FedEx Field became a national joke on Thanksgiving night. Well, not the whole stadium, but the actual field.
The strip of grass inside the hash marks, from end zone to end zone, looked barren. The grass on the sidelines looked pleasantly green, but the turf in the middle of the field, where the bulk of the game gets played, looked terrible.
Not sure what’s worse, the graphic or the field pic.twitter.com/79V66MywkE— Kelyn Soong (@KelynSoong) November 24, 2017
It's time to dispel at least one myth: This is not some cost-cutting measure by the Redskins. The team has tried to address the poor field for years, and yet, it keeps happening. The team has tried to resod, install new fields, and additional grass seed. For whatever reason, none of it seems to work.
As has happened many times before, in the second half of Washington's win over the Giants, the turf caused a problem for the home team.
Kirk Cousins went to make a throw to the sideline, and it looked like his foot stuck in the dirt. That caused him to sail the ball, and in turn led to an interception. That interception got returned for a New York touchdown. That touchdown tied the score, in the fourth quarter.
Watch Cousins' left foot. Gets stuck in the turf as he goes to throw. Causes ball to be inaccurate pic.twitter.com/Umvu9vn10l— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) November 24, 2017
So, yeah, Redskins fans were very mad about the field.
Cousins was able to engineer another TD scoring drive, and the Redskins were able to win the game. That calmed some of the anger about the field, at least from the players and coaches.
Asked about the field's involvement in his lone interception, Cousins remained diplomatic.
"I just felt rushed because I felt like they were going to get my arm if I didn’t rush it so I kind of came up quick and tried to dump it quickly and the ball was a little high and just ended up very unlucky," the QB said.
Head coach Jay Gruden said even less about the field.
"I don’t know what happened," Gruden said. "Did somebody trip or something? I didn’t notice that.”
Coaches, and quarterbacks, don't like to offer excuses. And it's pretty clear that the turf wasn't the only factor in Cousins' interception, especially considering running back Byron Marshall had a chance at the pass before it caromed to the Giants defender.
Still, look at that picture. The field is a problem, like it has been in years past.
On NBC Sports Washington after the game, former Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss talked about his own struggles at FedEx Field as winter progressed. Moss explained it happened every year, and players knew it was coming.
Privately, a few Redskins players acknowledged the poor field, and its impact on the game.
That's not to say fields throughout the country don't deteriorate as fall turns to winter. It's natural, though some stadiums seem to handle the changes in weather better.
FedEx Field, in the relatively moderate climate of D.C., is not one of them.
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