Drop hurts Redskins more than chain gang gaffe
If Fred Davis holds on to the ball, the chain gang mistake helps
the Washington Redskins.
If Pierre Garcon holds on to the ball, the Redskins have a first
down in New York Giants territory with plenty of time to finish the
drive and possibly tie the game.
The glaring error by the officiating crew didn’t cost the
Redskins in their 24-17 loss Sunday night. Some of the same
mistakes that have plagued the team all season did.
”We had a few opportunities there in that final drive,” coach
Mike Shanahan said Monday.
The Redskins had three dropped passes on their last possession,
when they took over with 2:32 remaining and a seven-point deficit.
The biggest drop come on the same play in which the officials
A catch by Garcon put the ball at Washington’s 45, just short of
a first down. However, the head linesman, with the Redskins in a
hurry-up offense, incorrectly motioned for the crew to move the
Thinking it was first-and-10 – when it was actually third-and-1
– quarterback Robert Griffin III threw downfield to tight end
Davis, who seemed to have a secure catch with both hands at New
York’s 30 – until the ball was jarred loose by a defender.
Then, on fourth-and-1, Griffin completed a 6-yard pass to
Garcon, but safety Will Hill stripped the ball from the receiver
for a game-sealing turnover. Shanahan pointed out that Garcon’s
facemask was grabbed by cornerback Jayron Hosley on the play.
”Pierre’s the strongest guy on our team, and nobody really rips
the ball out of his hands,” Shanahan said. ”And so that was quite
unusual. And if you take a look (at the replay), one of the
defensive backs has his hand on his facemask bringing it down, and
that was probably the only reason why the DB did get it away from
It was all part of a second half was symptomatic of what has
happened to the Redskins (3-9) this year, and why they have
clinched a losing record for the third time in Shanahan’s four
seasons in Washington. Problems with fundamentals and discipline,
along with another special teams calamity and a suddenly stagnant
offense, leave the team tied for the worst record in the NFC.
There were dead-ball penalties on Santana Moss, DeAngelo Hall
and Garcon in the second half, and Shanahan cited mitigating
circumstances for all three. The coach said a holding penalty that
got Moss upset at official ”should not have been called a holding
penalty” and that Hall was retaliating against a Giants offensive
lineman. The flag on Garcon for kicking the ball in frustration
after an incomplete pass in the end zone was a crime of passion,
according to the coach.
”He’s one of the most fierce competitors I’ve been around,”
Shanahan said of Garcon. ”If I could get everybody playing like
him, you won’t need coaches.”
Nevertheless, Shanahan also said he’ll address the penalties
with his team, saying ”you’ve really got to keep your cool in
With the Redskins mathematically eliminated from the playoffs,
Shanahan said it’s time for his team to play spoiler, starting with
this week’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
”You play just as though you were in the playoffs,” Shanahan
said. ”You want to spoil somebody else’s year. You want to play at
a high level. You’re always being evaluated for the future. And
that never changes.”
Shanahan said he won’t start playing backups to just give them
”If you want to see a team turn on you,” the coach said,
”just go start playing younger players and start playing for the
Notes: Shanahan said the Giants made it a point to take away
Alfred Morris, which is why the running back had only 11 carries
for 26 yards. The coach also said Morris was having trouble getting
footing on the slick field and that the absence of FB Darrel Young
(hamstring) and FB-TE Niles Paul (illness) also hindered the
running game. … Shanahan said the Redskins need to address the
slick track near the stands that caused Griffin to take a nasty
pratfall after running out of bounds. ”That was probably the best
hit of the whole game,” the coach said. ”We’ve got to do
something because somebody could seriously get hurt right there.”
… LB London Fletcher sprained his left ankle in the fourth
quarter, which might endanger his streak of 252 consecutive games
played. … Fletcher, Hall (left hip) and Reed Doughty (concussion)
were the significant injuries from the game, and TE Jordan Reed
(concussion) had a last-minute setback that caused him to sit out
his second straight game.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org
Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP