The day after: Washington Redskins vs Denver Broncos grades

There should be two report cards, one for each half, but here are the final grades for the Redskins versus Broncos game. Photo: (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVEROctober 28, 2013 — The Washington Redskins lost to the Denver Broncos 21-45. The game was closer than the score shows, but then again, it is the second week in a row the Redskins have allowed over 40 points. If there were grades for each half, the Redskins’ first half would have been straight A’s. Unfortunately, there is another half and the second half requires detention. So here are the grades for the entire game: 

Offense (Passing), F: Robert Griffin III reverted back to the flustered quarterback who was unable to find the open receiver or pick up a blitz. The moment seemed too big for him, as it has a few times this year. RG3 needs to chill out and slow the game down. His inability to pick up blitzes is hurting the team, and when he is looking for pass rushers, he is missing open receivers. When he is running progressions, he is getting hit by blitzing defenders. 

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Offense (Rushing), A: Since this grade is not based on rush attempts, but rather rush proficiency when applied, you cannot help but notice Alfred Morris moving the chains throughout the first half. Of course, the Redskins abandoned the run and fans will never know why they did not keep doing the one thing that was working. Do not expect to find out why the Redskins abandoned the run in Mike Shanahan’s press conference either. You would have a better chance getting the house Republicans to troubleshoot (help fix) the Obamacare website. 

Defense, B: As Troy Aikman, Broadcaster for the Fox Telecast said, “The (Redskins) defense did okay, they just didn’t get any help”. That about says it all. When you force Peyton Manning into several three-and-outs, you get an unthinkable pick-six against No. 18, and set your team up with a 14 point lead in the second half, you should get an “A”. This “B” grade is based on class participation and homework; not the final exam. They flunked the proverbial final exam, the fourth quarter, but did enough prior to that point to earn a “B” for the game. 

Special Teams, B: Aside from Sav Rocca’s terrible second half punt shorter than Kim Kardashian’s recent marriage, the Special Teams played quite well. They held dangerous return man, Trindon Holliday, to minimal gains on returns and did not lose the game for the Skins. That is all you can ask for at this point. Josh Morgan also managed to gain 34 yards on punt returns. 

Coaching, D: A lot of DC Sports Radio callers want the Shanahans to be fired. The first half was nothing short of spectacular, as the Shanahans owned the time of possession and kept Peyton Manning off the field. It was something talked about, but never truly accomplished by other NFL teams. By running the ball Shanahanian-style, the Skins milked the clock and the best passer arguably of all time could only watch. Unfortunately, this is not “Deal or No Deal”. You cannot cash-out at half time. John Fox and the Broncos made adjustments and simply took away the running game. Surely the Redskins had a back up plan if they could not run the ball, right? Obviously not. Once the Broncos sniffed out the running game, RG3 was throwing long bombs more like a javelin than a football; majestic, far and nowhere near anyone. The Redskins’ passing scheme throughout the game looked more like punkin chunkin than football pass patterns. 

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John Heibel


Born in Southern Maryland, 34 years old, John Heibel grew up a Washington DC  sports fan, playing pretty much all sports. Heibel served in the US Coast Guard for 7 years and has two bachelors degrees.
The writer currently lives in Kensington, MD covering all DC Sports for Communities.

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