- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Equal parts crushed and encouraged by the Washington Redskins’ latest close loss, coach Jim Zorn reacted in what he thought was the proper way to acknowledge his team’s effort - giving them the day off.

Call it a Moral Victory Monday.

“Just emotionally with last week’s game and this week’s game, I just gave them a break,” Zorn said.

The only other time Zorn called for a day off after a defeat was last December, when he said after a loss to the Bengals, “I feel like the worst coach in America.”

Zorn didn’t feel that way following the Redskins’ 33-30 overtime loss to the Saints, but he still felt rotten about a third straight game in which his team squandered a fourth-quarter lead.

On the Redskins’ misery index, this latest defeat, the club’s ninth in 12 games, exceeds any other this season - worse than falling to a Lions team that had lost 19 straight, worse than failing to score a touchdown in an awful loss to the Chiefs, worse than no-show efforts in the first half of losses to the Falcons and Eagles, worse than failing to close the deal against the Cowboys and in the rematch with the Eagles.

The Redskins’ current streak of three straight losses by a combined seven points is unprecedented in team history.

The Redskins lost three straight by a combined eight points in 2003, 12 points in 2007 and 10 points in 2005. In 1994, they lost four consecutive games by a combined 12 points.

Even though New Orleans entered the game undefeated and a 9 1/2-point favorite, the heartbreaking way in which the Redskins lost prompted one member of the organization to call the defeat “the worst” of his career - “just terrible.”

The Redskins gained a season-high 455 yards and scored a season-high 30 points and lost.

They led by 10 points with 12 minutes remaining and by seven points with two remaining and lost.

And they didn’t allow a sack in 42 drop-backs by Jason Campbell and lost.

“This one stung the most,” Campbell said. “There were a lot of guys fighting out there, trying to make plays. … It teaches you a lot about finishing. It’s a four-quarter game, and you have to continue to fight until the clock goes all zeros.”

Besides not being able to finish a win, the Redskins remain a team that can’t do anything in unison.

The defense held Dallas to seven points, but the offense didn’t run a play in the red zone.

The offense scored 24 points at Philadelphia but contributed two interceptions, and the defense allowed fourth-quarter drives of 90 and 66 yards.

Campbell and Devin Thomas had career days against the Saints, but Shaun Suisham missed a chip-shot field goal, LaRon Landry got lost in coverage and the defense allowed a season-high 463 yards.

“You really can’t [describe it],” defensive end Andre Carter said. “One thing I think about our guys is even though it started with the Dallas game, we keep on fighting and we’ll continue to fight. The character is there.”

As is his wont, Zorn chose to look at the positives Monday, chiefly the play of the offense, which scored 54 points and amassed 588 passing yards the past two games.

“I commend our offense,” he said. “We had 455 yards and 30 points. We haven’t done that in a while. I could look at a calendar and not my watch [to see when that last happened]. I’m very excited about that. I’m excited about the cohesiveness in our coaching staff and how we’re putting game plans together. - those things are really happening on our football team. Those are the things we can get excited about. The thing that’s most difficult to live with is the ‘L.’ ”

What contributed to the “L” was a variety of plays - Kevin Barnes getting hit by a wayward punt, Kareem Moore’s interception-turned-New Orleans-touchdown and Suisham’s missed 23-yard field goal after the two-minute warning.

Asked about Suisham, Zorn instead launched into “A Series Of Unfortunate Events: Redskins Edition” that epitomizes the year.

“It’s unfortunate that he missed that field goal,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we fumbled. It’s unfortunate that we intercepted a pass and - how do you this? - they score a touchdown. And the only place Kevin Barnes could have been on the field, and he gets hit by a shanked punt.

“For the life of me, those are frustrating things. Is it reality? Absolutely. You saw it. We saw it. Those are things we have to deal with and move on from and just keep pushing and battling.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide