Things went from bad to worse Sunday, as the Redskins fell apart apart against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who sported a record of 1-8 record going into the game. Despite having almost 2 weeks to prepare, the Washington Redskins offense looked out of synch. Griffin was late on many throws, including his first pass (the first play of the game), which was tipped and intercepted. Before the first quarter would end, Washington would turn the ball over again, found itself down 10 points and without it's only consistent offensive lineman, as Trent Williams went down with a knee/ankle injury and did not return (MRI to be today). Starting guard Shawn Lauvao also left with a concussion.
Despite having some success running the ball, again, the Redskins got away from the running game. The coaching staff did make some adjustments with the play calling, calling more 3 step drops and short/quick passing plays, to help with the protection issues. Though that seemed helped for a while, they quickly fell apart again.
Rookie receiver Mike Evans made the best of every target, catching 2 passes for long TD's and going for over 200 yards. Somehow, the Redskins always seem to be the first team people get big games against. Bucs QB Josh McCown looked decisive and sharp while "Superstar" Robert Griffin III looked late, shell-shocked and indecisive with the ball.
Besides Griffin's poor play, the defense stunk it up even worse, with an ineffective pass-rush and terrible safety play. The secondary had little chance defending on blitz calls mainly because no one got to the passer fast enough and Ryan Clark seemed to neglect his pass-coverage duties several times, leading to big plays down field.
Though the Redskins were sporting a losing record going into the game, most fans felt this was a game we should have one. Being routed by a team you expect to beat does hurt fans, but fans seemed beyond disappointed this time. Twitter erupted with people pointing blame. Fans were beyond distraught, and for good reason. Every loss the Redskins have suffered has exposed depth issues, personnel issues, and problems that, frankly, can not be solved during the course regular season and could potentially take years to fix, if they get fixed at all.
Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, Robert Griffin III took the podium at the post-game press conference, where he went on to talk about his own poor play and then called out his entire team.
The Monday morning press conference made matters even worse, as Head Coach Jay Gruden spoke candidly about RG3's poor mechanics, footwork and reads. At this point, my thoughts were, "Just stop this and play football."
Tuesday, both RG3 and HC Gruden both seemed to come to their senses...with RG3 embodying Bill Belichick, taking the "focused on San Francisco" approach. Coach Gruden admitted he also was a little forward in publicly talking about his quarterback.
Though this may seem like a very slow nuclear explosion, I think both RG3 and rookie HC Gruden learned a valuable lesson, and may even be a little closer after all of this dies down. Maybe "burning down the house" needed to happen in DC. Frankly, a rude awakening was in order for many of these players. Maybe, just maybe, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Hail to the Redskins!