Handing out labels after Skins games. Today, a 34-19 loss in a matchup with the Jets that set modern quarterbacking back 40 years.
Roy Helu — Another start, another 100-yard performance. This time it was 100 exactly on 23 carries, with 1 touchdown and a fumble lost, along with 4 catches for 42 more yards. There were downsides, sure: questionable playcalling aside (we’ll get to that), Helu seemed to lose some steam after an impressive start. The third quarter fumble kept the team’s embarrassing games-with-a-turnover streak alive at 25 26. And he also needs some seasoning in pass protection — the CBS crew cheerfully highlighted Helu getting embarrassed by a rush that led directly to a Rex Grossman grounding penalty — but it certainly looks like the Redskins have found their next fulltime tailback. Also, the crowd seems to be enjoying shouting HELUUUUUUUUU as a replacement for COOOOOOLEY, which is nice.
Fred Davis, on the field — Davis didn’t wait until the fourth quarter to show up this time; in fact, he had 4 catches for 82 yards in the first half and finished with 6 for 99. Nope, nothing much to complain about regarding Davis’ on-the-field performance. On the other hand….
Weed jokes — Redskins-centric Twitter feeds were the perfect outlet for material from your unproduced screenplay for a Harold & Kumar sequel today, following news that Davis and Trent Williams are being suspended for the next four games for marijuana use. High comedy.
Perry Riley — Another strong performance by the second year linebacker, who had 3 tackles with 5 assists and recovered a muffed punt just for good measure. The cranky and/or churlish among you (e.g. Grant Paulsen) might ask why Riley wasn’t starting earlier in the season; I’m just glad he’s here now.
Ryan Kerrigan — Just three tackles on the stat sheet for Kerrigan, who is having a heck of a rookie campaign, but he was definitely making his presence felt. With Kerrigan, Riley, and Brian Orakpo, the Redskins have the start of a nice young linebacking corps. And if the old guy in the corps is going to be London Fletcher, I’m okay with that for as long as it lasts.
Barry Cofield — Leads the league in passes batted at the line and added two more today. With Stephen Bowen (who also had a good game while playing with a torn PCL), Cofield makes up the heart of what has to be the most successful Redskins free agent class in years.
Sav Rocca — Really making a case to be the team’s 2011 MVP, with 4 of 6 punts inside the 20. Also a winner because he managed to not get injured on a nasty-looking running into the kicker penalty, which would’ve been the final bodyblow to the 2011 Redskins season.
Draft position — For better or for worse.
Rex Grossman — Started strong on an impressive opening drive, then went completely cold. Lost the ball via fumble and interception, and also committed remarkably dumb penalties (including a delay of game on back-to-back timeouts and at least one intentional grounding). Essentially, he continued to be Rex Grossman.
Danny Smith — No idea what the thinking was behind having Gano pooch the ball on the kickoff after his field goal to take the lead 16-13, but it proved to be a costly decision. The onside kick was too cute for its own good to begin with, and the team was offsides anyhow.
Logan Paulsen — Paulsen was mainly visible when Jamaal Westerman ran clear past him for a blindside sack on Rex Grossman in the third quarter. He’s going to have to do much better when he, um, becomes the team’s primary tight end next week.
Brian Orakpo — Had an unremarkable game, statistically, but that’s not why he’s here. The relentless barrage of his stupid commercials with the Geico caveman have really tarnished my opinion of him, and this is my petty way of expressing that feeling.
Josh Wilson — Bit on a fake by Santonio Holmes on the Jets’ go-ahead touchdown. Has accomplished the challenging task of making Redskins fans miss Carlos Rogers.
Kevin Barnes — Flagged for helmet-to-helmet contact with Mark Sanchez on a play that had already been blown dead. Celebrated for a bit anyhow.
Cleatus the NFL On Fox robot — CBS’s coverage is far from perfect, but it’s much less aggressively horrible than Fox’s, and has 100% less stupid animated robot.
Kyle Shanahan — Second straight game with a touchdown on the opening drive, and some nice play designs early to open lanes for Helu and to get Davis open in space, which was good. Then there was the rest of the game, in which he seemed to continually forget that Helu was on the roster and was willing to let a stone-cold Grossman keep throwing the ball. That was less good.
Fred Davis, off the field — Who could’ve predicted that the guy with the nickname of “Sleepy” would wind up getting a four-game suspension for reported marijuana use? If you want a positive from this: it’s a contract year for Davis, and this might keep his price down a bit. Also, missing four games will have him back just in time for the playoffs. (Yes, that was a joke. Mostly.)
Graham Gano — 4-for-4 on field goals, 1-for-1 on extra points. Presumably was trying to do what he was told on the pooch kickoff and onside kick (see Danny Smith, above).
Brandon Banks — After a nice game last week, returned to general uselessness … until a crucial fourth-quarter return that put the Redskins in position for Gano’s field goal to take the lead (however briefly). Finished with 146 combined return yards (on 6 KR and 2 PR) and the persistent impression that he’s maybe not worth a dedicated return-man roster spot.
The Redskins defensive backs — Gave up just 165 yards passing, but Mark Sanchez looked atrocious at quarterback — like, John Beck levels of atrocious — and they could not take advantage.
Anthony Armstrong — Was the recipient of a tricksy little Brandon Banks lateral on a kick return, which he took for 28 yards. Did not touch the ball again, while something called a David Anderson caught 2 passes for 21 yards.