Redskins in Trouble Early in the Season
Seeks to Rebound at Home against Detroit
Stacy M. Brown | 9/18/2013, 3 p.m.
The Washington Redskins emerged from their uninspiring opening night loss at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 9, still befuddled over what went wrong and how to fix an offense that took more than three quarters to get started and a defense that couldn’t figure out schemes the team had previously faced.
Trying to right their fast sinking ship proved even more confusing after the Redskins followed the opening night bludgeoning at the hands of Michael Vick and the Eagles with a blowout loss to the Packers and former MVP Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay on Sunday, Sept. 15.
“We were able to catch the ball well, had yards after the catch and we were able to run the ball better than we have in a long time,” said Rodgers, the three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2011 MVP, who lit up the Redskins secondary for a career-high 480 yards and four touchdowns and the Packers rolled to a 38-20 victory.
Adding insult to injury, Rodgers played hurt the entire game but still dominated the 'Skins defense with a passing and running attack that made NFL history. It’s believed that Sunday’s game marked the first time any team had a 450-yard passer and a 125-yard rusher in the same game.
“I was really hurting out there,” said Rodgers, whom doctors said experienced a sore neck throughout the game.
The Packers defense proved as formidable as the team’s offense. Redskins’ second year quarterback, Robert Griffin III, failed to get any momentum started in the first half as Green Bay led 24-0 at the break.
One week prior, against the Eagles, the 'Skins went into the locker room at the break trailing 26-7 before a late rally fell short. Against Green Bay, however, there wasn’t any semblance of a rally in store. “We can’t really put our finger on what it is, and that’s the real frustrating part,” Griffin said. “I’m not going to point the finger at anybody. If we’re not starting fast, then it’s my fault. I’m not afraid to sit here and say put that on my shoulders. I’ll take that. We didn’t start fast because of me.”
The Redskins again looked out of their league on both ends of the ball and head coach Mike Shanahan agreed with his star quarterback, saying there were no excuses for the awful start and overall performance.
“I thought we almost had to play error-free football, play one of our better games,” Shanahan said. “And, we probably did just the opposite in the first half.”
Die-hard Redskins fans proved just as confused by the poor play as the coach. “The Redskins got spanked. They played better in the second half but Green Bay beat them so bad it was hard to come back,” said Southeast resident Tony Curtis.
“This (didn’t fall) only on the Redskins’ offense like most people claimed it did against Philadelphia,” Curtis said.
Devante Miller, of Silver Spring, Md., said the team might be in need of an overhaul despite just playing two games. “The NFL season is only 16 games, so to me, two games is a lot. Shanahan or the owner or someone must do something. Make a trade, cut somebody,” Miller said. “They can’t only depend on Robert Griffin III.”
Griffin did throw for 320 yards and three touchdowns, but the team wasted his effort.
Another bright spot proved to be wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who finished with 8 catches for 143 yards and a touchdown. In the two games, Garcon has a combined 15 catches for 207 yards and two touchdowns, making him the Redskins' most reliable receiver. “We’ll see what next week brings,” Garcon said.
The 'Skins play host to the Detroit Lions at FedEx Field on Sunday, Sept. 22. Griffin said the team can get back on track, but to do so, they must show trust in one another. “You’ve got to trust your preparation. We trusted our preparation for the first game, it didn’t work. We trusted our preparation for the second game, it didn’t work,” he said. “You can’t just totally jump ship. It’s not that time and I don’t think this team will ever do that.”
The young quarterback said the players simply have to concentrate and execute better. “It’s not on the coaches; it’s not on anybody else. It’s on us,” Griffin said. “I think the guys understand that and we’ll be better moving forward.”