Best and worst moments from the Redskins’ 20-9 loss to the Dolphins in Miami.
Worst Morning: Remember how Devin Thomas used to call D.C. “Drama City,” because of the Redskins’ constant off-field nonsense? And how all that was supposed to end when the Shanahans arrived? Well, Sunday morning, we found out that after his public support for John Beck, Mike Shanahan was going with Rex Grossman, making his third starting QB change in one-and-a-half seasons. He also benched the rookie running back who just set a franchise record for receptions in a game. And we also learned that two prominent offensive stars had tested positive for offseason recreational drug use. Drama city, again.
Best Quote: Fred Smoot, on Comcast SportsNet’s pre-game show, discussing the Redskins quarterbacking situation: “What’s the difference between a urinal and a commode? Nothing, they both stink!”
Worst Quote: “They are so far away from being a great team,” Terry Bradshaw said of the Redskins during Fox’s halftime show. Sigh.
Worst Explanation for a QB Change: I wanted to quote Mike Shanahan here, but I didn’t even understand the explanation. Something about the guys who are playing around the quarterback or something. He actually mentioned the Niles Paul injury. And the Jammal Brown injury. Whatever.
Worst Job Living Down to Expectations: Grossman’s first interception wasn’t his fault. His second interception, inside the 10-yard line, with Washington within four points of Miami, was the reason that this season is going nowhere. The Dolphins entered Sunday’s game with two interceptions, and yet it was not at all surprising to see them equal that total against the Redskins.
Worst Observation: During one of ESPN 980’s pre-game shows, Larry Michael attempted to explain Grossman’s continued absence from the starting lineup by saying he was still “pale” after suffering from pneumonia. I guess I’ll take they decided to go with a pale Grossman over a fully colorized Beck.
Best Job Staying in the Pocket and Taking a Hit: Hey, Grossman played tough on Sunday. Give him that.
Worst Drop: Fred Davis, who has appeared in this category before. If the ball hits your belly, you should probably catch it.
Worst Celebration: Because this is a mandatory weekly feature, I’ll mention again that LaRon Landry is not winning any fans by celebrating after the opposing offense has a successful play.
Worst Stat, Part I: In nine first quarters this season, the Redskins have a total of 16 points.
Worst Stat, Part II: As Dan Daly pointed out, the Redskins have now gone five straight games without scoring a first-half touchdown.
Worst Stat, Part III: As Ben Maller noted, the Redskins now have at least one turnover in 23 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL.
Worst Stat, Part IV: Over their last seven games, the Redskins have 86 points. That’s an average of 12.3 points a game. Over nearly half of an NFL season.
Worst Stat, Part V: This is the first five-game losing streak of Mike Shanahan’s NFL head coaching career. Glad he saved it for us.
Worst Urgency While Trailing in the Fourth Quarter: Same team as always. Dudes, when you’re down two possessions, please, please, hurry just a bit. Like, try to pretend you’re not Mike Wise on deadline. “We’re a little disappointed it took us that long to get out of the huddle, yeah,” Shanahan said.
Worst Job Consistently Running Kickoffs Out of the End Zone and Failing to Reach the 20:Brandon Banks.
Worst Commentary: I understand the Redskins have a spotty offensive line and iffy pass catchers and no running game, but Tim Ryan said about 18 billion nice things about Rex Grossman in a game where THE REDSKINS SCORED NINE POINTS. NINE!!!!!!!!. HOW AWESOME COULD HE HAVE BEEN?????? Guh.
Worst Penalty Call: I had no problem with the helmet-to-helmet call against Ryan Kerrigan, which some fans hated. But I just didn’t get the neutral-zone infraction call against Kerrigan, when he did not appear to be in the neutral zone.
Best Emergence: Leonard Hankerson had 8 catches for 106 yards, and was easily the Redskins’ most dynamic offensive player. It was the most receiving yards for a Redskins receiver this season, and the first time a Redskins rookie receiver topped 100 since Rod Gardner in 2001. This after Hankerson was inactive for the team’s first five games. Of course, this being the Redskins, he left with a fourth-quarter injury. The rest of the team combined for 109 receiving yards.
Worst Sophomore Slump: Ok, Anthony Armstrong isn’t technically a sophomore, but after his breakout 2010 season, this year has just been baffling. On Sunday, he was essentially replaced as the third wide receiver by David Anderson, who had been with the team less than a week.
Best Three-Yard Run: Despite being benched, Helu wound up winning back the featured running back job by default, and he showed a bit more than Torain. His best play may have been a three-yard run on 3rd-and-3, when he seemed to be stopped behind the line of scrimmage and then somehow squirmed just past the first-down marker.
Worst Holding: After a Kevin Barnes interception gave Washington great field position in the first half, Ryan Torain trotted in for an easy touchdown run. Which was promptly called back because of a holding call against Logan Paulsen. Washington wound up with a five-play drive that netted negative three yards, and a field goal.
Best Turnover Machine: Ryan Kerrigan forced two more fumbles on Sunday. He now has four forced fumbles and an interception in his first nine NFL games.
Best Offensive Change: Last week, John Beck’s longest pass went for 17 yards, and that was on a deflection. This week, Rex Grossman’s first two completions went for 17 and 20 yards. Give me that over the checkdowns to infinity, please.
Worst Moment: Jason Taylor sacking Rex Grossman. Just too much badness in those five words to comprehend.
Best/Worst Conclusion: I don’t have a better way to sum up this Redskins season than this, via @jravick: Nothing>Rex >Beck >Rex. It’s sad, but it’s true.