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Week Eight Grades, Evaluations, Questions

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Greetings from the international headquarters of BBQ.

Week eight is in the books and now we take a look at how the entire team fared against the Bengals. Opportunity lost or is it the old kissing your sister reference? A tie is never really fun, but we will try to make some sense of it all as BBQ hands out grades, evaluations and questions. Feel free to offer your own grades, evaluations, questions, and opinions.

Let’s take a look at week eight.

Quarterbacks:
Question: The man is setting records consistently, but what can be done about red zone production?
Answer: Kirk Cousins continues to play admirably, but the red zone difficulties focus more on the entire offense. The team simply needs to finish drives and take the opportunities with increased confidence. Making a change at running back was a good start and that could be an even bigger help to Cousins.
Grade: A

Running Backs:
Question: Are you going to compare Robert Kelley to Marshawn Lynch or John Riggins this week?
Answer: Some things are just too good for you to pass up, isn’t it? “Fat Rob” had a very good game and Chris Thompson did fine as the third down back. BBQ would like to see this new look at running back for the remainder of the season.
Grade: B+

Wide Receivers:
Question: Another good game from this unit – can we expect it to continue?
Answer: Three players are making this unit go – Kirk Cousins, Pierre Garcon, and Jamison Crowder.
Grade: A

Tight Ends:
Question: Another good game from this unit – can we expect it to continue?
Answer: Four players are making this unit go – Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, and Niles Paul (superb blocking).
Grade: A

Offensive Line:
Question: Just how good is this group right now?
Answer: Enough to produce their largest offensive output (546 yards) since 1991. This group will likely get better and become one of the best in all of football going forward. Remember when it was a weakness not too long ago?
Grade: A

Defensive Line:
Question: What grade would give their London efforts, BBQ?
Answer: Let’s be honest. This collection of players work hard, but most of them are decent depth players and not quality starters. They certainly had a good pass rush at times, but were also gouged for long runs on occasion.
Grade: C+

Linebackers:
Question: For the second week in a row did it seem like they had a “mixed bag” kind of game?
Answer: Indeed. There were great plays – an interception, a sack, and a fumble. There were not so good plays such as allowing their tight end a free ride to the end zone and the mikes were not even close. One step forward and one step back – the game ending in a tie seems appropriate.
Grade: C

Cornerbacks:
Question: Did they have a “mixed bag” kind of game as well?
Answer: Yes. Let’s be honest here. You likely didn’t like all the penalties on Josh Norman and blame the referees. BBQ went back and took a closer look. The calls were accurate. Yes, AJ Green gets away with a lot of push-offs, but that had nothing to do with hands to the face and any other interference penalties.
Grade: C

Safeties:
Question: What a difference a week makes – is Donte Whitner now the starter?
Answer: Yes, and he is doing well at the position. Expect Su’a Cravens to continue working his way back to being a solid hybrid player. Duke Ihenacho will now be a key player off the bench and on special teams. The safeties had a decent game, but were absent on a couple of long passes.
Grade: B-

Special Teams:
Question: Whoa! What happened?
Answer: It was not a good game for the special teams. It’s that simple. That happens once in a while. You just hope they can put it behind them and move forward. Missing the short field goal hurts the most, but the kickoff return after getting on the board first looms large.
Grade: D-

Coaching:
Question: If a tie is like kissing your sister, does being a coach make it feel like you kissed the opposing coach?
Answer: BBQ really doesn’t want to go there. The offense was rolling, but continued to have some struggles in the red zone. The defense did well at times, but had some of their usual struggles. Special teams really let the entire team down. All of that being said, the tie came against a good AFC foe and a defense that has been stellar in recent years. If the short field goal is nailed, we are having a different conversation. The fact remains that a win was all but certain at that juncture and we can’t ignore it.
Grade: B+

How would you grade each position and the coaching staff? Are the days of Matt Jones as the starter over? Should Kory Lichtensteiger be released? Do you let Joe Barry another year and give him better players in free agency and the draft? Will the Redskins have better games after the bye and make the playoffs?

Also, it is the bye week and we will have the only in-season mock draft for you – that is coming tomorrow. What are your preferences and who would you like to see in a Redskins uniform?

We’re taking next week off, so we’ll see you after game nine with grades, evaluations, and questions.

Hail to the Redskins!
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