Here are my 5 observations on the Redskins’ season-ending 19-10 loss to the Giants:
—Good teams don’t pull out close games. Good teams make sure that they do not end up in close games. The 8-7-1 Redskins outscored the opposition by 396-383, an average of one point per game. That’s good enough to sneak into the playoffs maybe but the quality teams in the playoffs outscore the opposition by 100 points or more. The point is that if the Redskins were a quality team this game against an uninspired Giants team would not have come down to a 44-yard bomb to a reserve WR and a pick with less than two minutes left.
—There will be plenty of analysis of Kirk Cousins, that killer interception, and the rest of his season over the coming days and weeks. He did save one of his worst games of the season for last. How that should factor into what his next contract might look like remains to be seen. But did he put the team on his shoulders and carry the team through its most important game? Clearly not.
—This offensive line is approaching what the team wants in terms of personnel and they did not get the job done today or two weeks ago against the Panthers. It is not the “impose your will” group that you want when it comes to running the football. Good defenses don’t just slow down the Redskins’ rushing attack, the slam the brakes on it. Add that to Cousins taking a season-high four sacks and it was a poor day for a unit that is supposed to be a strength of the team.
—I like Josh Norman and I think he was a tremendous addition to the team. But he can’t pick up dumb personal foul penalties like he did in the first half. I get that his game works with emotion and if he squashed that he wouldn’t be as effective. Still, he has to be smarter.
—Despite all that went wrong, the Redskins still had the Giants where they wanted them, backed up in their own territory in a tie game in the fourth quarter. But then Tavarres King, who had one reception for six yards on the season, took off down the sideline, got a step on Greg Toler, and hauled in Eli Manning’s pass to set up the game-winning field goal. Odell Beckham had five receptions for 44 yards but none really hurt. The Redskins were done in not by the all-world Beckham but by a little-used reserve.
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