Redskins Goats & Greats: Game 10

GOATS

ALEX SMITH — I hate do kick a guy when he’s down, but Alex Smith struggled mightily yesterday before the gruesome injury that ended his 2018 season. He completed a mere 12 of 27 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions. At times, Smith seemed to move the team well, but the pick-6 thrown in Houston’s end was by far the biggest play of the game (as far as determining the outcome) and Smith’s second pick, a groaner thrown right before the end of the first half, was even more egregious. He had some passes dropped, so it isn’t entirely on Smith, but he was also wild and threw high a number of times.

VERNON DAVIS — I don’t like to do this to a fellow Terp, but Davis dropped two passes on Sunday, one that might have gone for a touchdown was particularly awful. Davis finished the game without a single reception and that’s his fault because he was open and Smith  hit him right in the hands twice.

JAY GRUDEN’s CLOCK MANAGEMENT — He had a chance to call a timeout with Houston holding the ball before the two minute warning. When questioned after the game, Gruden stood by his decision, but he’s wrong. The decision to NOT call a timeout before the two minute warning cost the Skins 15-20 seconds, time that could have been used to run one more play to get closer for Dustin Hopkins. Many coaches struggle with timeouts and clock management (even great coaches like Andy Reid) and this is a recurring problem for Gruden. He needs to follow in the footsteps of his former protege, Sean McVay, and hire a clock management specialist.

RUN DEFENSE — The last two opponents, teams not known for being great running teams, have mostly had their way with the Skins. Against the Texas, Washington run defense allowed 138 yards on 31 carries, abourt 4.5 yards per carry. Not horrible, but not good either. Suffice to say that will NOT get it done on Thanksgiving against Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys.

THAT HOLDING CALL ON JOSH NORMAN — Extremely costly call that might have tipped the game to Houston.

Needless to say, that’s not a hold.

NOT CALLING PASS INTERFERENCE ON PASS TO JOSH DOCTSON — Also a huge decision by the refs. And a bad one.

Needless to say, that’s pass interference.

GREATS

COLT McCOY — Although he completed only 6 of 12 passes for 54 yards, McCoy gave the offense an instant spark. Where Alex Smith got the Skins to 7 points on 7 drives, McCoy took the offense to 14 points on four drives. He ran confidently for 35 yards, picking up two crucial first downs to keep drives going. His completion percentage is a little misleading because he had to spike the ball twice to stop the clock on the final drive of the game for the Redskins. The Redskins’ sideline got a jolt of energy from McCoy’s presence in the game and the fans seemed to perk up, too. In his less than two quarters of play, McCoy seemed as confident as Smith seemed ill-at-ease and while McCoy isn’t the athlete Smith is, he ran with more decisiveness.

McCoy knows this offense as well as anyone not named Jay Gruden and it showed. How soon he will develop chemistry with the players, having never taken a rep with most of them, is a matter to be determined.

JORDAN REED — He caught 7 passes on 11 targets for 71 yards and a touchdown where he ran a beautiful out route from the slot. My biggest beef with Alex Smith has been the way he has ignored Reed, who is open almost all the time. I predict Colt McCoy will not make the same mistake. He might make entirely different mistakes, but not that one. Reed even threw a very nice block on one of Adrian Peterson’s two touchdown runs.

TREY QUINN — Didn’t take long for Mr. Irrelevant to make himself very relevant. It’s Trey Quinn’s world now, we’re all just renting space in it. Seriously, Quinn had a nice “debut” with the Skins, after hardly playing before being injured all the way back in week one. Quinn caught four passes on four targets, for 47 yards and three first downs. The Skins have badly missed Jamison Crowder’s wiggle in the slot this year and Quinn brought some of it on Sunday. Kid has a future in the NFL.