Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett commented this week that the Redskins had yet to put together a performance where all phases of the game worked together in unison. Head coach Mike Shanahan made the same observation, but stated the Redskins has an excellent week of practice, and he felt the team would perform well.
So if the team practiced so well during the week, then what happened? How is it that the coaches could so wrong about the pulse of the team? The Redskin ran the ball well as usual, but the passing game sputtered in the first three quarters. Defensively, the Eagles rolled up almost 300 yards of offense on the Redskins in first half, as they went into the locker room up 17-0.
I think one of the flaws of the Redskins game plan was that they came out too conservative. Against a team with an offense like the Eagles you have to force the issue. Even when the Eagles were getting far ahead from the Redskins, Kyle Shanahan refused to open up the passing game, and Jim Haslett failed to do much blitzing.
The way the game ended, I’m sure both would say they were justified in calling the game the way they did at the start. But as we saw again just like in week 1, the Redskins fell too far behind. And when they did make their comeback, it was too little too late. Even if the Redskins had scored a touchdown on the final drive, they still needed a two point conversion to tie.
But the way the Redskins game plan was so ineffective to start the game, leads me to conclude that the team was not properly prepared for battle by the coaching staff. The Eagles came out aggressive, and the Redskins came out passive. And the Redskins failure to adjust when the game was being won in the first half, is what really decided the outcome at the end.
I’ve stated before that I don’t feel the Redskins offense is diverse enough. When they get behind, it seems they are locked into their game plan, and RGIII doesn’t have the freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage. At least it appears that way. And Jim Haslett’s defense just seems too vanilla.
In today’s NFL the top offenses have the ability to make changes on the fly, but the Redskins can’t seem to do that. And yes, statistically speaking the Redskins offense is highly ranked yardage wise, and Haslett’s defense stiffened up in the second half against the Eagles. But what difference does any of that make when your losing?