Redskins vs. Lions: So Many Things Wrong in Washington's 19-14 Loss

Ed Sheahin@@NFLSkinsCorrespondent ISeptember 27, 2009

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth #92 of the Washington Redskins sits on a cart as he is taken off the field after an injury in the first half against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 27, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)

The professional in me wanted to take a day to mull over one of the most embarrassing Redskins’ losses I have ever witnessed in my thirty years of watching the team play.

But the fan in me has had enough, and ultimately won out!

Not since the 38-9 thumping at the hands of the Raiders in Super Bowl XVIII has a Redskins’ loss been so difficult to watch.   There was so much more at stake in that Raiders loss, thus it will always remain No. 1.  But the performance I observed against Detroit today now ranks as the biggest stinker during the regular season.

Please, allow me to point the finger.  It wasn’t the quarterback, or the offensive line, the defense, or even the coaching staff.  This loss is on the entire organization!

From Dan Snyder all the way down, everyone is accountable! 

Opening the season with two “going through the motion” games, the Redskins would certainly turn things around against a team that had not won since 2007, right?

That’s how veteran teams loaded with Pro Bowl players respond, isn’t it?  They beat the teams they are supposed to beat and get on track.

After all, the Redskins have the $100 million man (Albert Haynesworth), Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Chris Cooley, London Fletcher, Carlos Rogers, Chris Samuels, and Andre Carter.

And the Lions have...Calvin Johnson.

This is an organization-wide loss because:

On the offensive side of the ball, the entire team looked completely out of sync. 

Balls were snapped high from C Casey Rabach to QB Jason Campbell.  Campbell fumbled the ball on three occasions.  The line has splits on running plays like they are blocking for an extra point.  Portis is slowed by ankle spurs and runs more like a fullback.  The play calling is predictable in most cases, but at times you wonder what Zorn is thinking.   

On the defensive side of the ball, they failed to exploit their opponent’s weakness yet again. 

Defensive Coordinator Greg Blache said this week, “Why would we change what we do well?”  Maybe you should have thrown in a wrinkle or two since you were playing against a rookie quarterback.  Something like...oh, I don’t know...perhaps a few “all out” blitzes? 

And for the life of me, I have no idea why Blache keeps looping LB Brian Orakpo to the inside.  Line the man up on the outside and tell him to go sick the quarterback. 

As for the coaches, Jim Zorn needs to turn the play calling over to someone else.  He is the coach, and a young one at that.  He needs to learn to delegate and focus on coaching the team. 

Speaking of play calling, why would a coach script his first fifteen plays and announce that he does such?  Wouldn’t it be wise for opposing coaches to just mask their first fifteen defensive looks?  It just seems logical. 

Snyder is to blame probably more so than anyone.  For one, he hired Zorn in order to maintain ultimate control.  By hiring a quarterbacks coach who is in over his head, Snyder created a situation where Zorn has no choice but to lean on him.

In addition, Snyder has a history of paying an absurd amount of money to veteran players who convince themselves they are playing for the love of the game. 

In reality, and possibly subconsciously, these players play to stay healthy in an effort to retain their fat contracts.  They play hard, but not with the reckless abandon of an undrafted free agent playing to keep his job, doing whatever it takes to avoid returning home to work at the local grocery store.  

As long as Snyder retains Vinny Cerrato to perform GM duties, the organization will struggle.  Drafting only four offensive linemen—the backbone of any winning organization—in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft during a ten-year span is killing this team.

Cerrato also drafted two receivers and a tight end in the second round of the 2008 Draft, and the three of whom have contributed nothing so far.  They may one day, but the team was built to win now. 

It is going to be a long season for Redskins’ fans unless things turn around quickly. 

How do you fix an organization during the season?

Believe it or not, this team can still make a run.  There is a great deal of talent on this Redskins’ roster and they can win eight games in spite themselves.  But until the players (all of them) dig deep within themselves and play like there is no tomorrow, they will continue their losing ways.

This article was not meant to take anything away from the Lions' victory today.  They played hard.  They played for their fans.  They played for their struggling city.  They all played like undrafted free agents, including rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford, the first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.    


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