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Need to Know: First thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants—Defense will face 3 wides a lot

Sep 20, 2016, 6:05 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 20, five days before the Washington Redskins visit the New York Giants.


Today’s schedule: Off day, no availability

Days until: Browns @ Redskins 12; Redskins @ Ravens 19; Eagles @ Redskins 26

First thoughts on Redskins vs. Giants

—Here’s a look at what we might expect to see from the New York offense on Sunday:

—In the lead up to Norman-Beckham Round 2 the Redskins are making Josh Norman available to the media for 10 minutes on Wednesday afternoon. His press conference will be at about 3:20. Don’t be late. My quick early thought is that they will move Norman to stay near OBJ a lot more often then they matched him up with Antonio Brown and Dez Bryant. Bashaud Breeland has had trouble with Beckham in the past and it’s probably better to match up Norman. The best way to battle Beckham is to rattle him and Norman can do that.

—Breeland could have his hands full with receiver Sterling Shepard. So far the rookie leads the team in receiving yards with 160, one more than Beckham.

—It’s funny what a difference a few plays can make. If Terrance Williams can get out of bounds in Week 1 and if Drew Brees can muster another touchdown on Sunday, the Giants could well be 0-2 and the finger pointing in New Jersey would be well underway especially with a new coach and no playoff appearances since 2011. Instead, they are 2-0 and on top of the world.

—Can Kirk Cousins get it together in time to save the Redskins’ season? I don’t know but he’s done it before. You don’t have to think back any further than the second half of the Bucs game at FedEx Field last year. But just because he has done it before doesn’t mean he can do it again. The real question isn’t if he can turn it around, it’s why is he playing poorly in the first place? Progress isn’t necessarily linear as we’ve learned but this seems like quite a precipitous dip. Perhaps defenses have adjusted to him but that doesn’t account for him overthrowing Jamison Crowder early or underthrowing Josh Doctson later on. Is it money/contract pressure? The amateur psychologist in many observers thinks that may be the answer.

—Will this be the week the Redskins start running ball some more? Last year the Giants were only slightly better against the run than the porous Redskins but so far this year they have been fairly stingy, giving up 71 yards per game. Perhaps the Redskins can try to keep Eli Manning, Beckham, and company off the field by handing the ball to Matt Jones 20 times, maybe give Robert Kelley a few carries as well. I mean, only the Redskins coaches have really stopped Washington’s running game so far, right?

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  1. colorofmyskinz - Sep 20, 2016 at 6:17 AM

    If we do not improve substantially from what we did with Pit and Dallas, after watching Giants and Eagles, we may not win a divisional game this season.

    As Gruden says we have to go back to work and coach em up… Better do a ton of work and super charge your coaching because we are boarder line noncompetetitive.


    • garg8050 - Sep 20, 2016 at 6:33 AM

      Biggest difference right now between the ‘Skins and Giants/Eagles is the front 7 on defense. The Eagles have had a good front 7 and the Giants spent a lot of money to improve their’s. At least for two games, it looks like money well spent. The ‘Skins don’t have a difference maker on the front 7, that’s obvious. Kerrigan isn’t a difference maker and Smith isn’t there yet. McCloughan has to take the hit on this. Nothing was done in free agency or the draft to address this clear need. Let’s see how it all plays out; still 14 games to go, but not looking promising.

      • bangkokben - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:02 AM

        The biggest difference between the Redskins and the Eagles is WHO they played. Had the Eagles played the Steelers and Cowboys and the Redskins played the Browns and Bears AND they both had the same records, then we would really have something to worry about. All are games that are later on the schedule. Not much can be extrapolated from the Eagles first two game including that they may have played the two worst teams in football.

        • celticsforever - Sep 20, 2016 at 9:08 AM

          Right now the Skins look like one of the worst teams in football. The defence is beyond pathetic and cannot stop anything. The Eagles D has teeth and they have what seems to be a competent QB. If Philly is a bottom third team, they are about 24 whereas Washington is more like 30.

        • bangkokben - Sep 20, 2016 at 1:38 PM

          Right. Because the Cleveland Browns are the equals to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 3:28 PM

          They are Ben! They are. Did you not see the preseason with RG3 and Pryor? Looked just like Ben and AB. That team is on fire.

          In all seriousness, some of the Browns rookies have impressed the hell out of me. Carl Nassib looks amazing for a rookie 3rd round DE. It’s a shame he got hurt. But he will be back. The Browns are starting rookie bookends plus a second year NT and their front looks better than ours. Is it just a flash or luck? Could be. But I’m keeping my eye on them. They might be on to something over there. I’m going to go cover the game when they come to Dallas and I’m curious to go talk to some of the players about how that’s working out.

          I’ll also be at the Redskins game but I don’t think I can find an excuse to hit their locker room unless they randomly pick up a Baylor player between now and then. Maybe I can swing it with Doctson. But I will be interested to ask the Dallas O-line their thoughts on our D-line.

      • chimps000 - Sep 20, 2016 at 8:54 AM

        Agree on the front 7 lack of improvement- giants added two high priced free agents in big boy Damon harrison and Olivier Vernon. If they play well, money well spent, but we know that often big free agent spending sprees often don’t work great.

        The NFC least teams are all close to each other, let’s face it- if Kirk plays good not great we could beat the Giants next week.

      • 226thebeatdontstop - Sep 22, 2016 at 1:30 PM

        I have been saying the exact same thing all off season. I am disappointed McCloughin did not address the front seven in free agency or the draft, Reyes doesn’t count because he is just a guy.

        Kerrigan and Smith are not consistent play makers

  2. garg8050 - Sep 20, 2016 at 6:18 AM

    I think Cousins is clearly pressing. Either to live up to the franchise tag, or to justify the next contract. McVay isn’t doing him any favors with the play calling and the pass/run ratio. The fade routes to Doctson needs to be put on ice for now. He said it himself, he needs more practice and timing with those.

    I think they need to simplify the game plan, run the ball more, go to more quick passes. Let Cousins get comfortable before attacking more downfield. Obviously it would help not falling behind every game; defense has to help in that regard.

    As for the red zone, what happened to the zone read? Cousins scored 3 or 4 TDs on that play last year, or the QB draw? If they would actually run the ball more, the play action would open up more. Those are the plays Cousins excels in.

    This offense can move the ball. We all know that. They just need to be better on 3rd downs and in the red zone. Opposing defenses are keying on Reed. It’s up to our coaches to find ways to get him open. Everyone knows Gronk is gonna get the ball, yet he still finds ways to get open. That falls on Gruden and McVay.

    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 20, 2016 at 6:39 AM

      Agreed front office failures are greater than player failure.

      • sidepull - Sep 20, 2016 at 8:23 AM

        Here you go Color. You have been adamant about a Center. Stork is visiting the Jets today. If he passes the physical….what gives?

        • colorofmyskinz - Sep 20, 2016 at 9:22 AM

          Wow is all I can say

        • colorofmyskinz - Sep 20, 2016 at 9:25 AM

          If he passes physical, I would be questioning our Doctor big time. Because we really needed him. Maybe he just cleaned the urine a bit in between?? …

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:55 PM

          It could have been a psych failure. Or something with concussions. There’s not even close to a consensus about all of that.

          But so the Patriots outright cut him, We fail his physical, and the Jets have him in for a visit and you want to get down on us? The Patriots outright cut him. If you don’t trust Bill Bellichick’s judgement on players then who?

    • colorofmyskinz - Sep 20, 2016 at 6:51 AM

      Honestly it really does not matter what cousins does. When you have a defense that allows more than 35 points per game we are going nowhere. The only reason we need to see Kirk come alive is to determine contract for next season. Other than that, if defense continues down this path, does not matter what offense does.

      • sidepull - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:19 AM

        If the coaching staff does not get over their stubborn selves they will stay in the basement.

      • metalman5150 - Sep 20, 2016 at 8:59 AM

        The skins WISH they could score 35 points.

      • ET - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:42 PM

        “When you have a defense that allows more than 35 points per game we are going nowhere.”

        While I’m not gung ho about this defense, I don’t think they’re that level of terrible, either. There are some bright spots (Murphy, Cravens, Norman) and an increased sense of urgency (finally). I think this defense can be solidly mediocre!

      • greed - Sep 20, 2016 at 3:35 PM

        oh no you not going to cop out on kirk color of my cousins, not after you drove the bandwagon all last yr , say this much about the defense they played with energy and passion in 2nd half sun . Gave up only 143 yds in 2nd half cause turnovers or atleast one turnover and 2fumbles they put us in position to go up 10 pt in the fourth and take control of the game it was ya boy kirk who over and under threw td’s to keep da boys in da game then threw and int in the endzone to give them the game so dont give me dont matter what kirk does cause what kirk does trumps all

    • colmac69 - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:06 AM

      Some gd points there.regards cousins I think he might b pressing some but I don’t think it contract’s all bout winning games.if cousins vs pitt 15-30-157-1-2 and puts up 19-35-200-2-4 vs dall but we win both games do we have a 24hr debate on how poorly cousins s had played?

      For me red zone is biggest problem offensively with cousins….with our defense looking like it concede everytime opposition has ball we nd 7 not 3 for best part.

      Where a lot of people are missing the point is the offense isn’t going to b high octane every wk…when a qb and offense have struggles it’s then you need the run game or a gd defense to bail you out.we don’t or appear not to b committed to running the ball and our defense is made of Swiss cheese.our season is relying on how good the offense is.if it doesn’t perform to high level then we won’t win many games due to how bad defensively we are.perhaps it’s too much pressure on cousins to carry on from where he left off from last yr.

      But withot doubt he got to be better but I’m sure he realises that regardless of whether he getting paid 1 mill or 20 mill.

      The odds don’t favour a win on Sunday. Think we only won there in 07 and 11 in last 12 yrs (incidentally the two yrs giants won superbowl ).but u never know.after cleveland you got baltimore, philly and detroit with ben gals in London.tough 4 games after cleveland

    • bangkokben - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:12 AM

      Agree about Cousins pressing. “McVay isn’t doing him any favors with the play calling and the pass/run ratio.” No, Cousins isn’t doing himself any favors. Had Cousins EXECUTED the game plan he would have had two 400 yard passing games and six TD passes by now and that’s with missing on every fade. Cousins was suppose to be the strength of the team — his ability to be decisive, make the right read and correct throw. Now that it looks like he can’t be counted on, that severely hampers the team. They will have to try to run the ball (good luck), keep New York off the field, and play stout defense (ha ha ha) trying to win a close one. I for one hope they ignore all the noise, get Kirk’s head on straight, and try to run up the score with the passing game — EXCEPT when it’s first and goal and they have the lead. In that case, run the damn ball.

      • garg8050 - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:19 AM

        True. But when your quarterback is clearly struggling, you either bench him or help him out with more runs, shorter/quicker throws to get him into a rhythm. Having him drop back 50 times a game isn’t the solution. At least not in my opinion.

        • bangkokben - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:30 AM

          All QBs stuggle, so benching him for getting 75% of the plays right is not a realistic solution. The problem is finding out what the problem is. Why IS he missing the obvious first read and being late on the ball. (To Garcon on 4th and one for instance.) That’s a play that he makes 9 times out 10 last year — even before his hot streak.

      • garg8050 - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:23 AM

        And let’s be clear here, the interception in the end zone was HORRIBLE. You absolutely cannot do that, most high school QBs know that…but, let’s not let the defense off the hook. The ‘Skins were still leading. Wasn’t like they had a short field to defend. The Cowboys went 80 yards for peets sake!! Someone, anyone, make a play!

        I can’t remember the last time our defense responded with a take away after a take away…can’t remember it.

        • bangkokben - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:34 AM

          The Cowboys were the benefit of the refs bad calls on that drive. Doug Free left a beat early on “no holding” call. How do you miss a guy on the line moving early? The hands to the face on Norman seemed to be an inconvenient make up call for the phantom hold on Dallas in the first half. The roughing the passer while Prescott is breaking tackles. Sure, the defense needed to make a stop but there was a LOT of help by the guys in stripes.

        • celticsforever - Sep 20, 2016 at 9:15 AM

          This team cannot stop the run or the pass. This team cannot get off the field on 3rd (or 4th!!!) down. This team cannot run the ball. This team gets outplayed on both lines. This team has a fancy shmancy passing attack with a very inaccurate QB. This is a bad team. Period.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 1:04 PM

          The defense wasn’t supposed to be the strength. They played exactly how they were supposed to play vs. Dallas. WRs played how they were supposed to, TEs, Jones actually did better, O-line, Murphy gets 1.5 sacks and a FF, etc. etc. Defense wasn’t supposed to begood and they’re playing like it.

          But Cousins was supposed to be good. He’s the only player on the team not playing up to expectations.

  3. redskins12thman - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:02 AM

    Rich — This is a great line and clearly a contributing factor: only the Redskins coaches have really stopped Washington’s running game so far right?

    I don’t think the Redskins offense has been taking advantage of what the opponents’ defenses are giving them as often as I would like (and instead are forcing the ball at times or are missing wide open players on others); this is probably due to a combination of good defensive disguises and poor play calling, audibles and Cousins’ decision making. I wasn’t expecting this to occur and, besides the many miscues, this has been one of the biggest disappointments so far this season.

    I think the Redskins defense needs the Redskins running game to work even more than the Redskins offense does; the reason is the Redskins defense do not appear to have depth / endurance to play as long as it has so far and drives that include more running plays tend to eat up more of the clock. Moreover, Redskins drives need to be capped by touchdowns and not field goals.

    While I’ve not heard of breakdown of the way Bruton and Phillips played against the Cowboys, these two players seem to have started the season struggling. If Ihenacho and Everett can’t challenge Bruton, we may be in trouble. Coaches must not trust Fuller either at this point. As you point out, the Giants have three active receivers that must be stopped so are DBs can’t remain a liability.

    I can’t say that I’m surprised a 33 year old lineman injures himself. Of all the decisions the Redskins made on defense, reliance on Bruton / Ihenacho and Hall / Blackmon as your safety pair and not bringing in more competition for Golston are the strangest. I hope Straight is feeling better; much like Nix, injuries may cut Spaight’s career even before it really starts…. and the revolving door opens up for Jason Fanaika, Amarlo Herrera and Bobby Richardson. Do you have any insights on them?

    While the Giants could have lost their first two games, they’ve been in a much better position than the Redskins have been in their games. Outside of the penalties, the Redskins offensive line play has been okay; I expect them to face much more pressure by the Giants defense than they have so far. On the other side of the ball, I’d like Murphy to get more snaps. At this point, what do we have to lose?

  4. skinsgame - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:09 AM

    Cousins is proving to be a head case. No reason he shouldn’t be one of the top QB’s right now, given his available weapons and pass protection. He is throwing low a lot. Reminds me of McNabb. Even his fade pass is flat and without an arc.

    17 team penalties in 2 games, 7 of which are false starts. Ouch. It looks like camp and preseason never happened. Bill Callahan overrated? Beginning to seem so.

    Quinton Dunbar still hasn’t sniffed the field, even with Breeland getting picked on and abused. Dunbar is that bad, somehow. And we all thought CB was a strength on this team. Imagine that Josh Norman didn’t fall into their laps. How bad would the defense be?

    Chris Thompson picked up a blitz on a play in the second half and destroyed the guy. It was beautiful.

    • bangkokben - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:18 AM

      Yes, more Chris Thompson. Cousins should have over 800 yards passing and six TD passes — still missing on all the fades — if he simply hits the open receiver in the TIMING of the offense.

    • sidepull - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:23 AM

      I hope the Giants think this is an easy victory for them and overlook the Redskins based on these first couple of weeks. We have every bit as much fire power as they do. Matt Jones needs to run if they are going to pull this out is what I think. Cousins. I dont know what to say. I am no shrink. Hope whatever is eating him he can get over it and show up for this game.

      • sidepull - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:31 AM

        My hope? Match the Giants TD for TD, hope they falter and have to settle for a FG somewhere. The Redskins have the final possession and run the clock out. I definitely do not want the game hinging on the Defense stopping the Giants as they try to drive for a game winning score. What I am saying is I would ride with Cuz before I ride with that D and hope Cuz responds with a great game.

    • ET - Sep 20, 2016 at 1:01 PM

      “Chris Thompson picked up a blitz on a play in the second half and destroyed the guy. It was beautiful.”

      Yup. Great play.

      Who was it that claimed Thompson sucked in pass pro the other day? (ha.)

      Starting last season, Thompson really got into it. He’s turned a weakness into a strength.

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 1:21 PM

        Does it bother anyone else that we have Thompson returning kicks? He’s the best RB on the team and (apparently) they’re scared to run him because of his injury history. But kickoff returns? Why not? They’re only the single most dangerous play in football.

        • bangkokben - Sep 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM

          Kickoffs are dangerous for the guys blocking and the guys running down on coverage. Rarely is the kick returner injured. I’m perfectly fine with him returning kick-offs. It may only be once a game, anyway with the way the trend is to kick deep into the end zone. The alternatives are not very palatable either.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 2:25 PM

          It’s dangerous for everyone man. But when you’re the guy everyone is trying to hit, it’s more dangerous.

          Injuries to the gunners might be more frequent because they experience contact on every play where kick returners often got touch backs even before the new rules. But it’s dangerous if he ever does take it out, which he did on Sunday.

          I get the new rules and I completely agree there. It’s a smaller risk these days. But come on, at least get someone who has generally stayed healthy. Maybe Grant or some of the last string DBs

        • bangkokben - Sep 20, 2016 at 2:32 PM

          Trey, name me the last guy who got injured returning kick-offs. There are numbers of guys injured in the play but I can’t remember the last guy injured returning a kick-off. In my life, I can’t think of one Washington Redskin injured returning kick offs and I’ve seen 75% of the games since 1976.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 3:21 PM

          Oh boy. Things must be really bad in Washington if we’re arguing over this. I’m a little taken back. Can we clarify? Are you arguing that being a kick returner doesn’t have an increased risk of injury compared to normal offensive or defensive plays? Based on your anecdotal experience from watching one team?

          We already established that as a kick returner there are significantly less chances to get injured than the gunners because there are so many touchbacks or fair catches (including punts). They get contact on every kick. And I’m not disputing how dangerous kick returns are for the other players. Remember Ricardo Lockette last year? Awful.

          But if the kick returner actually takes the ball out there is still a chance for a very high speed collision. Especially if a guy manages to go unblocked. That would theoretically be an even greater collision than with the blockers because there’s more space to gain speed.

          Here’s one video

          Now, you might think I’m proving your point because the returner wasn’t paralyzed on this play. The gunner was. But look at the hit the returner took. It’s brutal. Do you want Thompson taking a hit like that for 5 yards of field position?

          Since you asked, off the top of my head the last returner I personally remember getting hurt was Josh Cribbs. But that doesn’t mean the play isn’t dangerous. Besides, any increased contact raises the chances of injury. We can’t run Thompson 15 times a game because he’s too frail but let’s get him more kickoff returns? Doesn’t add up even if being a kick returner isn’t more dangerous than your average play.

        • bangkokben - Sep 21, 2016 at 7:40 AM

          I’m just assessing risk here — not an actual actuary — and I don’t see it but perhaps that’s because I don’t necessarily agree with your presupposition. I don’t believe Thompson isn’t the lead running back because “they’re afraid he’ll get hurt.” As for plays, pass pro is a helluva a lot more violent ON A REGULAR BASIS than the odd kick return where the kick returner absorbs full speed contact — not a punt returner refusing to call fair catch which now is thankfully just as odd. Chris Thompson has been in on 67 offensive snaps and 13 special team snaps. Matt Jones has been in on just 58 offensive snaps.

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 20, 2016 at 7:43 AM

    I don’t think anyone is running much on the Giants this year.

    With Damon Harrison and Johnathan Hankins in the middle, they basically have two quality nose tackles in a 4-3.

  6. celticsforever - Sep 20, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    This is my analysis of the team and it pains me to write it….
    – The defence has no teeth, they do not have one area that scares anybody. The coverage is below average. The pass rush is below average. The run D is below average. They are simply soft and below average.
    – The offence has NO identity. Teams don’t have to honour the run (averaging 4 ypg, 14 times a game) will do that. Due to no run fear, teams instead of “stacking the box” are “stacking the zones”, making it difficult to get open receivers. Of course when the receivers do bust open the throws have been erratic or completely off target.
    – Special teams – Crowder has looked really good on returns (minus the fair catch vs Pitt when he had 12 yards of space) but the easy cure fore that is don’t kick to him. Kickoffs are a wash (thanks goodell)

    This team has no identity. It is pass happy, but with poor QB play that is a bad omen. No run game, no defence. This team is soft (and I hate that word when it comes to football, reminds me of the Colts from 2004-present day). Of the front 7 starters, I could likely get 3 of them starting on an “upper tier” team, but more likely 2.

    I would give Cousins 2 more games. If, by the quarter mark he’s the same, yank him, hand him a clipboard & let him ride out the season as the #3. Leave McCoy at #2 and start Sudfield. Either he shows he can be the man, or he bombs and they draft Watson next year after a 3 win campaign.

    I am pretty stunned how bad this team is (especially the defence). 5 or 6 wins at this point would be a minor miracle. They look wholly unprepared and make the same mistakes over and over and over. Completley unacceptable but not completely unexpected.

    • chimps000 - Sep 20, 2016 at 9:04 AM

      The thing is, the defense wasn’t good last year. We added Norman (huge plus) but lost Jarrett who played well and lost goldson, who clearly was better than bruton Jr. who shouldn’t be starting anywhere in the NFL.

      To have a .500
      season we need Kirk to play well, he has been getting great pass protection and he has great skill players, but he hasn’t been getting it done.

      It’s only been two games, a win next week and then against the Browns and the season will look completely different.

  7. kenlinkins - Sep 20, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    Rich, I am not buying the Cousins Contract stuff. He is in the same position this year as he was last year. The Redskins have no other starting QB’s types behind him and if the Redskins are not sold on him again they will have to tag him again and that equals about $43 million for two years work. So it is a BIG contract or anther year at over $20 million. There is no down side for Cousins as far as money is concerned. IMO Cousins is having a problem with leadership, every Redskin seems to be waiting on him to get started and I am not 100% sure Cousins believes in himself. He had that problem at Mich. State, his leadership skills were not good, he was a follower, not a leader. Someone like Garcon has to step up and help him out. Or maybe his coach has to figure out the best way to get him started again, like maybe running the ball more so play action will help. Right now Cousins in freezing up at the point of attack. He doesn’t seem to believe his eyes at first and then does the old “Hope and Pray” thing. Or maybe it is a trust issue, but something has this kid off his game but it is not money or contract concerns

    • celticsforever - Sep 20, 2016 at 9:25 AM

      At this point I’ve seen enough of Cousins. He is what he is. He hit a hot streak last season against bad teams. But his body of work says everything. And now he has apparently regressed even after having an entire offseason to be ready as the #1. No, RG3 was not the answer. But Cousins is clearly one of the better #2 qb’s in the league.

      • chimps000 - Sep 20, 2016 at 10:33 AM

        I hope you are wrong but you may be right…

        the thing is if he hit a couple wide open TD throws this conversation isn’t occurring, but he still would be the same guy who I agree looks like a backup- just with nicer stats.

        I haven’t seen him make any good high degree of difficulty throws this year- which was the big knock against him before last year’s nice run. That his arm talent is limited.

        People trash talked Sam Bradford but in that Sunday nite game, with no familiarity with new players on a new team, with terrible pass protection when he was getting killed, he made some incredible throws that were high degree of difficulty. I’ve seen jameis Winston make some throws where I was like “wow”.

        I just don’t see Kirk making throws on that level, and maybe the critics are right, that’s just who he is, at his best he can be a good game manager and distributor. I thought he had a level above that, but maybe he doesn’t. We should have a good idea of where he is by the halfway mark.

        • Tramell - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:57 PM

          All of you are wrong. The biggest problem is the defense. 23 pts is good enough to win. The D gave up 3 long drives for TD’s. One was 90 yards. That’s unacceptable.

        • chimps000 - Sep 20, 2016 at 1:57 PM

          tramell- but most of
          the money from skins’ salary cap and last year’s 1st round and 3rd
          round draft picks, and this year’s 1st round pick all went to offense. Trent williams got a huge deal, cousins is getting paid franchise level money- top 5 QB in NFL level money.

          This team is constructed with a slant to offense and needs to score more than 23 points against a bad Dallas defense that was missing 3 contributors.

          Not much was invested on defense outside of the Norman signing, so
          it’s a reasonable expectation that the offense has to carry the team.

          Seattle put little investment in their oline, most of their money and draft picks have been invested on defense, and we expect their defense to carry the team- if their defense plays like crap, they got a major problem.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 3:33 PM

          I think it’s a shame Seattle’s O-line experiment failed because I would like to see more teams keep trying it. They could have just had some bad luck. They tried converting undrafted or low round defensive linemen (kind of like we did with Dunbar to CB) and I think that’s brilliant. But it will for sure take some time and patience to first find the right guy then develop him.

          But I agree. The strength was supposed to be the offense and the D was supposed to be mediocre-to-bad. If Cousins plays the way we all know he can, we’re 1-1 with a blowout win vs. Dallas and a much closer loss to the Steelers. But I will put some of the blame on the play calling. They’re asking Cousins to do too much. We need to run the ball slightly more than we did in week 2. Not a ton more, just a little.

      • renhoekk2 - Sep 20, 2016 at 11:19 AM

        Other QB’s throw INTS and miss open receivers as well. They just happen to play for better teams. There are three other QB’s with three INTs this season that have 2-0 teams. The defense is giving up over 30 pts a game, they can’t or won’t run the ball so in order for them to win Cousins has to play perfect and few QB’s do that. Do you really think Trevor Siemian is a better QB because his team is 2-0. He has 1TD 3INTs and 74.4 rating. Very Couisns like. His team is 2-0. Why, because they have Wade Phillips at DC and they are 4th in the league in rushing attempts while the Redskins are dead last.

        • chimps000 - Sep 20, 2016 at 11:49 AM

          I don’t disagree with you- but if cousins is on the same
          level as trevor simien, a borderline NFL starter who may be a backup by the end of the season, then cousins shouldn’t be getting 40 million guarenteed
          this offseason.

        • renhoekk2 - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:20 PM

          I don’t argue that. Only saying that if the rest of the roster and coaching is up to snuff, you can still win a lot of games with the level of play they are getting from Cousins. He’s made mistakes, missed open receivers, but he hasn’t been inept. My point is with the leaking defense and no help from the running game, every Cousins mistake is blown up and magnified. What happened after Kirk threw that INT? Dallas marched the ball 80yds down the field with a rookie QB to take the lead. If they have a better defense they get the ball back instead. Redskins win the game.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:50 PM

          Can we clear something up? Denver’s D isn’t 1st in the league because they have Wade Phillips. He’s coach many, many years and hasn’t always had a top defense.

          Denver has the best D because they have Von Miller, TJ Ward, Chris Harris, Aquib Talib, Derik Wolf, Shane Ray, Brandon Marshall, Demarcus Ware, Sylvester Williams, Shaq Barrett, and probably some guys I’m forgetting about. The talent on that roster is shocking. Put Joe Barry on Denver and he will have a #1 defense too. I guarantee it. Talent trumps all.

        • ET - Sep 20, 2016 at 1:19 PM

          “My point is with the leaking defense and no help from the running game, every Cousins mistake is blown up and magnified.”


          Cousins is playing adequate ball right now despite some glaring errors. He’s worthy of being an NFL starter. The Skins current problem is that Cousins needs to be more than adequate OR the run game and defense need to step it up in a significant way. A Trevor Siemian can be mediocre all day long with the Broncos D at his back. Colt McCoy would look like a genius piloting the Broncos.

  8. John - Sep 20, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    As I’ve said all along when others were predicting Super Bowl, temper the enthusiasm. The defense is this teams achilles heal. All the talk about “depth” on the defensive line. Just a bunch of “guys” no stars in that group. Zero pass rush and zero run stopping. Blame Kirk all you want but the offense should not have to score 30 every game because defense can’t stop anybody.

    • renhoekk2 - Sep 20, 2016 at 11:43 AM

      Guilty as charged. I didn’t think the defense would regress and get worse. They couldn’t stop a rookie QB from taking the opening 2 drives and marching his team down the field for two scoring drives. Dallas actually made it look easy. Guys were running wide open. I don’t remember seeing one “great” catch by a Dallas WR. The diving, leaping variety with a defender draped all over him. If someone has the time to stop by Fedex Field I think Prescott just ran another naked boot leg off of play action and completed another pass to a wide open receiver.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:42 PM

      John, I was with you this offseason telling people to temper expectations. But let’s not go giving ourselves too much credit yet. It’s a long season.

      You also made fun of me for saying I think Trent Murphy can be a very effective and disruptive nickel DE. Well, he’s leading the team in sack and has a forced fumble with significantly less playing time than the other guys.

      You could counter with “It’s just two games, relax.” And I will say, “exactly.”

    • kenlinkins - Sep 20, 2016 at 5:17 PM

      A big part of the Defenses problem is Joe Barry. Did anyone see where the Safety was on that 4th and short? He was 28 yards off the ball playing center field vs. 3 wide outs. The Redskins had 7 men up close and man to man with 3 DB’s on the WR’s, so why was this Safety so far from the action? Joe Barry’s plan made it 11 on 10 and it was a easy pick up with a quick short pass. This DC will just not take a chance, always playing it safe. A Boys Club QB can read his blitz package. (Hint: never early in game, never a run Blitz, and he only sends one unless it is 4th down – where he will send 7 and keep a Safety 28 yards off the ball). I think Joe Barry has to go!

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 6:16 PM

        Ken, it’s not uncommon to keep a single high safety on plays like that at all. If we stacked 11 in the box and a TE (or someone) ran through the line, caught a pass, and took it to the house then people would really roast Barry. That wasn’t the problem.

        It’s also not such a bad thing to play it safe. It’s about bending and not breaking. Many good DCs take that plan. That’s what zone coverage is all about.

  9. renhoekk2 - Sep 20, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    You know OBJ is going to want to go against Norman. Which works out well since I have Sterling Shepard in my fantasy league.

  10. wncskinsfan - Sep 20, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    My prediction for the Giants. Joe Berry will have no answer for the Giants offense., Bruton will miss some more tackles, DHall will run the wrong way, the corners ten or so yards off their assignments. Breelands mind pops. I think we get carved up there by Eli and crew. Coach Barry will make an adjustment screaming and pointing at himself saying “look! I made an adjustment!” We get behind by 10 points or so. McVay/Gruden/Kirk whoever is making these decisions (sounds like a tandem) abandon the run, which likely will be working OK. This obliterates play action and the pass game. Which causes Kirk to press, where we see some mistakes. At this point Lichtencutme nabs us another false start at a critical time. Gruden publically bad mouths his QB again, Cousins has another bad outing on the road against the Giants. Our D gets exposed for the third game in a row. We sit 0-3. Post game press conference . . “We gotta get the run going, we’ll get it right next time! I believe in our guys, and our system, and fades! Next time!”

    I agree with the above post about this team lacking identity, and it seems leadership and the discipline that comes from strong leadership. This is looking to be a long season. 40 years of watching, a lifer, but nothing new here, not optimistic about this, which at this point seems to be some kind of grand experiment akin to arena football. I drank a bit of the kool aid this offseason, but not enough. I will watch, I will cheer, and likely come away bummed. HTTR!

    • renhoekk2 - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:07 PM

      You know you are right. I hadn’t thought of that. It is Arena Football. Even Hall of Fame bound, Super Bowl winning QB’s, the very best that have ever played the game, aren’t being asked to throw it as much as Cousins. Brees, Roethisberger, Rogers, Brady isn’t playing but for his career he avgs 34 passes a game. Coaches with some of the best ever to play the QB position, know you need to have some balance to your offense and run the ball. .

      • wncskinsfan - Sep 20, 2016 at 5:03 PM

        yep. It’s the only way play action will work, which is where Kirk thrives. He is not in a comfort zone, at all. How to fix the D short of canning Berry, which I would support, dunno. Even with a change, not sure the D would change all that much, missing too many pieces.

  11. Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:35 PM

    Great line about the run game Rich. It’s true, the Redskins coaches are the best run D in the league.

  12. Tramell - Sep 20, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    I hope Kendall Fuller plays. He’s better than Toler and Phillips. Our secondary coach is not a good evaluator. Too many players are out of position or order. DHALL is not a good FS. Blackmon is better. Ihenacho is better than Bruton. Fuller is better than Phillips. Stupid.

    • chimps000 - Sep 20, 2016 at 5:20 PM

      I thought our secondary coach Perry Fewell did an amazing job last year with guys off the street like Blackmon and Dunbar, Jarrett played well…

      I agree our secondary this year (cough Bruton Phillips) look terrible, but I’m not sure if that’s Joe Barry’s call who is playing or Fewell. I’m with you and definitely would like to see Fuller play, and I also wouldn’t mind seeing Blackmon over D Hall, and definitely want Ihenacho over Phillips.

      Can’t we just give Blackmon and Ihenacho some snaps, some series out there? Just see if they can give us a spark?

    • kenlinkins - Sep 20, 2016 at 5:25 PM

      Is it the DB’s who are out of position or are they playing the defense the way the DC designed it? I wonder if all the DB’s are out of position so often if it is not the DC who is messing up. I get D Hall is new at the position but he is not the only one looking lost. From what I have seen the DB’s are making moves into areas and the QB’s are then throwing to the open areas (or at times, play action pulls them up into the middle and then the QB throws outside.) Besides, it is the DC job to fit the problems and I have only seen 2 adjustments to date and one was Norman moving around. There is talent in the back 7, the DC has to find a way to use it better.

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 9:29 PM

        Well in our zone scheme it’s pretty hard for it to be the DC’s fault for a guy to be out of position. If you’re looking at them like they’re all supposed to be in man coverage, then they’re all going to look outnof position. But in zone they’re supposed to sit on a part of the field and react when the QB throws the ball. So they will play off the receivers because they’re not exactly attached to one particular receiver. If the receiver comes into their zone, then he’s theirs. But if they get sucked into one guy then another can come in an take advantage. That’s why they react to the pass more than the receiver. If our DBs attach to the first receiver to come in their zone then we will get beat all day by seam routes.

        You nailed a big issue with the play action. Some of these guys are biting way too hard on it. Theh move out of their zone when they see the fake handoff and that opens up throwing lanes. That’s what inexperienced players do. Young guys, or guys at new positions, are big reasons for this. Including Bruton who isn’t at a new position but has barely played it. They need to wait and see if it’s an actual run or a PA pass. The secondary is not the first line of defense vs. the run. They’re the cleanup crew. We’re better off holding the DBs in coverage a second longer and giving up a couple more rushing yards than we are giving up big chunk plays. It’s all about finding that balance.

        The scheme is fine. I love Barry’s scheme. But any defensive scheme can work if executed properly. The execution is where we’re falling short. That’s not to take all the blame off Barry though. It’s his job to get the defense ready to execute his scheme and adjust the scheme to his players, the opponent, and game situation. Barry very much operates like he has 11 pro bowlers on his squad. I think that’s a one of the problems. The scheme is fine in theory, but not in practice because we don’t have the linemen to only rush 3 or 4nd consistently get pressure or the DBs to not have Norman travel. Stuff like that.

        • chimps000 - Sep 21, 2016 at 8:36 AM

          I agree with pretty much everything you said.

          I don’t think we are getting enough pressure on the QB due to our talent deficiencies, and Barry seems very reluctant to blitz. I understand not wanting to blitz, but in today’s NFL if you can’t pressure the QB you are probably going to lose, simple as that. He needs to blitz more frequently and get more creative with it.

        • 226thebeatdontstop - Sep 22, 2016 at 1:19 PM

          The scheme on defense is not fine, if you want to play zone all game you need pass rushers and linebackers who can cover and stop the run, this team does not have those type of players.

          Its up the coordinator to tweak his scheme based on the talent, Barry has not done that nor has he made adjustments throughout the game. They had al loff season to execute the scheme and the decision makers should have saw the glaring weaknesses.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 22, 2016 at 1:35 PM

          What specifically is wrong with the scheme? And what would you change that you believe would also have a chance of working better with this current group of players?

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 20, 2016 at 9:35 PM

      Let’s be fair, we have no idea if Fuller is better than Phillips. We haven’t seen him play. We don’t know that Blackmon is anbetter FS than Hall. He’s barely taken any snaps at safety. We don’t know that ihenacho is better than Bruton. We haven’t really seen him play for two years but he wasn’t very good when he did play. He’s downright awful in coverage.

      I would like to see these guys rotated in too to see what we have. But then who do we make inactive? We simply have no idea if they’re upgrades but the entire coaching staff has spent a lot of time with them to evaluate this. It’s a little arrogant to say they’re benching the better players with our very limited information.

      • chimps000 - Sep 21, 2016 at 8:45 AM

        you make a fair point.

        The only counter is that Blackmon looked good in preseason, and the coaches praised his play. D Hall doesn’t look good right now, but that could change next game.

        The coaches didn’t praise duke, Cooley did, but bruton has been bad.

        Phillips looks bad, but maybe our 3rd round pick who supposedly should have gone in the first round is worse.

        Our coaching staff in my opinion doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt in all these instances. When belichick cuts or doesn’t play a player, he has proven time and again he was right, and that player almost never goes on to play well for another team. Gruden and Barry don’t have that clout with me, and for all I kno bruton is starting bc the GM traded for him.

        Last offseason it was ridiculous that rg3 was anointed the starter in the preseason- we know that directive came from the top, not from gruden.

      • 226thebeatdontstop - Sep 22, 2016 at 1:23 PM

        Its not about the corners , the issue is the front seven not generating a consistent pass rush, I hate the Giants , the reality is if you give Eli time he will pick this weak zone apart .

        I fault McCloughin and Gruden for not realizing how bad the defense is and not addressing those needs in free agency and the draft. Dotson in my opinion is a ridiculous pick if this organization is serious about winning. Defense wins championships

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 22, 2016 at 3:40 PM

          The front 7 are weak. But I also think McCloughan and Gruden know that. I think they also realize you can’t properly fix everything at once and they shouldn’t sacrifice the future for one season. It’s real easy to criticize like that and point to holes in the roster. Harder to come up with a realistic way they could have fixed it while also keeping the long-term plan on track.

          You’re upset, I get it, none of us like to lose. But defenses don’t literally win championships. That’s just a saying. And they’re not out trying to have a bad defense. They have made moves on the D-line. They signed Stephen Paea, Rickey Jean Francois, Terrance Knighton, Junior Galette, Ziggy Hood, Kendall Reyes, Cullen Jenkins, Mason Foster and Terrance Garvin. They also drafted Preston Smith, Sua Cravens, Stephen Daniels, Spaight, and Matt Ioannidis. That’s 14 moves just on the front 7. Then Chris Culliver, Jeron Johnson, David Bruton, Josh Norman, Keyshon Jarrett, Greg Toler, and Will Blackmon for the secondary. Plus the Mitchell draft pick. That’s 21 defensive free agents or draft picks in two seasons. I would hardly say they’ve done nothing.

          The draft is about the future more than about the upcoming season. Doctson was a fantastic pick. Our top two receivers are likely gone next year. Norman’s signing all but guaranteed that. In case you haven’t heard this, it’s a passing league and WR is a premium position. Doctson is also oozing with talent that you just haven’t had a chance to see yet. He will be ready when/if Garcon and Jackson leave next year. We will still have a good WR corps instead of starting a rookie as our #1.

          I simply think they did what they were comfortable doing while building toward the future and not going all in on 2016. I’m upset about a couple things too. Wish they would have maybe spent a bit more for more quality players in free agency and used that 4th round pick. But the pay scale between guys like Reyes and Hood compared to top talent who might actually make a difference is HUGE. I don’t really have any good suggestions for who they should have signed instead.

  13. Russel - Sep 21, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    If this, if that. Can play that game all day long. If Eli doesn’t throw the pick vs Cowboys they blow them out. If Shepard doesn’t fall down touchdown giants vs saints. If giants don’t fumble on 3 consecutive drives they blow the saints out. See what I’m saying?

    • Rich Tandler - Sep 21, 2016 at 11:23 AM

      Simply illustrating that neither win came in dominant fashion.

      And, perhaps this would be a good time to note that if they don’t stop turning the ball over they’re going to finish 6-10 again.

  14. 226thebeatdontstop - Sep 22, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    If Joe Barry doesn’t figure out how to put pressure on Eli the Redskins will get blown out. You can’t allow him time in the pocket like they did Prescott last week.

    I will keep saying it Joe Barry is an awful defensive coordinator he should have never bee hired, Everywhere Barry has coached his teams were failures defensively. Gruden should be held accountable . Archives

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