Best and worst moments from Washington’s 45-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, in the wintry mix, as despair belched up from Landover’s intestines inside FedEx Field.
BEST CATCH: WHAT A PLAY BY LOGAN PAULSEN NEAR THE END OF THE FIRST HALF, TIPPING AN OVERTHROWN PASS WITH ONE HAND, THEN GRABBING THE BALL WITH HIS OTHER, GETTING BOTH FEET IN BOUNDS AND HOLDING ON DESPITE CRASHING INTO THE COLUMN THINGEE THAT HOLDS UP THE GOALPOSTS. AMAZING PLAY. That made it 31-7, Chiefs.
Worst Response: The Chiefs returned the ensuing kickoff 4,000 yards for a touchdown. That was their 14th special teams touchdown of the day. It was also the 96th special-teams touchdown the Redskins have allowed this season. That made it 38-7 (not hyperbole, actually), and people started throwing snowballs. Needless to say, that was Kansas City’s highest scoring first half of the season. Also the first time I’ve had a mimosa at halftime. A mimosa! Of all things.
Best Long Field Goal: Pretty sure Kai Forbath made one as the first half ended. Just then, I was picking up the pieces of my abacus, which had exploded when I tried to calculate the Chiefs’ return yardage. It was a key kick, though, as it turned a four-possession 31-point deficit into a four-possession 28-point deficit.
Best Run: Jamaal Charles had a nifty 35-yard run in the second half in which he managed to get within six inches of every Redskins defender on the field. But I was less impressed than the CBS commentators, because Charles first doused himself in pig grease, and then deployed his cloak of invisibility, and then used his special turbo booster pack. Plus he was better than all the guys trying to tackle him. Not fair.
Best Other Run: Knile Davis’s 17-yard touchdown run had certain similarities to Charles’s earlier jaunt, but it wasn’t really as good, because Davis was only within six inches of probably eight or so Redskins. Had he waited for other defenders to come up to him and then not tackle him, maybe it would have been a bit better.
Is this a pasting or a shellacking? #HTTR
— Professor K (@smokingpets) December 8, 2013
Best Quote: “So this is hell,” says Garcin in No Exit, and yes, Garcin looks a lot like Garcon. “I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the “burning marl.” Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. HELL IS-THE CHIEFS!” It was hard to hear the end. Kind of garbled. Think that’s what he said.
Worst Note: This was the second time the Redskins trailed 31-0 during the first half under the Mike Shanahan regime, which should be ending, oh, about four words ago in this sentence. If you’re still reading this sentence, and there hasn’t been a coaching change, I’d be surprised. How about now? Still no?
Best Reflection: “This team is an embarrassment right now, to the organization, to the league,” Comcast SportsNet’s Chick Hernandez said after the game.
Worst Other Note:
Redskins have trailed 33-7 (vs. PHI), 38-7 (at GB), 24-0 (at PHI) and 38-7 (today) this season. @Russellmania980
— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) December 8, 2013
On the bright side for Washington at least a dumpster fire is warm.
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) December 8, 2013
Best Brand of Overpriced Ginger Beer: Have you ever tried Fever Tree? It was new to me the other day. I thought it was a perfect combination of spicy and sweet. I’d drink six without blinking. Sure, you’re paying too much for it, but it’s less than you’d pay for a fancy craft beer. Or a fancy gingerbread hot beverage. Or a bad beer in a cold stadium while your favorite team football is being humiliated.
Worst Beginning: The Chiefs kicked a field goal. The Redskins punted. The Chiefs scored a touchdown. Robert Griffin III threw an interception. The Chiefs scored a touchdown. The Redskins punted. The Chiefs scored a touchdown. The Redskins punted. The Chiefs returned it for a touchdown. I could go on. But my fingers are tired.
Worst Kickoff: Remember how the Redskins always stink at the field-position battle? And how the Chiefs are the best team in the NFL in that category? The Redskins started out Sunday with a short kickoff that was returned to the 33. Then Kansas City got a field goal, and the Chiefs kicked it three yards deep, and Niles Paul returned it to the 21. That 12-yard difference sums the whole thing up. Like, special teams play is not going to get worse than that over the course of…wait? Huh? What?
Worst Special Teams Implosion: Washington’s first punt was returned by Dexter McCluster 57 yards to the Redskins’ 13-yard line. That led to the first discussion of how bad the special teams have been. Washington’s second punt was returned by McCluster 24 yards into Washington territory. AND THAT WAS AN IMPROVEMENT. The third punt was returned — yes, by McCluster — 74 yards for a touchdown. That gave McCluster the most punt return yards in one game in franchise history — in 16 minutes. Also most the Redskins had ever allowed. “Probably the poorest display of special teams in one half of football I think I’ve ever seen,” CBS’s Solomon Wilcots said. That was before the Chiefs returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
Worst Kickoff Return: I’d still like to give special commendation to a random kickoff return in the second quarter. Niles Paul fielded the ball at the six. He returned it for eight yards. Then there was a seven-yard holding penalty. So they started at the seven. On a kickoff. The return teams really find new and amazing things to accomplish every week.
Worst Special Teams: Guess.
Worst Turnover: Robert Griffin III’s first interception was another one of those interceptions where you kind of want to just call them receptions, so perfectly are they thrown to the defender. That’s maybe a marginally funny joke in the best of times, with a bit more effort, but I’ve written that like 15 times already this season. It gets to where you don’t know what to write anymore. Anyhow, congratulations to Derrick Johnson and his family. I’m sure they were very happy.
Best Donut: Chocolate frosted. You don’t have to overthink things. Sometimes good is good, and bad is bad, and best is best, and worst is worst, and you don’t need a deep dive into donut philosophy to justify giving out a gross and inadequate product instead of something that’s just basic, and good.
Worst Breakdown: Longtime coaching staff defender Chris Russell finally lost it in the first half.
I’ve flipped my stance in the first quarter. Just fire everybody. Im going to cover DC United on a full time basis. #Redskins
— Chris Russell (@Russellmania980) December 8, 2013
Worst Pass: Early in the game, before the stadium was enveloped by the stench of disaster, Griffin had Pierre Garcon wide open on the sideline. His throw was as accurate as my phone’s autocorrect feature. Which is to say, broccoli. Wallpaper. Hairnet.
Worst Drop: Marcus Cooper hurt Griffin’s completion percentage by dropping a sure interception late in the second quarter. Ball couldn’t have been delivered much better than it was.
Best Backup Quarterback: Kirk Cousins totally dominated former Redskin Chase Daniel as they dueled their way through the fourth quarter. Cousins was 7-for-16 for 59 yards. Daniel was 1-for-3 for 17 yards. Domination.
Worst Out Of Town News: Oh hey, Jason Campbell threw for more than 390 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions in a road
victory over loss to the Patriots. (WHOOPS. SORRY JASON, JINXED THAT ONE.)
Worst Other Breakdown: LaVar!
Nervous breakdown has just happened!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahahah jkjkjk jiberish… I’ve lost it #adibidyadibidythatsallfolks
— LaVar Leap Arrington (@LaVarArrington) December 8, 2013
Worst Cereal: Krave. It’s gross. It looks like chocolate, and tastes like stale cardboard. And yet my daughter eats it, because it looks like chocolate. I can’t think of anything else relevant that looks good in theory and yet dramatically underperforms. Let’s move on.
Worst Tackle: Dwayne Bowe caught a short pass and was tackled by Bacarri Rambo. Well, hold on a second. I guess that depends how you define “tackle.” Rambo kind of lowered his head and crashed into Bowe and stuff, like you would do on a “tackle” play. Bowe, however, didn’t fall down, which is how “tackle” plays usually conclude. This play concluded with Bowe just running into the end zone and celebrating. Not very sporting, in my view.
Worst Look: There were lots, and lots, and lots of mentions of fans throwing snowballs. I don’t really blame fans for much when they’re paying to watch their team get smushed like a baby’s banana. But it makes it a whole lot harder for us down here to make fun of the Philly fans in the future. Because “they throw snowballs” was a key talking point.
Worst Ownage: The Redskins and Chiefs have played nine times. The Chiefs have won eight. Also, I get “worst everything” for using the word “ownage.”
Worst First Quarters: The Redskins have played 13 games and allowed 105 first-quarter points. In franchise history, the Redskins have never given up more than 104 points in the first quarter.
Worst Gloating: Man, Donovan McNabb can’t even gloat without screwing it up.
Wow do you see this Skins game. Unbelievable. Is Shannahan next to go? There has been a lot leak out of that organization. I told you so.
— Donovan McNabb (@donovanjmcnabb) December 8, 2013
Worst Pass Protection: Or worst route running, or worst pocket presence, or worst whatever. Worst fill in the blank. Worst word scramble. Worst choose your own adventure. Point is, the Chiefs had two sacks in their previous five games. They had six against the Redskins.
Best Milestone: Alfred Morris went over 1,000 yards. He’s the first Redskins running back to do that in back-to-back seasons since Clinton Portis in 2007-08. Yay?
Worst Analysis: CBS’s Solomon Wilcots pointed out that the Redskins have a new practice bubble and a new dining room, and seemed shocked that the team has continued to struggle. Dude. A nice plate of salmon can’t really cover up certain apparently inefficiencies. Like, in the “talent” category. That’s more important than salmon.
Best Brand of Veggie Burger: Boca. Not close. Not close to close. Sometimes, an imitation of the genuine product can actually be good in its own right. Note: offer does not extend to pro football teams.
Best Description: “Two cheeks equal a foot,” CBS’s Kevin Harlan said, when Griffin was ruled down before fumbling the ball. That was the highlight of the first half. Kevin Harlan talking about the quarterback’s cheeks. Man.
Best Visuals: I’m sure the snow was terrible for the players, and miserable for the fans, and a nightmare for the production staff and camera persons, but it’s aces for viewers at home. Some hot cocoa, some pita chips, and a Chiefs kicker trying a short field goal through flurries so thick that you can’t see the flight of the ball? That’s good stuff, weather gods.
Worst Headline Domination: Three hours of pre-game shows, three hours of chatter about whether Mike Shanahan actually was set to quit last season because of the relationship between Dan Snyder and RGIII, per ESPN.com. No team can be 3-9 and all over the headlines like your Washington Redskins. I mean, if you’re going to be bad, can’t you just be bad and boring, so we can all go to the grocery store in peace? Also, make that 3-10.
Worst Injuries: Jordan Reed and Darrel Young were again inactive. This team cannot sustain the loss of Jordan Reed and Darrel Young. Which either means they’re an amazing tight end and fullback tandem, or something worse.
Best Summary: “They’re a bit frustrated,” Solomon Wilcots observed during the second half. I can’t even remember who he was talking about. Everyone, I think.