September 21, 2009

'Skins Offense Still Under Construction

It wasn't pretty, but it was a win. Still, the Rams didn't prove to be the solution to all the offensive woes the Redskins are suffering through.

There have been some legitimate flashes in the passing game. Antwaan Randle El has been able to get open consistently in the slot while Jason Campbell has been accurate in some stretches.

Of course, the red zone woes have been well documented (CSN has a great piece on that). Two drops cost the Redskins TDs and the playcalling once again left a lot to be desired.

I love the fact that Jim Zorn went for it from inside the five on fourth down, but a stretch play? Either playaction or straight up the gut. A long-developing run play is not the answer on fourth and short. In fact, it would probably be the last choice for any playcaller (apparently except for Zorn).

Anyway, the choice to go for it was the right one. A score would have sealed the deal (duh), and as we saw, starting from inside the five did the Rams no favors.

So what do the 'Skins need?

They are certainly lacking confidence, and they did themselves no favors this week. Winning is a big step, but scoring might be a bigger one in the case of this offense.

They simply shoot themselves in the foot one way or the other. Dropped passes, poor playcalling, penalties, missed throws, you name the 'Skins have done it. If they could simply shake that aura of inevitable failure that permeates the offense for a week, there's no telling what that could do.

They moved the ball well en route to amassing 362 yards of offense and controlled the clock for 35 minutes, well up from the 23 minutes from the week before.

Those are steps in the positive direction, but the 'Skins will need to capitalize on those where it counts the most: the scoreboard.

They have another weak opponent in the Lions this week to get themselves together. The offensive line will need to jell quickly coming off the loss of guard Randy Thomas to a season-ending triceps injury. And Malcolm Kelly will have to continue to emerge (four grabs for 41 yards).

But the biggest factor is the Zorn-Campbell performance. If Zorn doesn't find what works as far as playcalling goes the offense won't move the ball. And if Campbell can't get the offense to execute, this will be another long season.

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