The Washington Redskins were losing to the St. Louis Rams by half time, even though they led 21-16. The Rams scored 10 points in the last two minutes, riding a tailwind of momentum as they ran to the locker room.
By the end of the half, the Rams dominated in the most offensive way, by running 38 offensive plays to the Redskins' 24, by gaining 179 yards to Washington's 101, and by controlling the clock 19:10 to 10:50.
Fletcher: 'We Didn't Play Well Enough To Win': St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford had his way against the Redskins’ ... redsk.in/Py9tat— Redskins (@Redskins) September 17, 2012
The Rams cost themselves complete domination with self-inflicted wounds, including the lost fumble that Josh Wilson returned for Washington's first touchdowns.
Washington had their moments. Two rushing touchdowns by Robert Griffin III and his 68-yard scoring strike cemented his reputation as Washington's only legitimate playmaker. The Redskins third quarter, 80-yard touchdown drive to reclaim a 28-23 lead reminded us of those Redskins of yore.
Difference between last year and this? Until the very end, I expected the Redskins to pull this out. When I say "Redskins," I mean @rgiii— Anthony Brown (@SkinsHogHeaven) September 16, 2012
Yet, in watching how Sam Bradford moved the Rams, it was apparent that the Redskins were in trouble from the second quarter, long before Josh Morgan's unsportsmanlike conduct cost us a shot at tie.
Redskinville will spend most of the week on a hunt for the guilty and persecution of the innocent. Here are a few Hog Heaven hammer blows to tide you over.
1. Danny Amendola once caught 12 balls for 95 yards ... back in 2010. He hasn't had double-digit receptions since, until now. I want the name of the guilty party who made Amendola a Pro Bowler.
2. I haven't looked at the NFL All-22 video yet, but DeAngelo Hall is a person of interest solely because the Redskins have Hall as defending the slot. Amendola often ran from the slot in route to a 15-catch, 160-yard, 1 TD day. Evidence against Hall is circumstantial at this point, but people want to know how that happened.
3. I thought the Rams O-line was a MASH unit, by news accounts. They looked healthy enough protecting Sam Bradford. How is it that our pass rush never seemed to get past them?
4. Washington's receiving corps looks pedestrian without Pierre Garçon. Josh Morgan caught five of the five passes targeted to him, but for a mere 50 yards.
5. Aldrick Robinsion had a critical drop that might have gone for a score. Fred Davis was worse, catching only two of the five balls thrown to him.
6. It's never good when the top three tacklers on the team are defensive backs. DeAngelo Hall, Madieu Williams and DeJon Gomes were the Redskins top tacklers. Too often in this game, the last line of defense made the stops instead of the second level linebackers where they should have been made.
7. Josh Morgan's bonehead penalty did not cost the Redskins the win. It cost a shot at a tie. Given how the Rams were out-playing the Redskins by that point, there is no assurance Washington would have won in overtime. But Morgan cost us the chance to find out. Idiot.
8. The Twitterverse was awash with calls for Morgan's head, but that would be a mistake. The Redskins are committed to Morgan for at least two years with $7 million of his contract guaranteed. An outright release would be a costly hit for a cap-constrained team (Thank you, Roger Goodell).
Decided to take a look at Redskins WR Josh Morgan's Twitter mentions. Really wish I didn't. This is disgusting. twitter.com/Steiny31/statu…— Jake Steinberg (@Steiny31) September 17, 2012
Washington survived blunders like that in the Shanahan reign. Turn on the Wayback Machine to the 2010 Vikings game. A 77-yard punt return by Brandon Banks for a go-ahead touchdown was wiped out by an illegal block penalty by a rookie. Fans wanted that player's immediate release. Mike Shanahan saw something in Perry Riley and kept him. Riley is now the starting inside linebacker.
Morgan isn't going anywhere soon, but he owes the Redskins an extra score sometime in the near future.
9. Speaking of Banks, the little guy has not duplicated his 2010 performance. The Redskins needed some special teams magic today ... from Banks, not from Billy Cundiff on a no chance 62-yard field goal attempt that would have been short even if it went straight.
Banks cannot justify a place on the team as an ordinary punt returner. He has to be Devin Hester-ridiculous. He was ridiculous two years ago. He was not last season. He was close during preseason. We are waiting.
10. The team effort against the Rams was a misfire as big as Cundiff's kick. If defenses have the personnel like the Rams did, they can overwhelm the RGIII offense. Time for some new wrinkles, coach.
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