Instead, veteran Santana Moss drew a flag for holding in the third quarter, told an official in no uncertain terms he didn’t care for the call. That earned a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct that Moss didn’t much care for after the game.
Instead, the special teams reverted to their NFL-worst form when long snapper Kyle Nelson four-hopped the ball to punter Sav Rocca, whose punt fluttered 18 yards after being tipped. Nelson, for good measure, got a flag for holding on the play.
Instead, Pierre Garcon, another veteran, found an outlet for his frustration after an incomplete, uncatchable pass from Robert Griffin III in the end zone on third down. Garcon kicked the football out of bounds. A 5-yard penalty for delaying the game followed.
Instead, defensive end Justin Tuck threw Griffin around like a dog introducing himself to new a chew toy. Four of the Giants’ five sacks came from Tuck. The pass-protection, another season-long problem without answers, led to Griffin being knocked down 13 times. During one four-quarter sequence, Griffin took hits on five of eight plays.
Instead, Redskins receivers dropped four passes in their final two series.
The gaffes ended when Garcon actually hung onto Griffin’s fourth-down pass, only to have Will Allen wrest the ball from his hands to end the game.
Even the traditional blow-up helmet used during pregame ceremonies wouldn’t inflate on the field that, once again, resembled a Slip N’ Slide.
Is this progress? Is this a fix?
These are games, corroded by fundamental mistakes and offering little hope for the future, that cost jobs.
Four meaningless games remain. Soon, answers will emerge. Do the Redskins extend Mike Shanahan’s regime that hasn’t shaken off the franchise’s rich tradition of mediocrity in almost four seasons? Or do they commit to rebuilding with another coach, another personnel czar and further draw out the unending search for a cohesive on-field product?
There isn’t a painless, pretty answer.
But one thing was clear Sunday night: This isn’t working.