Furthermore, in each of their losses, Washington has looked putrid coming out of the locker room to start the second half. They’re also committing crucial penalties on both sides of the ball and seem scared to take risks, do things unconventionally or make the necessary adjustments.
Yet, somehow, even considering all of that, Jay Gruden told reporters after Sunday’s 31-21 loss to the Cowboys that he’s not ready to overreact.
“I don’t think we need to hit the panic button yet,” the coach said. “We just have to continue to focus on what we can do better to win.”
Josh Norman agreed.
“The season’s young. It’s our second game,” Norman said. “We’ve got 14 more to go.”
Well, if this team isn’t ready to hit the panic button, then this young season is going to get old really, really quickly, and the next 14 contests are going to resemble the dreadful two that have already taken place.
When a squad starts 0-2, they have about a 13-percent chance to make the playoffs. But these Redskins, with a defense that is apparently in no rush to get off the field on third downs or pressure opposing quarterbacks or play cohesive football in the secondary, figure to have much slimmer odds.
And that particular unit is precisely why everyone involved in the organization needs to be showing way more urgency than they are.
The Case Keenum-led offense isn’t going to set any records, but through Weeks 1 and 2, that bunch has been better than expected. Despite having fewer than 80 total rushing yards so far, Keenum’s moving the ball at a solid rate, he’s helped the Redskins score first in both matchups and he hasn’t turned the ball over.
The other half of the Burgundy and Gold equation, however, has fallen way short of what they claimed they’d be. They wanted to be a top-five defense, but right now, they should be worried about finishing out of the bottom-five.
The early rash of injuries, of course, don’t help. Against Dallas, Jonathan Allen, Caleb Brantley, Fabian Moreau and Quinton Dunbar were all sidelined. The D-line featured a pair of guys who haven’t been with the franchise for three weeks between them and the secondary was relying heavily on seventh-rounder Jimmy Moreland and 33-year-old Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Regardless, this is a group that added an All-Pro safety and a first-round edge rusher and they’re still clearly regressing. At some point, what Greg Manusky’s doing needs to be questioned.
“We should be better than this,” Gruden explained. “We’re not reaching them.”
Not reaching the players? It’s mid-September and they already aren’t reaching them? That alone is reason for alarm.
Overall, if this was a coaching staff and a depth chart who had proven in the past that their formula and their schemes and their style largely produced positive results, then yes, it wouldn’t be time to panic. That’s not the case.
This is a coaching staff and a depth chart who are coming off of consecutive 7-9 campaigns and who constantly are left promising that they’ll get it together soon. It’s always soon, and never now.
So, they’re saying they don’t think they should press that panic button, and they’re correct. They should actually smash it.