Maaayyybbee I Was a Bit Premature: It was only a week ago when I was pronouncing the Minnesota Vikings to be a legit NFL team, after they had just beat the Titans fairly easily. They had shown a pretty diverse range of wins and different ways in which they could win, so I felt moderately confident that they could match up well with this Redskins team that is, A) RACIST, and B) without any significant skill players outside of Robert Griffin III. They have their best defensive player, Brian Orakpo, out, and Pierre Garcon, the only receiver I was really worried about from their team, was named inactive before the game. "No problem!," I figured. Our defense has been playing stellar, and our offense has been impressively competent. We just need to go in there and play our game, and we'll get out with a close win. That's how we do things in 2012!
Unfortunately, we also do things like stall in the red zone in the first 55 minutes of the game, kick a bunch of field goals, don't know how to make half time adjustments, never account for a mobile quarterback, mismanage the clock at the end of games, make bone headed plays where we get stupid penalties called against us, and play a stupid prevent defense for a larger portion of the game. If you do that enough, you'll end up allowing a team to score 38 damn points on your team like it's Points Halloween, and you're handing out bags of them at your front door. The quarterback gets some! The receiver! Let the kicker have some! Even you, Madieu Williams!
What a damn mess.
Mushroom Stamp of Disapproval: It's hard to REALLY pin point who screwed up the most in a game like this, because so many people weren't playing well. And I don't want to misguide people by assigning this week's Mushroom Stamp of Disapproval to Christian Ponder, but my damn, he was wildly inaccurate today, and that's just something you can't have in a game on the road like this. He missed several wide open receivers, either under throwing or over throwing them like he was aiming for the set of tits in the first row. One of those led to maybe one of the more painful interception returns I've seen in a while. The only way that could have been worse was if Cedric Griffin was active and rolled his wheel chair into the endzone instead. And while the lack of a downfield passing game IS disturbing, I don't blame Ponder for that. I mean, I'm not watching coaches tape or anything to review these games (I'm barely watching the games to begin with, honestly), but my guess would more so be that the coaches aren't calling downfield options (or at least not as a first or second one) because we simply don't have the personnel for it. I mean, you need a receiver who can run fast down the field and has the body to block out defenders, an offensive line who can hold their blocks for seven seconds, and, yes, a quarterback who can connect on deep passes. We don't have a lot of those things, meaning, it's not just one guys fault. Regardless, I expected Ponder to do better than this, so he gets stamped.
I will say in Ponder's defense though, he had a couple of throws early on where I was like, "Damn, he looks like a franchise quarterback." They looked good. I'd love to see what he could do with a legit deep threat on the team, and also once he's, I don't know, started a full year's worth of NFL games in his NFL career. Did he just cross that threshold? Think about that, really.
Look, RGIII is Still Running! My god that guy is pretty, preeettyyy, good. I don't want to say that his back breaking touchdown run is going to be on Sportscenter for the next week, but it will (along with braining numbing comments like "He's Griffining, LOL!"), AND it will be on RGIII highlight reels for the rest of his career. Remember when Michael Vick had that 50 yard-ish run against the Vikings when he was with the Falcons in overtime, to win the game, and highlight reels would always show that? Yeah, we got another one of those on our hands. But it wasn't only that which was impressive and made me want to stab forks into my thighs, it was also his overall play. He made some dumb moves, sure, like trying to squeeze that ball to a receiver that got picked by Winfield, but his accuracy on slants and quick throws? Outstanding. And the offense Shanahan runs for him? Smart coach. I wish our coaches were smarter, but we're Vikings. If we had a competition to build ships and start fires and shit, well … Well, we'd win against most teams but still probably not the Redskins. You know, because they're handy outside, and … Nevermind.
The Shit List: Depending on whether the team wins or loses, we compile a SHIT or IT list of players (or franchise related people and things) that really affected the team in the last week. Since we lost this week, we bring back out the SHIT LIST and throw out a couple of items that really soiled our sweat pants this week:
– Charlie Johnson (Hold a block for, like, A SECOND, would you?)
– Jamarca Sanford (You're a safety, you're supposed to make things SAFE in the backfield, not get burned by a QB)
– Erin Henderson (It was a shitty call, but pull up on a QB who's already thrown the ball, dude)
– Santana Moss (He's just a piece of shit, regardless of what team he's on)
– Marcus Sherels (Call for a fair catch, bro, or you be dead next time. Yikes.)
– Bill Musgrave (Don't wait until the 4th quarter to call a fade to Kyle Rudolph in the endzone, dick)
– Jared Allen (Yeah, I saw you on the sidelines pissed at everyone in the 2nd quarter. Sack someone and lead by example)
– Packers (They win, we're still better, but I still hate them)
Notes and Nips: Some other items of note we should touch on from the game, so let's jump into it:
– I don't get what it was about the defense. They let guys open in the middle of the field all game long. Yet on the other hand, they were hitting the shit straight down the leg of the Redskins. I kept thinking it was so ridiculous when John Lynch said that we were such a good tackling team, but maybe he's on to something. Maybe we don't tackle great, but we sure are hitting people harder this year. I guess that's an improvement.
– I hope Antoine Winfield never dies. Just clone him already and name his "son" "Boba Winfield."
– Some of the hits that Percy Harvin kept on taking … Sweet Jesus. The fact that he can play a whole game, and hasn't missed a game (or any time) yet this season is pretty stellar. His paycheck keeps going up week to week, and he earns every bit of it.
– There was a run play early in the game where a Skins player went low on Purple Jesus, and he got up and did a little trash talking. I liked it, but would have enjoyed it more if we would have stomped their ass.
– Speaking of Purple Jesus plays? How about his magic act getting out of the middle of the pile for a long run? That was awesome, but also bittersweet, because in years past he would have sped away and turned that into a touchdown. Now, with the knee injury, I think he's lost a bit of that step. And that just breaks my little Whoville heart.
– The lack of urgency by the team when they are down and trying to mount a comeback drops my jaw. You need at least 11 points in the next five minutes? LOL, no prob guys, let's dink and dunk our way down the field! Figure it out, ladies. Take a shot down field, call in several plays at once, show a sense of urgency. What is wrong with you people.
– What is a John Carlson, and why does he have Percy's money?
Walking Dead Non-Spoiler Review: Let me preface by saying that I haven't watched even the full first two season of The Walking Dead, nor read the comics, but I have kept up on the story elsewhere on the internet to know that Lori needs to just die already. And since season three premiered last night after the Vikings game (After?! I thought that WAS the Vikings game!! *drum roll*), I checked it out and enjoyed it, and thought I'd give some general thoughts for us to talk about, especially after a crappy loss. Full disclosure, too: I tried hard to watch this series from the first episode of the first season, but I had some brutal ass zombie dreams for like a week and finally decided it wasn't worth it at the time. We'll give it another shot though. So, for those who have seen it, and without TOO many spoilers, season three opener was pretty solid. Riot Gear Zombies, zombie prison, leg amputee, samurai sword killings, talk of zombie babies, young prison love blossoming, when Rick tore that riot helmet off, shit was cray, yo. Zombies are way more fun to watch than people eyeball screwing each other on a farm, you know? We should sign some of those biters as a safety.
"Rudolph, here's the truth,
I will always throw to you,
Cause I love tight ends."
Anyway, here we are. I wanted to get really upset about this loss, but I can't. There were a ton of things working against us all game long, and we just aren't built right now for this kind of shoot out. We need to keep games close and maybe squeeze some wins out in the end. Sunday was quite the deficit to overcome. But that's not to say this makes our team bad this year. The majority of our play says otherwise this season, and this is the NFL. Every week there is tough competition. We'll see how we bounce back against a scrappy Cardinals team with the same record this week at home. I'm already feeling pretty good about it, and you should too. I mean, we're still better than the Packers and the Lions!
Enjoy the week, folks. Leave your comments below.