Rapid Reaction: Washington Redskins

November, 7, 2013
11/07/13
11:33
PM ET

MINNEAPOLIS -- A few thoughts on the Washington Redskins' 34-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings:

What it means: The goal-line stand against San Diego only prolonged their season by a week; it did not result in the hoped-for momentum that would turn their season around. And now the Redskins (3-6) can forget the playoffs. Yes, they’re still alive mathematically, and yes, they must continue to believe they can do something. But they’ve yet to show that they can string together two good games, let alone seven. They had a chance to gather momentum from the start with a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line and settled for a field goal, then quickly allowed a Minnesota touchdown. They had a 13-point lead in the second half and then allowed a 1-7 team to score 20 consecutive points. They’ll win a few more games, but to think this team will suddenly turn anything around is wishful thinking. There’s just no proof to the contrary. When you lack great players, you'd better do the "little things" well. The Redskins have not done that this season. Those costly 15-yard penalties were overcome last year; not this year.

Stock report: Going down: Interior pass protection. Guard Chris Chester and center Will Montgomery in particular appeared to be the main culprits in at least some of the pressure. It changed the game in the second half. The protection was good in the first half; it’s possible Minnesota caused Robert Griffin III to hold the ball a little longer with different looks. But the Redskins did not do enough to offset this pressure. Going down: Defensive resurgence. Yes, the Vikings had a couple shorter fields. But they also were playing with an inconsistent quarterback and without their No. 1 tight end and two starting offensive linemen. They scored 34 points.

Third downs: The Redskins bolted to a big lead because of their third-down success in the first half. They lost the game in part because of their failures on that down. In the first half, Washington converted 9 of 11 third downs. In the second half they were 0-for-5, including one from the 4-yard line with less than a minute remaining. Minnesota applied more pressure, which hurt, but there was at least one drop, and at the goal line Griffin’s pass was a bit high and behind receiver Pierre Garcon.

Next: The Redskins don’t play again until Nov. 17 at Philadelphia, a game that could have meant something had they won at Minnesota.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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