Russell Report Card: 'F' isn't just for 'failure'

Chris Russell
December 09, 2018 - 9:14 pm

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


The Washington Redskins were ambushed, humiliated, pounded and just for good measure, embarrassed by the New York Giants, 40-16 at FedExField on Sunday. They’ve now lost four in a row and are officially on life support.

What do you want me to say? Josh Johnson was good as the Redskins fourth starting quarterback in the last four weeks when he led a couple of touchdown drives against a team that was up 40-0?

OK. I guess. Sorry, but it’s impossible to get excited about a guy who was just the top overall pick in a football league that doesn’t fully exist yet.

Now our Week 14, game 13 Redskins report card:

Offense – F: Yes, Johnson gave a glimpse of hope in the fourth quarter throwing for a touchdown and running for a score, plus converting two different two-point conversions. Let’s be realistic: The Jaguars and Titans defensive units are both better than the Giants and they will have a week to prepare for Johnson, who was playing pickup basketball in Oakland a week ago.

Mark Sanchez gave us a glimpse of how horrible he can be and probably is with no help around him. It wasn’t all his fault. The Redskins dropped at least three completed passes and had countless penalties. His pick-six to open the scoring was the third time in six days that he was halfway deep in his end zone throwing a pass. It was a run-pass option and, clearly, the wrong choice was made. Why are you putting your quarterback who has been here for a few practices in this position? STOP.

The Redskins were two-for-11 on third down, had only 288 net yards of offense and committed 15 penalties overall, many of the false start & holding variety. Don’t forget about a mind-numbing taunting personal foul against Josh Doctson down 40-16 inside the Giants' 5-yard line.

Defense – F: For a quarter plus, they did their job and were very good. Ryan Kerrigan was terrific, Josh Norman was good and Daron Payne helped pressure Eli Manning & control Saquon Barkley. And then the roof caved in.

They allowed a 78-yard touchdown run to Barkley who was untouched by any Redskins defender after making his initial cut. The # 2 overall pick also had a 52-yard carry and finished with 170 yards on 14 attempts or an absurd 12.14 average.

Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Barkley ran for 141 yards of his total with eight-plus defenders in the box on eight attempts. It’s the most yards a running back has piled up against 8+ box defenders since tracking began in 2016.

Washington gave up a long completion to Corey Coleman inside the five. Coleman has bounced around to multiple teams this year. They allowed 402 yards overall to an offense without Odell Beckham Jr.

Special Teams – F: The most consistent unit all year drew two penalties on one punt return and allowed a 23-yard punt return. Tress Way did average 51.1 per punt but it’s really hard to celebrate anything.

Coaching – F: From start to finish, a complete debacle. It’s not all Jay Gruden’s fault. He has significant players that are injured but he waited too long for a spark, leaving Sanchez into rot. The design of the offense rarely changes, regardless of who the quarterback is or what the offensive line can and cannot do. Route concepts take too much time to develop, quarterbacks have difficult amounts of information to process and they are still too pass happy.

Greg Manusky’s defense has become a disaster in the last six weeks and they have one significant injury. In the last six games, they’ve 899 rushing yards on 180 attempts, an average of 4.99 yards per attempt and 149.8 yards per game. YIKES. 


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