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Week Eleven Grades, Evaluations, Questions

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Greetings from the international headquarters of BBQ.

Week eleven is in the books and now we take a look at how the entire team fared against the Packers. Mother Nature decided to have an impact on the game, but the Redskins tamed the conditions. 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 eleven.

Quarterbacks:
Question: Let’s be honest. Going up to the GM after the game and yelling, ‘How do you like me now’? was gutsy, wasn’t it?
Answer: It was passionate. If there are any skeptics remaining, they would probably argue that the Packers were depleted on defense. That’s true, but the team must still perform and the conditions were absolutely deplorable. Long touchdowns to three different receivers, 375 yards passing, zero interceptions, no glaring mistakes – it was a top notch performance. BBQ will nitpick here and cite his very short passes on screens.
Grade: A

Running Backs:
Question: Why didn’t Robert Kelley start from week one?
Answer: It’s a good question and one that leaves the BBQ team shrugging their shoulders – we just don’t know. Kelley went for three TDs and 137 yards rushing. Chris Thompson is now established as an excellent third down back. He provided superb blocking as well.
Grade: A+

Wide Receivers:
Question: Does DeSean Jackson have a new role?
Answer: It would seem so. He could still be used as a decoy on long patterns, but the crafty veteran proved his worth on short and intermediate routes on Sunday night. Pierre Garcon and Jamison Crowder (collectively) had their best games of the season thus far. Maurice Harris is now firmly established over Rashad Ross and, likely, Ryan Grant.
Grade: A+

Tight Ends:
Question: It was easy to forget the tight ends on Sunday night, wasn’t it?
Answer: Yes, Jordan Reed quietly had over seventy yards receiving – he provided some timely plays. Jordan and Vernon Davis received major kudos from the Sunday night TV crew for their blocking on running and short yardage plays.
Grade: A

Offensive Line:
Question: Does this unit have best depth in the NFL?
Answer: Without a doubt. When one of the best tackles in football is lost for a month and the team doesn’t “skip a beat”, then you can say the depth is excellent. A quality guard was a healthy scratch on Sunday night. So yes, the depth is excellent and likely the best in the league.
Grade: A

Defensive Line:
Question: What grade would give their effort against the once vaunted Packers?
Answer: Sure, there was a sack. They pressured the opposing quarterback often, but could not contain him. Yes, the rushing attack was shut down. It was a determined effort, but the impact was mixed. A much better effort is needed this week if they hope to win.
Grade: C+

Linebackers:
Question: Where were the linebackers as the opposing quarterback gouged them for long runs?
Answer: While Ryan Kerrigan had a sack and solid pressure on the edge, containing the quarterback was problematic. That should’ve been the job of middle linebackers, but they looked confused at times. It doesn’t get any easier this week.
Grade: C

Cornerbacks:
Question: Was this their worst game of the season?
Answer: Likely so. We could blame the weather conditions or going against one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but Sunday night was obviously a struggle. Two things are certain. They need to control their emotions and avoid the numerous penalties that have hurt the team in recent weeks. They avoid a failing grade this week with a forced fumble that sealed a victory.
Grade: D

Safeties:
Question: Same question - was this their worst game of the season?.
Answer: Same answer – likely so. Donte Whitner and Will Blackmon had their struggles as well. The one bright spot was the determined effort of Su’a Cravens. Duke Ihenacho was out of position on several plays, but this unit collectively worked hard and did just enough to avoid a total disaster.
Grade: C

Special Teams:
Question: Would it be appropriate to blame the conditions?
Answer: Yes indeed. Special teams actually did well when you consider the circumstances. Not much to highlight here except to say that the temporary substitute long snapper had a great night.
Grade: B+

Coaching:
Question: What can we say about the coaches this week?
Answer: You can obviously give a solid grade to the offensive coaches. The defensive coaches were going up against one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. It is fair to recognize that the weather wreaked havoc on the game overall. Special teams did well under the circumstances. However, we are well into the season and no longer grade on the curve. In the end, the team had a blowout win and did so on a primetime national telecast.
Grade: B

How would you grade each position and the coaching staff? Are the days of Matt Jones in a Redskins uniform over? Is this offensive line the best since the days of The Hogs? Are you now ready to admit that Kirk Cousins is the long term answer at quarterback? Should the Redskins focus more on the wild card and not a division title? Can the Redskins take a huge step forward and upset the Cowboys this week? Don’t forget, the Redskins travel this Thursday to Dallas for a late afternoon game. We’ll see you after week twelve with grades, evaluations, and questions.

BBQ hopes everyone in the United States will have a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday and enjoy the game.

Hail to the Redskins!
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