Ten Spot Review: A Bad Loss

Ten Spot Review: The Titans were better than anticipated, leaving the Redskins in desperate shape.


1. Is Tennessee dangerous? We thought they were just bad, not desperate. And I'd maintain that they weren't desperate, but were actually better than anticipated. However, their run defense is not and Clinton Portis only carried the ball 14 times, in a game where the Redskins had the lead half the time and were only down one score the other half. But give Jeff Fisher credit; the Titans didn't fold at 14-3.

2. But what about the Redskins' injuries? That's what worried me most. Missing the defensive tackles hurt on the ground and it also prevented linebacker Lemar Marshall from going unblocked. The Titans hurt Washington with cutback after cutback as well as power runs. Certainly the tackles would have made a difference. But I'll also say this: Marshall has regressed. He does not get off blocks well and has not been decisive getting to the ball.

3. Will Shawn Springs play? He did, though only in passing situations. Springs was beaten on his first play, but Vince Young didn't see the receiver so it resulted in no trouble.

4. What impact will Springs have? It wasn't much, but the impact is that he bumped Mike Rumph off the active roster. That's a good start. And his presence allowed Sean Taylor to occasionally blitz, though why they want to leave Adam Archuleta deep is beyond me. But when a defense gives up 25 points to a bad team, the impact of a top player returning is minimal.

5. When will Brandon Lloyd break out? My line: I have a hunch he'll finally make a few plays. Turns out he only made one, though it was a huge one. Lloyd is not physical enough to beat the cover two's and quarterback Mark Brunell often does not even look his way other times.

6. What should the Redskins pay attention to defensively? We said the gimmick plays. But the Titans didn't use that many. The Redskins did, but Tennessee stuck to cutback and power runs. They also used a lot of misdirection, which almost always fooled the linebackers. Oftentimes, Young would go one way after the fake while the back went the other. Because of Young's ability to run the ball, the 'backers went with him, leaving big holes.

7. Which defenders should the Redskins be worried about? We said linebacker Keith Bullock; linebacker David Thornton and corner Pacman Jones. We also thought end Kyle Vanden Bosch could give Jon Jansen some fits. But that didn't happen at all; Jansen played well. Bullock was solid and Jones made a couple plays, stripping Antwaan Randle El of the ball at midfield late in the first half.

8. Which offensive players should the Redskins be worried about? We said Young, receiver Drew Bennett and Henry. Two out of three were on target. Young was mostly accurate while Henry powered the running game.

9. Will the Redskins' defense ever create turnovers? We thought this was the week to do it; the Titans had thrown six picks already. Boy, were we wrong. Marcus Washington dropped an easy pick and Young fumbled once but Tennessee recovered.

10. Will the Redskins win? Of course, we said. Dumb, we are. Silly us, we figured a 2-3 team with playoff aspirations could handle an 0-5 team at home. We pegged it at 24-10, which is where it was headed at 14-3. But nooooo. The Redskins couldn't hold an 11-point lead. At home. Against a winless team. This qualifies as one of the worst losses in Joe Gibbs' tenure.


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