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Posted at 01:23 PM ET, 10/22/2012

Redskins defense must stop giving up the big play

The Redskins fell to the Giants Sunday but it wasn’t for lack of effort or even ability. They simply yielded too many big plays and made too many mistakes to win.

Robert Griffin III continues to shine. Sure, the Giants got to him a few times and he did fumble at a very critical time, but he makes up for every mistake. He drove the team right down the field in amazing fashion to score what should have been the game-winning touchdown.

With just over a minute left in a football game, the first and last thing that a player in the secondary should be thinking is: Don’t let a receiver get behind me. Unfortunately, that’s just what happened and it cost the Redskins the game and their chance to be first in the NFC East.

All phases of the game were hard fought. The offensive line struggled at times against the Giants pass rush, but were very impressive run blocking.

Alfred Morris had a productive day running and when the line blocks well, the offense becomes, in my opinion, the most dangerous in the league.

It also was nice to see the receivers finally get going and earn some respectable numbers. The offense gives this team a chance to win every game. That hasn’t been the case here in quite some time.

On defense, the Redskins played the rush about as well as any team could. The continued problems with this unit are that they aren’t getting enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks and they are missing way too many tackles. They give up too many explosive plays and make too many mistakes. Just one of these faults is enough to cripple a defense.

The injuries and lack of depth don’t help, even as defensive coordinator Jim Haslett tries to come up with a strategy. When a unit loses its best player (Brian Orakpo), the anchor for the front, that sets everyone back. The problems at safety are still unbelievable.

When I study these games, I don’t see very many creative ways of blitzing. It’s just a very vanilla bend-but-don’t-break defense. I’ve seen Lorenzo Alexander and Keenan Robinson provide some athleticism up front, but there still remains a giant gaping hole in the secondary and it makes everyone on defense vulnerable.

We haven’t seen Brandon Meriwether, and maybe he will make a difference. But that assumes he can make it through warm-ups healthy enough to play.

The Redskins also lost the turnover battle, always one of the main measurable stats that predict winning and losing.

New kicker Kai Forbath hit a nice field goal and did his job, but in general, special teams have not been special this year, except for the coverage of Lorenzo Alexander.

All in all, I came away from this game in particular feeling confident about the team’s future. They will continue to struggle this season because they can’t address personnel needs now. Losing Fred Davis is tough. Even though he didn’t receive the ball that much, his presence on the field couldn’t be ignored. His loss will be felt.

Costly mistakes, losing the turnover battle and giving up big plays are the things the Skins must focus on. It’s sad to see them lose the way they did. They played hard and had an answer offensively every time.

Next up, the Steelers.

Leave your comments here and chat with me on twitter @lavararrington

By  |  01:23 PM ET, 10/22/2012

 
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