Monday, December 03, 2007

Let's Take the Losses in Perspective

In the immediate aftermath of yet another demoralizing, gut wrenching Redskins defeat, I wanted Joe Gibbs gone. He's an old man, who clearly isn't the coach he once was. But now that I've had some time to ponder, I can't help but think about how meaningless this game was on some level.

Sean Taylor died. And frankly, as the days pass by, I'm starting to regret my previous post about how Taylor probably had something to do with all this. Reports out of Miami are that this was, in fact, just a senseless murder of a changed man. Now whether new stuff comes out as the trials of the four guys arrested remains to be seen. But I couldn't help but think there would have been no Buffalo comeback had #21 been on the field.

Think about the 30-yard pass to Josh Reed to set up Rian Lindell's field goal. It was completed right in Taylor's old stomping grounds, down the seam of the secondary, a place most average receivers like Reed would cringe a little because of the mere presence of a hitter like Taylor.

I'm not excusing what happened at the end of the game, but I am willing to give Gibbs a pass considering the circumstances.

As much as I was furious at Gibbs in the immediate aftermath of his stupid decision to call two timeouts in a row, I would want no other coach leading my team at this point in time (seriously, though Joe, that wasn't some obscure rule...I'd say any educated NFL viewer knows it). Expecting this team to recover from losing its best player is unrealistic and probably unfair to the players. People deal with death differently and it's going to take time for the Redskins to fully handle. I'm not talking about a couple weeks, either. That being said, I expect the Skins to come out impassioned against the Bears after blowing their chance to honor Taylor with a win.

Will that result in a victory? I'm not really sure, but it would be a welcome respite from all the negativity surrouding the team. For all the devastatingly unexpected news that has come the Redksins way in the past week (Taylor's death, Gibbs decision, the loss in general), it's a welcome bit of news to know that, despite losing four in a row, the Skins still sit just one game out of the last wild card spot with four weeks remaining. Not to mention, the two team ahead of them, Arizona and Detroit, both lose a tie breaker to the Skins as a result of early season victories over both teams.

I guess all that's left to say is...RIP Sean Taylor. Clearly from the scene at your funeral you were a man who touched many, but few truly understood...myself included. Whether he was going to be the best safety to ever play is definitely up for debate, but there's no denying his legacy will likely be equal to that of any of the great players given how his life ended.

No comments: