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Inconsistently Inconsistent

For years now, the Redskins have reminded me of my golf game. On any given day, I could go from tee to green in regulation but then 3 or 4 putt. If I was nailing my putts in a single stroke, I played tee to green like old people drive…slow and all over the place.

Fact is, if I could have played both long and short game well on the same day, consistently, I could have turned pro.

It was so frustrating to me that I have long since sworn off the game, sold my clubs and for a decade now not spoiled any long walks through picturesque natural settings with time spent hunting dimpled demons in the bushes.

I see a lot of that in my favorite football team. I have for a decade or more now and so far this year the song remains the same (gratuitous Zepplin reference just for Goaldeje).

Week One we saw some great defense (first defensive TD in something like 56 games) but the offense stayed home. Week Two we saw some great offense (when was the last time a Skins QB threw for over 400 in a game anyway) but the defense was lacking.

This team is so inconsistent it can’t even be consistently inconsistent in the same ways.

Now let me stop here for a second and say that I am not trying to be negative. I see a lot that is good going on with this team this year. After all, we are a called timeout away from 2-0 so there is a lot to be proud of and point to as dramatically improved over previous burgundy and gold clad (true statement finally) editions.

But what I really wanted was consistency (there is always a "but" isn't there...)

Sadly, it is more than just the offense or the defense too. This runs much deeper and goes to the level of the various aspects of those two sides of the ball. Dallas averaged 4.6 yards per carry against the defense while Houston was held to 3.5 yards per carry. The only reason Dallas didn’t run away with a win was because Garrett just didn’t call enough running plays while Houston went up top largely because we forced them too. Sadly, it worked because our pass defense evaporated somewhere between the 12th and 19th of the month.

We seem to either get natural disaster like pressure on the QB while letting the coverage fold up like a cheap tent or the great coverage but give the QB enough time to read novel in the pocket which results in a completion anyway because even the best secondary can only cover so long.

We heard all off season about how the defense was so far ahead of the offense. It sounded realistic to most of us who have watched football for any amount of time too. The defense usually is ahead of the offense, especially when a system change is involved. After watching the Houston game, I am left to conclude that it might take longer for the defense to gel than it will the offense, at least the passing offense.

This has me worried because I don’t know how many 400+ passing yard, 27 point performances Donovan and company have in them and that is what it is going to take if this defense plays many more games like they did against Kubiak’s boys.

And speaking of the offense…it has been consistently solid between the 20s and consistently questionable in the RedZone. The running game has been invisible in the first half while only approaching respectable in the second half, except of course when Johnson enters the game and then once again goes invisible. Or worse, it is visibly bad.

In the first game, it seems McNabb could not see anyone not named Cooley or Moss while in the second game he targeted so many different guys I half expected to get one thrown to me in my living room.

None of this is new though. Frankly, this is what has driven me nuts about this team since Gibbs left the first time. How many times in the last 6 years have we seen the defense throttle some team’s offense only to have our own offense stay home? Or when the offense shows up, the defense sleeps through the alarm clock (last years Saints game, anyone)?

I was hoping would change visibly and quickly under Shanahan. I honestly figured this would be a good running team from day one and that our pass defense would rock week in and week out. The Dallas game leaned in that direction, especially late when Portis started to rip off chunks of real estate 5 to 10 yards at a time.

That idea lasted till the Texans hit town and turned my whole view of this team upside down.


Having a team that is inconsistent is frustrating but not as frustrating as having a team that consistently shows it can be good in all aspects of the game. Just not all at the same time.

I believe this will change over time. I really do.

Until then, I will watch and wonder how long we are doomed to spoil our long Sunday afternoon walks wondering whether it will be the long game or short game that fails us today.
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