Sunday, December 5, 2010

Skins lose again; season over with four games to go

Because I didn't have much to do today, I've been thinking all afternoon/evening -- after the Redskins' latest disappointing performance, a 31-7 loss to the Giants -- what to write about the game.

It was obvious early on that the Redskins weren't going to win. The Giants quickly took the lead, scored twice in the first quarter, and didn't allow the Redskins to do much of anything the entire game. The Giants took a 21-0 lead going into halftime, but honestly, I decided to stop watching the game after that third touchdown. And that's not something that I offer lightly. Even during the Eagles blowout in Week 10, I kept watching. Most true and loyal fans probably did, even though it was a train wreck of a performance by Washington from the very beginning.

I really don't like writing about myself, especially in a post like this, but I'm just tired of this team. I'm tired of such a poorly run organization going for a quick fix year in and year out, regardless of the team's actual situation. I'm tired of the team overpaying for veteran players, especially ones that don't fit what the team is trying to accomplish on the field.

But more than anything else, I'm tired of the team trading away draft picks instead of working hard to identify young, valuable talent. In his tenure as the team's owner, Dan Snyder has tried just about everything. He's invested huge sums of money on countless coaches and players, and most of the moves have not worked. But the one thing that the Redskins organization refuses to do is rebuild -- yes, that dreaded word. This organization does not value draft picks, and it very rarely develops and holds on to young stars. The offensive line is absolutely terrible, and yet the Redskins have not selected more than a handful of linemen over the last few years. Sure, Trent Williams seems talented, but the line isn't made of one guy. The Redskins have more holes on their roster than most teams, and they also have no depth. That's what happens when draft picks are not properly valued.

I subscribe to the theory that draft picks are similar to lottery tickets. Yes, obviously some organizations are much better at identifying talent that fits their team's personnel and scheme, but when teams obtain more draft picks, they're more likely to draft better players. And that's essentially what I believe, or something along those lines. Anyway, the Redskins haven't given themselves much of a chance when it comes to drafting because they usually have fewer choices than every other team. And at the end of the day, that's my biggest beef with the Redskins.

After this week's debacle, many fans will take shots at the players, saying they gave up and demonstrated no heart in such an important game. Remember, if the Redskins ran the table, they could have maybe, just maybe, earned a playoff spot. It doesn't matter that the Redskins haven't won more than two games in a row and lost 59-28 just a few weeks ago. Some fans were still delusional enough to think that this team had some kind of chance to win five games in a row just because it miraculously happened in 2007 after Sean Taylor's death. It's nice to be a wishful thinker, but come on, there was just no chance of that happening.

As a team, the Redskins have no chemistry. They're just a bunch of parts haphazardly thrown together into schemes that don't fit. And that's a seasonal occurrence in D.C. The Redskins don't have the personnel or defensive talent to run a 3-4, but they're doing it anyway just because. The Redskins offense has been terrible for years, but instead of building through the draft and taking their lumps for a couple of seasons, they traded for Donovan McNabb, yet another piece that just doesn't seem like it's going to work. And that's not even counting the pain of being forced to cheer for someone like McNabb, who certainly is a nice guy, but has been an enemy of the Redskins on the field from his time in an Eagles uniform. That's the kind of thing that Redskins fans have to deal with -- not just losing, but now losing with a guy who they've been cheering against for more than a decade. Thanks for that, Redskins front office.

All of this isn't to say that the players don't deserve any blame. Of course they do. They're on the field, and they lost the game. But that doesn't mean that they're underperforming either. Maybe they're just not good enough. So yeah, I have no idea how the Redskins beat the Packers, Eagles, or Bears this season. Even bad teams get lucky, I guess. But until fans stop getting fooled into thinking that a few annual free agent acquisitions will transform the Redskins into a Super Bowl contender, things probably won't change. And it doesn't matter who's coaching or playing on Sundays. That's an organizational philosophy, and everyone needs to get on board.

If not, well, then the Redskins are likely going to keep having seasons like this, when they look competitive early on and then fade as the weather gets colder and their older players can't stay on the field.

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