(photo by Brian Murphy)
1. “Still The Same” by Bob Seger
The Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills 37-24 to win Super Bowl XXVI back in 1992 in a game many ‘Skins fans will never forget.
Unfortunately though, things haven’t been the same since that fateful day when the franchise brought home the third Lombardi Trophy.
For much of the last 20 years, the Redskins have been downright mediocre (or worse). Head coaches, coordinators and quarterbacks have all come and gone, but the results seemingly remain the same.
Sadly, that’s the only way to spin Washington’s embarrassing 23-0 loss to the Bills in Toronto — yet another low point for an organization who continually finds ways to sink lower and lower.
A once-mighty franchise, led by Mike Shanahan, one of the most well-respected head coaches in the NFL, couldn’t even muster a meaningless field goal against a Bills team that had never won north of the border.
But in what’s become a disheartening tradition of late, struggling teams find a way to get back on track against the Redskins — so Buffalo won their first game in Toronto, picked up their sixth-straight victory over Washington since that Super Bowl loss and shut out a Shanahan-coached team for the first time in his NFL career.
In fact, the only other time a Shanahan team has been blanked was when he was a receivers coach for Denver back in 1984. That’s how far back you have to go to find another performance as disappointing as this one on Shanahan’s resume.
Sadly, it’s not been that long for the Redskins.
Less than two years ago, Washington was shut out in a 17-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the second-to-last game of the Jim Zorn era.
2. “Wasted Words” by The Allman Brothers Band
Quarterback John Beck made his second-consecutive start for Washington, and it went about as poorly as humanly possible. The man who received ringing endorsements from every Shanahan on the coaching staff was as bad (if not worse) than anything we’ve seen from Rex Grossman during his time in town.
Just how offensive was the Beck-led offense?
Well, for starters, the Redskins had 11 possessions against Buffalo. Only four of them lasted more than five plays.
Six drives ended with a punt, two ended with interceptions and the Redskins turned the ball over on downs twice. Add in a blocked field goal attempt and what you’re left with is a steaming pile of crap that makes ‘Skins fans long for the days of a bingo caller running the show or Al Saunders’ 700-page playbook.
There have been about a thousand quarterbacks who have taken the field for Washington since the franchise’s last Super Bowl win, and you’d be hard pressed to find another outing this dreadful. For everything that was written about Grossman or Donovan McNabb or Jason Campbell, each of them was able to at least move the chains and put points on the board from time to time.
Beck finished the game with 208 passing yards, two interceptions and a QB rating of 53.6.
For the season, Beck has completed just 58 percent of his passes with one touchdown pass and five turnovers and a QB rating of 69.9.
Anyone who thought he was going to come in and suddenly transform the Redskins offense into something special … well … it hasn’t happened yet. And honestly, for all the talk of Beck’s mobility, the only time anyone has seen it in action is when he’s chasing down one of his own fumbles.
The guy is garbage and the offense is nonexistent with him running the show.
3. “I Can’t Tell You Why” by The Eagles
Normally when one phase of an offense is struggling, the coaching staff is able to make in-game adjustments and switch things up.
Well, that’s not the case in Washington.
Because even though the passing game in shambles, it’s still in better shape than the running game.
During Washington’s three-game losing streak, the Redskins have rushed for a total of 160 yards. If you subtract the 88 yards Tim Hightower racked up before blowing out his knee against Carolina, the rest of the Redskins ground attack has accounted for 72 yards in the last three games.
Let me repeat that — Ryan Torain, Roy Helu and Beck have rushed for just 72 yards in the last three games combined.
That’s historically bad, folks.
The Redskins offense is so inept, they wish they were one-dimensional.
4. “The End” By The Doors
If the passing game is garbage and the running game is worse, then it’s safe to say the offensive line isn’t exactly taking the world by storm. Without Trent Williams and Kory Lichtensteiger, the Redskins patchwork offensive line has been atrocious. Against Buffalo alone, the unit gave up nine sacks.
At no point has Beck looked like he should be starting games in the NFL, but his offensive line is just as much to blame as his pitiful attempts to throw a deep ball within 15 yards of a receiver.
Jammal Brown is a two-time Pro Bowler. I write that just so we can all take a moment to remember that this guy used to be good at football. Now he’s so terrible that I openly joked during the game that he had joined in the fun and sacked Beck himself.
And he’s arguably the best player on the offensive line at the moment. The team’s current center, Erik Cook, is so overmatched that he gets pushed into the backfield as quickly as his snaps. Will Montgomery is a solid center, but at guard he’s a liability. Any other option the team has at this point is just as brutal.
So yeah, as bad as things are, they could get even worse before the season is out.
5. “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix
Washington’s defense looked downright dominant, at times, earlier this season. And now, they look like they couldn’t stop the Redskins offense if their jobs depended on it.
No one can tackle. No one can create pressure consistently. Running backs rack up yards at will. Offenses gouge them for chunks of yardage at a time.
It’s embarrassing for a unit that looked capable of being a top-10 defense only a few short weeks ago.
Now, it’s gotten so ugly that it’s safe to wonder if Jim Haslett will be putting his house on the market sometime within the next year.
The Redskins used all of their available resources on the defense this past offseason while putting off offensive upgrades until a later date.
So the offense has an excuse. The defense does not.
Someone is going to be held accountable for this garbage, and it’s safe to say that Shanahan will probably start with people who don’t share his last name.
Finally, here’s a link to my favorite photos I was able to capture during the game.