The Redskins Have Hit Rock Bottom

LVCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 18:  Washington Redksins head coach Jim Zorn walks off the field after his team lost to the Kansas Chiefs October 18, 2009 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop had 4 field goals as the Chiefs won the game 14-6.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


On a day where the Philadelphia Eagles surprisingly left their heads in Philadelphia before an embarrassing loss to the Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Titans “quit” in a 59-0 bludgeoning at the hands of the New Patriots, the NFL got a real view of what “Rock Bottom” is in Washington D.C.
The Washington Redskins (2-4) continued to be the laughingstock of the NFL, despite the presence of winless teams like the Rams, Titans, and Buccaneers, in a putrid 14-6 home loss to the formerly winless Kansas City Chiefs (1-5).

The Chiefs improbable win marked the third time that the Redskins had allowed a formerly winless team to beat them. Entering Sunday, the Chiefs—having lost 28 of its previous 30 games—were ranked pretty much last in the NFL in almost every defensive category, allowing 27.6 points and 402.8 yards per game. 

So how did the Redskins and their West Coast offensive guru head coach Jim Zorn treat the Chiefs. Well the Redskins—or as my colleague Lake Lewis of Sport Journey radio calls them “The Deadskins”—managed just 265 yards of total offense and gained only seven first downs, while turning the ball over twice, committing seven penalties for 63 yards, and going only 2-for-14 on third-down conversions.

What a mess, to say the least.

FedEx field, which easily holds more than 90,000 fans, was half-full (or half-empty depending on your outlook for the ‘Skins). In all the madness, Zorn in his infinite wisdom, decided to pin the Redskins' woes on his starting quarterback, Jason Campbell, who he replaced at halftime.

Granted Campbell was not at his greatest Sunday—finished 9-for-16 for 89 yards and one interception—but his replacement, veteran backup Todd Collins, was probably worse. 

Collins (6-for-14, 75 yards, and two fumbles both recovered by the 'Skins) did connected with wide receiver Santana Moss on a 42-yard strike on his first pass (led to a field goal), but from there it was “Check-down City.” Overall, Collins was tentative in the pocket and took too many sacks including a safety (sacked in the end zone by Chiefs DE Tamba Ali) in the game’s desperate closing minutes.

Zorn, in explaining why he benched Campbell said, “He was a little late in hitting some things and inaccurate.”

Hey Zorn … I wonder if you have a mirror? To me it was ridiculous that the Redskins headman would look at anyone other than himself for his team’s ineptness. The Redskins defense didn’t allow a touchdown (four Ryan Succop field goals and a safety), sacked Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassell five times and allowed only 268 net yards, despite playing with bad field position over and over (Chiefs started their final four drives in Redskins territory).

The Redskins’ offense now is averaging only 13.2 points per game this season and hasn’t scored more than 17 in any game despite playing facing six consecutive winless opponents (first team in NFL history to do this).

Zorn began his postgame news conference with a huge sigh then rightfully stepped forward to face the awful music—with the loss to the Chiefs, the Redskins are now 4-10 in their past 14 games.

Of his team’s offensive effort Zorn said, “This offense is better than six points, 100 percent. And that’s on me.”

You are right Zorn!!

However, the Redskins organization did send a loud and clear message to their beleaguered head coach immediately after the game. According to Redskins spokesman Zack Bolno, vice president of Football Operations, Vinny Cerrato told Zorn that he had too many responsibilities and someone else (insert name: “Sherman Lewis”) should run the offense during games.

In case you didn’t know, Lewis (West Coast offense coach from the ‘90s Green Bay Packers) had been added to Zorn’s staff in early October without the coach’s knowledge.

As if the addition of Lewis as an “offensive consultant” wasn’t a big enough slap in the face of Zorn, now a guy that has been out of the NFL for more than five years and someone he didn’t want will be calling his team’s offensive plays from here on out. 

I find it hilarious how Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and his staff have continued sawing off Zorn piece-by-piece without actually firing him. With the angry Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off an embarrassing loss to the Raiders, coming to town in Week Seven, the Redskins should expect another loss.

So rest assured, the inevitable firing of Zorn will soon be upon us, probably during the Redskins’ bye week in Week Eight. Stay tuned as something stinky needs to be cleaned up in the Nation’s Capital and it has nothing to do with politics.


Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)


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