I got to watch the Skins vs. 49ers yesterday with my boy Dan, and at the game's conclusion, I turned to him and just shook my head.
"What am I supposed to say about this game?" I said.
"Well, the D wasn't that bad, it was just that our offense needs work."
That 'bout sums it up. The Redskins managed to hold the 49ers to 20 points (although a good D gives up less than that) and keep the offense in the game. Yes, I know that the defense gave up something close to 200 yards of rushing, with both of San Francisco's backs looking dominant. But it would've been moot had the offense been able to take care of their end of business when the opportunity came their way.
I speak not of the Danny "Woeful" Wuerffel interception, but of the previous drive led by Shane "Benchwarmer" Matthews in the 3rd quarter. It was second down, if memory serves correct. The Skins were just inside the San Fan 50. Spurrier called the perfect play: Two right-side wide receivers criss-crossed, leaving the inside reciever (I think it was Jacquez Green) running a 12-yard out route.
Was he open? No. He was WIIIIIIIIDE open. As in, nobody within 10 yards of him.
The offesive line gave good protection. For a change. Shane's pass? Completely over the head of Green. Not even worth jumping for. The ball landed somewhere out of bounds. Probably hit a cheerleader.
Now Shane had taken a cheap shot earlier in the drive from a San Fran lineman (who needed to be ejected and/or fined), so I suppose Shane just wasn't the same after that. But I point out this play because, really, it was the last legitimate chance the Skins had to come back and win this one. We complete that pass and we're practically in field goal range with a couple Davis runs. Alas.
Following the preseason and first regular season game, I said I was sold on the Fun-n-Gun. But now, I dunno--the playcalling seems to have taken a more subdued, conservative approach. Maybe it's because the Skins' QBs aren't executing well. Maybe because Sir Spurrier wants to get Stephen "Fumble at the worst times" Davis more involved. But from my seat, I see short passes (Davis is the leading team receiver) and #$@@$ running plays on 2nd-and-20. On fourth and one, Davis up the middle? What happened to the three-reverse play-action playbook?!?
Special teams did a great job. The fumble call against Jacquez Green was a toughie, so I'll let that slide. But fantastic job downing punts and the like.
The D still needs to tighten up, but since I smacked 'em last week, I'll go easy on them. This game could have been a nail-biter, but it ended up being a head-shakin' affair. Which brings us to...
THIS WEEK'S FANTASY REPORT:
My Young Avengers Fantasy football team managed to avenge a first-week loss and a second-week tie by pasting Lone Star and The Bandits in one fell swoop! (The tie is resolved by using the next week's score as a tiebreaker.) My 2001 Championship team still has Marshall Faulk, Ernie Conwell, and Keyshawn Johnson still to play tonight but those points are moot. I went from being possibly 0-3 (et tu, Ravens?) to 2-1. Nothing makes a Skins loss feel better than a Young Avengers win!
Next week: BYE. Skins lose, 21-13. Just kidding. Somebody suit up Patrick Ramsey...