Rapid Reaction: Washington Redskins

October, 27, 2013
10/27/13
7:46
PM ET

DENVER -- A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' 45-21 loss to the Denver Broncos:

What it means: It’s not as if Denver winning was a surprise. Most predicted the Broncos would win. But it’s the manner in which the Redskins lost that should be disconcerting. They are now 2-5 and what do they really have to build on at this point? Washington was doing all the little things right in taking a 21-7 lead -- and looked strong in doing so. The Redskins looked like a team ready to announce a return to legitimate contention. But the last quarter highlighted so much of what’s still wrong with the Redskins. They missed a couple more tackles; they failed to catch passes; the quarterback missed too many open receivers and the punter shanked a 15-yarder deep in his own territory. Peyton Manning doesn’t need the sort of help Washington provided in the fourth quarter.

Bad day: Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III had perhaps his worst game of the season, one week after it appeared he had turned a big corner. Griffin did not look comfortable in the pocket, missed open receivers and could not hurt a defense that has been carved up a few times this season. It was not the sort of showing the Redskins needed. Had they lost but Griffin played well, then they could feel good about where he was headed. Now? Back to wondering week to week what Griffin will do. The Broncos took his legs away and turned him into a less-than-ordinary player. Griffin finished with a 45.4 passer rating after leaving the game with a left knee injury, having completed 15-of-30 passes for 132 yards a touchdown and two interceptions. Griffin is going through growing pains that many thought he might endure last season.

Stock report: Going up: Corner DeAngelo Hall intercepted two passes and played an all-around good game. It gets lost now, but his physical coverage led to another pick-six and 21-7 lead. Hall added an interception later in the game, again with good coverage. He showed up. Going down: Everything else. The Redskins looked good for three quarters, but a complete collapse in the fourth quarter, when they did just about everything wrong, makes it tough to remember.

Key statistic: The Redskins turned the ball over no times in the first three quarters and five times in the fourth quarter. That's how you go from leading 21-7 to giving up 38 straight points.

Next up: The Redskins host the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, a game that becomes yet another must win if they want to have the illusion of still being in the NFC East title chase. Because of all the parity in this division, a 3-5 record would qualify as still in the hunt.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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