Robservations: Week 11

Washington Football Team and Chase Young bounce back against the Bengals |  WJLA
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. It’s been a pretty busy week, but I’ve finally got some time to look back at Washington’s Week 11 victory against the Bengals, a team that I’ve actually never seen Washington beat before. The last time this team had beaten Cincinnati was in 1991 when Gerald Riggs rushed for three touchdowns en route to a 34-27 win. That’s pretty wild that I was barely a figment of my parents’ imagination the last time this team won a game against the Bengals, but when you think about it, these teams only play once every four years so there’s only been five contests since that 1991 meeting. 

It wasn’t necessarily a pretty performance for the Football Team, but it’s hard to complain about a victory after this team essentially botched two very winnable games against the Lions and the Giants. Also the team gets brownie points for winning in those absolutely gorgeous throwback jerseys. I seriously love when they play in these jerseys. If they just fixed the helmets it’d be perfect.

The 20-9 win puts Washington just a half game back of first place for the division lead, which they can possibly take if they beat the Cowboys tomorrow on Thanksgiving. Talk about a game for all the marbles, if the marbles equated to a division lead at 4-7. Those are some marbles, man. Wowie. 

I’ll write about that game in a few days, but let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about this Bengals result. 

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Robservations: Week 9

New York Giants v Washington Football Team
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

After a pretty great victory two weeks ago against Dallas, you’d have thought the Washington Football Team was in prime position to even the score with an equally unimpressive New York Giants team and find themselves back in the hunt with the Eagles for the NFC East title, but like me, you were hoodwinked. Bamboozled even. 

The 23-20 Giants victory was a disastrous performance by the Football Team, who have now lost to the Giants five straight times dating all the way back to the 2018-19 season. That’s pretty sad considering the Giants have been a lifeless corpse of a franchise like us since their last Super Bowl run. They have just two winning seasons since that Super Bowl win, but you wouldn’t have guessed that if you only watched these two teams play each other every year. 

Washington now sits at 2-6 with a must-win game against Detroit coming up. I’ll remind you that Washington is somehow still second in the division despite the loss, but they’re going to not only need a win this week, but need the Giants to beat the Eagles to put Washington a half game back of first place. It’s not impossible considering the Eagles won by just one point in their last meeting, but the Giants haven’t beaten any team not named the Washington Football Team this year, so we’re going to have to do a little praying. 

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, we still need to talk about this disasterclass of a performance from Ron Rivera’s group, who let Daniel Jones look about as competent as I’ve seen him this year. That’s probably a good place to start. 

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Robservations: Week 7/8

Grading the Cowboys humiliating loss to the Washington Football Team -  Blogging The Boys
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

We….we did it, we finally did it. 

In what’s felt like forever (approximately two years and four days to be exact, but who’s counting), the Washington Football Team has defeated the Dallas Cowboys. I feel like we should be throwing a parade every time this happens because we get to experience it so few times. The last time we’d beaten this team, Alex Smith was still healthy and the refs rewarded us with a still hilarious 5-yard snap infraction that helped kicker Brett Maher miss a game-winning field goal as time expired. 

Think about it this way. Since the 2010-11 season (yes the one with McNabb under center), Washington has had a 6-14 record against Jerry Jones’ team. Is it even still a rivalry at this point? Barely, but we won in dominant fashion this time with a 25-3 shallacking of a Cowboys team that is somehow in an even worse position than us. They are seriously down in the dumps right now. I haven’t seen a defense that bad in some time and I had to witness the era of Joe Barry. 

Still, Washington isn’t a very good team either so I could really care less about how bad a situation it is over in Dallas. I’ll take this win and I’ll cherish it just like I cherish all those other wins hidden amongst the field of embarrassing and downright awful losses we’ve suffered at the hands of this team. 

We are now tied with Dallas for second in the division at 2-5 and just half a game back from the division lead held by the Eagles at 2-4-1 (you can laugh now) so all that stuff I said about kicking this team to the curb and selling off assets seems to not really be a thing anymore I guess? We’ll get into that a little later, but let’s first talk about the game itself. 

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Is Jim Hickey the Answer to the Nationals’ Pitching Coach Dilemma?

Jim Hickey (left) and Dave Martinez (right) during their time as understudies to Joe Maddon in Tampa Bay. (Photo: Nationals Communications)

If it seems like every year or two, the Nationals are looking for a new pitching coach, that’s because they are. They blow through managers too, but the search for a pitching coach seems equally – if not more – tiresome.

The Rise and Fall of the Nats’ Staff

Steve McCatty handled Washington’s pitchers for seven years (2009-15). The staff’s ERA dropped from 5.00 when he took over to 3.33 (second-best in baseball) in 2012, improving every year during that span. The unit checked in at a remarkable 3.03 in 2014, and never registered an ERA above 3.62 or worse than eighth in the majors in McCatty’s final five seasons.

The team as a whole spiraled under Matt Williams during 2015, and the contracts of most of the staff – including McCatty – weren’t renewed during that offseason.

The Nats let him get away, not knowing the misfortune and disfunction that could strike a pitching staff that based on talent alone was dominant.

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Robservations: Week 6

Is this what rock bottom’s like? It sure feels like it. 

The Washington Football Team suffered their fifth consecutive loss this season on Sunday, this time to the previously winless New York Giants, and have now plunged to the final spot of the worst division in football. And boy let me tell you, it was a doozy of an afternoon. 

Coming down to a final two-point conversion to win the game, the newly appointed starting quarterback Kyle Allen rolled to the left with a chance to tuck it and run for the endzone, but instead came to a full stop and essentially threw the ball into an open space of the field where no one was to be seen. It was actually pretty comical to watch. Even more comical was the rewatch, where it looked like Allen actually might have had a chance to run it in for the win had he not come to a complete halt. 

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Robservations: Week 5

Alex Smith, Washington QB, makes NFL return with first game in 2 years
Steve Helber, AP

Sorry this week’s Robservations is a bit late. Even I need a day off from writing about this team and all of their ineptitude. Plus I needed to take my lady on a nice date night before she leaves for a few days. Priorities, people. 

This week we’ve got another doozy of a game to talk about. Washington got absolutely walloped by the LA Rams, who managed to start this season by sweeping this entire NFC East because why not? Those are free wins, man. 

Unlike the other matchups with NFC East opponents, Washington really didn’t put up much of a fight at all in this one. Besides one pretty nice drive led by new starter Kyle Allen that ended in a gutsy seven-yard touchdown run, Allen’s debut was short-lived thanks to a pretty cheap hit by Jalen Ramsey that ended Allen’s day before halftime. We’ll probably see Allen starting under center again next week, but we did catch a glimpse of Alex Smith in his return from probably the most gruesome injury I’ve ever seen. 

That’s probably a good place to start for this week’s 30-10 loss. 

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Robservations: Week 4

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Welcome back to the fourth edition of Robservations. This week we’ve got a doozy of a game to talk about. 

A lot of the points I’ll be driving home are ones I’ve pretty much already addressed in the past three games so I won’t beat a dead horse too much (I mean, it’s already dead), but as you’re probably aware, the Washington Football Team dropped their third consecutive game this season, this time against a potential Super Bowl candidate in the Baltimore Ravens. 

The 31-17 loss was not unexpected as we all pretty much chalked this one up as a loss unless we saw this team play an absolutely perfect game (which they didn’t), but honestly I thought they gave us a decent performance all things considered. Enough lollygagging, let’s jump in. 

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Robservations: Week 3

Cleveland Browns
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

In Week 2’s loss to Arizona, I wasn’t mad with the 15-point loss to a clearly better team, but yesterday was quite frankly a bit of a different story. Washington’s 34-20 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns was a frustrating display of self-made errors that essentially gifted the game to a Browns team that I don’t necessarily see as significantly better than Washington. 

Considering next week is a matchup with an absolutely stacked Baltimore Ravens team, it was kind of important for this team to show up and get a good result against an opponent closer to their level before going up against a straight-up Super Bowl contender. What’s worse is that this team was pretty much in this game up until Cleveland made it an 11-point game in the fourth quarter. 

I suppose we should get into this game right? Okay, fine. 

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Robservations: Week 2

NFL: Washington Football Team at Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Consider this week a wake-up, people. Though the win over Philly was a great way to start this season off, we saw where this team is truly at against a far superior Arizona Cardinals team. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I mean we knew a game like this was coming eventually, but it does show us that this team absolutely has a long way to go and that we have to adjust expectations accordingly. 

The truth is, I actually really like this Cardinals team. They’ve got an absolute beast of a signal-caller in Kyler Murray, one of the most unstoppable wideouts in the game in DeAndre Hopkins and a young and talented defense led by Vance Joseph. This is a team ready to win now despite being in the absolutely wild NFC West. This was a great litmus test for Washington, who didn’t necessarily play well, but showed the same resilience we saw last week, albeit in a game that was pretty much over by the fourth quarter. 

Let’s jump into the nitty gritty and see what went right and what went wrong in this week’s edition of Robservations. 

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Robservations: Week 1

Hi I’m Robby Fletcher and welcome to the first edition of Robservations, a new weekly blog where I’ll be talking about the Washington Football Team’s 2020-21 season. 

In this inaugural entry, we’ll be breaking down the team’s epic 17-point comeback victory against the Philadelphia Eagles to start off Ron Rivera’s tenure as head coach. The win was the team’s first Week 1 home victory since 2011 and its first NFC East win since Week 8 of 2018. So, let’s talk a bit about some of the game’s biggest headlines. 

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