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The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Watching the Redskins game against the Jets was a microcosm of the ‘Skins over the best two decades. They played tough defense throughout the game and tried their best to make up for an offense that relied on an incompetent quarterback. As the game wore on, it seemed Washington was poised for an upset over the Rex Ryan Jets, but, just as many times before, there was a collapse in DC. One that left a sickening feeling in your stomach. As much as the defense struggled down the stretch, I believe this loss lies in the hands of Kyle Shanahan.

On the opening drive of the first quarter, the Burgundy and Gold shoved the ball down the throat of the Jets defense. Outside a big pass play to Fred Davis, which was set up by the run, the Redskins ran the ball with authority. Roy Helu proved how hard of a runner he is and Washington marched down the field for a touchdown. Washington set itself up by putting the ball in Helu’s hands. They looked like a team ready to upset, but then Kyle ruined everything.

As I have said in the past, and as most you have said, why put the ball in Grossman’s hands? After the Gang Green coughed up a punt, the Redskins found themselves with a golden opportunity. With a solid run game going and terrific field position, it looked like the opportune time to strike and put some distance between the two teams. Instead, Kyle turned to Grossman and said get the job done. Three straight pass fell incomplete and Washington had to rely on Graham Gano.

From that point on, the Redskins forgot about Helu and their running game.

I have never been one who has criticized the younger Shanahan. In fact, I believe in his system and I am glad that he is part of the Redskins coaching staff. However, believing in your system to much and not rallying around your players’ strengths is a recipe for disaster. I know the relationship between Rex and Kyle is strong, but after x number of years in the NFL for Grossman, how can you not understand he cannot win a game by himself.

Good vs. Bad Rex all stems from the play calling. Good Rex comes off a strong running game and the ability to sit back in the pocket. He knows this offense like the back of his hand and he has shown he can move the team up and down the field. Bad Rex, which we see more of, appears when an offensive coordinator puts any kind of trust in him to win a game.

When Washington runs the ball and controls the game they are a good team. Look at the four wins. When the run is nonexistent, they are a bad team. I guess what frustrates me is this: We all know this. Everyone! I am not talking about just Redskins fans, I am talking about anyone who follows football at all. So why don’t you Mr. Offensive Coordinator?

I have heard arguments that the Jets were stacking the line of scrimmage and keying against the run. Well, they were, but that does not mean abandon the run. See what sort of early yardage you can gain. If you get stuffed? Then so be it. A continued running presence will keep the linebackers on their toes. Thus, play-action will open up the receivers down field. Easier said than done? Absolutely, but play-action is only going to work if you try. It is that simple.

With four games left and some off-field problems beginning to surface, there is no time to point fingers and give up in DC. Winning cures all. I cannot root for the Burgundy and Gold to lose and anyone who does should seriously look themselves in the mirror. Every part of me wants that franchise quarterback, but it goes against everything I was taught to root for. I hate seeing losses in the district. These four games mean quite a lot to the Redskins. Mainly, get Roy Helu the ball and let him run. Now, please go and give the rock to him Kyle. It could be the gift that keeps on giving.

Oh and…

I can’t watch bad Rex much longer.

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