Redskins lacked discipline against Saints: 'Are we really surprised?'

Chris Russell
October 09, 2018 - 5:21 pm
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Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

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Many thought the Redskins were dominated from the start Monday night in New Orleans.

They were not.

They were dumb right from the start, and that's where they lost yet another primetime debacle.

The Redskins are now 1-9 on Monday Night Football since the start of the 2013 season, the official beginning of the end for Robert Griffin III and the Shanahan regime.

The Redskins had their chances on defense, making several stops early, but three drive-extending third-down penalties led to 13 points and it only got worse from there.

My Week 5 report card is not going to be pretty!

Offense – F

From the start, Alex Smith and the offense were completely disjointed. Three straight passes to start the game to try and attack a very suspect pass defense sounds great. If you execute. The Redskins did not.

On the Redskins' first scoring drive, they were sacked twice and had a first-and-goal at the Saints' five-yard line, and had to settle for three points after a 15-play, 56-yard drive. Field goals were never going to be good enough when you have a golden opportunity, but that has been typical of the Redskins offense for the last two and a half years.

Alex Smith was brutal for much of the night. Yes, he had a touchdown run and there were a few great receptions, one by Paul Richardson and another by Jordan Reed, but Smith was hit early and often, and his accuracy and decision making were just brutal.

On a fourth-and-2 opportunity, Smith took an extremely deep drop, missed a wide-open target, was late with his throw and the ball was picked off.

This was after missing Vernon Davis, who was open and deep on a third-and-2 incompletion.

The offensive line was dreadful as well, and each starter was abused at times.

At least the Redskins finally scored a touchdown in the second half of a game this year. That's a positive, right?

Defense – F

The three penalties that extended drives which otherwise would have resulted in punts and no points was the ultimate killer, but blown coverages all night made for a nightmare.

Josh Norman's mind-numbing blunder on Drew Brees' 62-yard touchdown pass to Tre'Quan Smith, which set the NFL's all-time passing yards mark, is the second game in a row Norman has allowed a touchdown because of a missed assignment.

Norman was benched to start the second half and his replacement, Greg Stroman, was abused on his first series, capped off by a wide-open Smith catching a 35-yard strike for his second score.

There were other mistakes in coverage and a few limited bright spots, but it was astonishing how overwhelmed the Redskins looked over the final three quarters.

Special Teams – C

Dustin Hopkins connected on a 53-yard field goal and a 37-yard kick, but that was about it for the Redskins.

Coaching – D

I'm always a blame-the-players before blame-the-coaches guy, but certainly Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky deservedly share part of the blame. Play-calling, lack of aggression, mystifying concepts and more were a part of the loss on both sides of the ball.

The number one problem? A complete lack of discipline and sense of urgency. Are we really surprised?

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