Giant Disappointment

Not much can be said about a game featuring seven turnovers. Except for this: it's over. And it only counts as one game. What the players seem to hang onto is the fact that they nearly won despite all the mistakes.

But that would be a bad way to look at it. Here's why: it probably says more about the Giants than it does the Redskins. Turn the ball over three or four times against Dallas and it's a 14-point loss. Turn it over that many times against the Eagles and it's a 28-point loss.

What they must do is correct the reasons for the mistakes, like not switching hands while running through the line of scrimmage if you're a running back (Clinton Portis) or not always forcing balls downfield if you're a QB (Patrick Ramsey).

Some of these are the details of the game, an area the Redskins were supposed to be better at under Joe Gibbs. They weren't on Sunday and that's what must worry them.

Can he adapt?: Certainly, with the way the offense has looked in two games, many will start to wonder if Joe Gibbs can cut it in the modern NFL. Our strong answer: yes. Don't forget, this is the same man who scrapped an offense after five games his first year and won eight of 11. He adapted his offense to fit different quarterbacks and running backs. He went to another sport and managed that quite well. The NFL is about managing teams and adapting as much as it is about schemes. Gibbs can still do both. Not sure how he'll kickstart the offense, but I know he won't stubbornly stay with something that won't work. It's not what his past suggests.

Offensive goat: Many choices to go around. But we'll hand it to Patrick Ramsey. The third-year quarterback has been soooo indecisive. He needs to learn that if something isn't open, dump it off and live another down. Instead, he waits and waits and throws interceptions, trying to go for the big play. Until he learns to settle on some plays, he'll struggle. A year ago he looked like someone on the way to a solid career. There's still time for him to develop, but he has to change a mindset and that's not easy.

Then again: Did you notice how much more chances were available downfield with Ramsey? When Mark Brunell throws those 18-yard hitches, the ball takes forever to get there, allowing the DB to break on it and knock it away. They don't do that to Ramsey. Of course, Sunday, they just let him throw to nowhereland and pick him off.

And then again: Did you also notice how aggressive the Giants became when Ramsey entered the game? It wasn't just Steve Spurrier's scheme teams exploited with the blitz last season, it was Ramsey's decision-making. We knew that at the time, but it was re-inforced Sunday.

Time for Tim?: No. Third-stringer Tim Hasselbeck is smart, prepared and decisive. He'll make a good coach someday. But he's not the answer and if the Redskins are forced to use him, you know how desperate they are.

Tackle problems: The Redskins benched Kenyatta Jones, saying he had a ''fat ankle.'' Joe Gibbs said Jones tweaked the ankle in practice, but Jones said he was fine and that Ray Brown's start at tackle was a coaches decision. Jones has not looked steady at tackle -- he's off-balance, lunging too often, and relies too much on help. Ray Brown's techniques are better, but he's 41 and is playing a position best suited for someone more athletic than he is at this stage of his career. Also, he needs help, too.

Defensive goat: The Redskins only allowed one big play, but it was a 38-yard touchdown pass to Tim Carter, who got past flat-footed Matt Bowen. The Redskins used Bowen well last week, but not this week. It's becoming clear that Bowen is more comfortable helping against the run and blitzing than he is playing in coverage. Bowen did not play at all in the fourth quarter.

Wondering about: the counter trey. It appears to be a slow, tired play through the first two games. And it seems as if Clinton Portis is too impatient to let the play develop, perhaps fearing that the hole will close. Portis is excellent at cutback runs, taking advantage of his vision. The Redskins need to capitalize on that and either retool, or scrap, the so-far unsuccessful counter trey. Defenses are much faster these days and the play is being stopped, at times, by backside pursuit. Something needs to be done.


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