The 5th Quarter: Chiefs 45 Redskins 10
THE GAME TURNED WHEN… Both teams showed up to play this game at 1 PM.
THE GAME WAS OVER WHEN… Shortly after 1 PM.
THE GOOD… WR Aldrick Robinson made a few nice plays, catching a tough pass or two. Great catch by TE Logan Paulsen on a high pass in the end zone for a touchdown. Of course, later he fumbled after catching a pass in the fourth quarter, turning the ball over to the Chiefs. PK Kai Forbath hit a 50-yard FG in the snow and freezing rain as the first half ended. That’s it.
THE BAD… Where do I start? Pretty much everything was bad. In fact, this was as bad — or worse — as anything during the Steve Spurrier or Jim Zorn eras.
Chiefs PR Dexter McCluster racked up 177 punt return yards on 7 attempts, an average of over 25 yards a pop. He took one all the way to the house after a couple of nice returns to put the offense in the Redskins red zone. It started with a 33 yard line drive punt after Washington’s first drive led to a 57-yard return by Dexter McCluster, setting the Chiefs up inside the Redskins 15-yard line. There have been too many bad punts this season by Sav Rocca, who should probably retire to sunny Australia in a few weeks.
KR Quentin Demps had 123 return yards on two attempts, returning one for a touchdown. That’s right, the Redskins special teams gave up a punt return and a kick return for a TD. Both in the first half of today’s game. That’s the first time in history the Redskins have done that. The special teams have been almost uniquely terrible this season, but today was a new low. One wonders if Mike Shanahan lost some of the players when he refused to fire Special Teams Coach Keith Burns earlier this season.
RG3 telegraphed that interception in the first quarter, looking down Pierre Garcon so that LB Derrick Johnson easily intercepted the pass and returned it deeply into Redskins territory.
It was bad enough that CB DeAngelo Hall allowed WR Dwayne Bowe to get wide open for an easy slant completion in the red zone. What made it worse was S Bacarri Rambo bouncing off Bowe and allowing the Chiefs wideout to easily strut into the end zone to put KC up 17-0 in the first quarter. The Chiefs scored on their first three drives, twice with field position that began inside the Redskins red zone.
RB Jamal Charles ran for 151 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown, averaging 7.9 yards per attempt. He also scored a receiving touchdown. As a team, the Chiefs ran for 197 yards today, averaging over five yards per rush. A lot of those yards came after missed tackles. That was also true of what the Chiefs accomplished returning punts and kicks today.
Washington’s tackling was terrible today, both on special teams and on defense. The team just looks very poorly-coached, unprepared and unconcerned about results on the field. The players will say they did not quit today, but it really looked like some players — not all of them — quit today. Perhaps they think their coach has quit on them so they should just quit on him. In any case it was a very unprofessional performance by the Redskins players and coaches today.
RB Alfred Morris did nothing today, with 12 carries for 31 yards [2.6]. The truth is, Morris just hasn’t been a good back since TE Jordan Reed and FB Darrel Young got injured. Both players were inactive again today and the offense is just completely incapable of sustaining drives and getting first downs without them.
THE UGLY… The team quit today. The entire show was ugliness. The offense didn’t come to play. Robert Griffin III was terrible and benched. His replacement, Kirk Cousins, was terrible, too. The running game was ineffective. There were drops, fumbles, an interception and more missed tackles than anyone could count. All the ugliness, the foulness, the rancid stench at the core of this team, starting from the very top, came together today to produce a huge embarrassment. The embarrassment started before the game even began — with the pregame drama surrounding Mike Shanahan, RG3 and Dan Snyder — and continued after the game with Mike Shanahan‘s bizarre and preposterous postgame presser.
THE STUDS… There were none.
THE DUDS… Everyone, especially kick coverage and punt coverage.
AND IT ALL MEANS… The Redskins need a complete overhaul, but as bad as the roster is — and it is easily the worst in the NFC — the problems go much deeper than that. The owner is scheming with star players behind the back of the head coach — and not for the first time. The head coach is seemingly spending more time trying to dodge blame for this fiasco than getting his team prepared to play games. The special teams coach is completely unqualified for the job he holds. A large percentage of players appeared to quit today. Perhaps the Redskins can get lower than this — I never bet against the Redskins getting worse than whatever they are at the moment — but this is pretty bad. Talk will now focus on who is going to replace Mike Shanahan as head coach of the Redskins, but the truth is, why would any self-respecting coach come to DC to coach the Redskins? Well, money, of course. Owner Dan Snyder delights in paying big bucks for big names and he may very well do it again. But this is where coaches come to make money and lose their reputations. So that’s what Snyder will get — a coach more focused on making money than the product on the field. He will go down as just another failed coach in a long line of failed coaches working for Dan Snyder. Years change. Coaches change. Players change. But Dan Snyder’s Washington Redskins are consistently a bad team — often embarrassingly bad, as they were today and have been most of this season.