Cause Of Death: Washington Redskins!

Dan YokeCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 20:  Head coach Jim Zorn (R) of the Washington Redskins exhales as his team runs out the clock against the St. Louis Rams during their game on September 20, 2009 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.  The Redskins defeated the Rams by a score of 9-7.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

As I was watching the Redskins play the Rams on Sunday a thought occurred to me that I hadn’t ever thought about before.


I thought about writing up a will.


Now I am fairly young, and I don’t have any money, but there are a few things that I want done in the unfortunate event of my passing.  The one thing I want made very clear is that should I die of a heart attack I want the official cause of death to be listed as The Washington Redskins.


To someone who is not a passionate sports fan that may sound rather silly.  But I’m sure many sports fans that aren’t blessed to follow great teams can empathize.


When I saw that the pre-game betting line favored the Redskins by nine and a half points I had to laugh.  If I lived near a legal gambling establishment I would have bet a large sum against them.


The Redskins play most teams very close.  Whether they are overmatched or clearly more talented the Redskins always seem to play to the opposing team’s level of talent.  Most of their games end with a seven point margin of victory or less, no matter which team wins.


I know many people who like close games.  I do too, but when it comes to my favorite teams it would be nice to have a blowout victory every once and a while.


Having my heart pound in anticipation for three and a half hours straight every week for four months can not possibly be healthy.  Therefore I want the reason for my heart attack made very clear to everyone.


There are many reasons why the Redskins always seem unable to put a team away.


One of them is their unique talent to commit costly and silly penalties at very inappropriate times.


Like a personal foul on Stephon Heyer during the game last year against the Cards that nullified a sixty yard touchdown by Devin Thomas that would have given them a two touchdown lead late in the game.


Or Casey Rabach committing back to back holding penalties on back to back touchdown plays against Dallas last year.


Or this week, when a VERY late hit on Mark Bulger by Brian Orakpo whipped away a key fumble recovery deep in Ram territory that could have helped build an early lead.


Every time the Redskins make a great play I first look for a flag and then hold my breath until the next play is snapped and the play can no longer be challenged.  I think I have post traumatic stress disorder from watching this team.


The Redskins also have a knack for committing costly turnovers in scoring position.  In the last two games against the Rams the Redskins committed turnovers at the exact same time in the game on the exact same part of the field.


This year a Santana Moss fumble thwarted a chance to go into halftime with a lead.  Last year a Pete Kendall catch of a tipped pass lead to a fumble and an eighty yard Ram touchdown, effectively causing a fourteen point change of fortune.


Coaching decisions have also played a part in aging me well before my time.


In the Joe Gibbs era it was a strict belief in playing very conservative on offense with a lead combined with the use of prevent defense that seemed to be the reason that the Redskins could never put a team away.  Everyone is well aware of the saying that a prevent defense only prevents winning.


When Jim Zorn was hired fans hoped that the conservative strategy would be gone.  Well it has almost swung to the opposite extreme.  When faced with a fourth down decision at the end of a game Zorn has proven that he will always go for the kill shot.


I like that.  But I don’t like that EVERY SINGLE TIME!  Zorn needs to look at the flow of the game when making these decisions.


The first fourth down run I understood.  Shaun Suisham is very unreliable, and a kick from over thirty-five yards out is almost as much of a gamble as going for it.


But when you have a fourth and one at the two yard line it is a totally different situation. A nineteen yard field goal is a 95% sure thing.  If you have that good of a chance to go up by five points against a team that has produced one scoring drive all season you must take it.


The Redskins did not, and the results might have cost Zorn his game and his job if it weren’t for the stellar play of the defense.


Despite these very good reasons, the most important reason why the Washington Redskins can never win big is that they just can’t score.


They have changed coaches.  They have changed players.  They have changed offensive philosophies.  They haven’t changed the end results.  They can move the ball with ease from twenty to twenty.  But once they get inside the red zone something happens.


I don’t know if Dan Snyder broke a mirror seven years ago or if he offended a voodoo witch doctor.  All I know is that the Redskins seem to be suffering from a scoring hex.


This hex can not be blamed on any one person.  Jason Campbell threw two great passes during each of the first two scoring drives.  On the first Devin Thomas dropped the ball.  On the second Mike Sellars dropped it.


During the third scoring drive terrible play calling seemed to doom the team.  Two runs up the middle and a third down gimmick caused a drive to stall without giving the QB a chance to make a single throw.


There are many reasons why I may keel over any game now.  Until the Redskins can stop making silly mistakes and end this scoring jinx I will be content to stand up during the fourth quarter of games. 


I will also be finalizing my last will and testament.