SNIDER: Redskins are simply a painful tease

Rick Snider
November 04, 2018 - 5:30 pm
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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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Just when the Washington Redskins looked like playoff contenders, the offensive line was wrecked. What is this – 2017?

Left tackle Trent Williams didn’t play against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday after surgery for a broken thumb. Left guard Sean Lauvao lasted only three snaps before injured. Right guard Brandon Scherff departed in the third quarter with a shoulder injury. Both Lauvao and Scherff will undergo MRIs on Monday.

That’s two Pro Bowlers and three starters injured as the Falcons won easily 38-14. Washington’s makeshift line was overwhelmed and whistled for so many penalties, including two holding calls on one play while quarterback Alex Smith was sacked, it sounded like a dog-calling competition.

“It’s impossible [to win,]” said coach Jay Gruden of the penalties. “Might as well give them the ball and give them the game.”

Washington is 5-3 at midseason. Good enough to contend, but weak to miss the postseason.

Whatever happens in the coming two months depends on the offensive line. Quarterback Alex Smith still looks dazed and confused midway into the season, emerging now and then to lead a score but with the overall consistency of watery oatmeal.

Yuck.

Not to overlook a poor outing by the Redskins defense that was beaten regularly. They simply can’t handle a good passer, which gives little postseason optimism should Washington make it because someone with a big arm will await.

But the offense has sputtered all too often this season and now has a banged up or makeshift line that won’t hold up for eight more games. It will be agonizing to watch as one by one the line drifts away and Washington can’t crack 20 points.

Think Philadelphia isn’t suddenly smiling? The defending Super Bowl champions are 4-4 and suddenly awakened. With two games against the Redskins, the Eagles smell another title.

The Redskins offensive line better heal quickly because the rest of the season depends on it.

 

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.