the roster is suffering from losing.
"There's no guarantee that we can win another game," veteran defensive tackle Cofield said. "We just don't have a team on our schedule that's just going to lay down and let us beat `em. If we don't play better, then there's no reason to expect to win any games. The ball's just not going to bounce our way, and so it could very ugly. It could get historically ugly.
"Hopefully guys are fearful of that, and hopefully guys focus in and just come together and do whatever it takes to get a win - because if we don't, then it's going to be a very very long winter."
**Run to South Beach -- The Redskins have to be able to run the football better if John Beck has any chance, while also controlling the Fish ground attack...Overall on the season, Washington is only averaging 89.9 yards per game on the ground, while allowing 122.6 per game. That 32-yard difference is partially responsible for the defense being on the field about a minute-and-a-half more than the offense, on a per game average (30:46). It may not seem a lot, but it obviously adds up over the course of the eight games played so far - and one extra possession, can often be the difference between winning and losing. Mike Shanahan pointed out on Friday on his weekly appearance on ESPN 980 -- that the Redskins were ranked 8th in the NFL after four games (3-1), pointing out that "'you can see the function of the offense." The Redskins, over the course of their four game losing streak to drop to (3-5), have dropped all the way to 28th in the league.
** Turning it over in their grave? -- It goes without saying that the turnover battle is generally the best barometer as to who wins and who loses a game. Last week, the 49'ers coughed the ball up once, late, and the Redskins were finally able to get their offense going leading to the only touchdown. The Redskins gave the ball away three times, (interception, two fumbles lost) and all of those were costly, none more than Roy Helu's fumble (stripped by Patrick Willis) near the end of the first half - which was immediately cashed in for a back breaking touchdown. The Redskins have been intercepted 13 times, and have lost 6 fumbles. By contrast, the Redskins defense has 6 interceptions, and have recovered 5 fumbles. With some Buffalo State College math, that's not a very good turnover ratio. You are not going to win many games with a minus-8 turnover differential.
**According to the Washington Post, Rex Grossman and John Beck split first team reps all week, http://wapo.st/vVEvsP. That's all great and good, and perhaps -- Mike Shanahan is doing it for a number of reasons. 1. Obviously, John Beck has not been good enough. 2. Rex Grossman is finally near or at 100% after a battle with pneumonia, and he is trying to catch him back up to speed. 3. They are preparing to have a short hook with Beck 4. They want the Dolphins to have to spend as much time as possible worrying about the possibility that Rex Grossman will play, or perhaps even start. 5. Creating a competition in the media to put pressure on Beck to step it up.
I think it would be unbelievably and totally UNFAIR to yank Beck and start Grossman before Sunday's game. Now, if Beck struggles miserably, fine. John Beck did miss open receivers last Sunday, because he was specifically told to get rid of the football against a zone defense, with a very good pass rush. He has had virtually no running game, and as Shanahan said on ESPN 980 on Friday, " you can not put that much pressure on one person. To put a Quarterback in that type of situation, is really really tough."
Shanahan is a master manipulator, and I would not be shocked at all if he purposely made sure this story got out in the media -- to push John Beck to greater heights. Either way, it's another drama to watch on Sunday and beyond.
**The Miami Dolphins thumped the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead last week, 31-3, after narrowly losing at the New York Giants two weeks ago. Clearly, they are a team that is building confidence and is playing very hard for their embattled head coach, Tony Sparano. I believe the Redskins play hard for Mike Shanahan as well, but sometimes playing hard and playing smart/dumb is two totally different things. Last week, the Redskins played hard - they just played 'football dumb' or made terrible mistakes. Two personal fouls (Trent Williams & Terrence Austin) in critical spots on the field, and/or while the Redskins were driving, along with the aforementioned turnovers (Helu, Austin, Beck INT) were the real reason why Washington lost. Not because John Beck stinks or is 'awful,' or has 'proven' that he can't play, or the most laughable assertion I've heard this week - 'he can't win' because of his 0-7 career record as a starter. Here's a novel concept; how about giving him a legitimate chance to win??
QUOTABLE (the only quote that is really important this week)
Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan after last Sunday's loss to San Francisco, on if John Beck will start today in Miami.
"Yeah, we're gonna stick with John."
**It's reasonable to expect to see the Redskins at some point today (to start, officially per Jason LaCanfora), to turn the keys to the offense back to Rex Grossman. I thought Rex should have been the starter all off-season, throughout camp and really wanted to believe that Grossman could be a different guy in Kyle Shanahan's system. There is absolutely no doubt, that the offense moves a little quicker and crisper with Rex under center, however, the bottom line is this -- he is a career 55% passer and everybody knows the turnover problem. More importantly, Rex missed a large number of 'open' receivers in EVERY game that he played this year. You have to re-watch the 4 plus games that he played in to really lock in and see it, but the staff knows this. How much of this is a desperate move to regain confidence in the offense, and in the locker room? That's the ultimate question. I think this decision would be and is about that more than anything else. It really is shameful, quite honestly. I don't see how anybody doesn't remember the fact that Rex is a streaky QB at best, over a large sampling size. He played very well against the Giants, pretty OK in the win over the Arizona Cardinals, not very good against Dallas, up and down against St. Louis and extremely poor against Philadelphia. How will Rex do with very little run offense? No Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, Kory Lichtensteiger? All of these questions figure to be answered by 4 PM today.
**It's reasonable to expect the Redskins to struggle tackling the elusive Reggie Bush, and will have some concerns with the explosive Brandon Marshall. Matt Moore is very athletic, can buy some extra time on roll outs. TE Anthony Fasano could hurt the Redskins defense as well, with the focus of the Washington defenders having to be on Marshall and Bush. Moore was terrific last week, but history would suggest that he will be hard pressed to put together consecutive great performances, and the Redskins have to be able to force some turnovers.
**Special teams has to be huge -- Graham Gano has been solid despite a couple of blocked field goals that were obviously not his fault. Gano nailed a team record 59-yarder to end the first half last week. Brandon Banks simply HAS to be better. He has to be smarter in his decision making, and more electric. Punter Sav Rocca has been tremendous all year.
1. For those that are upset that Shanahan didn't disclose that Rex got 50% of the snaps this week, too bad. As far as I'm concerned, he has no obligation to let the media know that there is a battle this week to start in Miami.
2. At the halfway mark of the season, the Redskins aren't playing for draft position, they're playing to win. Those who believe otherwise have likely never competed for anything.
3. Rex gives the Redskins a better chance to win and it's not close. I'm not suggesting that Rex is a top-flight NFL starter by any means but his competence and confidence are huge advantages over Beck who has shown little of either.
The Redskins can beat the Dolphins if....
1. Rex plays the majority of the game. I personally don't think they have a chance if Beck starts and plays the entire game.
2. The defense stops the run. This has been the D's achillies heal in recent weeks...if things don't improve dramatically, they're in trouble again.
3. The defense and/or special teams set up three scores. They need to get turnovers, big returns, and hence, create short-field opportunities for an offense that hasn't been able to do it on its own.
If Beck starts and plays majority of the game...
Miami 31, Redskins 10
If Grossman starts or plays majority of the game...
The following is a player by player account of anything noteworthy (good or bad) that occured during the 2nd Half of the Redskins 19-11 loss to the San Francisco 49'ers. This is done, after carefully reviewing the television tape and all of the different coverage that is impossible to provide during a live game.
**3rd/12 short crossing route vs. 3 man rush to Leonard Hankerson. + 8 on gain. **PA right, boot left - throws short underneath to Logan who shielded Willis on pivot, but was not wide open with Gaffney and others very wide open on post. Gaffney very frustrated, was wide open. Davis wide open 5 yards beyond throw. Aldon Smith is bearing down on him, did not have time to plant, rotate and get it deep to Hank or Gaffney *** **Next play, 3rd/6 - back shoulder stop to Hankerson for first down. Perfect. Clean pocket. Shotgun ** **Beck under pressure, with Hank and Helu WIDE OPEN, waiting and underneath on 1st/25. On run, flip pass low complete to Helu. **4th/2 - Beck misses Fred Davis on square out with Jabar Gaffney open (square out) on same line and frustrated. 16-3 game, with 14:15 left, from 31. Why no FG? to make a two score game (TD, FG) **Short completions in quick huddle hurry-up to Austin to Fred Davis underneath. Also Leonard Hankerson. **John almost picked by Culliver on tight inside stop throw, on 3rd down. **Last drive throw and catch to Davis 3 x, Austin, Helu 4x. (14th) **Beck 9/10 on final drive for 72 yards, TD out of triple right spray to Gaffney + 2 pt conv. to Hank on back shoulder fade.
**Sean Locklear allows sack on 2nd effort, as Beck steps up in pocket. Rusher initially blocked and drives back, rips off to bring JB down. More on Beck, then Sean. Beck had some guys flash open (Jabar, Fred) **Locklear beat on inside jab step, Hurt pushed back in Beck's lap, scramble and roll right for + 4. HUGE play/example. **Novorro Bowman shoots gap to blow up Torain for loss, between Chester and Montgomery.
**Stretch run left after sack, strung out for 3 yard gain. lateral movement. **17 yard catch on batted ball up in air at line, good focus. **Two complete passes on screen/dumps with ball low and falling down. **3rd/17 - short screen dump for 15 yards. **4 catches on final drive of game, to assist in getting the TD
**Wide open out of triple bunch spray, touchdown.
**2nd catch of 2nd half. Good concentration. 1st down, after getting wide open on previous play and boot. **Back shoulder stop/fade for 2 point conversion.
**Crackback block Personal Foul kills momentum on drive, that Torain got stuffed on. Ball was at SF 40. **1st down throw and run to Terrence Austin who fumbles, stripped by Patrick Willis (2nd) on 1st down, at about WSH-38, heading for more. **4th/4 - right thru Austin's hands in 16-3 game. *************************
**+ 17 on deeper in cut route, in garbage time. **Next play + 7, 3 catches on final drive.
**KO to mid end zone, good coverage by DJ Gomes/DY.
Special Teams Coverage
**Keyaron Fox misses tackle on Ginn PR, Anthony Armstrong cleans it up.
Fumble on Punt before final drive. Recovers.
**Screen to Kyle Williams left + 12. - for nice gain. Over Orakpo leap, as Landry blocked out. **Redskins blitzing safeties constantly on first series of 2nd half, and SF just short completion on top of short.
**Blows up Alex Smith with big rush/hit - forcing quick throw to Vernon Davis. Strip and turnover.
**Terrific string out on reverse to right side, and with DHall pinch out for three yard loss. **With Josh Wilson, bracket coverage on Vernon Davis beat for 20 yard gain. Orakpo hits Smith, but just after release. **Along with D-Hall, short tackle and strip Vernon Davis on throw/catch to give offense last chance, recover by Landry.
**Chases down Smith from behind with slide (kind of a give up) after ripping off of double team. **Huge sack on 3rd/4 with SF moving ball on 2nd drive, 2nd half to force FG. **Big tackle from behind on 3rd/1.5 inside 3 yard line to force FG.
**Gets carried by Gore for 5 yards on up the middle sprint as Rocky is met, and another big gap. **Hard lick on Smith on waggle right, on 3rd/3 completion to Ginn past diving Fletch in zone. **Beaten in tight coverage by Vernon Davis, over shoulder catch attempt is a bit off, in and out of hands at 5 yard line. **Gets hit and then returns cheap shot by Kyle Williams near sideline.
**Beaten for quick out in zone, by Crabtree + 7. **Braylon underneath on same quick out for first down + 7. **Sideline fracas breaks out, with DH, London, Rocky involved.
**Beaten by Braylon on quick slant for big gain as Rocky and Josh combine for tackle attempt and both bounce off Edwards.
San Francisco 49'ers @ Washington Redskins - 1st Half
**Inc on 3rd Down, getting hit by Smith, threw to covered Austin on pivot route. May have missed open guy. **Terrible decision to throw out of I-form, right into hands of Justin Smith, who stunted down the line in traffic from right to left, and was kind of hard to find after freeing himself of Mo' Hurt. Would have been TD. **Throws screen from end zone to Helu, incomplete but holding. 2nd throw from inside 3. **Beck INT on cross in cut route, right to left - to Fred Davis. Thrown just a bit too far out on lead, could have hit him a step before. **Misses wide open Niles Paul early, and then again, when targeted, with erratic pass. Not under pressure. BAD **Great hookup with Jabar Gaffney on 3rd/7 wide open on right sideline square out, from 3B spray. **Nice 3rd/8 hookup with Gaffney on back shoulder, wiped out because of TRENT PF. Kills momentum. **Beck pump fake windmill and pulls it down to run away from sack for plus 2. **Throw into tight coverage (Gaffney) on 3rd down, with Fred open on pick route. **Nice take off and slide to pick up positive yardage and avoid sack, 3 yards. **Beck to Gaffney for 14 on 2nd/10 on last minute drive. **Beck another pump fake pull down and shovel pass INC at end of first half. Weird.
***+ 16 off right side, Fred Davis good lead block, Jammal good drive block to open hole. **2 small runs on 1st/2nd down. Next series, + 1 on 1st, Screen dump left for 3 yard gain. **3rd/4 - Helu drop on wide open 1st down over middle. Trent throws arm in frustration. **Helu up middle for + 3, runs into Chester on pull. Monty hooked his block perfectly. **Rips off nice gain off RT on 1st down, 3-0, + 10 behind great lead by Fred & DY. JB goes out w/ groin. **Helu fumble on 8 yard gain on screen right. Stripped by Patrick Willis late in first half down 6-0. **Screen catch late in first half..cuts back in-bounds instead of running out to stop clock. **Next play - screen cuts back against the grain to the middle of the field. Redskins have to use timeout.
**Big I-back formation middle sprint to sidelines catch, for 12 yards and first down, with play action to Helu.
**2nd/2 drop on square out with Torain split wide left and Gaffney in right slot. Perfect throw by John.
**3rd run in a row, Mo' Hurt pulls - Will late on Justin Smith who stops run backside. **Maurice Hurt chip blocks Justin Smith who loops and belts Beck as he throws INC on first series. **Mo Hurt and Logan Paulsen lose block on stretch zone left, as Helu is stopped for 1 yard loss. **Trent shoves Justin Smith in back on Torain run right, for small gain - kind of stumbles. TRENT takes personal foul on Justin Smith two plays later, negating offside by SF, UNR applied. Shanny benches for one play, BAD foul becuase it negates a 1st down. Williams yanked for 3rd/23 for Locklear one play. **Trent false start on 1st down to start 2 minute drive.
**Shallow cross on 2nd/2, rubs off pic and bobbles catch up in the air but focuses and catches it for first down.
KO # 1 - touchback, line drive thru end zone. Did not even attempt to field wild kick. PUNT # 1 - drifting backwards and fumbles punt at the 3 yard line. TERRIBLE DECISION. 2nd game this year that Banks has struggled catching the ball (St. Louis) **KO # 2 - gets obstructed on return by I believe DY and ball comes out to 17. ***KO # 3 - Nice return by Banks to set up FG drive to 27.
**Keyaron Fox 2 special teams tackles (1 punt, 1 KO) after Byron wildly misses tackle at POA.
**59 yard FG at end of half to break long scoreless streak for Redskins.
**1st play from scrimmage + 11 yard gain by Gore, churning thru stacked up line. Carriker misses arm tackle. **Hunter out of wishbone power set as upback around left end for 7, with Reed getting dumped. **Alex Smith with big scramble on 1st down up middle. for 9 yards. **Redskins defense does great job on 4th/1 holding stance twice, with shifting and motion to draw offsides and force FGA. (6-0)
**Defeats double-team, one block then another, and chases down Smith who flushed all the way to far left side of field for sack, with late assist from Rocky, on 3rd and 6. **Great run stop, running free from LOLB spot to stop Gore for loss. Golston & LaRon seal edge. **Combines on 2nd/2 with London to stop Gore, face 3rd/2 - forces roll scramble and INC because of pressure and chewing up Davis at RT.
**Good rush on same side as Kerrigan on 3rd/14 to force throw, wide open to Gore drop. Would have probably been stopped short.
**Gets pinned inside a bit, and Gore runs right around to left side of defense
**Zone defense, races over to cover Crabtree on 7 yard gain - missed tackle for first down. **Gets picked in traffic and late getting over on FB - Bruce Miller for TD on wheel route.
**Bad missed tackle on left side of D pinching down on Gore run through slight gap because of arm tackle effort.
**Blows up on blitz forcing INC on Alex Smith to force 4th/1.
**Nice run stop shooting gap on 2nd/2 to force 3rd/1.
**Playing loose zone, way late in getting over to sideline on Crabtree + 21 gain to right. Wide open.
**Nice 3rd/2 deflection and PBU on Vernon Davis near completion.
Watching the Redskins’ 19-11 loss to San Francisco was just slightly less painful than last week’s loss in Buffalo. They played with more competitiveness than they had the last two weeks but there are a ton of issues obviously. Let’s start with this--John Beck is in over his head right now. Mike Shanahan said after the game that he was going to “stick with John” as the starter. I think his answer is an indication that the rest of this season has officially become a rebuilding season. Beck, Hankerson, Helu, Hurt....he’s made the decision to play the young guys. Personally, I don't think there's much of a future in Beck.
The good, bad, and more.
1. Graham Gano. Franchise-record 59 yd. field goal.
2. Darrell Young. A solid blocker and a threat catching the ball.
3. Ryan Kerrigan. He, Fletcher, and Rocca have been the most consistent Skins all season long.
4. 3rd-down defense. Held the 49ers to 3 for 12 on third down.
1. John Beck. Just so inexperienced and it shows. Beyond that, he’s inaccurate, throws to the wrong guys, and he’s jumpy in the pocket. His interception was a terrible throw. He should’ve been picked off in his own end zone for a touchdown. His 4th and 2 throw to Davis was the wrong target. Gaffney was wide open. He looks lost out there. Rex WOULD be better but I get it, he's not a silver-bullet answer either.
2. Turnovers. You can’t turn it over 3 times and have a chance against a good team. They were actually lucky it was only 3 turnovers. Beck nearly threw an early pick in his own end zone and Brandon Banks was lucky to get a fumble back. The Helu fumble before the end of the half was damaging to say the least.
3. Lack of discipline. Examples--Landry woofing in pregame with Vernon Davis. Trent Williams with another 15-yard penalty after the play had resulted in a first down. Brandon Banks fielding a punt at his own 3.
4. Run defense. Better than last two weeks but still not consistent enough. Gore had 107 yards on just 19 carries. 5.6 yards per carry are too many.
5. Clock management at the end of the first half. Skins should have called their last timeout after Helu’s catch got the Skins to the San Fran 41 with 18 seconds left . Instead, they burned 10 seconds and spiked it. They were lucky they got the Gano attempt.
1. Officiating is bad this season league-wide. The 49ers got absolutely hosed in the first half on a 3rd and 1 where the referee took nearly 10 seconds to announce a tackle-eligible which led directly to a delay of game on the Niners. The play-clock should have been reset to 25.
2. Two franchise records for the Skins in one game. Gano’s 59-yd field goal is the longest and Helu’s 14 catches the most ever in a game.
Some good news before kickoff. Trent Williams is back and will start. Maurice Hurt, the 7th rounder from Florida will start at left guard which means Will Montgomery moves back to center. Today is about competitiveness. I'd hate to see the lack of desperation and urgency that's we've seen the last two weeks. To me, that would be an indication of something deeper than just lack of talent.
The Redskins will beat the 49ers today if...
1. The defense stops the run. The 49ers are a very good run team. They averaged nearly 200 yards per game in their last 4. The Redskins have been awful against the run in recent weeks. If the 49ers rush for more than 120 yards, they win. Less than that, Skins have a chance.
2. They win the turnover battle for the first time this year. The Redskins have given the ball away 16 times on the season, 2nd-worst in the league. The 49ers meantime have committed just 6 turnovers. They have to turn the tables or they'll lose. I think they might have to be +3 or better to win.
3. Beck plays better. Those in the know say 6 of the 10 sacks were his fault last week. He also missed throws, missed reads, and missed checkdowns. How short is his leash today? I think very short. He's got to move the team in the first half. Chris Russell just mentioned that Helu will start and they'll try a lot of screens today. For Beck's sake, it better work.
The Redskins will try to end a 3-game losing skid and bring themselves back to .500 in front of a home crowd against a 6-1 49ers team this Sunday.
San Francisco Head Coach Jim Harbaugh seems to be pressing all the right buttons. Regardless of inheriting an 6-10 San Francisco team that former coach Mike Singletary could never get on the same page, Harbaugh seems to have done just that and brought a winning bravado, congratulatory shoves and all, back to the bay area.
Meanwhile in Washington, Head Coach Mike Shanahan seems to be pressing broken buttons.
When Hightower got injured, Shanahan hoped Torrain would provide some support, especially given his great game versus the Rams when he ran for 135 yds as a non-starter. Since then however, he's run for 31 yards on 20 carries through 3 games - forcing the Redskins to search for answers elsewhere i.e. their recent pickup of RB Choice from the Cowboys.
Santana Moss broke his hand which opens opportunities for other receivers to get some catches, most notably Anthony Armstrong. Armstrong, however, hasn't been able to contribute with his best game stuck in week 1 versus the Giants.
Coach Shanahan always talks about "opportunities." Unfortunately for him, it seems that there seem to be a lot of lost ones. In fact, there is no greater opportunity being lost right now than there is for John Beck.
Grossman threw four interceptions in a losing effort versus the Eagles in week 6, and in concert with the manic voices of angry Skins fans, Coach Shanahan pressed the Beck button. Since then, the Redskins have lost two more games, including a goose egg, and it seems that the Redskins offense has regressed to their worst state this season.
Beck has yet to win an NFL game as a starter in his career and he's teetering on the possibility of that becoming a permanent fact. Allowing 10 sacks and making your offensive line look worst than it is will not earn him brownie points with teammates even if he's not throwing interceptions. Not scoring points will get him right back on the bench.
So Beck, if he wants this, man up because this NFL QB window of opportunity is closing and this Sunday's run through the tunnel could be your last.