Redskins-Bills postgame chat with Cindy Boren

Oct 30, 2011

Post blogger Cindy Boren will host a live discussion about the Redskins vs. Bills game shortly after it ends Sunday.

Greetings! Wish there were something positive -- other than another game performance by London Fletcher -- to discuss from this game, but I do not see it. Sure, the injuries have gutted the team, but I'm going to put much of this on the coaches. This is just horrific. Let's talk about it.

It's now 10-0 Buffalo at the 8 minute mark of the 2nd quarter, and my bold prediction is that the Redskins will score no more than 7 points, and they will be lucky to get those 7. The season is over.

No 7. So now Mike Shanahan's claim to fame is that he's never been shut out -- on American soil. (Thanks, Sam Farmer.) Redskins should be able to win in Miami, but if someone other than London Fletcher doesn't play with fire, yes, the season will be over and today will be the day we say it ended.

Will the Redskins win another game with such poor offensive line play?

The line is bad. The quarterback holds the ball to long. The wide receivers aren't great, but, again, I'm putting this one right on the coaches. 

The Giants had just as many injuries early in the season as the Redskins and they hung in there and regrouped and played professionally until they found some equilibrium. They never quit.

Has today's fine performance ended the Beck experiment? I sure hope so. At least Rex throws the occasional TD pass.

Grossman wasn't healthy enough, I guess to come in. Behind this offensive line, I'm not sure I see much difference between the two. 

Where, Cyn-city, where oh where is the good in all this? We can't block, tackle, run, catch, throw, stop-the-run, defend-the-pass, rush-the-passer, return, or stop-the-return. And our three wins may take us out of the suck-for-Luck race. Where is the good? Where is the good? where is the good? **Sob**

Um, I, er, uh, gee ... the punter is really good. Buck up, buckeroo? I like what he was doing today. I saw no good today. None. Highlight of this trip will be a stop at the duty-free shop.

Here you go: Shanahan admits this was a tough one to take, that he's never been shut out before, that nothing worked on offense. Should make for an interesting conversation with the offensive coordinator.

Because words can't even describe words for that offense, I think the defense, with no significant injuries, numerous additions, and much more raw talent is really disappointing. The line with the new additions- can't get pressure without blitzing, and can't generate enough push to consistently stop the run. Of course, this is only topped by the horrific coverage where every game people seem to be running wide open

I agree that the defense is disappointing as well. (Want to add that Ryan Kerrigan was playing with some fire, too -- not just Fletcher.) The D is out there so long because of the offensive issues, that they tire and get beat. Maybe they're showing their age at key possessions. The secondary, which should be better, is not. 

I never thought that Brandon Banks was going to be the second coming of Devin Hester, but what gives? He's done nothing yet this season, hasn't even been close to breaking any, and can't even slip past the first tackle b/c he's a light weight. How much longer will he stay back there? The team needs a spark.

Maybe it's time to try something different. At this point, nothing is working, so why not mix personnel up? Either that or just shrug and say, gee, no one can execute our brilliant schemes and muddle along, hoping for 6-10 again.

Cindy, why has the Redskins tackling been so bad the last three weeks. I'm pretty convinced they lead the league in yards allowed after contact.

No one in the NFL can tackle. I'm not going to blame the Redskins more than anyone else. I saw some air hugs in the 1 p.m. games that left me shaking my head. Happens every week when I watch teams other than the burgundy and gold. (So there's another positive for the sobbing hamster from a couple of questions ago!)

this is insulting to Redskins Nation. mike and his son should be gone tomorrow. this is horrible.

Maybe not tomorrow, but this one sure puts the coaches right in the crosshairs. Every time they show Kyle Shanahan on the sidelines, he's looking intently as photos of the formations, as if he and the QBs can't quite understand why they don't see on the field what's in Kyle's head. Um, this isn't "Madden." 

Did you catch yourself in the middle of the game thinking you were watching a preseason game where the scrubs were getting playing time and it was obvious there was no game plan enacted for the opponent?

It did have that fourth-game-of-the-preseason feel, didn't it? And I put that on the coaches. Week 8, at 3-3, you throw up your hands and say, "oh, we've got injuries." No. This is Lombardi time. This is why they pay you the big bucks, even if the situation is dire, even if you're Blutarsky asking, "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" Let's see some spark, some fire.

Ugh. At least we now know why Rex was starting. Question is, do we go back to Rex to win a couple more, or do we keep Beck in and root for Indy, St. Louis, and Miami? Sexy Rexy or Suck for Luck?

Back to Rex? Oh...what a dizzying spin the rest of this season is going to be. 

There's a reason denver got rid of him..

That was the question when he was hired: Is he the guy who won two Super Bowls or is he the guy who got fired because of his last few seasons? It's too early to dump him so far, but there needs to be some humility, some real dawning of awareness here. The guy is 9-14 and has a worse record at this point than Jim Zorn. Someone pointed that out last week and I pooh-poohed that. After what I saw today,, that was ugly.

3-13 anyone? When is this organization going to realize that you actually need an offense to compete in the NFL? The defense must be getting good and tired of this.

Starts with the O line, doesn't it? How many years have we sat here in these postgame chats and said that?


It can't be overlooked that the Bills defense has been shredded by everyone and we couldn't muster a thing. Didn't it look like even when a pass was completed that there was two Bills defenders right on top of it. I get that the receivers are not creating much, if any space, but can't Kyle design one or two plays that confuses a defense where someone is wide open!

Yes. Adapt to what conditions you're given, what dirt sandwich the season serves up. If you wait for that one perfect year when all the right people are in place -- guess what -- that's never going to happen in the NFL.


Don't you just agree that this is just a totally different team than when the season started? And this goes way beyond injuries. They are plating with no energy even at the very start of the game and they look like they have zero confidence, which has to be a direct reflection on their coaches

(FYI, D Hall is talking about the sideline drama involving the defensive players -- said he was just trying to calm everybody down...a role he admitted was unusual for him. Said it was "just football" happening among the players.)

The season is progressing as I thought it would, it's just contracting more quickly than I thought it would. I thought they'd start well, then the inevitable injuries/NFL adjustments would occur. I thought they might get past today, maybe win today (in my preseason predictions) and then starting in mid-November, it'd be tough. 

This really is a different team. Look at all the key guys who are gone. 

Posting early in the third-quarter (nice tackling on Fred Jackson the first couple of games, guys). I'm happy my 6 month old isn't old enough to know what's going on...otherwise not only would he not be a fan of the Redskins, but he would not be a fan of football....has a team played a more boring brand of football than the Redskins the last decade? Sheesh.

It has not been exciting, compelling football. It's always a jolt for me when the season ends to see how well the playoff teams play and the stuff they do on the field. 

I have Redskins fan friends with kids who are a little older than yours and they don't want to watch the Skins with mom and dad because the past means nothing to them. That's a problem that is only going to continue.  

So it's clear to me that, at this time, they are not only not a good team; they're not even a mediocre team. No imagination on offense at all, Torain is clearly not a big-time back, the defense can't get anyone off the field these days, a team that had 4 sacks all year has 5 early in the 3rd quarter, missed tackles, blown coverages, blocked field goals - and I'm afraid it's only going to get worse. Don't tell me about injuries either - at this point, everyone in the league is dealing with injuries. Outmanned and outcoached. Nothing ever changes around here.

Thanks for your note. Not sure I agree about Torain -- with a healthy O line, he was solid. Outcoached, yes. Big problem today.

Whenever there is a team that is desperate for a win, whenever there is a team with a rookie quarterback, whenever there is a team with an interim head coach who is coaching in their first game, whenever there is a defense that is ranked near the bottom, whenever there is an offense ranked near the bottom, the Redskins are always there to provide them with what they need to look good and win. This is possibly the most humiliating loss I have ever witnessed as a Redskins fan. The crowd was as quiet as possible for a home crowd. Shannahan isn't going to work out I'm afraid. Any Redskins fans left are truly real fans.

That was a, ahem, sparse crowd. Not sure it was anybody's home crowd. If you're Buffalo, you're happy to have a win and go home. For the Redskins, you hit it right: humiliating.

has not burst. It has exploded. The Redskins look worse offensively now than when SHanahan took over. And they were very bad then. THe defense is marginally better, but that is a backhanded compliment -- it has risen to the levl of bad. Today is ghastly, and the scheule gets really hard soon. How long is Shanahan's leash? It might be too early for the hot seat, but is it inching up a few degrees? Has the game passed him by (frankly, anyone looking at film of the 1998 Broncos knows exactly what he is going to do, and he doesn't see mt oaccept how important the QB position is)?

Again, it's too early to call for Shanahan's head, although this one is squarely on him and his staff. The leash is as long as his contract. You have to give this time. But, boy, today was a tough game to swallow.

Should I break up with football or move to Pittsburgh? It's clear now it didn't matter which QB we went with. We just don't have a good one. Injuries decimated the rest of the season. If I hadn't spent most of my adult life watching the Redskins play this way, I'd be really upset. But since I was in my late 20s the last time we won a Super Bowl, I'm just too used to it. Or should my husband and I just get on the Interstate and take our chances in Pittsburgh? We'd prefer if Ft.Lauderdale or Key West had a franchise, but unless we win the lottery, buy a team, and move 'em there, we're out of options.

Everyone questioned the wisdom of going into the season with Grossman/Beck ... just as an awful lot of people wondered why Andy Reid was so willing to trade McNabb to a team within the division. You can't give up your team -- you just can't. I'm pretty sure it's illegal.

After this weekend, gotta agree how good Luck would look in burgundy and gold? We look like a team totally deserving of the number one pick now. If we just would've played true to form early it could have been a reality. Luck will change an entire culture and even if wins don't come right away- it will ignite a fire!

Oh, so you were the fan lamenting those early victories! I remember you. 


So, this is the 2nd year of Mike Shanahans' rebuilding process. I do not see any negligible improvement year over year. Two questions: Do we need to change who is selecting personnel? Secondly, what is so special about this Shanahan offense that no one on the Redskins seems to grasp the system?

Shanahan is buying the groceries and cooking the meal. He has the groceries he has, so he needs to change some recipes, no? 

Now what?

49ers at FedEx. I shudder to think what that's going to be like if the team shows up in the same kind of catatonic state again.

An NFL quarterback has to be able to 1) Read the coverage pre-snap (blitzing or not? single coverage on a deep threat or not), 2) See how coverage develops during the play and make adjustments on the fly and 3) Feel the pressure as it comes and extend the play as necessary to, at least, ensure the team doesn't lose yards or he isn't forced into a bad decision. John Beck has failed at all three of those things. As for the first, there was one play where a guy ran right up to the line to blitz Beck's blindside, then did blitz Beck's blindside...but Beck seemed like he never knew he was coming. As for the last two, it seems like Beck either has tunnel vision to the guy the play is designed for (hence the throws deep throws to receivers blanketed by defenders that had no chance of completion), or he starts panicking in the pocket when things break down...several times he stepped right into sacks.

I would like to see him behind a healthy line. I don't want to unfairly judge him, but I can't disagree with anything you said. 

Who's more overrated, Mike Shanahan or U2?

U2 is no Clash. Jury's still out on Shanny.

I'd have rather they tacked on another 10 miles to the Marine Corps Marathon than have to sit through this Redskins crapfest. I know they have injuries (and are the only team in the NFL suffering from that), but to get nothing...NOTHING...going against one of the worst defenses in the league (which the Redskins are slowly morphing into) is inexcusable. This is the third game in a row (one after a bye week) where they have come out looking completely unprepared...I'm not going "Shanahan hot seat" yet (not even close), but at some point, that goes on the coaches, right?

Yep. This one goes right on Shanahan/Shanahan/Haslett.

Can we bring back Zorny? At least he was much more interesting as the head coach.

Less tan, more interesting.

This is the lowest point in my time as a redskins fan. I am 27 years old and i should be able to have the rest of my life to look forward to - I can't even do that. This is awful, I am depressed. I don't even want to show my face to society this week. On another note, at least I am not a redskins player right now.

At least you seem to have your sense of humor. 

Is it too late to get into thge Andrew Luck Sweepstakes?


Did the 'Skins quit today or are they a better team than they showed, but got their will to compete ripped from them? They seemed beaten.

No fire, no heat. There was no there there.

This team played better under zorn! I think coaching mainly the coordinators are the problem. They need better players but this team is out coached badly every week! Even if they do get a QB in the draft with kyle and haslett still around and a poor offensive line what difference will it make? Why are the corners always 8 yards off even on 3rd and inches?

Wonder if Sherm could tear himself away from Bingo ...

Can we please draft a QB next year???? Pretty please? Pretty please with a cherry on top? I miss JC. I miss McNabb. I miss Jeff George. HELP ME!

Yes. The team must draft a QB. I decree it. 

Is it just me or is there a lot of anger starting to build around K. Shanahan. Seems to arrogant and over his head to adapt to his personnel.

There's a ton of anger directed at him -- it isn't fair if he's targeted because he's the coach's kid. If he's being ripped for his playcalling, the lack of offensive urgency, then it's totally fair. It's going to be deeply unpleasant around Thanksgiving.

Tom Boswell is a great writer...and the proof of that is how every Monday he manages to make the latest Redskins disaster seem like a kinda-sorta-maybe positive. I'll be interested to see how he spins that one.

Boz is so smart, so reasonable. I'm almost ready to forgive him for picking the Rangers to win the World Series.

Is this not the worst game played by a Redskin team in 11 years

Honestly, it's the worst performance I've seen at this point in the season -- the team was 3-3! -- in my 12 years here. 

Do you see any sign of offence from the redskins? Renee


Was hiring your son detrimental to both Shanahan's careers?

If I'm Kyle, I'm really second-guessing this decision. I think it will be really difficult for Pop to see it that way, as if would for any parent.

This is on the coaches! The choice of having no QB or running game is on them.

Thanks for the note!

Redskins should be able to win in Miami, but if someone other than London Fletcher doesn't play with fire, yes, the season will be over and today will be the day we say it ended. Miami looked pretty good today

I don't want to alarm anyone, but Miami did nearly win today....

3-13 might be in our grasp?

Gah. I hope not. An 0-9 stretch would be unpalatable.

So how many more mulligans are the three Stooges ( Shanny, Shanny II & what's his name the DC) going to get? Make that the 4 Stooges. Forgot about Snyerato.

Thanks for writing! (I want to get as many of your comments up here as possible -- more you, less me. I think it's important after a game like that.)

Is it me or do you feel Kyle Shanahan is incompetent?

I have no idea if you're competent (har, har), but Kyle Shanahan, who was so smart in Houston, has shown me nothing here.

This is a Zorn rewind. Zorn got the adjective "zoron" attached to him on Insider. But Shanahan doing the same thing as Zoron, except Shanny possesses the X factor of more years of experience? I don't GET it.

Shanahan has some bling to back it up. Zorn had never been a coordinator, let alone a coach. Shanahan stepped into a mess, left by Cerrato and not Zorn, and it clearly was going to take a few years to get it straightened out. But I thought the team of no-name, blue-collar guys (the ones Shanahan likes so much) would play with heart and passion as it struggled to get back to winning.

At some point, is there some responsibility for Dan Snyder to step up and apologize to the fans for years of mis-management? I know i am being unrealistic.


Sure looks like the guys on both sides of the ball have given up on their coaches.

And vice versa.

I never see this team make any adjustments to what the defense allows or does against our offense. Because of this is Kyle Shananhan overated as a Offensive Coach

Is it time for Mike Shanahan to start calling plays? It can't, I would submit, possibly hurt.

This is what losing a few key players, not having a franchise QB, and still having issues to resolve have done to the team. While this year is probably gone, this is also an opportunity for those 2nd and 3rd stringers to show the coach who stays--and who gets cut. This is when they'll figure out who really has heart and who really doesn't fit in the team's future.

There is truth to that.


This may break the chat app.

is employing an offensive consultant? And do you think the Skins are going to draft two quarterbacks? I think Mike Shanahan needs to take over some of the OC playcalling, because Kyle needs to realize we don't have A. Johnson or M. Schaub on this team.

Let's keep the owner out of this. Just watch tonight's game and you'll see Jerry Jones. That should cure you of that idea.

He put his reputation on the line with Grossman and Beck. His his reputation on the line with his job in DC


Do you think they have hit bottom and can bounce back to give a fan hope that the coaches can coach and that the players care?

I saw nothing today that makes me think that. 10 first downs. 26 rushing yards. 3.3 yards per play. 178 total yards. 

The good news is that teams can turn it around, finish strong and build for the next season. I don't see that happening at the moment. Hope I'm wrong.

OK, I give up. I thought Beck could play, but he looked like the second coming of Patrick Ramsey today, tucking before he was even hit. Will this game finally convince the Talent Evaluator Shanahan that The Shanahan System is not so great than *anybody* can run it, and draft a quarterback and some additional offensive linemen some time before the seventh round?


Well, it's just losing in a different way, is what I've been saying. I like losing this way rather than the other way (4th quarter). One thing Troy A had right in the broadcast was if you don't start building in the draft (start...funny) then this is what you get. So true. We've only known that nine, ten years now. I'm less sure of Troy's observation that John Beck can't be judged too harshly because he had no support. I'm not sure Rex had any more support. But having said that, definitely leave John Beck in, because I sure hate losing the other way. This is better. More zen-like in our options.

I'm a little afraid that you're quoting Troy, but he did make a good point there. 

It really doesn't matter whether it's Grossman or Beck. The result is the same. How many more years do we have to watch the Shanahan's not draft any of the really good quarterbacks that are available? There were at least four in last year's draft that would have been perfect for the Redskins.

Thanks! (Oh, if only the draft were in October.)

How bout giving Helu a chance to run the ball

Not a good game plan today. 

You point out a troubling fact, if Sahnnahan has a worse record than Zorn, and unlike Zorn he has the support of the owner and a competent GM, then where is the hope?

The hope is that, with building through another draft or two, he'll get talented people and turn it around. 

All I heard about when Mike Shanahan was hired was his great running game plan. However, this Redskins team gives up on the running game quicker than any team that I have ever seen. Why? When you are running the ball, you are controlling the game. I am lost!

Losing key players on the offensive line has hurt, but the team had shown the troublesome inclination to give up on the run before today. What's not to like about a running game?

How is stockpiling middling WRs while keep basically only the starters on OL on roster. Hubris is a nasty lady. I know this isn't a question.

It's okay that it's not a question. Thanks for sharing.

Would you start Beck, Grossman or Sonny Jurgenson at QB next week. I just need a good laugh after this aweful lost.


Every week you think it can't be worse, but the next week it is. Shanahan won a lot of games inculfding a couple of Superbowls when he had John Brodie. Without him he has been a remarkably ordinary coach This team is incredibly poorly prepared each week. They get buried early. Perhaps if he didn't have his untalented son around, they could make some plays.

Elway. Other than that, you are on a roll.

We lost in Canada, so it doesn't count.

Losses are worth only half as much there?

Funny you should mention young kids who are following football. I help coach a youth team in VIrginia and most of the kids mock me for rooting for the Redskins. They moved on to the Ravens, and I already have some texts telling me I am welcome to join them. MOst of them show up to practice in Lewis and Flaccos jerseys. I remember the glory days, but the glory days ended 20 years ago. 20 years! Oof.

Flacco? Flacco? Oof, indeed. (Especially today.) 

Should we take a cue from the kids who did not know the glory days and find something else to do for the remainder of this year, such as watching, compelling exciting football, and waiting for the great play that comes in the playoffs, just not tuning in the Washington Redskins?

You can't quit your team. You know you can't. 

This situation is pathetic! At what point do you question hiring Shananan. This owner has had the habit of acquiring personnel that has seen better days. We need an O-line plain and simple, doesn't matter who quarterback is, but I'd still choose Beck over Rex.


There is nothing wrong with the defense. They are now just tired. They're on the field waaayyyy toooo long. They're tired of trying to bail out the team - only to have the offense go nowhere too many games. They gave the offense the ball on the 30 and the 50 in the first half and the offense got NOTHING. In the second half, the defense again had a spark and pushed the Bills back twice on 3-and-outs, only to have the offense have their own 3-and-outs. If they only had an AVERAGE offense, it would be a winning team.



As a long time DC resident (well, okay, Montgomery Village, but close enough), currently in Jacksonville for personal reasons, you know, Jacksonville has a professional football team that, while it doesn't always win, looks pretty good. And professional.

You dumped your starting QB on the eve of the season!!! That was kinda quirky.

But I hear you. I always liked the idea of hiring a smart young unheralded coach and GM and letting them build something. But that'll probably never happen here.

Do you know where I can get grain alcohol on a Sunday? On an unrelated rubbing alcohol safe to drink?

I would suggest that you google "home brewing." Perhaps convert the bathtub into some sort of still. Do NOT drink rubbing alcohol. Like the blindness it causes, the memory loss is only temporary. I suggest meditation or perhaps yoga. 

This one isn't close. In 1989 the Cowboys won one game. It was in Washington during Troy Aikman's first season by the score of 13-3. Horrible game. Then there's the 73-0 stomping by Chicago back in the '30s.

Thank you for that history lesson.

Everyone's been kinda hard on the defense, I think. They held the enemy to less than their average. They grabbed up two turnovers. They adjusted; certainly played better as the game went on, despite being on the field a lot due to many 3-and-outs. Not saying they are fantastic or anything. But you can't beat anyone unless you score, and at no time did there appear to be any hope of that.

An awful lot is being asked of this defense, that is for sure.

what do you think will happen after this poor showing. alot of fans are pretty tired of this below average performance week after week, nothing seems to change.

It'll get ugly, then empty at FedEx. 

Will someone get out a bus with "Fire Kyle" emblazoned on the side?

That'd fit on a Mini. You don't even need a bus.

This truly was a game where you have to say that the coaches for the Redskins simply cannot coach in this league. Again it's one game but you really have to sit back and say, "Can these guys do it?" It was as if these players were playing their first game together. They couldn't adjust to anything the Bills did. Another game like this and I think it's safe to say that the game has truly passed Shananan bye.


Sherman Lewis be at Redskin Park tomorrow??? Will Shanahan make it til the end of the season???

No Sherm, guaranteed. Thanks.

had Schaub and Andre Johnson. Not hard to drive up numbers and Houston is still a leading offensive team. Players matter; coaches, not so much and not nearly as much as coaches believe they do. This is just going to be miserable for a few years until we can build through the draft, which may be a 3-5 year project.

Hopefully, three.

I really fear that once more we will fire the coach and blow it up to start a rebuild. I do agree that coaching is to blame, especially Kyle's, yet I want to believe that Allen and Shannahan can build a team that wins regularly, and maybe, under another coach, one day goes back to the super bowl.


Im not sure why people where expecting much more from this team this season. We could not afford to have ANY injuries, let alone injuries to key players if we wanted to be mildly will take more than 2 years to re-build a roster that was put together by the cancer that was V. Cerrato. Im not expecting anything from this franchise for atleast 2 more years.

I think that's prudent. Thanks.

Snyder will leave gallons of melting vanilla ice cream on Kyle's desk tomorrow????

Zing! [For the unfamiliar, google Mike Nolan and ice cream.]

The sad thing is there are no real coaching candidates out there if Snyder did fire Shananhan and Company. What hope is there for us fans looking for a positive coaching change?

There are tons of coaching candidates. Good, smart, young coordinators. Look at John Harbaugh, a long-time assistant who got a chance in Baltimore. 

If for no other reason than to lure fans to watch, isn't it better to watch the Skins lose in an "exciting way" with Grossman than to yawn through another Beck snoozer?

Not sure Grossman would have fared better behind this line today.

I had to purchase the nfl ticket to watch the skins here in NC. Gave it up last year because it cost too much to watch a losing team with no prospect of winning anytime soon. Haqving fun watching the Panthers. Hail!!

Good move by you. Drinks are on you when you're in DC.



hear the whole story about the sideline tiff between our Pro-Bowl corner (hahaha) and London Fletcher?

It will seep out. 

Kentucky Gentleman until you pass out.

Crown Royal. Sorry, didn't mean to make reference to Canadian hooch.

If not 3-13, then when do you see a win?

Miami. (I thought all along Minnesota was iffy because Ponder would be in place by the time the Skins see the Vikings.)

Is it time for Snyder to step in and speak not only to the coaching staff, but also to the players. Not to get rid of anyone, but to explain Redskin tradition. This is where we miss JK Cooke.


I'm at a loss for anything reasonable.

It does look grim, but if sports teaches us anything, it's that you just never know. (Check out the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 24.)

Thanks for joining me with your smarts and your angst tonight. See you next week...until then, I'll see you on Twitter and on The Early Lead

In This Chat
Cindy Boren
Cindy Boren blogs for The Early Lead and has edited Redskins and NFL coverage for the Post. Follow her at @cindyboren on Twitter.
Recent Chats
  • Next: