Fail: The Redskins on “Monday Night Football”
The Redskins have now lost six straight games on Monday night since their upset win over the Cowboys in 2014 and are 2-14 in their past 16 appearances dating back to 2008. Washington is 5-21 on Mondays this century, with an average margin of defeat of 10.4 points. Alex Smith was 8-1 in his previous nine prime-time games and 7-3 in his career on Monday night, but his first Monday in the burgundy and gold was a dud. What gives?
“I’m going to be honest, playing on Monday night is no different than playing on Sunday night for me,” Redskins defensive lineman Jonathan Allen told reporters afterward. “What’s different between Monday night and Sunday night? And 1 o’clock? It’s football. I don’t give a damn when we play. We can play [expletive] Tuesday afternoon. I’m going to still be the same as I am today, Sunday night, Sunday morning, Saturday, I don’t give a damn when we play. It’s always a national stage.”
The Redskins are scheduled to visit Philadelphia on Monday night in Week 13. They might want to look for a way to get that game moved to Tuesday afternoon, such as kidnapping Gritty and holding him for ransom.
Hail: Stopping Alvin Kamara
Give it up for the Redskins' defense, which found a way to limit the 2017 offensive rookie of the year to 39 total yards, 113 below his season average. Kamara only had nine touches, as fellow running back Mark Ingram made his season debut after serving a four-game suspension for PEDs and announced his return with 73 total yards and a pair of scores. There were probably quite a few fantasy football owners who were shocked to see the Saints put up 43 points and Kamara was hardly responsible for any of them.
Fail: Stopping Everyone Else
New Orleans backup quarterback Taysom Hill, who had five carries for 23 yards and a touchdown, was among the guys available on your fantasy football waiver wire who outscored Kamara. Smith, the rookie on the receiving end of Brees’s record-setting throw, finished with three catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns. The former UCF standout, who took advantage of veteran deep threat Ted Ginn being inactive with a knee injury, entered the game with one catch all season. Five different Saints combined for seven catches of at least 20 yards and New Orleans’s 447 total yards were 107 more than Washington had allowed in any of its first three games.
Hail: Redskins Fans in NOLA
Redskins fans took over Bourbon Street on Sunday night and were well represented inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, but unlike last season, when Washington built an early lead it would ultimately relinquish in nightmarish fashion, there wasn’t much to cheer about from the start on Monday. Still, Redskins fans were about as involved in the game as tight end Jordan Reed, who had one catch and was inexplicably targeted only twice against the 30th-ranked pass defense.
Fail: Josh Norman’s Night
A holding penalty on Norman negated a third-down stop on New Orleans’s first drive, which ended in a touchdown, and prompted ESPN analyst Booger McFarland to remark that Norman is no longer the Redskins' best cornerback. “That’s Quinton Dunbar,” McFarland said. Norman appeared to blow his assignment on Brees’s record-setting touchdown pass and found himself on the bench for the Saints' first possession after halftime. He wasn’t hurt.
“It was my call there for the first series,” Redskins Coach Jay Gruden said. “It was just between him and I . . . He finished the game and played a lot better in the second half.”
Norman didn’t have much else to say about his benching, but he did express his frustration with Michael Thomas, and engaged in some name-calling with the Saints' wide receiver on Twitter before deleting his tweets.
Norman’s night was perfectly summed up by a video shot by Richmond Times-Dispatch sports editor Michael Phillips. In it, Norman struggles — like, really struggles — with the seemingly simple task of removing his jersey for the traditional swap with a Saints player. (Warning: There’s some foul language at the end.)
Mmmmm. Beignets. The New Orleans breakfast treats make everything better. Here’s a recipe. Adrian Peterson, who spent the first part of last season with the Saints, said he planned to enjoy some beignets on this trip. No amount of powdered sugar could mask the ugliness of Washington’s latest loss.
“A total team debauchery and I’m the one in charge of it and I take responsibility for it,” Gruden said.
Fail: Montae Nicholson’s Shove
Nicholson owes his teammates all of the beignets after his lapse in judgment led to the Saints' second touchdown. Ryan Kerrigan hadn’t finished celebrating his first sack of the season when Nicholson shoved Ingram to the turf in plain sight of the official, drawing a 15-yard penalty that extended New Orleans’s drive.
“He’s smarter than that, he’s a better player than that,” Gruden said. “There was a lot of jabbering going on between both teams there for a little while, but we have to rise above it and understand that there’s ramifications if you get in a pushing and shoving match after a play. We deserved the penalty.”
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