Redskins-Lions: Facts are Facts

What you see is what you get.  You are what your record says you are.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda.  Did anyone get the license number of that truck?  Have I left anything out?  Oh yea: “I didn’t think …”; “I felt …”.  Those last two were uttered by Jim Zorn during his post-game presser.  Never-mind what came after those phrases – it really doesn’t matter.  We saw the game; we got it.

This game was a tale of two halves.  Someone in the locker room uttered that exact statement after the game – he was referring to how the Redskins’ defense played.  I’m referring to the coach and the referees.  But first, let’s be clear – I’m not blaming the refs for the loss.  Actually, I’m not blaming any single person.  Today was a team effort.

Nobody but nobody converts 75% of their first downs in the NFL.  And, nobody allows the Lions’ offense to stay on the field for over 20 minutes during a half of football.  Well, almost nobody.  That’s why I say this loss was a team effort.  Unfortunately, when a team loses ugly as a team, you have to look at the Head Coach.  Hindsight may be 20/20 and all that, but if that’s so sacred a truth, why did Jim Zorn have the team try to run for a 4th and goal at the one yard line?  They may have moved the ball well on the drive as Zorn pointed out, but the offensive line wasn’t overpowering anyone on running downs.  And, the past two weeks, they’ve looked like the Eagles last year against the Bears.  What, can’t punch it in on the ground when we’re inside the 10?  Who cares?  Let’s try again.  The Skins couldn’t do it against the Rams, so they tried against the Lions.  They should have kicked the short field goal instead.  Boy were those 3 points needed in the end.

And, how ’bout that decision to take a holding penalty which gave the Lions another chance to convert a third down.  If the penalty had been declined, the Lions would have kicked a field goal. They scored a touchdown instead.  There’s 4 points the Skins could have used in the end.  I count 7 points due to risky play calling when risks did not need to have been taken.  It was early in the game.  I understand Zorn’s thinking behind both decisions.  I’m simply saying he can’t afford to think optimistically in those situations until the Redskins show the ability to score touchdowns with some degree of consistency.  That’s what I thought of the first half.

The second half belonged to the refs.  Yea, I know I sound like Eagles’ fans from years passed, but consider the following … 1. Out in the open, a Lions’ defensive back grabbed Santana Moss’s face mask.  Instead of a Redskins’ first down which the penalty would have yielded, the no-call resulted in a punt.  2. On the Lions’ first offensive play directly after that, Matthew Stafford stands inside the hash marks and throws the ball to nobody as he’s being sacked.  Was he ruled “in the grasp?”  Nada.  Was there a ten-yard penalty and loss of down?  Nope.  3. A short time later Calvin Johnson, who had previously received a flag for pushing off, gets away with grabbing a fistful of Carlos Rogers’ jersey above the shoulder pad.  4. Then, Chris Horton clearly turns his body back toward the ball inside the goal line, but he’s called for pass interference.  Never-mind the fact he had as much right to establish position when going for the ball as the offensive player did.  Four plays – all momentum changers or potential momentum changers.  That team of refs should be fined $10,000 each and should be watched closely throughout the rest of the year.  I’m sorry, but they stunk.

So there you have it.  The defense didn’t stop the Lions nearly enough, the offense still looks anemic, and the offense sometimes looks confused.  Maybe Jim Zorn needs to let Sherman Smith call the plays?  Maybe the Redskins need to use the short pass instead of the run for a while?  And, maybe Jason Campbell needs to work from the shotgun more often?

Next week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to FedEx.  I hope the seats are filled and the fans are loud.  The Skins need all the help they can get.

Topics: Detroit+Lions, Jason+Campbell, Jim+Zorn, Sherman+Smith, Tampa+Bay+Buccaneers, Washington Redskins

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  • W. Walton

    I can tell you what happened, Karma. Karma is a B—-! as they say. Recently some of the Skins key players (Santana Moss, Clinton Portis, DeAngelo Hall) were asked to donate to a fundraiser for children. The fundraiser is to raise money for a local football team of boys ages 11-13 yrs old who have been invited to play the National Youth Football Championships in Daytona Beach over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Some of the boys can not afford to go. While these players were playing a private game of poker, they were asked if they could possibly donate any amount to help the boys have this once in a lifetime opportunity and they all refused! Unbelievable. Maybe that is there problem. Arrogance and cockeiness, gets you no where!! Maybe when they appreciate the communtiy that supports them and give back to the fans that make them what they are, they might deserve to win some games.

  • http://riggosrag.com/ Redskins Guy

    Eh. Walton, how many times do you think they get asked to donate? I’m sure all of those people give plenty to the local charities. Every home game while tailgating I get asked several times by people to give money to help teams like that too. The third time you’ve been asked in a single hour you start to say “no.” I’m sorry you didn’t catch them in a more charitable moment, but I don’t blame them for not saying yes to every charity request that hits them up for money (worthy or not).

  • http://riggosrag.com/ Redskins Guy

    As for the game, I generally agree with you Truth. I think that going for the touchdown on 4th down was the right call, even though it was disastrous in hindsight.
    Zorn challenged his team and told them that he had confidence in his offense. He sent a message that he had confidence that his defense could shut down the Lions. He was wrong on both counts.

    The fact that this team won’t show up to play for Zorn is a much more serious issue than “should he have gone for it on 4th down?” His decision on the play isn’t in question as much as his ability to lead this football team. Or Jason Campbell’s ability to lead it, for that matter.

    I do think accepting the holding penalty later on was a dumb move. But again, that’s a much more trivial issue compared to the problem that he can’t seem to lead this team to success.

    Yes, the refs were horrible. Some refs seem to really dislike us. But the Redskins were the worst team yesterday and the Lions deserved to win. Bad calls don’t change that.

  • Just Me

    Just goes to prove that “nothing is so smiple that it can’t get screwed up”.

    With that being said, I read a lot of people saying ” why did Jim Zorn have the team try to run for a 4th and goal at the one yard line? ” ( quoting above ). The fact is, The Redskins got a lot of flack from their fans about kicking field goals ( Anyone remember the 9-7 win the week prior ? ) and their reluctance to ‘get the job done’. Well people, The Fans have spoken and stated they’d rather lose. Don’t beat ‘em up for doing what you told ‘em to do.

    I’ll toss my 2 cents in like everyone else on this … The ‘Skins are unbeatable on paper and in reality … When the whole team shows up to play. I’m not talking about the gang on the field, Remember, it’s a mental as well as physical game. The ‘Skins, Coach Zorn, and the Fans can still make this into a respectable season … PROVIDED they can perform the following:

    - Jim needs to be a coach / parent to the team and not their friend.
    - Stop relying on the DEFENSE to make the points. The OFFENSE needs to step up, Pick a direction / path , and STICK WITH IT.
    - The fans are tired of getting no love from Mr. Snyder. I understand that the franchise is a business and needs to make money. I understand that the performance has been underwhelming to say the least. As the Owner, Mr. Snyder needs to take the time to let the players … and the fans … know what he has in mind to correct this situation.
    - If the almighty $$$ is the problem, and the players can’t seem to get it together on the field, For crying out loud, Send the players out into DC performing charity work. Part of the players jobs as a member of the Redskins organization is to give back to their community. This can provide a boost of fan support unlike ANYTHING they can do on the field.

  • http://crazycantoncuts.blogspot.com CCC

    fire Cerrato and Zorn now

    you have to cut the infection out in order to heal

  • Elliott

    Its really easy to criticize — especially when its justified. I like Jim Zorn (I even have defended Dan Snyder — although Riggo’s remarks after the game are very hard to ignore) I hope he succeeds — but he won’t if his play calling doesn’t mature and diversify, or if he doesn’t pass off the play calling duties to another coach. Did you notice how smoothly the offense ran during the two-minute drill w/the no huddle offense — limited play-calling from the sidelines!

    4th and one — sure you’re supposed to run — but with a weak offensive line – do you do the same thing that has failed all season — run to the left? The Lions knew it was coming that way and moved their defense to respond. Zorn is very elementary in his play calling – where are the options, planned roll-outs, screens? He was outcoached by the Lions yesterday.

    Lots of problems going around — no leadership on the field — especially the offense — until someone (Campbell) starts letting the players know what is expected — in unambiguous terms — we are going to suffer game after game. And the sad thing is — we shouldn’t have to — they ARE better than that!

  • truthseeker

    Wow – lots of food for thought. I certainly didn’t anticipate the karma angle – that caught me by surprise. Good inside info. Anyway, it’s pretty clear something has to give. I heard one of the Redskins in a locker room interview express the view that the players aren’t discouraged yet. I hope the fans don’t get too down on the team, so they feel supported enough to make a good showing against the Bucs. A turnaround in that game won’t mean a lot, as it won’t likely predict how the season ends up. But, failure to win by more than a few points will almost surely serve as a predictor. That’s unfortunate, but it’s where the Skins find themselves.

  • Godsfavoriteteam

    I told you guys were headed in the in the direction of the Lions franchise, and now the Lions themselves have beat you. You have an owner who has lost intrest in this team, its fans and the city. I will enjoy watching you fall deeper into failure this season. Bye.

  • Adam

    In addition to the inadequecies portrayed by the zebras in the second half, Albert Haynesworth was blatantly held while pursuing Stafford as he launched the 47 yd pass interference ball. Check it out for yourself, I was there. We are talking about huge Albert Haynesworth, not Anthony Arlidge, who can hide on. Oh yeah, and the hold didn’t take place in the middle of the pack, there was NOONE else around save Haynesworth, the O lineman, and Stafford. Granted, the Skins should never had the game come down to this play, but it was certainly a factor.

  • http://riggosrag.com/ Redskins Guy

    The refs made some terrible calls. But if you need help from the Refs in order to defeat the 0-19 Detroit Lions, you don’t deserve to win.

  • Godsfavoriteteam

    The Refs? How about ZORN and his boneheaded call…or should i say calls?

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