Redskins vs. Giants: Live Game Grades and Analysis for Washington

Shae Cronin@@BetBigDCCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2013

Dec 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan walks off the field at halftime against the Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field. The Cowboys won 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In an absolutely miserable game of football, the New York Giants defended home field and finished the season 7-9 after defeating the hopeless Washington Redskins, who head into the offseason after a 3-13 campaign. 


Redskins - 6
Giants - 20

Washington Redskins Grades
Position Unit1st HalfFinal
Passing OffenseD-F
Rushing OffenseD-D-
Rushing DefenseB+C+
Passing DefenseC+C+
Special TeamsD+F
Week 17 / vs. Giants

Final Analysis for Washington

Passing Offense: At one point people talked about Kirk Cousins and his trade value—a second-round pick seemed like the popular net worth.

Consider that conversation history.

Cousins finished Sunday’s game with 169 yards on 19-of-48 passing with two interceptions and no touchdowns. Or any memorable plays. Or a win. Or anything that would bolster his trade value.

Cousins was inconsistent and inaccurate behind a bad offensive line that was torn up quite often on the right side between tackle Tyler Polumbus and guard Chris Chester.

Naturally, Pierre Garcon led all receivers with 56 yards on six catches, but the Redskins receiving corps struggled all afternoon to get open.

Rushing Offense: Seeing as how the Redskins offense as a whole was laughable, Alfred Morris and the rushing attack certainly won’t get a free pass for their woeful performance on Sunday. The blocking resembled a high school team, runners lacked burst and the overall effort didn’t add up to the fact that these guys are getting paid real dollars to play the game.

Morris finished the game with 56 yards on 15 carries with no scores and a fumble.

It didn’t appear that anyone wanted to be playing on Sunday, and the Redskins players did very little to mask it.

Rushing Defense: Peyton Hillis churned out tough yardage in the fourth quarter, but still finished the day with just 59 yards on 16 carries. The Redskins rush defense played well and contained the Giants, sans wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan’s 49-yard touchdown run.

Sunday wasn’t the worst day for the Redskins defense. In fact, they kept Washington competitive but weren’t given a lick of support from the offense.

Passing Defense: Like the rushing defense, the Redskins played well against the pass today, picking off both Eli Manning before he left at halftime with an injury and his backup, Curtis Painter.

Jerrel Jernigan was the Redskins’ only nightmare today, gashing them as both a runner and receiver. He was responsible for both of the Giants’ touchdowns and served as a guy the Redskins apparently couldn’t match.

Special Teams: If there’s anything that needs to be blown up and completely rebuilt, it’s this Redskins special teams unit. It doesn’t matter what part of the game it is, who’s responsible for return duty or who’s on the coverage team, this special teams unit makes bonehead mistakes every game on nearly every outing.

Clearly coordinator Keith Burns has to go, but the talent needs to improve as well. There’s not enough guys on special teams with an actual desire or drive to play special teams.

Coaching: It was a three-part comedy special starring the offense, defense and special teams. There wasn’t a single guy that played like he wanted to be there and Mike Shanahan appears all but done as the Redskins head coach.

If there’s one coach that deserves even a smidgen of credit, one could make a case for defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Sure, a minor name like Jerrel Jernigan couldn’t be stopped, but the defense got pressure on the quarterback and held the Giants to a rather beatable 20 points.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 29:   Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins passes during their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 29, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

First-Half Analysis for Washington

Passing Offense: You know what this game could use? Some Robert Griffin III.

Kirk Cousins has thrown for just 55 yards on 7-of-18 passing through one half behind a spotty offensive line and with receivers who seem to have no luck gaining separation.

Some fans will likely rejoice, as the excitement surrounding Cousins won’t establish itself in this game. Sure, he’s gotten the ball out quickly on a few throws, but drops and inconsistent accuracy have resulted in very limited offensive production through two quarters.

This Redskins offense is beyond flat.

How flat? Try fewer than 100 total yards in two quarters of football flat.  

Rushing Offense: It’s cold, it’s wet, the outcome means absolutely nothing, your coach and his staff are likely on their way out. How can you not check out of this game and instead think about your offseason vacation?

That pretty much sums up the Redskins rushing attack in the first half.

Alfred Morris has seven carries for 14 yards and his offensive line is doing him no favors, as they’re constantly blown back off the line and apparently incapable of opening even the slightest of lanes.

Rushing Defense: Although I'm unsure of how it’s even possible, the Giants rushing attack has been even less productive than Washington’s. Peyton Hillis leads New York with 25 yards on five carries, while Andre Brown has contributed seven yards on eight carries.

The Redskins defense deserves credit for limiting the Giants on the ground, as well as forcing a turnover (Brandon Meriweather stripped Andre Brown) and helping to set up the Redskins’ only three points on the day.

Passing Defense: Until around the five-minute mark in the second quarter, the Redskins pass defense looked just fine against an inaccurate Eli Manning.

But then the struggling Manning found some success with Jerrel Jernigan on a shallow cross that Jernigan turned into a nice 30-yard gain to help set up the Giants.

Manning then went back to Jernigan with a 24-yard strike to the end zone, as Josh Wilson and Brandon Meriweather failed to make a play on a well-placed pass.  

With Manning looking hobbled late in the second quarter, he threw an ugly pass that was tipped by his intended receiver and then intercepted by a diving Josh Wilson. The Redskins were able to turn that into three points with just seconds left in the half.

Special Teams: Take away Kai Forbath’s 31-yard and 49-yard field goals and the Redskins special teams have been their typically terrible selves.

On one poor punt from Sav Rocca, the Redskins received a generous bounce, only to have it pointlessly kicked by Jose Gumbs to earn Washington a delay of game penalty.

Then, just before the half, after another disgusting attempt on offense, Rocca dropped the snap in the end zone before booting the ball rugby style. The Redskins were also called for a penalty on the play.

This special teams unit is easily the worst unit any Redskins fan has ever seen.

Coaching: We could probably talk about play-calling and criticize accordingly, but some things are tough to gauge when players don’t appear to be playing with full effort.

And, ultimately, that still falls on coaching.



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