The Redskins have been exposed. They’re not the team that finished last season on a 7-0 run. They look more like the team that started 3-6. Washington has its most talented roster in years, but secondary weaknesses and a quarterback needing more time to return to last year’s form have led to an embarrassing 0-2 start. The Redskins suddenly look much like they have prior to the 2012 season: awful.
Coach Mike Shanahan, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Retirement is calling.
Redskins supporters will point to last year’s fast finish as reason not to give up this early in the season. They’re as delusional as Washington Nationals fans who still believe they have a chance to make the playoffs.
It’s not too early to realize opponents have learned how to beat the Redskins. Washington could have easily allowed 50 points in its losses to Philadelphia and Green Bay. The Eagles simply got tired from running up and down the field so much in the first half, and the Packers fumbled once on the goal line and took a knee on the Redskins’ 10-yard line as time expired.
Washington scored just seven total points in the first halves of the two games, and it was on a fumble return.
The offense couldn’t win shootouts anyway because the Redskins won’t allow Griffin to execute the zone read since it exposes his knee. The key to last year’s success isn’t being used because Shanahan obviously doesn’t trust Griffin’s health. After enduring an offseason of criticism over exposing Griffin to injury last year, it’s not an unhealthy change of approach.
The Redskins are being outplayed and outcoached. In Shanahan’s fourth year, there are no excuses anymore.
Shanahan spent the offseason saying the $36 million salary cap sanction and Griffin’s health wouldn’t be problems. But the team’s lack of money, plus the loss of 2013 and 2014 first-round picks in last year’s Griffin trade, kept the Redskins from upgrading the secondary.
They were hoping to get one more year out of aging veteran cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson, as well as linebacker London Fletcher, but they just don’t have it.
Washington faces another dominating playmaker on Sunday in Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. He could easily have 12 catches for 200 yards and three touchdowns.
Griffin’s improving after not playing in the preseason. But he’s clearly restricted and defenses know it.
Forget the playoffs: 8-8 might be the high mark. And then, Washington faces another offseason of change.