"DC" Skins Postgame #7 - Game Turnover

As I noted while watching this game on Twitter, this Redskins game against the Bears has probably got to be one of the ugliest games I've ever seen. It was so ugly, that it was pretty comedic... and I had a lot of moments where I was laughing out loud.

As both teams' records indicate, this was a close game. However, I thought that more points were actually going to be scored. Cutler clearly has the capability to throw the ball and run up the score if given the protection, and I thought Donovan McNabb would put in a better performance than he had put, since he was playing in his hometown. Instead of an offensive performance on both sides of the ball, what we got is a low-scoring, and sloppy, defensive, turnover-laden game.

During the 1st half, the Redskins were dominating the field position battle, and usually got the ball on or around mid-field to start off possessions. However, they couldn't finish off drives, by either having 3-and-outs, or by turning over the ball when they were in enemy territory. The Bears D kept it close for the 1st half, and one interception by them put them over on the scoreboard come halftime (despite being dominated statistically by the Redskins).

In the 2nd half, the Bears seemed to have all the momentum, and they were moving the ball up and down the field. However, it was their turn to be sloppy. The Redskins defense (most notbably, Albert Haynesworth), caused a key goal line fumble that prevented the Bears from going up 21-10. But despite the opportunity, the Redskins offense didn't really capitalize and didn't move the ball deep enough out of their own territory to give the Bears bad field possession after a punt.

The Bears still continued to move up and down the field, however the Redskins defense kept showing up. DeAngelo Hall (the Redskins quarterback), kept on picking off Jay Cutler, and he ended up with 4 interceptions to end the day (which ties an NFL single-game record). One of those interceptions was taken all the way back for a touchdown, and gave the Redskins the lead. 

But even though the Redskins defense kept giving the offense opportunities, they failed to capitalize. As either McNabb immediately gave the ball right back by throwing an interception, or they would be relegated to a 3-and-out. Had the offense played a lot better during the game, they would not only had a chance to close the game down the stretch, but this game would not have been close (considering how much advantage the Redskins had in field position).

Overall, both teams' defenses keep their team in the game. They kept it close, and each had more than their share of turnovers. So this game could be classified as "ugly", because of all the turnovers, and all the mistakes. But a lot of people like low-scoring, "ugly" defensive battles in football, so if you're into that, this was the game for you.

I also thought that because of the Bears' offensive line woes, that the Redskins will sack Jay Cutler a lot more. If you checked my twitter, I was actually tweeting each time Jay Cutler got sacked, because I thought he would have gotten sacked a lot throughout the game. In the first 20 minutes of the game, it looked like my prediction was gonna be correct, because Cutler got sacked 3 times. But as the game went on, he was only sacked one more time. I probably should have tweeted the number of turnovers that took place in the game (9 total... 6 on Bears, 3 on Redskins). Or, if I tweeted every time DeAngelo Hall had an interception, I would have matched the Cutler sacked number.

I did say in the pregame blog post, that the winner of this game would look more like an NFC contender. I'll have to retract on that statement, because the Redskins have not really separated themselves from the "midcard" of the NFC. Seems like the defense may start adjusting to the scheme, but when the offense is not firing, and the running game is stalling (as it has been all year), then their chances of winning will go down significantly. Not to mention, the Redskins have yet to have a "statement game", in which there was no question that they were truly the better team on the field.

But, I will say that this was a good win. It was an important win that they had to get, because it's a win inside the NFC, and could play in down the stretch when it comes to tie-breakers. It was also a win against a team that played well so far in the season, and had a decent record with some wins against quality opponents. 

However, as good this win is, next week's game against the Detroit Lions actually worries me A LOT. Detroit has been a laughing stock of a franchise during a good part of the decade, but it seems they are slowly starting to turn things around. They are currently 1-5, but they're record is not indicative of how good this team could be, or actually is. They were pretty much in every game they were in (4 out of their 5 losses were by one possession), and they destroyed the Rams, which were a team that manhandled the Redskins earlier this season. Their rookie Ndamukong Suh seems to also be paying dividends for that defense. To add on, the Redskins seem to play down to their competition. If the Redskins looks at this team's record, and happens to take them lightly, especially if they are picked to be favorites (which they may be, because of their superior record), they are going to get embarrassed. But to make matters worse, the Lions will be coming off of their bye-week, which means they will be well-rested and probably be healthier than they have been all year. They might have their starting QB back, Matthew Stafford, and he picked the Redskins apart last year as a rookie to end the Lions' infamous 17-game losing streak.

I'll talk more about the Lions' next week. For now, Redskins nation can enjoy this win, as this was a hard fought win. They have to continue to work hard, and keep the momentum going. This area is so tied with this team, that if the Redskins continue to win (no matter what the circumstance), this area remains happy. 

Got to keep the happiness going.


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