Handing out labels after Skins games, this time a 33-20 loss to Carolina.
London Fletcher — Because London Fletcher is pretty much always a winner, even when he leaves the game with a hamstring injury. But if you need a specific reason, he’s a winner for his amazing hit to keep Newton out of the endzone on the first Carolina drive.
Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan — I find it strange (bordering on idiotic) that I’ve listed three linebackers as Winners in a game where the Redskins couldn’t tackle, couldn’t stop Cam Newton, and gave up 407 yards to a 1-5 team, but I love watching these guys play. They give me hope for the future of this team, which is something that was in short supply today. More quantifiably, Orakpo got a sack on a free run to the quarterback. That was fun.
Rex Grossman — Threw no interceptions. Didn’t have to watch this game because he was in the locker room getting an IV for pneumonia. Rex has set the bar low enough that both of those things count as wins.
Fred Davis — Finished with 6 catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, and the FOX announcers were lauding his work as a run blocker. But he seemed to vanish at points in the game, and had at least one horrible drop on a catchable ball. Also loses points for being incapable of singlehandedly carrying an entire offense, which he was being asked to do.
Tim Hightower — 17 carries, 88 yards, at least one terrific block on a pass play, and a really grim-looking knee injury.
The Defensive Backs — Did nothing notably horrid, but mainly spent the day showing up in the background of shots of Steve Smith catching the ball.
John Beck — His stats probably only warrant a Medium ranking at worst (22-for-37, 279 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 pick, 1 fumble), but he’s in this section because he’s clearly cursed by fate. Finally given the chance to prove that he can play in the NFL (and back up his offseason brio), he winds up behind a completely reshuffled offensive line, with Erik Cook snapping him the ball, with his Pro Bowl tight end lost to injury, and he almost immediately loses his starting running back and the only fully proven receiver on the team. The universe hates John Beck.
Jim Haslett — There was a lot of talk during the broadcast about how prepared the team was for various eventualities, but they appeared completely overmatched by Newton, and things like THIS happened:
Brandon Banks — Is on the roster because of his potential as an explosive special teams gamebreaker. Does nothing.
DeAngelo Hall – DHall didn’t have a terrible game, and he’s done plenty of more egregious things in his NFL career (heck, he’s done more egregious things in this stadium, but emphatically celebrating an interception you ALMOST made is going to land you in the Losers section every time.
Jabar Gaffney — I was more upset by his first-half fumble before the game started feeling like rout, but — especially combo’ed up with a notable drop — it was still an unfortunate play.
Beck’s Oktoberfest — I bought this beer because, hey, John Beck! October! (And also because it was on clearance.) I can now safely say that Beck’s Oktoberfest beer is worse than Beck’s October debut.
Change — Arguably the biggest loser of all. This felt SO much like a Redskins game from 2009 or 2010 — offense not clicking, defense unable to make necessary stops, losing to a team that came into the game with one win, losing to a rookie quarterback — that I’m having trouble drumming up much optimism for the rest of the season.
Top photo from the AP; GIF of Newton’s run via @bubbaprog.