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Redskins Lose to Eagles: Postgame Notes for Washington

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 17:  Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins is tackled by defensive end Fletcher Cox #91 and outside linebacker Connor Barwin #98 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of the Eagles 24-16 win at Lincoln Financial Field on November 17, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Shae CroninCorrespondent INovember 18, 2013

Given the state of the NFC East, and despite a 3-6 record, the Washington Redskins traveled to Philadelphia on Sunday with a chance to keep themselves alive for a late-season run at the division.

But on an off day for Robert Griffin III and with Washington's offensive line, defense and special teams all struggling, the Eagles were too much for the Redskins to handle in a 24-16 loss. 

Here's my six-pack of notes on a washed-up and hopeless Monday morning-after. 

 

1. Pass Protection 

Washington's offensive line and pass protection have digressed from having been barely mediocre in 2012 to downright awful in 2013. Besides Trent Williams—who clearly didn't have his best game on Sunday, one could argue that the other four guys aren't starters, with tons of video to support it. 

Although it may seem like just another fan making excuses for the quarterback he deemed to be the franchise's savior, I can't ignore how bad the protection is for Griffin and not think it's a significant contributor to the quarterback's struggles this season. 

You have a young guy returning from major knee surgery behind a porous offensive line and you're expecting him to be an effective pocket passer. That's not logical, guys. 

We've seen it time and time again: Griffin doesn't step up, he passes like he's anxious and his decision-making is jumbled. It's uncomfortable quarterbacking behind an insecure offensive line. Until that changes, Griffin's play will not.

 

2. Robert Griffin III

He was bad. There's no way around that. Robert Griffin III had a bad day at playing quarterback. 

The contributing factors ranged from a terrible offensive line to what some are labeling as predictable play-calling. All that may be true, but when it comes down to simply passing the football like an NFL quarterback to a receiver, Griffin was not good. 

When Robert ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. If the quarterback isn't playing well, this team doesn't do anything else well enough to overcome the quarterback's shortcomings. 

 

3. Alfred Morris

He's just so, so tough. Morris is a hard runner who can carry piles, absorb hits and keep on truckin'. Morris deserves credit again for his hard-nosed running on Sunday. 

Morris finished the day with 22 carries for 92 yards and no scores. 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins talks with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan (L) during the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 17, 2013 in Phila
Rob Carr/Getty Images

 

4. Offensive Play-calling

It became a normal thing to tune into the airwaves on Monday morning and hear all the fans talking about how terrible offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was at calling plays because he always "abandoned the run."

On Sunday against the Eagles, Shanahan only called seven passing plays in the first half. 

A shot at the critics? Probably not. It was more likely a shot at Shanahan's quarterback for Griffin's passing woes in recent weeks, compounded with missing a wide-open Logan Paulsen early in the game for a potential touchdown.

Whatever the reason, while Shanahan can be blamed for the imbalance in Sunday's loss, I still don't hold him accountable for the loss. 

The more popular reaction following the game seemed to be the predictability of the offensive play-calling, after Griffin mentioned that the Eagles seemed to know what was coming, according to Mike Jones of The Washington Post.

You can look back on more than a couple of plays where the Eagles defense did appear to have the Redskins dead to rights. But it's hard to go all in on being outcoached when there were missed opportunities in the passing game. 

Bottom line: There are not enough fingers to point out all the guilty parties in Washington. 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 17: Running back LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles catches a pass in front of outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan #91 of the Washington Redskins during the first half at Lincoln Financial Field on November 17, 2013 in Ph
Rob Carr/Getty Images

 

5. Defense Plus Special Teams Equals Garbage

It's a simple equation with an obvious result

The Washington defense decided to step up a bit in the second half against Philadelphia, getting the Eagles off the field multiple times to give the Redskins offense a chance. But it proved to be too little, too late. 

Could Washington's offense have taken advantage of the defense's play late in the game? Yes, but how was that sort of play from the defense so inconsistent? The Redskins defense was a clown circus in the first half. 

Joshua Morgan was inactive for Sunday, as the Redskins promoted Nick Williams to punt return duties. It didn't pay off because Williams stunk, too. We should now all be on board for getting Redskins special teams coach Keith Burns out of there. 

 

6. That grim, gloomy feeling

It's not just me is it? 

You know that dark, dreary feeling that overcomes you when your beloved sports team is immersed in drama and there's obvious turmoil somewhere between players, coaches and owners—or a combination of all three? 

Well that's where I am. As I wrote last week, this Redskins' season is lost. We have no clue about what will happen next, but prepare yourself to avoid any possible shock and arm-flailing. 

 

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