"DC" Skins Postgame #6 - Can't Stop the Colt Train

I would have done this blog shortly after the game, but I was sleepy and went straight to bed shortly after. But, this blog is just in time for lunchtime, and you could choose to read it since a popular topic around the DMV during break time would usually be how the Redskins played the day before. It could definitely add some new insight on your discussions.

If I could simply put it, if there was a game that would be considered a "good loss", in my opinion, this game would be it. For most of the game, Peyton Manning was what he usually is... a smart, calculating, quarterback with a high football IQ that can pick apart defenses at will. However, the Redskins defense exceeded my expectations in this game, forced key turnovers, had key stops, and kept it close. They did what they can do to keep Peyton Manning off the field and give the offense as many opportunities as they can, which included sacking Peyton Manning deep in Colts territory to cause a fumble which eventually led to a score. As I previously predicted, I thought the Colts offense would put up 30+, but they held them under 30, which was a win in itself.

However, contrary to what I just said, a lot of people would blame the defense for this loss, most especially, the secondary for allowing a few big plays (including one touchdown), and not catching interceptions. It would have been great to have those interceptions (and the result would have probably been different if that was the case), but defensive backs are not paid to catch balls. They are paid to mess up plays, and make sure the opposing offense doesn't go forward. Picks and turnovers are usually considered "icing on the cake", and it's the offense's job to score points. But, they have had 3 turnovers, so there's not much more you could really ask from them. Not to sound like an apologist, but although many people would blame the Redskins defense for losing the game, it's not simply the case.

In my opinion, the offense was more to blame for the loss. Don't get me wrong, they've had a solid game also. As expected, the running game seemed to have woken up playing a historically bad Colts run defense. Not to mention, Donovan McNabb led the offense to two long touchdown drives. But, it was down the stretch and when it mattered when the offense did not produce. When the Colts got greedy and decided to pass under the two minute warning to seal the game, the Redskins defense stopped them and held them to a 3-and-out. The Redskins offense got the ball back with the opportunity to tie or win the ball game. However, the Redskins didn't respond and was held to a 3-and-out of their own, which all but sealed the game for the Colts. (Sure, they had their remaining two timeouts left, and had a chance to hopefully get a last second touchdown with one big play, but more often than not, the odds weren't on their side, as the game ended with an interception.)

However, in my opinion, Redskins fans still can't feel bad about this loss. The Redskins played an all-around complete and balanced game. Unfortunately, they just played it against a pretty good team, and a very smart and a future hall-of-fame quarterback, so it just wasn't enough. Nobody likes a loss though, so there's definitely understanding that there will be some disappointment during the next few days here in the DMV. However, I will say that if they keep this kind of effort up in the next two weeks on the road (and not play down) against a improved and solid Chicago Bears team, and a much improved Detroit Lions team whose record isn't indicative of their performance, then they have a solid shot of taking a 5-3 record into their bye week, in time for a big Monday night divisional matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles (who destroyed a good Falcons team this week, and in my estimation, may already have Michael Vick back).

However, they just need to take it one game at a time. They have Chicago up next. And if they can build on the positives from this game, the Redskins can continue building that momentum and can possibly become one of the more solid teams in a wide open NFC.

But aside from this game, there were a lot of great games that were shown in my viewing area this week. The Baltimore Ravens lost a close one to the New England Patriots in overtime. Both teams played well and I thought it was going to end in a tie. But as good as Joe Flacco has played in this game and as much as he has grown in the past few years, we've seen why Tom Brady has earned the reputation he has now. As for the afternoon game, the Vikings pulled off a close victory against the Dallas Cowboys. This was a good game, and you can tell that both teams really wanted to win this game. I'm not a fan of either team, but as a fan of football, I enjoyed watching it. But as a Redskins fan, I had to be especially happy of the result, since the Dallas Cowboys stay in last place of the NFC East. But, it's already close to mid-season, and the quality of football should pick up (if it hasn't already). 

So until an entertaining NFL Week 7...


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