Monday, November 03, 2003

WEEK 9: Washington 2, Dallas 73

Yeah, that wasn’t the actual final score. But it might as well have been. Dallas won, 21-14, but in no way was this cringe-inducing game that close. Washington never gained control, never adjusted, and never threatened. The Cowgirls did their very best to make this game interesting, like the Harlem Globetrotters used to do to Podunk College when I was a kid. They fumbled around, took points off the board with penalties, dropped passes, the whole nine. It was almost comical.

But aye, these Redskins lack a competitive spirit. You know what? I had a sense of dread with less than FIVE MINUTES elapsed in the game. Sure, the Skins were winning by six points, and Dallas had committed three turnovers. But we had shown absolutely nothing on the field: Ramsey had been sacked twice, hurried every other time he tried to pass, and we had no running game. Further, we had only SIX POINTS off of turnovers. Even on the touchdown pass Ramsey was smacked down. The Cowchip defense gave up those six only because the interception return put the ball inside the red zone. Even mo’ further, Dallas had two touchdowns removed because of their own silly penalties. We had an extra point blocked for the first time this season. The Skins started their drives with great field position after each turnover. All within the first five minutes.

…and the game never improved. The Cowchips tightened their game and really dissected the Redskins. The disappointing reality of this game was that Coach Superior and company had two weeks to review what failed in the first part of the season, review what worked for Tampa Bay against Dallas last week, then adjust what didn’t work after Sunday’s halftime. It appears that none of that happened. The D gave up a Madden-style reverse to ice the game, the special teams got blown away on the opening kickoff , and the Dallas blitz packages worked flawlessly.

If I were Pharaoh Ramsey, I’d want out. The truth of this season, for him, is that the coaching staff is pimping his energy, toughness, and youth while they continue their flawed attempt to devise blocking schemes. It is ridiculous, and I’m infuriated on behalf of Ramsey (whose nickname I’d considered changing to “Bullseye.”). There isn’t even a competent backup for Ramsey since letting journeyman Rob Johnson hit the showers. What, pray tell, do the coaches want Ramsey to do when his blocking backs miss tackles, receivers don’t read blitz and alter their routes, and the offensive line leads the team in penalties?

It all reminds me of the old story where a sergeant was speaking to a line of his troops. They were about to go to war, but they needed someone to lead the charge, facing inevitable death. The sergeant asked for one man to bravely step forward. In a moment, a soldier stood alone. It wasn’t until he looked around did he realize that everyone else took one step backward.

In my humble opinion, the season is effectively over. The Skins have lost to all of their division rivals and face Seattle, Carolina, Miami, and New Orleans in coming weeks. My prayer is that we make the games interesting enough that I’ll want to pop popcorn and watch. The rest of the schedule has division teams, all of which have better records and smarter coaches than Washington. We can, of course, take Chicago.

OFFENSE: F (“The Ballad of Patrick Ramsey” folk song earns a verse every week.)
Sp. TEAMS: F+ (The plus is for the stellar punting we’ve gotten for consecutive games.)
COACHES: F (I bet George Allen and Tom Landry laughed at this “contest” between “rivals.”)

Next Up: Washington plays at home against the Seattle Seahawks. I have committed myself to choosing Washington to win every week. Now I’m regretting it. Ramsey gets time to throw only three passes, but they’re all for big plays. Skins win 20-17.

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