Sunday, January 10, 2016


On their first play from scrimmage in their Wild Card round matchup with the Redskins, the Green Bay Packers got 11 yards. On their next 12 plays, the Packers lost four yards.
During that time the Redskins took an 11-0 lead. But it was the points they didn't score that told the story.
Desean Jackson holding the ball behind him, instead of in front, costing the Redskins 4 points

Then Dustin Hopkins missed an extra point, so what should have been 16-0 was only 11-0.

And then the Packers woke up. Their next five drives resulted in 4 touchdowns, 1 2-point conversion and a field goal for 32 points.

The difference was not momentum or any psychological mumbo-jumbo you might here, it was strategic. The Packers went no-huddle and the Redskins were ill-prepared to deal with it. Twice they were caught substituting, both times drawing penalties, but even worse, the second time resulted in a touchdown.

They were also picked apart physically as Rodgers was zipping the ball all over the field for short passes that set up easy first-down conversions.

Another fatal error was a crucial fumble by Kirk Cousins when the Redskins led 11-7 and were driving.

While the defense was crumbling the offense suddenly became unable to move the ball with its previous efficiency.

And the field position game the Redskins had dominated turned against them as well.

This was an unfortunate way for a surprisingly good season to end.

The Redskins had been picked to finish last in the division by pretty much everyone, with record projections consistently between 2-14 and 4-12.

To be honest, the Redskins weren't that good. They were slightly better than the competition, losing all four games they played against winning teams (Panthers, Patriots, Jets and including this one against the Packers).

I'm still not sold on Kirk Cousins as a great NFL QB but the Redskins certainly did better when they unleashed him later in the season after running on first and second down every series for the first 6 weeks (or so it seemed).

But the Redskins definitely have to give Cousins a big contract and bring him back. With a solid offensive line and a talented group of backs and receivers, especially emerging star Jordan Reed, maybe Cousins can continue to improve.

The defense needs a lot of help, especially the linebackers and defensive backs.

But it was a fun season thanks to the shocking performance of Kirk Cousins on the field (best QB in the NFL over final 10 weeks) and in the bowels of the stadium.

And also the hilarious rotundity of video-bombing defensive tackle Chris Baker.

And I like that!

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