Game Review: at Redskins – 2018 Week 3

Wow.

That was bad. This was a thoroughly unenjoyable game on many levels, but the worst had to the the refs… again. I’ll get to that later, though.

The rain clearly was a factor in the game. The Packers first drive ended with a drop on third down (I’ll call anything that hits a receiver in two hands a drop), the second drive ended with a drop on third down, the third drive ended with a field goal, but included a drop in the end zone.

That’s tough to deal with. Nevermind the horrendous drive-killer by Lance Kendricks.

When your offense starts slow, you need your defense to keep you around. Unfortunately, the Redskins first drive ended with Alex Smith launching a floater into double coverage. The ball appeared to drift on him and came up a little short, but Kentrell Brice was in coverage, so naturally, he missed the ball and plowed into his teammate. Then the receiver made a really god adjustment and scored.

Much like Week 1, this game showed the power of momentum. The Redskins have a reputation for playing better when they’re ahead and they were ahead the whole game and played pretty well beginning to end in all three phases. I’m not going to take anything away from them.

Now indulge me a moment while I b!tch about the refs.

Whining about calls is loser talk. Usually. The refs are taking this to a whole new level, though.

With the Packers down 11 with 17 minutes to play, CM3 apparently put the Redskins into a 3rd and 20 in their own territory – the momentum was shifting… apparently. On his sack, instead of lowering his sholder like he did last week (on another play that had no business being flagged), Clay Matthews stayed straight up (which is difficult and unnatural on a tackle), didn’t hit the QB’s helmet, delivered a clean hit, almost seeming to let up, kept his feet on the ground, and held his arms out to avoid the penalty.

Flag.

The NFL is making this a joke, but it’s not funny. It’s unanimously asinine. Everybody sees it. The announcers said it. The rules experts said it. Then the game was over and it went to the national Fox studios and they unanimously agreed it was ridiculous.

There’s no debate, NFL, just idiocy.

If ever there was a time for a rival professional football league to take some of the NFL’s market share, it is now. If you want to see more complaints and witty remarks on this nonsense call, you can go check out my Twitter timeline.

Notes and Observations

Other observations from yesterday’s debacle:

  • The Packers have some very talented safeties who are playing abysmally. Dix had a nice pick, but it was more on miscommunication than anything else. Eric Reid is looking better by the day.
  • MoWil out for the year. That really sucks. He was providing good push as a complement to KC and Mike D. Dean Lowry just became a lot more important. I have faith in him, but they lose some depth and versatility with this blow.
  • Aaron Jones is the real deal. I never doubted that. His 7 yard per carry average was the result of consistent runs, not a long gainer skewing the whole thing. I wonder what would have happened if they gave it to him 5 times a drive.
  • Randall Cobb had what might have been his worst game as a pro. I picked him to have a big game and he probably would have if he hadn’t dropped and fumbled all over the place,
  • Rodgers attempted 44 passes (to Alex Smith’s 20) and the running backs had 15 carries (while Adrian Peterson alone had 19), which seems odd given all the dropped balls in the rain while the Packers running backs average a combined 5.8 yards per carry. They had three runners get at least a 10 yard run. I’m not sure why they didn’t use that more. McCarthy usually loves running the ball, and the Redskins seemed to be asking for it.
  • Jason Spriggs looked bad, hopefully Bulaga is back next week.
  • Ty Montgomery was productive in a support role without a lot of people talking about it, he really is an unsung hero on this teem.

Self-Grading

Here’s a look at the predictions I made in the pregame column and how they panned out:

Jamaal Williams continues to get the bulk of the carries and gets his average over 4 yards per carry Well, he had almost 6 yards a carry and was only 1 away from having the most carries on the team. For a rainy day, it sure seemed like a losing run-pass ratio.
Jimmy Graham finally gets a score – Not yet; I’m really surprised this hasn’t happened yet.
Aaron Rodgers continues his streak of no interceptions  – Maybe the one thing that went right in the passing game this week.

Clay Matthews gets a sack – He did, it got taken away, but f#ck it, the NFL is making this a joke – Clay got a sack!
Nick Perry gets a sack – Nope.
Mike Daniels gets a sack – No, the whole team came up goose egg.

Mason Crosby comes in focused and doesn’t miss – Yup. They tried to make him miss, but a bad snap prevented this.

Packers 30, Redskins 13  – Whoops.

 

Basically, the whole team sh!t the bed. This happened to everyone at least once a season. The Bills beat the Vikings, the Lions beat the Patriots, the Titans beat the Jaguars. Heck, this wasn’t even one of the three biggest upsets of the week. It’s September. No reason to worry yet. Just sad.

On the plus side, the Packers shot themselves in the foot multiple times and played against the elements, the refs, and a team executing nearly flawlessly and this still had plenty of chances to win. They were outplayed, not outclassed.

This is September football and there is plenty of time to iron it out.

 

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