Andrew Siciliano, host of NFL Sunday Ticket Red Zone on DirecTV, referred to the Redskins vs. Falcons game this past Sunday as one of the most entertaining games we’ll ever see between two teams with a 3-10 record.
While I get where he’s coming from and why he’d say that, allow me to take a far more nihilistic view of the Redskins latest defeat.
Whether this team is 3-11 (as they are now after the 27-26 defeat against Atlanta) or 4-10 (if they had won), there is no hope for this season, no hope for this coaching staff, and until an entire new coaching staff and possibly an entire new front office is in place, no hope for this team.
Mike Shanahan, perhaps the very lamest (and highest paid) lame duck head coach in the history of the NFL, said that he believed the team played well and was proud of their performance, despite the seven turnovers the Redskins committed. That’s like a cluelessly disengaged parent saying that outside of the numerous speeding tickets, fender benders, and multi-person accidents caused, their child is a great driver. You have to believe that, within seconds of him finishing off such meaningless rhetoric at the press conference, he’s cackling loudly as he goes and deposits yet another one of Dan Snyder’s hefty paychecks in his account.
The decision to go for the two point conversion at the end of the game, foregoing the virtual certainty of overtime and instead going for the win, is immaterial. Another win wouldn’t have made this season feel any better, and the eventual loss didn’t make this travesty of a season feel any worse.
The Redskins routinely look like they’re consistently fighting an uphill battle while wearing roller skates, exerting far more effort, and consistently facing a much slimmer margin for error than any single opponent they match up with this season. Unless everything goes in Washington’s favor during any particular game against any caliber of opponent, or the other team does everything it can to hand Washington a win, this team can’t beat anyone one-on-one.
The offense is wildly inconsistent, with the only thing consistent about them being their penchant for turnovers. No Redskins regime in my lifetime has had as consistently poor defensive efforts as what we’ve seen under Jim Haslett for the last four seasons. These Special Teams are historically terrible, finding new and inventive ways of supplying horrendous field position to the offense, giving the other team extra points on kick and punt returns, or just promptly handing the football right back to the other team via some ghastly turnover.
There can be no greater level of hypocrisy and cronyism by Shanahan, in deactivating Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the season yet continuing to employ dimwits like Jim Haslett and Keith Burns on his staff. At this point, i’m thoroughly convinced that Burns is the Brick Tamland of the team’s coaching staff. As long as those two remain employed by the Washington Redskins, we’re walking into the game being comically outmatched in two of the three facets of a football game.
The Redskins very likely won’t beat Dallas, who is fighting for their playoff lives, even though Tony Romo is a sub-.500 quarterback in the month of December and has the track record of Cinderella’s stage coach: when the clock strikes 12 (or we get to month #12), he turns into a pumpkin. They likely won’t beat the Giants because, well, the Redskins historically suck when playing at the Meadowlands (they’ve only won there once in the last five years).
We can talk about individual growth and professionalism in fighting through this game ’til the very end, but at the end of the day, that’s just overused lip service to fill up newspapers (and blogs). A win against the Falcons would’ve been meaningless, in the grand scheme of things, and the loss to the Falcons is just as meaningless in the grand scheme of things.
For the sake of argument, even if this team did finish 4-12 or 5-11, they’re sending what’s very likely going to be a top five pick to St. Louis anyway, as the last part of the compensation package for the trade to acquire Griffin.
So, for all intents and purposes, the rest of this 2013 season is utterly meaningless. Kirk Cousins is not the future quarterback of the Washington Redskins. Mike Shanahan, or Kyle Shanahan, won’t be leading this team to the Super Bowl. It doesn’t matter whether Griffin plays for the remainder of this season or not, because any experience he’d be gaining in 2013 would be in an offensive system that won’t be in place next year. They’re not even playing for draft position.
Any hope that Redskins carry right now lies with Griffin growing out of being a petulant, enabled, and entitled 23 year old and welcoming the burden, slings, and scrutiny of being the franchise quarterback of the Washington Redskins to mold him into becoming a successful professional.
But that growth won’t take place this year during any of the remaining games unmercifully still on the Redskins schedule, and it won’t be taking place as a result of any effort from this current coaching regime.
At this point in time, anything that happens on the football field for the Washington Redskins as part of the 2013 season is basically a glorified exhibition effort, as we run out the clock and await the changes that lie before us heading into the 2014 season.