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Season Outlook

Welcome back to the B&G Report! The Dallas game was a huge disappointment to say the least. The Skins are currently on an NFC East losing streak, dating back to last year. It all started with the last seasons loss to the NY Giants. The Redskins have now lost 4 strait to NFC East opponents. Granted the Redskins have been dealt a bad hand on the injury front, but the in game collapse had more to do with disorganization and more importantly to do with bad play calling. I’ve heard many national and local Redskins analysts mention that the Cousins/Gruden relationship, might not be as peachy keen as some believe. So I’ll go through a few circumstances in the Cowboys game, in which the offense frustrated me. The focus must shift to what the Redskins need to do going forward, in order to stay competitive.

*Playing With The Lead*

Time and time again the Redskins built a lead, only to see it dwindle before blowing the game. The blocked kick by the Cowboys in the second quarter was devastating and was the start of their implosion. The Skins had an opportunity to go up by 2 scores and just didn’t show urgency and stayed predictable. Knowing that his O-Line was already riddled with injury, Kirk Cousins took his time getting the ball out quickly. I understand Kirk was waiting for plays to develop, but that luxury was out the window with his blind side protector out.

Many fan posts I’ve read mention that “Cousins can’t be blamed for the loss“, well I disagree to a point. Yes injuries were a huge factor, but Kirk missed open receivers constantly! Coach Jay Gruden also shoulders the blame for his predictable/unimaginative play calling. The Skins ran a jet-sweep handoff in the first drive with Crowder, it turned out to be a decent gain. After seeing that I thought, ok let’s see more plays like that. Alas that was the end of any play calling that showed deceptiveness. Gruden continued to call run plays with Kelly/Thompson up the gut, only RT Morgan Moses was left from the starting five. Yes the defense played its part in the loss, but I still think they showed a lot more heart and grit than Cousins & his receivers did.

*Slow to the Line/long developing routes*

Time after time vs Dallas and all year for that matter, the Redskins offense just looked out of sync and confused. When the Redskins needed to run a hurry up or get to the line quicker, they just seemed to be lackadaisical and in slow motion. This issue primarily falls on coaching and Cousins decision making.. Cousins was “miked up” a few weeks ago on the NFL network and was heard yelling to his players “stop walking” to the line. Watching that made me realize that this is a bigger problem than I realized. I’m looking for that to change vs Seattle and hope to see more urgency when the Skins offense takes the field.

*Special Teams Dysfunction* Granted the Skins are using a new kicker who has next to no experience, but come on! A missed extra point, blocked FG with a huge return and no decent punt/kick returns! This Washington Special Teams unit is horrendous! If you’ve kept up with the B&G Report, you know I’ve continued to pound the table to promote WR Mo Harris from the Redskins Practice Squad. I believe he could help tremendously in the passing and run block game, but he also offers return ability on punts. Last season Harris was the back up punt returner for the few games he was active. He may not have a great 40 time, but he’s a long strider with some shake to his game. I doubt we see him promoted this week, but I’m looking for it to happen soon.

*What To Do To Stay Competitive*

At this point in the season with their winless division record, it’ll be an uphill climb to get to the playoffs for the Skins. Most fans are all doom & gloom and I get that, but adjustments can be made on offense. First Gruden & Cousins need to accept that their patchwork O-Line, needs to adjust the play calling drastically. Running the ball out of their traditional “Dual” set, will not work and hasn’t this season for the most part. As I’ve constantly harped on, this is a copycat league and the KC Chiefs showed what “Jet Sweep” plays can do for teams struggling run game. The Redskins have run a version of that play two times in the last two weeks with Jamison Crowder, in which they’ve had some success. So motions to set up better play-action are key, as well using deception in the run game with their playmakers. Teams know Kirk Cousins will not take risks on deep passes often, so a couple bombs a game need to happen in order to keep defenses honest. Then they can continue using their screen/short passing game with more success. Going forward the Redskins offense needs to lean on their playmakers; Thompson, V.Davis, Doctson, Crowder & Reed (if healthy). Yes I did say Doctson because he already has 3 TD’s on only eight receptions. I understand Doc is still wet behind the ears, but Kirk needs to step up in his leadership role and work with him after practice, watch extra film together etc… I’m not saying these are keys to a Redskins playoff run in any way. What I am saying is when a team has a weak O-Line with a bunch of 2nd/3rd stringers, utilizing your playmakers and simplifying the offense can do wonders. I can still see this team winning 8/9 games and that’s crazy enough to get a wildcard, in the up and down NFC. This could be the week we see DeAngelo Hall finally get activated, which could be a big morale booster for this defense going forward. Reports recently surfaced that Dallas is losing Elliot for 6 weeks (another appeal filed). With upcoming games against Seattle, Minn and Ariz the playoff picture could start to shape up quickly. Those teams could be battling for the two wildcard slots. The Redskins also play the disappointing Giants twice and the Cowboys one more time minus Elliot, so finishing with 9 wins isn’t out of the question.

*Final Thought*

It’s not time to start researching mock drafts yet(although I’ve taken a peak), but the Skins probably need to go 3-2 at worst over the next five games to have any chance at the postseason. The Kirk Cousins franchise tag talk has started up again, but it’s just not worth speculation at this point. Although it is fun to go back and forth on Twitter, with Redskins Nation about drafting QB’s such as Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Although I wasn’t happy about the morons firing Scottie, his handprint as GM will remain on the scouting department and personnel department for years to come. The Redskins are on the right path to success, even if Cousins doesn’t return next year they are still building a long term winner. Stay tuned for the next B&G Report and please leave your comments on Word Press, Twitter, Facebook or FB Messenger. I’m looking forward to hearing some Die Hard Skins Fans feedback! HTTR!🏹🏈



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