Washington Redskins: What Yesterday's Loss Means To the Fans

Josh McCainSenior Writer IDecember 13, 2010

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 12:  E.J. Biggers #31 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers causes Graham Gano #4 of the Washington Redskins to fumble after a missed snap on an extra point attempt that would have tied the game with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter at FedExField on December 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Buccaneers defeated the Redskins 17-16. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

All evening and most of this morning I've debated thoroughly what I was going to write in this space.

Was I going to besmirch Graham Gano?

Was I going to lay into the entire special teams unit for not being so special?

Was I going to complain about a Buccaneers' offensive lineman holding Brian Orakpo on the Tampa Bay touchdown?

No, I decided that I wasn't going to write about any of those things. Shoot, this article is barely going to be about yesterday's game at all.

No, my subject is how yesterday's loss affected me and several of my fellow Redskins fans.

Normally, when the Redskins lose a game on the final play—be it on defense, offense or special teams—I yell some sort of obscenity (usually beginning with the letter "F") and spike my hat in anger.

Yesterday, I did neither.  Honestly, I saw every single mistake by the Redskins before it even happened.

Before both Gano misses yesterday, I said to myself "watch him miss it." On the botched snap/hold at the end of the game, I knew something was going to go wrong (though I thought it would be a block or miss not a botched snap).

On that final Tampa drive, I'd knew the Bucs would score a touchdown.

This season has been like that.  Even when the Redskins are doing good, you just know the other shoe is going to drop and they're going to find someway to lose the game.

Why? Because they're just not that good.

Outside of Orakpo and LaRon Landry, we don't have really anyone else who'd be a starter on the 31 other teams in the NFL.  Maybe McNabb in Arizona, Cleveland or Carolina, maybe, but he's hasn't played that well and he'd only start because of past performances, not because of anything he's done this season.

After yesterday's loss, I was just in a haze for the rest of the evening.

Nothing seemed that great to me.  My dinner was blah, Fox's Animation Domination block didn't seem that funny and then I had trouble sleeping.

All this over a football game?

No, not just a game.

This morning I figured it out.  Yesterday was a microcosm for everything that has been wrong with the Redskins since Daniel Snyder bought them.

This isn't one of those "fire the owner" type articles, because frankly you can't fire an owner and I know he isn't going to sell the team anytime soon.

No yesterday's game simply showed how poorly the Redskins have been run over the past decade-plus.  It was all condensed into a 60-minute package.

After all, it started out smooth.  The defense held the Bucs to a three-and-out to start the game, and even after an offensive false start, Ryan Torain broke off a 58-yard run.

What was the result?  A missed field goal.

And the rest of the game was a microcosm of the team's performance since Snyder bought them.  Optimism and hope followed by despair and disappointment.

Even a fantastic game-tying drive was botched when the snap was too high and hot for Hunter Smith to handle.

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, but before the extra-point attempt I thought they should go for the win there.

After all, Gano almost missed the previous extra-point attempt , and with the way he was kicking, did the coaching staff actually think he'd be able to hit a game-winning field goal in overtime?

No, the Skins had the momentum with that touchdown and Ryan Torain couldn't be stopped.

This Skins should have gone for two and done one of two things: Live and die with Torain, or run a play-action to Torain and have McNabb throw like he did in the first half or run it in.

Again, hindsight is 20/20, but the Skins weren't going to win in overtime unless Brandon Banks returned the opening kickoff, or a punt, for a touchdown.

Poor play and poor decision-making led to a loss I consider more embarrassing than the one to the Eagles on Monday Night Football earlier this year.

Every now and then, you're going to get caught with your pants down and spanked by an opponent.  It happens, but beating yourself the way the Redskins did yesterday should never happen at the pro level in any sport.

It's one thing to play in a tight game and have one mistake be the difference, but the Redskins had at least seven mistakes. If you eliminate one of them, they win that game. Knowing that causes a throbbing sensation in my brain, and I wonder if it's about to explode.

After yesterday's loss, you just want to chuckle at and shake it off, but you can't.

As a fan, it's not funny and it's not as easily forgotten as saying, "Well there is always next week."

No, that was a game the Redskins won in every category but the one that really counts, the scoreboard.

I will thank the team for one thing though. After yesterday's embarrassment, I only have one more game to watch, and that's the one at Dallas, only because it's the Cowboys. 

Any other team, and I'd spend my Sunday finishing up my Christmas shopping.

Oh well, there's always next season, right?

Well, if there is a season.

For more Redskins commentary follow me on Twitter (@jomac006).


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