Redskins Play a Stinker in Cincy

Rich TandlerSenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2008

Let's dispose of this stinker in a hurry.

When Cedric Benson throws 161 combined yards against you, you have no business winning.

When you let Ryan Fitzpatrick stand up at the line and bark out audibles like Peyton Manning, you have no business winning.

When the Bengals defense is giving your offensive line the jitters by walking up to the line and backing off, you have no business winning.

When you twice get flagged for an illegal formation, you have no business winning.

When your 280-pound fullback can't nudge for a quarter of a yard to get into the end zone, you have no business winning.

When your defense allows Benson, Fitzpatrick, and the rest of the Bengals to shove the ball down your throat for 16 plays in 7:13 to ice the game with a field goal, you have no business winning.

The Washington Redskins had no business winning against the Bengals.

They played like they were the 1-11-1 underdogs with nothing to play for. They were timid and tentative. The fumble on the third play of the game seemed to break their will right off the bat.

If that didn't, Sellers' fumble at the goal line did. Even though 20 minutes remained to be played, they seemed to be done.

I hate Sellers in short yardage. Get him the ball out in the open and let him hurdle and bowl defensive backs over to his heart's content. On short yardage, though, you need someone who knows how to run, find a crack in the wall and slither through it.

All Sellers wants to do is power his way over guys who are bigger than he is. And you never, ever push the ball away from your body to get it to break the plane unless you are 100 percent certain that you can get over.

While normally like to amuse myself and others—mostly myself—with longshot playoff scenarios, I'm not even going to go there. Although the Redskins aren't officially eliminated, they'd have to win out and some other teams would have to lose out for them to get in.

Instead, it's time to look to next year. I think that Jim Zorn stays, but I'll be much less certain of that should the Redskins lose out from here.

Changes on the coaching staff are inevitable, no matter who is the head coach. I've got to think that receivers coach Stan Hixon has to bear a load of the responsibility for the slow development of the team's rookie pass catchers.

Joe Bugel, thanks for the memories and I know it's been a tough year for you personally, but it's time to pack it in.

I don't give Danny Smith a free pass for the performance of the special teams—the Giants' first extra point a couple of weeks ago tells me all I need to know—but I think he'll get one.

Player personnel changes will be the subject of a lot of space here over the coming few months (free agency is just two and a half months away!). I'll look at a few things over the next few days.