Redskins vs. Rams: Morgan Is an Easy Scapegoat, but Washington Blew It as a Team

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistSeptember 16, 2012

The Washington Redskins' core is young and inexperienced, and thus, is liable to make silly mistakes. But the most idiotic and costly mistake made in the NFL Sunday was committed by a 27-year-old veteran who's been in this league for half a decade.

It's easy to pile on Josh Morgan for his late-game unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in St. Louis, which essentially cost the 'Skins an opportunity to tie the game with a reasonably makeable field goal. These things sometimes happen in the heat of moments like those, especially with pests like Cortland Finnegan in the mix, but those are the kinds of errors that winning teams don't make. 

Still, it shouldn't have had to come down to that. 

The Redskins let an inferior team hang around throughout the afternoon. They had a punt blocked for the second time in as many weeks, they turned it over three times on offense and they failed to capitalize on a depleted offensive line that had major pass-protection issues coming in. 

Washington had all the momentum in the world coming in, and the Rams hadn't won a game since Nov. 13, of last year. 

I know they were down Brian Orakpo and Josh Wilson for large chunks of the day on defense, but allowing Sam Bradford to average 8.9 yards per attempt and letting a rookie seventh-round pick rush for 5.5 yards per carry isn't conducive to getting a victory.

The Redskins also took 11 penalties (four more than the Rams) and were just 4-of-13 on third downs. The D allowed Bradford and Co. to convert more than 50 percent of their third downs.

So hopefully, the 'Skins learn from this experience. Hopefully, they learn that you can't overlook anybody, and you must make the most of every early-game opportunity because you never know what's going to happen in those final moments.

As for Morgan, he admitted after the game that he has to keep his cool, but it's a little too late for that realization. This division is going to be tight, and the Redskins don't have much of a margin for error if they want to defy the odds and make some noise. 

The Redskins screwed up colossally in Week 2. Morgan's gaffe only epitomized an extremely flawed effort.