Four first impressions of Redskins’ loss to Bengals

Bengals score on Redskins

DOH! So close. Bengals 38, Redskins 31.

1. Cincinnati threw the winning touchdown on the first play from scrimmage on a trick play. With QB Andy Dalton lined up on the line and WR Mohamed Sanu lined up in the Wildcat, Washington somehow, mysteriously, inexcusably lost tract of AJ Green. Green met up with Sanu’s deep pass about 60 yards downfield and ran unvexed across the goal line.

Without that score, Washington-Cincinnati would have been the fourth overtime game of the weekend and the Redskins would have had a shot for the win.  

2. To beat the Redskins, target the secondary and challenge DeAngelo Hall.

There is nothing new in that, but the Redskins expected pass pressure by the front-seven to minimize the exposure. It seemed that the Bengals double-teamed Ryan Kerrigan more with no Brian Orakpo to worry about. The video shall reveal all.

Rob Jackson had a nice day in Orakpo’s place. He made three tackles for a loss and had that sweet interception behind the goal line for the answering score to the Bengals’ trick play. But the Bengals handled the pass rush for most of the game. Dalton never seemed under duress.

Redskins fans should expect more shootouts. Washington won’t be on the short end for all of those, but there is no real fix for the secondary, except that our guys play better as the season goes on. Dalton is behind us, but Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger are AFC North opponents still to come, along with our good friends Tony Romo, Michael Vick and Eli Manning.

I am convinced that no NFC East, or AFC North, team will have a 10-win season after beating up on each other.

3. Unsportsman rewind – really? The Redskins suffered an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that took them out of scoring range. This time, the offender was Fred Davis. (Please, Redskins fans, no more death tweets. That’s unsportsmanlike, too.)

Robert Griffin III led the team from the Redskins’ two yard line to the Red Zone (19 yard line) without benefit of a time out. We haven’t see stuff like that since Joe Theismann in the last century. There was a false start penalty on that play, for which I would not be too critical. It was a chaotic situation. But “pro” is short for professional  ̶  the conduct we expect from these guys. An unsportsmanlike penalty with the game on the line is stealing from fans, not to mention teammates, coaches and owners.

UPDATE: John Keim’s story this morning clarifies that the unsportsmanlike conduct was actually on OC Kyle Shanahan. (Apologies to Fred Davis.) That makes the penalty even worse. Shanahan the Younger is sure to hear from the league office that will apply a suction pump to his wallet. It is a management principle that captains must model the behavior they want from the crew. In other words, stuff rolls downhill. If coaches want players to keep their head in the face of poor officiating, they must do the same. Better that they escalate the matter to the owner who then pounds the NFL Management Committee to settle with the real game officials.    

4. Are the Redskins ever out of a game with RGIII at quarterback? I’m in awe of Washington’s last drive from the Redskins’ two to the Bengals’ 19 in six plays. Griffin is Mr. Cool Under Fire. The more his boys on offense see that, the sooner they will internalize it. Then we will see the end of fourth-quarter stupidity.

I’m forcing myself to wait until after Thanksgiving before calling for the team to extend Griffin’s contract now, right now, when it’s cheap. I’m ready to do it now. Who’s with me on that?
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If you tuned into my audio commentary during today’s game, you noticed that long dead spot in the second half. That was the result of my stupidly walking out the door to walk the Hog Heaven mascot without my keys. Oops. Fortunately, the cavalry arrived with the spare key, but not until after the more exciting part of the game. I’m flagging myself for unsportsmanlike conduct on that one. Embarassed

Like the Redskins’ secondary, I’m trying to get better with the technology to see where it takes me. And like the secondary, I’m working with pedestrian talent. We shall all get better. 

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Anthony Brown

About Anthony Brown

Lifelong Redskins fan and blogger about football and life since 2004. Joined MVN's Hog Heaven blog in 2005 and then moved Redskins Hog Heaven to Bolguin Network. Believes that the course of a season is pre-ordained by management decisions made during the offseason. Can occasionally be found on the This Given Sunday blog and he does guest posts.

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