The good, bad, and more from the Redskins 27-17 loss to Seattle.
1. Seattle’s mistakes. Seattle’s penalties, dropped passes, and early fumbled snaps kept this game closer than it should’ve been. The Seahawks had 13 penalties, 3 of which cost Percy Harvin three touchdowns including the one unnecessary roughness penalty on James Carpenter which seemed like an awful call.
2. Few penalties for the Skins. Just 3 penalties for 30 yards by a team that was one of the most penalized teams through 4 weeks coming into this game tonight although the facemask on Jarvis Jenkins on Seattle’s final drive down 24-17 really hurt. The holding penalty on Biggers on a Seattle punt that went into the end zone didn’t help either. Overall though, big improvement in this area.
3. DeSean Jackson as a deep threat. He caught deep balls of 60 and 57 yards. The 60-yd touchdown catch got the Skins back into the game late in the first half while the 57-yarder got them into scoring position on the Skins’ first drive of the 3rd quarter.
4. Pierre Garcon. He’s the most physical player on the team and rarely disappoints.
5. 2nd-half defense? This is a stretch but when you consider that Seattle started their first four 2nd-half drives at their own 44, 50, 40, and 47 and only managed 7 points on those drives, and those points came courtesy of some of the most brilliant off-schedule plays you’ll ever see by a quarterback (Russell Wilson), the defense gave the team a chance in the 2nd-half after a dismal 1st-half. Seattle managed just 136 total yards in the 2nd-half and was 2 for 7 on 3rd-down.
1. Field Position. A total disaster tonight. Starting offensive field position was their own 15. They never started a drive beyond their own 20 until the meaningless final drive with 14 seconds left. Against a defense like Seattle’s, chances to pull an upset rely on at least a few short-field opportunities and they didn’t even get a medium-field opportunity. This was a major problem last year and it hasn’t improved so far this year.
2. 1st-half defense. Haz’s defense looked totally unprepared for Russell Wilson’s mobility whether it be on bootlegs, read-option keepers, or as a scrambler. Contain by Kerrigan and Orakpo was a mess in the first half. Kerrigan got better, Orakpo never seemed to figure it out. Granted, Wilson was brilliant all-night long but the lack of any ability to spy him or keep him contained in or near the pocket really hurt.
3. Rush offense. It was non-existent but to be fair, nobody has been able to run against Seattle this year. They were allowing a league-best 2.7 yards per carry coming in and it was even better tonight. 17 carries for 32 yards for an average of 1.9 per. The 17 carries seemed like too many tonight for me. I think they should’ve given up on it completely unless they were going to try and run Helu with the field spread with 4 or 5 wide. Niles Paul had a rough night blocking anybody. Why they ran behind him as much as they did made no sense.
4. Special teams. Lost field position because of several poor plays. The pooch kickoffs may have prevented a back-breaking return but the opening kickoff gave Seattle a good starting spot at their own 35. Why can’t this team find someone who can kick it out of the end zone and force the opponent to start at the 20. Tress Way missed an opportunity to pin the ‘Hawks deep on his first punt but from his own 45, he instead kicked it into the end zone. Seattle punt returns of 21 yards in the first quarter and 20 in the 3rd quarter were blown chances to gain some field position advantage. Way also had a few short punts out of bounds of 39 and 40 yards. Not a good enough net on those. They gave up a fake field goal for a crucial 4th quarter first down. They took a huge gamble with an onsides kick after they cut the lead to 17-10 and that didn’t work. They didn’t have any return yards on the night and when they got lucky with Seattle punting it into the end zone, Biggers was called for holding pushing them back to their own 10 to start a drive. This group isn’t any better this year than it was last year. That seemed nearly impossible but it’s officially true so far.
5. Headset communication. What the hell was wrong with the communication to Cousins’ helmet. On two huge 3rd and 1 plays, Cousins had to sprint to the sideline to get the play causing them to rush the snap.
1. Russell Wilson was brilliant. His playmaking in this game as a runner and passer was as good as you’ll see. Few teams in the league can throw consistently without their quarterback extending the play inside or outside the pocket on occasion and nobody does it better than Wilson. I hope RG3 was taking notes.
2. Russell Wilson is the best read-option QB in the league. His ball-handling, decision-making, vision, elusiveness, and ability to avoid hits makes him the best at this. I hope RG3 was taking notes.
3. The officiating was bad. Seattle was on the wrong end of some penalties. The penalty on the long TD pass to Harvin was just a brutal call. Orakpo got held on that final 3rd-down magic-act play by Wilson on their final drive that ended in FG and a 27-17 lead. Harvin was held by Riley on the same play. Should’ve been offsetting penalties and a repeat of the down. Morris had a 2nd down and 4 run on their first drive of the 3rd quarter that was spotted at least a half yard short. That was the play before the Cousins sneak that came up short.
4. Kirk Cousins was inaccurate at times as he’s been before but he also had a few balls dropped including one by Roberts for what would’ve been a nice yardage play. I’d really like to see him use his athleticism to extend plays by running and creating more time to make throws. His TD pass to Jackson is the perfect example of what he has the ability to do more often.
5. A play that really hurt was the 5-yard loss on a first-down run by Helu late in the 3rd. That play was the first after a 22-yard pass to Jackson that got them some breathing room at the 30 and could’ve been the beginning of a drive for pts or at the very least a change in field position. That was followed by a sack and then a punt that was returned to the Seattle 40.
6. The challenge of Wilson’s first houdini play on Seattle’s field-goal clinching drive where it looked like he crossed the line of scrimmage was probably worth the attempt.
7. The Redskins didn’t force a turnover and have just 4 takeaways thru 5 games. Just 3 teams have less. Interestingly, that list of 4 teams includes Seattle and Denver.