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5 observations from the Redskins' most embarrassing loss in years

5 observations from the Redskins' most embarrassing loss in years

A thesaurus only contains so many synonyms for awful, but here are a few of them: horrible, terrible, dreadful. Any of those words, or a host of others, well describe the Redskins' play in Sunday's 40-16 loss to the New York Giants. 

The Redskins defense was terrible. The offense was worse, especially in the first half. 

Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns and didn't even play the fourth quarter. Saquon Barkley had nearly 200 yards from scrimmage to go with a touchdown. 

There's nothing positive to point to for the Redskins. Sorry. But there are some real ugly observations:

1. As Advertised:

Mark Sanchez was really bad, but honestly, that was the expectation. He got benched in the game for Josh Johnson, who signed with the team last Tuesday, but not before Sanchez completed six of 14 pass for 38 yards and two interceptions. Oh yeah, his first interception was returned for a touchdown. Nobody really helped Sanchez either; receivers dropped catchable passes and the run game couldn't get going. 

2. Unsolved Mystery:

So many things have gone wrong for the Redskins that it's hard to keep track of them all, but one big factor in the team's demise has been the collapse of the run defense. When the Redskins played the Giants in New York in October, rookie Saquon Barkley rushed for less than 40 rush yards. On Sunday, Barkley had 159 rush yards. In the first half. He busted a 78-yard touchdown run and seemed to get anywhere he wanted on the field. 

3. Flag Day:

The Redskins have a serious problem with penalties. They're among the most penalized teams in the NFL - tied for first on offensive holds and second in false starts coming into the game - and Sunday was no exception. With 11 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Redskins had been penalized nine times for 90 yards, and a number of false start calls. It was ugly, and it was to be expected. Jay Gruden talked about the problems with cadence throughout the week at practice as the Redskins worked to get used to Mark Sanchez. It didn't get fixed.

4. Proof of Life: 

Don't read this as a silver lining, but Josh Johnson provided a jolt of energy to the Redskins when he entered the game in the second half. He ran for a touchdown and completed a long pass play to Jamison Crowder for a 78-yard TD. He also connected on two two-point conversions. He completed 11 of 16 passes and moved the ball with some efficiency. There should be absolutely no debate that Johnson starts next week in Jacksonville, even with the late fourth quarter interception. 

5. I know you are but what am I?

It seems like the finger pointing on defense is starting to hit a higher level, as Zach Brown got benched to start the first half. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been bad for the Redskins since he arrived in mid-season, and the overall tackling struggles continued against New York. There seems to be an obvious divide between some players in the locker room as well as players and coaches. It's not a good look, and has been a big part in the struggles over the second half of the season. 

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One crazy stat that connects Dwayne Haskins with Cam Newton, but also Mark Sanchez

One crazy stat that connects Dwayne Haskins with Cam Newton, but also Mark Sanchez

The Redskins selected Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. While his record at Ohio State was impressive, Haskins didn't log many starts. 

Washington head coach Jay Gruden talked about Haskins back in March during the league meetings, before the Burgundy and Gold drafted the quarterback, and said that because he played just one year in college he would need significant time to learn the NFL game. 

"You would like a guy to play more than a year to see how he’s developed over the years. Haskins has a unique skillset. He’s big, strong and can really throw it," Gruden said. Then, "Is he going to be ready for the first year?"

After OTAs and minicamp, it's obvious Haskins has all the talent needed to play quarterback in the NFL. He's made touch throws and he's rifled balls into tight windows. At the same time, he seemed confused in spots about play calls and struggled with the speed of the pass rush. 

All of that is normal for a player with just 14 starts. But it's that number, the one year of starting experience in college, that makes one statistic stand out about Haskins. 

That's some serious company, both good, bad and ugly. 

As a rookie in 2011, Cam Newton went 6-10 with 35 total TDs and 17 interceptions, not to mention a Rookie of the Year trophy. His running prowess made up for average numbers in the pass game. The more important comparison for Redskins fans is that Newton eventually developed into an NFL MVP and got the Panthers to the Super Bowl. 

For Mark Sanchez, the rookie numbers and the career comparison aren't as kind. Sanchez threw 12 TDs and 20 INTs in 15 games as a rookie, though he was at the helm as the Jets got to two straight AFC title games. Still, for his career, Sanchez threw more INTs than TDs and could not keep a starting job after his rookie contract. 

Trubisky is a different deal. He's only started 26 games since being the second overall pick in the 2017 draft with a record of 15-11. He's thrown 31 touchdowns against 19 interceptions, and run for another five scores. It's hard to describe Trubisky's game. At times he's terribly inaccurate, but in other spots, he looks like a future Pro Bowler. 

Newton is the sure thing, Sanchez is the poor outcome. Trubisky is still to be determined. 

For Haskins, it's not good company or bad company. With only 14 starts at Ohio State before the Redskins drafted Haskins, it's just the company he's in.

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Packers' Davante Adams has high praise for rookie Darnell Savage

Packers' Davante Adams has high praise for rookie Darnell Savage

Darnell Savage was the third NFL draft prospect profiled in our series ‘I Am the Prospect

Darnell Savage has been getting a lot of buzz since the Packers traded up to the 21st overall pick to select him in the 2019 NFL Draft, and his teammates are on board.

The Maryland star was one of the draft's biggest risers, and it was well warranted.

The Packers' Instagram account posted a video of Savage Wednesday, and his teammate Davante Adams chimed in.

“The boy gonna be special,” Adams wrote.

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BORN READY. #MondayMotivation #GoPackGo

A post shared by Green Bay Packers (@packers) on

“He’s going to be that guy — I can tell," Adams said, via Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal. "We definitely got a steal." “I know we got him early, but I still think that he could have gone even earlier just based on what he’s doing out there. He plays like a vet, he knows how to practice, and he’s smart, man.

Savage will face the Redskins in Week 14 when the Burgundy and Gold head up to Lambeau Field on December 8 for the matchup against the Packers.

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