Tha Sports Junkies 101

Redskins Week 13 Review: Hell hath no Fury like a Gruden



Jay Gruden enraged after the Redskins disappointing loss to the Arizona Cardinals

After a frustrating 31-23 loss to the Cardinals, Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden unleashed a verbal thrashing on his team. His rant was so loud that it could be heard by various members of the Redskins media, front office and coaching staff. It was necessary however, as the Redskins squandered an opportunity to sneak out of Arizona with a win.

In the offseason, Jay Gruden should either go in another direction at defensive coordinator and/or put some serious emphasis on improving the defense via the draft and free agency. David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald accounted for 19 of Carson Palmer’s 30 completions and 169 of his 300 yards. Johnson however was the bigger threat as he torched Washington out wide (9 rec for 81 yards) but was just as effective on the ground earning 84 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown. Arizona was 10/16 on third down and at least five of those were third-and-eight.

“We were so damn bad on third downs,” Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said after Sunday’s loss.  “It was unbelievable.”

Washington ranks dead last in the NFL allowing a third-down conversion rate of 47.9. On the opening possession, the Cards held the ball for eight minutes, on a 15-play, 75 yard drive capped by a David Johnson one-yard touchdown.

“I don’t like the way we came out,” Gruden said. “I don’t like the way they had a 16-play drive down our throat to start the game. I don’t like the way our offense answered with two penalties on the first drive and having to punt. That’s not the way we want to come out for a football game, getting ready against a good team on the road. I don’t like the fact that we had two turnovers and didn’t cause any. I don’t like the fact that we lost the game.

“That’s a good football team. Hats off to Coach (Bruce) Arians and the Arizona Cardinals, but I feel like we underachieved today, and that’s very frustrating.”

What has to be even more frustrating for Jay Gruden is redzone woes for his team. After the two-minute warning in the first-half, Gruden and his staff decided to throw a fade route to DeSean Jackson (5’10) as by Patrick Peterson (6’1) . That’s a questionable call in any situation, but to have that play called after a timeout, and on third down is baffling.

Shawn Lauvao accounted for two false start penalties but allowed pressure to Calais Campbell as he recorded a strip-sack of Kirk Cousins, two plays after Chandler Catanzaro missed a 53-yard field goal that would have tied the game at 13. Three plays later, a six-yard receiving touchdown by Micheal Floyd gave the Cards the lead at 17-13. In my game preview, I predicted that Campbell would be a problem for Lauvao and that was the case. Lauvao’s blunder in pass protection lead to a big shift in momentum.

Yet another week, Jay Gruden showed very little commitment to the running game, attempting only 18 runs compared to 37 passes by Kirk Cousins. All things considered, Cousins kept the Redskins in the game, however a Patrick Peterson interception prevented a Redskins comeback. Cousins finished with a passing touchdown to Jamison Crowder and a rushing touchdown, but posted a passer rating of 77.6.

Washington heads to Philadelphia on Sunday at 1:00 pm. The team will also welcome back Trent Williams, who wil return to his left tackle position.