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Redskins Play Hot Potato in Windy City Win

It wasn’t ugly.
It wasn’t coyote ugly.
It was drink-your-own-urine-Jackass-style ugly.

The Bears made enough errors to lose 4 or 5 games, yet the Skins seemed downright determined to match Chicago’s ineptitude with madcap hijinks of their own. In a comedy of errors, the Redskins had the last laugh. But just barely.

The Skins looked poised to finally take control of this horror show of a game in the 4th quarter, powering their All-Torain-Vehicle down the field and over a beleaguered Bears defense. Looking to deliver a bone-crushing, morale-sapping, clock-killing drive down the field, they almost got it done – until Torain (one of the few bright spots today) joined the circus by fumbling the ball away deep in Bears territory.

It was just one of those days where nothing seemed to go right for either team.

How bad was it? Let me throw a few numbers at you.

4 - third down conversions made in 23 attempts by both teams.

6 – Interceptions thrown. The only blessing for Redskins fans was that Jay Cutler made DeAngelo Hall his go-to outlet receiver today, throwing 4 picks to Hall in the 2nd half alone. No one was happier about those hookups than Donovan McNabb, who had himself an especially awful day. Cutler was simply awful-er.

8 – Fumbles total. Fortunately for the burgundy and gold, they managed to secure all but one of the 6 balls they put on the turf today.

It wasn’t all bad out there today for the Washington Redskins. McNabb (when he wasn’t making awful decisions) spread the ball around well. Cooley and Moss combined for 12 receptions, and McNabb was able to get the ball to Armstrong, Davis, and Sellers. But Ryan Torain really constituted most of what passed for offense today. Although he did account for 2 fumbles today, Torain was generally impressive in pounding out 125 yards on 21 carries against a stiff Chicago defense.

Luckily for Mike Shanahan, in the absence of a credible offense, his defense decided to show up today. London Fletcher, Brian Orakpo, and Rocky McIntosh were outstanding. Albert Haynesworth not only played well, but probably saved the day stuffing a certain goal line TD run long enough for London Fletcher to punch the ball loose in the most critical turnover of the day. And of course, DeAngelo Hall finally had the kind of game many of us suspected he was capable of, tying a Redskins total game interceptions record with 4 (the most notable, followed by a 92 yard scamper for the deciding touchdown). Has an NFL cornerback ever had four interceptions in a single half before? I don’t know – but color me surprised if that’s not a new NFL record.

The Redskins entered Sunday needing this win badly. With both Philadelphia and the Giants potentially falling back to 4-3 with tough games against the Titans and a still desperate-er Dallas Cowboys, the Skins were in ideal position to create a 3 way deadlock at the head of the NFC East. With an extremely winnable week 8 clash against the hapless 1-5 Detroit Lions looming, followed by the Bye week and a chance to get healthy for Part II of their NFL season, the Redskins stood to benefit greatly from handling the Bears today.

They say in the NFL, a win is a win is a win.

I’m not sure I believe it – but for today, I’ll take it. The 2010 Washington Redskins are a mystery. They compete with teams they shouldn’t be able to compete with, win games they shouldn’t, and struggle when by all logic they should prevail. At some point, this team may run out of rabbits to pull from their magic franchise hat. If the Redskins are to become a team that generates not just curiosity, but fear in their opponents, they will have to start playing with some consistency and stability (starting with their supposed Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback). I thought that journey might start today with a competent, decisive, convincing road win in Chicago. But I’m left waiting for some future Sunday to see this team play four complete quarters of solid, mistake free football.

Maybe next Sunday…
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