Here is a partial rundown of the Redskins’ play-by-play as the first half ended Sunday night.
With about 90 seconds left, Robert Griffin III threw a short pass near midfield to Jordan Reed, who gained three yards. Washington called timeout with 44 seconds remaining.
On 3rd-and-7, Griffin then threw a 29-yarder to Reed, which put the Redskins in the red zone. Washington had two timeouts, but didn’t use one here. Griffin threw incomplete on first down (the play ended with 20 seconds left), and again on second down (which ended with 15 seconds left). Then Washington took a timeout, ran a short QB draw, and kicked a field goal as time expired.
Not taking the timeout after Jordan Reed’s catch and run for a first down to the Dallas 17 with 37 seconds left was a major gaffe. Shanahan’s explanation after the game made no sense. I won’t even transcribe it because it’s so muddled and incorrect. Bottom line, at the end of a half or game when you’re trying to score a touchdown first, FG second, the goal should be more plays versus less plays. The more plays you have, the better chance of scoring a touchdown. Shanahan’s strategy of wasting 18 seconds by not calling a timeout with 37 seconds left ensured that he would have no less than 3 fewer offensive snaps.
So here’s Shanahan’s answer, when ESPN’s John Keim asked about not taking a timeout after the Reed grab.
“What we were trying to do, first of all it was 3rd down and 7,” Shanahan said. “And then once we completed it, we had plenty of time, we had two timeouts. What you want to be able to do is have two or three plays that you can run, and that’s what we did. The unfortunate thing, [the passes] were incomplete. That’s where you usually use your timeouts. So if we would have completed those pass plays, we would have used a timeout, and we would have been in excellent field position. But when you go first down incomplete, second down incomplete, you don’t need to use those timeouts. In fact, just the opposite, we saw the defense and we called a timeout so we’d have what we thought was a better chance to get in easier or better field position to kick the field goal.”
I agree with Shanahan that you want to take the timeouts after completed passes. I still don’t understand why Reed’s catch wasn’t one of those plays.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Hey, Kevin Durant was there again. Of course, that makes two high-profile road game visits, and two losses. (Durant was also at the Packers game.)
Amazing end to an amazing Michael Lee story about the mixed response Nene received during Washington’s preseason game against the Bulls in Rio.
“Instead of celebrating this very special and unique moment, people are sticking to some very small things,” Nene said. “We need to forget those things to be able to develop and grow. I know sometimes the truth hurts, but sometimes it’s the best remedy.”
Nene then rose from the podium and walked to the interview room exit. But once he hit the door, Nene stopped to reflect on his journey to the NBA and his incredible four-day return with its dramatic emotional turns, and he was paralyzed. With nothing left to say, Nene sobbed.
WEIRD FAN PHOTO OF THE DAY
This is maybe a weird look. (Via @recordsANDradio.)
HYPE MAN OF THE WEEKEND
Dan Snyder showed up at the annual Saturday rally in Irving before the Cowboys game, and got on the mic to pump up the crowd.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Durant wins again!
@Ginuwine bro u from Maryland..how u a cowboys fan
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) October 14, 2013
KEIM ON THE REDSKINS
Not a lot of positive pixels out there right now. These may be some of the worst.
When you’re playing poorly, losses like this happen. Or when you’re a bad team. After five games there’s no reason to think the Redskins are anything but a bad team. They play like bad teams do, with all the mistakes being made at the wrong times. Anything can still happen, but at least last season they could point to a handful of early games that showed what they could do. What game can they point to this season as proof that they are on the verge of … anything?
WHAT TO WATCH TONIGHT
The Caps host the Oilers at 7 on Comcast SportsNet. The Cardinals visit the Dodgers at 8 on TBS. And the Colts visit the Chargers at 8:25 on ESPN. All TV and radio listings are here.