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2012 - Week 9 vs Carolina Panthers

Blognosticator - Stevenaa

Redskins v.s Panthers: From Sexy to ???​

When I got the PM asking if I’d like to do a Blognostication for the Panthers game, I couldn't have been more pleased. I’d have the chance to chronicle the first half of the season for last year’s Rookie Phenom QB, and what I could only hope would be this year’s Rookie Phenom. Let’s face it, as the opportunistic, diehard, burgundy glasses wearing fools that we are, we all secretly believed we’d signed a facsimile of Cam Newton. One we had the gall to believe would be a more accurate passer. Let’s take a look at Cam’s stats from last year:

310 517 4051 21 17

Now take a second look. Over 4000 yds with basically a 60% completion percentage: 4000 freaking yards!!! Rookie QBs just don’t do that. What in the world were we thinking? And, don’t lie, you know you thought it whether or not you spoke it or wrote it. How could we, as jaded and seemingly hexed Redskins fans, have believed our Washington Redskins could have drafted a QB capable of putting up similar numbers EVER, much less in his Rookie season? We can delude ourselves with the best of them, and I know that secretly, in the deepest recesses of my mind I was doing just that. Glorious visions of RGIII throwing TD’s, completing passes to open receivers and not bouncing them off the ground, scampering for first downs and giving defenses massive headaches. Of course, in that more rational place of my brain, the one that guides speech and pen, I knew that was foolishness. I prepared myself for the realities surrounding normal rookie seasons for a QB. Lots of dumb mistakes, interceptions, sacks, fumbles with a smattering of flashes that would demonstrate he could develop into something; and lots of losses. I was prepared for that and steeled myself to that reality. After all, I’m a Redskins fan. It’s just the way it works. Well, except for the “develop into something” part. That doesn’t seem to work for us.

So let’s take a look the first half of Robert Griffin the Third’s Rookie season.

NOR 19 26 320 0 2
STL 20 29 206 1 1
CIN 21 34 221 0 1
TAM 26 35 323 0 0
ATL 10 15 91 0 0
MIN 17 22 182 1 1
NYG 20 28 258 1 2
PIT 16 34 177 0 1
½ Season Tot: 149 223 1778 3 8

Well, shut the front door, as my non cursing friend would say. The stats from the first 8 are more than impressive. While not on pace to top Newton’s Rookie Season Stats, he’s in the same stratosphere for sure. Those are numbers any Veteran would be proud to claim. Exceeding any realistic expectation to be sure! But, as impressive as his stats have been, his on field presence has been even more impressive. He may be the best athletic player in the game today. He’s demonstrated a level of poise and football intelligence that is really hard to believe from a rookie, even with his stats in mind. He gets it. He has IT. He gives us a chance very game. He is the leader this team has so desperately needed for so long. The hope and possibilities we all have every off season turning into reality before our very eyes. I just wish he was all I had to write about. Unfortunately, I will need to continue this Blognostication with the reality that is the rest of the Washington Redskins.

We are bad!! Really bad!! Even so, Robert has put us in to position to win most games this year, only to have our hopes dashed by the defense. He can overcome the weaknesses on
Offence, but is powerless to help the Defense muster a stand. Something they just can’t seem to do. If we score 40 points, the Defense is sure to give up at least 41. I realize we are banged up with key starters out, but the reality is our Defensive coaching staff is not getting the most out of what they have to work with. That last minute TD by Eli highlights the problem. In no way should a player get behind the defense in that situation. Its poor scheme and poor coaching. There’s no short term answer unfortunately. We need a defensive coaching change and an influx of players at numerous positions. With the cap mess, I fear we will have to address the defense to the detriment of the Oline once again. There’s just not enough to go around.

So with a QB who can be the Offense, and a defense that is struggling in every way, what are our chances this weekend? The Panthers may be worse off than we are in many respects. Their record would seem to indicate it. Here are the team’s records to date. Carolina has had their bye.

Stats/Rank Offense Washington Redskins Carolina Panthers
Points 26.6 (7th) 18.3 (26th)
Yards 387.4 (6th) 347.0 (20th)
Pass Yards 221.1 (20th) 232.6 (17th)
Rush Yards 166.2 (2nd) 114.4 (13th)

There Offensive woes seem to be in line with Cam struggling. He’s got a 57% completion percentage to date.

121 212 1701 8 5

He’s still amassing respectable yards for the season, but is clearly missing too many and making some bad decisions. On top of that he seems to be having some troubles coping mentally with the struggles. I haven’t seen much of them this year to know if his problems are the result of his own doing, or if it’s a lack of talent on the team. They are certainly in a state of disarray with a new GM and an obvious overhaul looming. Making that sort of change in season is tantamount to give up. I’ve heard some talking heads say that Newton may be playing for his job, and his head issues may leave him out when it’s all said and done. I find that hard to imagine, but who knows. If he’s heading down the Vince Young road, anything is possible. We’ve seen plenty of physically talented QB’s never reach the top because of issues between the ears. Your QB has to be the leader and have the proper body language and skills that earn him the respect of his teammates.

Prediction: We better freaking win this game!! They suck worse!! We need it more!!! Redskins 38-37 RGIII says “Screw it, I’ll just have to score one more point than the defense gives up”
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