Redskins fans; finding peace among the pieces

As another frustrating and oh-so-close loss goes down in the books again for the Redskins it is easy for us as fans to immediately start to blame those we feel are most responsible.  I could very easily launch into a tirade about the need to fire Graham Gano as I have done more than once this season.  You see, as fans, we have an easy job.  We sit, we watch, and in many instances as it has been the case this year; we yell.  It is easy to criticize a team when they are losing, and even easier to pretend to know the answers as the arm-chair coaches that we all are. But for once, I am not going to lay blame.  I am not going to pretend to know all the answers.  I don’t and I won’t pretend to.  I have reached an impasse. I have no clue as to what is wrong with the Redskins.  And of course I mean this metaphorically. We all know that not enough catches are being caught, third downs being converted, and yes, field goals are being made.

Graham Gano is not the problem.  I’m not even going to say he is a bad kicker.  To play at the level he is playing, you can’t be bad.  To play in college for that matter, you can’t be.  It is so easy for us as fans to condemn a player’s poor performance. It also seems easy for those of us who once played sports in high school and maybe even college to forget how challenging the game is.  Football is a physically demanding game played in harsh weather conditions.  Sunday’s game was no different.  It rained, it was cold and it looked miserable.  Indeed Gano missed two “easy” chip-shots (by NFL standards) but I dare anyone else to go out in similar conditions and make them.  I know I couldn’t.

Graham Gano is but a cog in a much larger machine.  The game can not and should not depend on his play alone.  Ryan Torain had 172 rushing yards –a career game for him- but the Redskins couldn’t get him into the end zone.  Santana Moss had 82 receiving yards and a touchdown which is not a bad day for any receiver. Donovan McNabb threw for 228 yards, a pair of touchdowns and had no interceptions.  Not a bad game for him either.  On paper, the Skins looked good, like they should have won.  They have more issues than an errant kicker.  Coach Mike Shanahan knows this.  He knows the season is over and has already gone into rebuilding mode.  He said something to the effect that Super Bowls aren’t won overnight.  He’s right, and given that he just got here, he, McNabb and everyone else needs a break.  Next year will be telling.  I can excuse away a mediocre season this year.  If things don’t improve next year though…

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