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Week 18 - Studs, Duds, Clowns, and Hat Tips

Loss Vegas

Canadian Hog

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Week 18 at New York saw the short Washington Football Team era come to an end. For the second consecutive year, the WFT earned a 7 win season in what was a streaky and up and down campaign throughout. While coach Ron Rivera and his staff have received their share of criticism this season, in many ways, matching the 7 win total they had a season ago was a small victory considering some of the injury/illness challenges they faced throughout the year, as well as the schedule that was faced. Going into Sunday's game, Washington played 9 teams who were in a playoff spot, along with two others still with a chance to get in the dance on the final Sunday on the season - certainly a big change in the competition level from a season ago. One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is that vs. playoff teams going into Sunday this year, the Burgundy and Gold amassed a 1-8 record - that ultimately did them in and proved they aren't quite ready for primetime just yet. That said, a jolt of talent at key skill positions can go a long way towards helping Washington make the next leap and proving they belong among the top 7 in the NFC in 2022 and beyond. Let's get to the final Sunday's Studs, Duds, Clowns, and Hat Tips of the season.

Studs:

1. Antonio Gibson - it has been a while since #24's name has appeared on this list, but when it does, it has usually meant that the WFT had a good day at the office. On Sunday, Gibson showed flashes of excellence and reminded us that he can add a lot of electricity to this offense. On the day, he averaged 7 yards per carry and collected 146 rushing yards, along with a touchdown. He surpassed the 1000 rushing yard mark for the first time in his career as well with his big day on the ground. We know Gibson can produce and be an important player for us. Moving forward, the big question will become if a) he will be used correctly within our offensive scheme to maximize his potential, b) he can be more durable, and most importantly, c) if he will eliminate the mistakes/mental lapses? One thing is for certain, year #3 for Antonio Gibson kind of feels like one where it becomes crucial for him to finally put it all together and take the next step as a player in this league.

2. Terry McLaurin - Terry McLaurin does so much more with so much less compared to many of the other great players around the league. Entering Sunday, Terry McLaurin needed 40 yards to reach 1,000 yards receiving for the second consecutive season, despite any sort of legitimate help at the receiver position to take attention off of him. His 4 catch/93 yard day vs. the Giants ensured that would happen. As we have normally become accustomed to, he also did a lot of the little things on Sunday that don't show up on stat sheets. On an overthrown deep pass by Taylor Heinicke that appeared like it was going to surely be intercepted, McLaurin made a fierce tackle on the Giants' defender as he was coming down to the ground, causing the play to be ruled incomplete. It was just another in the long line of hustle plays that make #17 a true leader on this team, and so loved by fans of the burgundy and gold. Time to back up the Brinks truck and park at his front door next week.

3. Bobby McCain - Bobby McCain seemed to have a knack for dropping some easy interceptions this season. On Sunday vs. the Giants though, he intercepted Jake Fromm twice, returning one for a touchdown. The long overdue defensive score finally happened for Washington in the 2021 season. Better late than never I suppose. McCain has steadily become a more useful and reliable player in the latter part of the year for Washington, and he now legitimately enters the conversation for the group of players we may want to retain in 2022.

4. Joey Slye - one day there is going to be a really cool trick trivia question that asks who the only player in Washington Football Team history to never miss a field goal was. The answer to that question will be Joey Slye. Slye finished the day vs. New York 3 for 3 on field goal attempts (long of 43), and went 12 for 12 on the season. He is kicking with confidence, accuracy, and doesn't necessarily make me fret when he lines up to attempt a field goal, unlike many kickers in our past. That's always a good sign and something promising moving forward. Slye should be locked in as our kicker for 2022 and has done more than enough to earn his keep.

5. Tress Way - Sunday marked the completion of Tress Way's 8th season in Washington. In that span of time, he has had only 2 punts blocked and has averaged 47.1 yards per punt in his career. On Sunday vs. New York, Way pinned the Giants inside their 20 yard line twice and was inches away from doing it a third time. While underappreciated league-wide, you would be hard pressed to find a better and more consistent Redskin over the past 8 years than #5.

6. BGO - back in Week 1, I started this "Studs, Duds, and Hat Tips" thing very simply because I wanted to start a thread to discuss/recap the game. I didn't really have intentions of making it a season long affair and nor do I consider myself any sort of expert analyst or football writer that is qualified to do this. I am just an average Joe who enjoys watching the games and found this fun to do along the way. Knowing that some of you participated in discussion in these threads and took the time to read it made it all the more worthwhile. Thank you - BGO is the best! Looking forward to the 2022 season and hope to keep this going.

Duds:

1. Scott Turner - I don't believe I was as critical of Scott Turner as some this season; however, I will say that Sunday wasn't a great performance for him. Not necessarily a "dud" performance, but not overly impressive. On our opening possesion, we easily moved the ball down the field, dictating play with the running game. While we didn't convert for 7 points and had to settle for a field goal, it was a positive sign and provided a sense of optimism that we could have our way all day. Unfortunately, by the day's end, the offense only mustered 15 total points on a lackluster Giants team and you really would have liked to see us go out with a bang offensively. It felt like things were made complicated at times by Turner on Sunday by moving away from the run periodically and overthinking it, when there really wasn't a need to do so. Also, we were 3 of 13 on third down - hard to score points when you can't push the right buttons on the most critical down in football.

Clowns:

1. Joe Judge - I felt the need to include a "Clowns" category this week and the individual most deserving of this recognition is New York head coach, Joe Judge. I mean, the guy has 4 wins on the season and had the stones to call our team a clown show. Statistically being right there with the likes of the Jets and Lions for fewest total wins in the NFL over the past several seasons, you would have thought that Judge would have chosen to stay tight-lipped this week. Instead, Judge proved just how superior his Giants were to the WFT by running two straight QB sneak plays, one of which was from their own 4 yard line on 3rd and 9. Brilliant. If this guy returns to coaching the Giants next season, we should consider it all to be an early Christmas present.

Hat Tips:

1. Jamin Davis - #52 made probably one of his best plays of the year on Sunday afternoon, coming up with a stop on a 4th and short jet sweep play by New York. He was in the right place at the right time and made a very sound tackle. Let's hope that these little moments can become more of a habit for the rookie in 2022.

2. Jonathan Williams - a nice day at the office for Williams on Sunday with 7 carries for 45 yards. A few weeks ago, out of sheer desperation, we counted on guys like Williams to make contributions. He seemed like a man possessed in moments on the final Sunday of the season and clearly wants to prove that he can crack our lineup next season. Has he done enough to warrant consideration in training camp next year?

That's all for this week. Do you agree? Disagree? Who did we miss?

Here is hoping that the new era of Washington football in 2022 can bring us the happiness and pride we felt long ago during the glory days of the Redskins.

Hail.
 

MikefromOH

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My own personal hat tip:

Silent Threat sending me updates for all 4 quarters because I couldn't watch the game. He's done this for me several times this season. I appreciate you, brother. Beers on me soon.
 

SirClintonPortis

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I knew the Giants were throwing the game when they did that victory formation sneak...
 

Kel Varnsen

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High Point

I agree with all of that. I knew Slye had been good since coming over. I didn't realize he didn't miss a FG. I guess he got hurt on a blocked extra point. He definitely brought some stability to the position where it was desperately needed.
 

Neophyte

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Brilliant work, as always, brother. I look for these threads now.
 

Canadian Hog

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Who needs content when you have an amazing golf simulator though? 😄

In all seriousness, it is a pleasure to contribute.
 

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