Most of the readers of these rants do not live in the Washington DC area; and so, they cannot fully appreciate the football repugnance that is in the air here this morning. Every year, the fans in the area – egged on by representatives of the Skins and by local sports media cheerleaders – convince themselves that this is the year the team will “return to glory” and be a prominent player in the NFL playoffs. Usually by this point in the season, reality is just beginning to settle in; this year is different. Yesterday, there was a consummate capitulation on the gridiron at FedEx Field; the Skins lost to the Giants by a score of 40-16, but the score was 40-0 at one point and the Giants played prevent defense for the last 20 minutes of the game.
Some of the local cheerleaders are pointing to the need for the team to dip down to find their 4th QB of the season in the second half of that game as the basis for the meltdown. That is unadulterated piffle; the need to play a backup QB has exactly nothing to do with the fact that the Skins’ defense gave up 40 points and 227 yards on the ground. The insertion of a backup QB does not explain committing 15 penalties in the game for 135 yards. The problem yesterday is that the team – the whole team – just took a pass on playing the game.
[Aside: The Giants were not at full strength yesterday either; Odell Beckham, Jr. did not even make the trip from NY to Washington with the team. That offensive output came without one of the top two offensive players on the Giants’ roster.]
With the score 40-0, Mark Sanchez was relieved of duty for the day and Josh Johnson entered the game. The last time Johnson played in an NFL game was in 2011; he was signed to backup Sanchez – who was backing up Colt McCoy who was backing up Alex Smith – when the Skins found him playing in a pickup basketball game in California. Against a prevent defense, Johnson got two TDs and a pair of 2-point conversions to make the score much more respectable than it was. Part of the mantra around here now is that he should have started the game yesterday and – with him starting next week – things will be better.
Let me say this clearly:
- If “things are not better” next week, the NFL should relegate the Washington franchise to the newly forming AAF and create an expansion franchise to take its place.
- If “things are not better” next week, Washington will replace Cleveland and/or Cincinnati as the laughingstock of the league.
There is a fundamental problem with the Skins as a team – and it is not the coaching staff although the coaching staff has not ameliorated the fundamental problem to any great extent. The problem is that the team just does not appear to be bothered by losing – or even losing as badly as they did yesterday. That is not a “coaching problem” at the core; that is a “roster construction problem” at the core.
I mentioned that Josh Johnson is being touted this morning as the latest savior for the franchise. I also mentioned in passing that he has been out of the NFL for 7 years now indicating to me that none of the other 31 teams view him as a savior nor have they done so for quite a while. Here is Josh Johnson’s football itinerary since graduating from college:
- Tampa – 5th round pick
- Sacramento Mountain Lions in the UFL
- SF – again
- Cincy – again
- NY Jets
- NY Giants
- San Diego fleet in the AAF
If that does not qualify Josh Johnson as The United Van Lines Man of the Decade, I do not know what it might take to win that award…
Enough about the Skins and their new QB “prodigy” … There is a TV ad that runs in just about every NFL game for USAA. It features Joe Lombardi – grandson of Vince – who is simultaneously the QB coach for the New Orleans Saints and a “USAA member for life”. It is not a candidate for one of the “Bad Ads in 2019”, but it made me think about something having nothing whatsoever to do with USAA.
As the QB coach for the Saints, Joe Lombardi’s résumé is polished by his association with a very successful QB named Drew Brees. No problem there; that sort of thing happens quite often. However, we know that the Green Bay Packers will be looking for a coach in this off-season and that dealing positively with the resident star QB in Packer-land will be a primary skill for the new coach.
- Memo to Joe Lombardi: If the Packers’ front office calls you, think three times before saying, “Yes.” Your genetic association with your grandfather will set expectations for you in Green Bay that will be nigh onto impossible to achieve – think 14-2 every year and Super Bowl appearances at least 3 out of every 5 years.
Finally, here is a note from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:
“Beer: A beverage about which some rather laughable people believe it is possible to be a ‘connoisseur,’ despite the fact that the main difference between most beers is which on tastes the least like liquid ass.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………