Best and worst moments from the Redskins’ 23-17 win over the Seahawks in Seattle.
Best Defensive Moment: The Redskins went with another all-out blitz on the Seahawks’ crucial 4th-down play just before the 2-minute warning, and this time it led to a crush of burgundy around the quarterback, and a sack, and a win. We all hammered Jim Haslett when it failed against Dallas, so credit to the defensive coordinator when it works.
Best Swag: Rex Grossman will throw horrible interceptions into triple coverage, fling a feeble intentional grounding attempt to nowhere, catch a tipped ball and try to throw it again, and do all the other Bad Rex things he does. But then he’ll go ahead and air out a perfect game-winning 50-yard touchdown pass on 3rd-and-19, and leap into the air in celebration. It’s an experience, anyhow. Which leads me to...
Best Quarterback on the Roster: Is there any doubt it’s Grossman? And that starting John Beck for three games was a total waste of time and momentum during one of the NFC East’s weakest years in recent memory? Beck’s three starts produced 31 points and 857 net yards. Grossman came in and produced 57 points and 1015 net yards in three games, with largely the same personnel. I don’t believe this team would be 4-7 had Grossman started all 11 games.
Best Running Back on This Roster: Is there any doubt that it’s Roy Helu Jr.? Ever since Tim Hightower went out for the season, fans have been calling for Helu to take the lead role. Sunday, it finally happened, and the rookie responded with 162 all-purpose yards. He touched the ball on 11 of Washington’s first 20 plays, reached a career high in carries before halftime, and had one of the team’s best offensive plays of the season when he hurdled a defender and went for a 28-yard touchdown. Dunno why it took so long, though. Five times this season a Redskins RB has gone over 100 all-purpose yards; Helu’s responsible for three of ’em.
Worst Field Goal Operation: The Redskins have now failed on 20 field-goal attempts over their past 27 games. That includes four blocks this year, which leads the NFL. Graham Gano also had an extra point blocked and put the subsequent kickoff out of bounds. It’s been fun.
Worst Turnover Streak: Twenty-five games and counting for the Redskins, the longest streak in the NFL. The first Rex interception was just sort of average, but the second one was classic, triple-covered and underthrown and immediately following a Seattle missed field goal.
Best Opening Drive: Clearly, Sunday’s first drive was Washington’s best first drive of the season, and maybe best drive, period. It went 14 plays and 80 yards, took nearly eight minutes, actually included both runs and passes, and wound up in the end zone. It was the first time the Redskins scored a touchdowns on their first drive in 15 games, and only the second time this season they got any points on their first drive. Washington ended the first quarter with 12:23 time of possession and a 10-1 advantage in first downs..
Worst Line: “Helu will have to dance. He’s not even close to the dance floor,” Fox’s Ron Pitts said at one point. Later, Jim Mora Jr. started talking about Kyle Schottenheimer, who doesn’t exist. Also, Pitts called a left-to-right field goal movement “a draw,” which makes no sense. The Redskins aren’t exactly drawing the A-team broadcasters lately.
Worst Broadcast: Ok, more on that. Maybe the game was a bit dull through three quarters, but nobody tuned in to see video of Mora coaching youth football, or old photos of Mora as a player, or anything else about Mora. It was a total mess of a broadcast.
Best Return: Santana Moss made an immediate difference in his return from injury; he was targeted three times in Washington’s first five plays, and converted an early third-down. The veteran finished with just 4 catches for 29 yards, but he absolutely changed the offense.
Best Return, II: In Washington’s first 10 games this season, Anthony Armstrong had 47 receiving yards and one touchdown. On one play Sunday, he had a 50-yard touchdown that put Washington in position for the win.
Worst Flag: The 44-yard pass interference call against Josh Wilson was ridiculous, and Mora let the officials have it. He also said there were 5 million furious people in Washington, D.C., which slightly overestimates the team’s television audience. In any case, that penalty gave the Seahawks three points and their first lead, although the Redskins were handed a ridiculous high-hit-to-the-QB call on their next drive. The officiating seemed spotty throughout.
Best Rivalry: Who knew? The teams skirmished during warm-ups, skirmished again during the coin toss, skirmished after an extra point, drew about 5,000 personal foul calls, and jawed at each other throughout the game. Rarely have two losing teams from opposite coasts and different divisions
conferences displayed such raw and bloody late-November disdain. Popular theories for the hate included the teams vying for Washington supremacy, the Seahawks attempting to defend Jim Zorn’s honor, and the players kindly trying to distract us from Ron Pitts and Jim Mora.
Worst Illegal Touching: Jabar Gaffney. No off-color jokes here, people. Gaffney stepping on the end line cost the Redskins a touchdown, and their subsequent field-goal attempt was blocked.
Worst Time Management: Everyone.
Best Addition to the Lineup: Since becoming a starter, Perry Riley has 34
28 tackles in three games. Plus he never seems to celebrate when the other team has gained a first down.
Worst Attempt to Throw Two Passes on One Play: Grossman is such a gunslinger that he will catch a batted ball and then just chuck it forward again, rules be damned.
Worst Tackling: LaRon Landry wins for one of his classic violent launching-missile seek-and-destroy kill shots in which the ball carrier doesn’t fall down and is allowed to keep running after contact. That’s not an effective defensive strategy.
Best Stat: Sav Rocca had his first touchback of the season Sunday, in his 11th game of the season. He’s also put 21 punts inside the 20. That is a remarkable season, and makes Rocca the best Redskins punter in a generation.
Best Standings: A million things have gone wrong this season, and many fans still doubt the direction of the future, but it’s 11 weeks in, and the Redskins are tied with the Dream Team. It’s bad, but it could be worse.