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3-and-out: Redskins-Giants post game quick hits

December 09, 2018 - 7:30 pm
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106.7 The Fan Redskins beat reporter Craig Hoffman was in the press box at FedExField as the Washington Redskins took on the New York Giants in Week 14 of the season. He combined his observations with post-game interviews to write his top-three takeaways from this week in football:

The Redskins were trounced 40-16 on Sunday afternoon by the Giants (5-8) to lose their fourth straight game.

1. Mark Sanchez had more tipped balls than completions in his first eight attempts. One of those was caught for a pick-six. The balls he could get to his receivers were dropped and by the time Sanchez’s day was over, the team was down 40-0 and it was the middle of the third quarter. However, it really was worse than that and it’s why the biggest decision to be questioned by Jay Gruden Sunday was not pulling him earlier.

Sanchez could not operate the offense. That is a harsh, but true sentence. On quick game drops, where the ball is supposed to be out immediately after three or five steps, Sanchez stood and scanned the field until he took a sack. If a quarterback cannot make easy underneath throws, he cannot play. Sanchez was failing and Gruden tried to give him a chance to fix it until the game was out of hand.

With all due respect to Sanchez, he hadn’t earned that. He’s been here a whole three weeks, and it wasn’t like that was after a stellar career of playmaking glory. Gruden should have benched Sanchez midway through the first half in favor of Johnson, who at the very least has the athleticism to create plays.

Johnson was good. He operated. He made some really high level throws. He ran for positive gains. He was far, far from perfect and he did all of this in a non-competitive environment. He’s the starter next week. That’s an easy decision. When to bench a guy during a game is hard, but it would seem Gruden missed the mark by waiting too long this week.

2. The defense had another rough outing, giving up 34 first-half points. There were mistakes at all three levels. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix continues to be a disappointment. He was late on multiple big plays, showing a lack of speed and decisiveness that prevents him from being an effective post safety. A scout told me at the time of the trade this was the case. Clearly the Redskins thought a change of scenery would turn things around.

There were bad run fits from many other players as well as Saquon Barkley’s day ended in the third quarter after 14 carries for 170 yards and a touchdown. The pass defense wasn’t great either, as Eli Manning went a tidy 14-22 for 197 yards and three scores.

3. According to D.J. Swearinger, the blame is clearly not on the players. Wait, what?

"Can’t say [it was] the players, man. We the same players. We the same guys," Swearinger said. "We've been putting in the same work. Defense - we been practicing hard. Speaking for my players, man, we're practicing hard. From a players standpoint, we practicing bro. So, I don’t know. Like, I said, I can’t give you no answer to that cause I’m not the coach. As players we’re trying to do what we need to do on defense as players. You know we trying to. We trying hard.”

This does not make sense. The coaches are the same, too. Swearinger’s time in Washington could be running out as it becomes more and more apparent why he has bounced around the league despite becoming a solid player. These are not things you hear from the best leaders in the NFL, any other sport or any other business. The passive aggressive comments are unbecoming of a professional, which is exactly what Swearinger repeatedly said he was after the game.

Quote of the day: “I had to play Madden to learn just the other day,” Josh Johnson said of his teammates' names. “I told the coaches that just to learn my teammates. You come in on a short week, you learn there are so many moving parts. For me, I played Madden.”

Yes. Josh Johnson learned his teammates' names by playing a video game.

Stat of the day: The Redskins gave up 400 yards of total offense in their third straight game. The last time they didn’t give up at least 400 was when they gave up 320 to the Texans in a loss. The week before they gave up over 500 to Tampa Bay in a win.

 

Follow Redskins reporter Craig Hoffman and 106.7 The Fan