Bucs vs Redskins – Don’t just blame Special Teams or the refs

If you watched the Washington Redskins’ offense closely yesterday, and I know you did, you saw something the numbers don’t necessarily reveal.  If you heard the post game show on ESPN980.com, you may have heard a comment about it.  Donovan McNabb does exactly what my good friend Sachin, a die-hard Eagles’ fan, has told me for years.  He puts up decent numbers and avoids interceptions, but he misses short passes way too much and dumps the ball off to the safety valve too much.  Effectively, under his game management, if the offense gains 350 yards, it probably could have gained 500.

What Jim?  You’re not ranting about Graham Gano or Special Teams in general? Gano stunk, and Special Teams got a D- overall in my book.  But, what about the horrific officiating at times? The so-called hold on Brandon Banks’ sweet return that wasn’t a hold?  The mangling of Brian Orakpo that everyone except the officials saw? Other blown calls too? Yep, the refs stunk at times, especially on the Orakpo hold.  No home-field advantage for the ‘Skins today.  I’m not ranting about that stuff because, while those subplots may be the story of the game on the surface, the anemic Redskins’ offense is the plot of the season (along with poor tackling, of course.)

Look, I like Number 5.  I root hard for him to do well every Sunday.  I feel bad for him when I see him hang his head low.  Watch his post-game presser – he was definitely depressed.  But, listen to him talk about how the break-downs weren’t just Gano’s.  McNabb isn’t just being a stand-up guy, he’s admitting something.  He missed multiple opportunities to make  big plays, even on short passes.  He appeared to be throwing off his toes, as ball after ball sank to the turf.

Donovan McNabb took this game hard.  He wanted to lead a Redskins’ December playoff push so badly he could taste it.  His heart is broken.  You could see it on his face on the sidelines, well before the last drive and the missed extra point.  He knew he left yards and points on the field.  Forget the overall QB stats – watch the game if you recorded it and tell me I’m wrong.  Tell me the Redskins’ offense didn’t perform like an 8 cylinder engine with two dead cylinders.  Tell me McNabb didn’t fail to execute at strategic moments.  Tell me I’m dead wrong if you like.  But, don’t tell me about Special Teams or the referees being the reason the Redskins lost.  Because, as true as that is, it misses the point.  The Washington Redskins need a quarterback who doesn’t play afraid to lose.

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Tags: Donovan McNabb Graham Gano Washington Redskins

  • Uncle Long Hair

    McNabb should have taken the game hard, because he looked terrible. He threw a lot of catchable passes into the dirt and even on some catches, made it so the receiver couldn’t get any yards. There were also a lot of near-picks.

    I remember one pass on the opening drive, after Torian’s ~50 yard run, Cooley was wide open in the flat, McNabb was not pressured, but the ball barely made it halfway to Cooley. Cooley shot McNabb a look that you could feel from the stands. WTF? Moss got a bad call on another reception that was probably a catch but the refs rules incomplete, but why was the ball on the ground to begin with?

    Something the stats don’t show is when completions could have given the receiver a chance to run with the ball when they didn’t — most of McNabb’s are like this. On how many catches were the receivers sliding or diving when they should have been able to run?

    You can easily find 100 yards and 7-14 points that McNabb left on the field every game. That’s the difference between winning and losing. The Skins should have started this game 21-0 or 17-0 instead of being 0-0 after 3 great drives. Way too frustrating to watch.

    • J Howard Giddings

      Great analysis Long Hair. (Don’t know for sure if you’re my long, lost Uncle or not.)

  • http://riggosrag.com billyballs

    Hmmmm . . . i guess we know why Philly would trade 5 to a team in their own division.

    • J Howard Giddings

      True that billy.

  • BGGB

    Uncle Long Hair said it all. I remember precisely the play he’s talking about. It was third and about five inside the 10 yard line. Cooley was open by five yards. He might’ve even scored.

    The worst part about how bad McNabb has been this year is that we gave up draft picks to get him, including the 36th overall pick in 2010.

    This was an awful trade from Day 1.

    • J Howard Giddings

      BGGB: Yea, Philly fans have worn me out about McNabb. I can’t argue with them anymore.

  • Scott Stewart

    did McNabb and the offense play a perfect game? no McNabb skipped some passes in the dirt which is not uncommon for him because he has never been accurate…

    but I have to put the biggest portion of the blame on Gano I mean come on 34 yard miss was bad enough but 24 yards? I know guys not in the NFL that would have hit the 24 yard one with no problem… field goal kicking has been a skins weakness for what feels like forever now… and to think we once had David Akers but waved him

    honestly I was a Campbell fan and I dont care what anyone says the Skins would have at least 5 wins had they stuck with Campbell… so dont take it as me being a McNabb guy because really Im not but Gano had the type of game that gets kickers fired

    • J Howard Giddings

      I don’t disagree with you about Gano. I just think the bigger problem – ineffective quarterbacking – was equally evident but obfuscated by McNabb’s stats.