14Oct

Moveable object battles stoppable force to a near draw

Contrary to what the final boxscore might suggest, there were no winners when the Miami Dolphins “battled” the Washington Redskins. That’s because these franchises came into this contest widely considered the two worst teams in the National Football League this season.

While the Dolphins have been historically awful to start the 2019 season, they’re in the early stages of tearing it down and building it back up — trading away serviceable players for draft picks and otherwise stockpiling assets for the future rather than worrying about the pitiful present.

And then there are the Redskins, who are convinced they’re a bad break or two from competing for a division title, even though reality (and anyone tuning into their games on a weekly basis) screams otherwise.

The Redskins held off a late comeback attempt by Ryan Fitzpatrick and friends to emerge victorious, 17-16. But the real winner was linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton, who intercepted Miami quarterback Josh Rosen, and then kindly brought the entire defense over to pose for a celebratory photo directly in front of me.

Sadly, they were just a few yards away and I only had my big 400mm lens, so the group photo ended up being more of a headshot instead. Like I said, there were no real winners on this day. But thanks for thinking of me, Shaun.

07Oct

Patriots act like Super Bowl champs. Redskins do not.

The winless Washington Redskins host the undefeated New England Patriots. And it went about as well as anyone would have predicted.

The defending Super Bowl champions allowed the rudderless Redskins to jump out to an early lead — thanks to a 65-yard touchdown run by rookie wideout Steven Sims Jr. — and then reeled off 33 straight points to dispatch of their would-be competitor. While some took solace in the Redskins becoming the first team to hold a lead over New England this season, it was definitely short-lived.

And if the Redskins were hoping for a boost from veteran quarterback Colt McCoy, starting for the first time since he broke his leg last season, it never materialized. The former Texas Longhorn threw for just 122 yards and an interception while being sacked six times against the league’s top defense.

Mercifully, head coach Jay Gruden was fired after his team fell to 0-5 on the season. He will continue to earn a paycheck for another year and a half without having to actually be held accountable for this dumpster fire, which has to come as a great relief to Gruden.

03Oct

Is it officially Dwayne Haskins time?

Roughly a month into the 2019 season, the Washington Redskins have yet to pick up a victory. Rumors run rampant about the fate of head coach Jay Gruden during a campaign that prominently features an abundance of mental mistakes, injuries and routine breakdowns in coverage.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, turnover machine Case Keenum has been so bad the last two weeks that he forced Gruden to do the one thing he was adamantly against — play rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Without the benefit of Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Chase Roullier, Jordan Reed, Terry McLaurin or any semblance of a running game, the Redskins turned to their first-year signal caller … and he responded about how you’d expect — throwing three interceptions while completing just 52 percent of his passes.

Now the question becomes: should the Redskins continue to play Haskins with an eye towards the future or should they keep him far, far away from the field of play until the Ohio State standout shows definitely that he’s ready for action?

Tune in to episode three of Skinscast, hosted by the Washington Redskins, as Pappas, Reffkin and Murf dive into the quarterback debate and more.

26Sep

Redskins remain stuck in neutral in 2019

Once upon a time, the Washington Redskins stood tall at 6-3 and looked poised to make a triumphant return to the postseason.

And then quarterback Alex Smith broke his leg in horrific fashion and the entire franchise has been traumatized ever since — going just 1-9 since Smith’s gruesome injury while being outscored by a whopping 102 points.

Optimists in the Redskins fanbase looked at the anemic Chicago Bears offense as an opportunity for a struggling Redskins defense to get right. Instead, the reverse happened as Mitchell Trubisky channeled his inner Aaron Rodgers in leading Chicago to a 28-0 first half lead. With that, the game was over before the Redskins even decided to start playing.

Tune in to episode two of Skinscast, hosted by the Washington Redskins, as Pappas, Reffkin and Murf breakdown the Monday night breakdown and more.

24Sep

A case for keeping the Redskins far away from Monday Night Football

The Washington Redskins jumped out to an early lead against Philadelphia and Dallas before letting off the gas and ultimately faltering to a division rival.

Welp.

They didn’t really have to worry about blowing a lead against the Chicago Bears in Week 3 because this one was over long before the Redskins ever found the endzone.

Chicago’s defense feasted on the Redskins, thanks to five Case Keenum turnovers, and cruised to a 31-15 victory that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score might suggest.

With the loss, the Redskins are now 1-9 on Monday Night Football under head coach Jay Gruden and at 0-3 on the season, hold the worst record in the NFC. 

Also worth noting: the Redskins have lost seven straight home games on Monday Night Football, which is the second-longest streak in the show’s lengthy history. 

Sadly, they also own the longest streak, having lost 10 straight home Monday Night Football games between 1998-2010. 

So yes, the Washington Redskins are officially the two worst teams at home in Monday Night Football history and are an unfathomable 1-17 in their last 18 home games on Monday Night Football.

19Sep

Announcing the improbable return of Skinscast

For roughly a decade, I had the absolute pleasure of participating in a weekly podcast dedicated to all things related to the Washington Redskins.

Skinscast, which featured John Pappas, Brian Reffkin and yours truly, was a podcast for ‘Skins fans by ‘Skins fans. We never pretended to be insiders. We never tried to come across as experts. We were simply three guys with a little bit of access to the team we grew up supporting.

For reasons that remain unclear, the Redskins organization has graciously opened the door to their state of the art podcast studio — the same studio, I might add, that iconic players such as John Riggings, Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis all utilize for the weekly podcasts.

With Pappas in the press box, Murf on the sidelines and Reffkin representing season ticket holders, Skinscast is back and better than ever. Click here to check out our debut episode of Skinscast 2.0.

16Sep

Redskins defense remains missing in action versus Dallas

It’s nearly impossible to win games when your defense can’t play defense.

During the season opener, the Washington Redskins pressured Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz on just 11 of his 41 drop-backs. And when Wentz did face pressure, it wasn’t effective. Wentz calmly completed 9 of 10 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in those situations, taking just one sack.

In Week 2, Washington’s defense pressured Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott a mere six time out of 33 drop-backs.  Prescott responded by completing his final 18 passes and threw for 269 yards and three touchdowns.

When opposing quarterbacks have all the time in the world, they tend to pick apart defenses with relative ease. On this day, the Cowboys converted 7 of 11 third downs and, through two games, the Redskins have allowed opponents to convert 18 of 28 (64 percent).

Bigger picture, the Redskins’ defense has given up 63 points and 918 yards through two games, which is ridiculously pitiful.

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