Washington Redskins stand pat as trade deadline passes

Photo Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

The NFL trade deadline provided the perfect opportunity for the Washington Redskins to address deficiencies at key positions. Two positions that come to mind are running back and wide receiver. The Redskins have struggled so badly at these skill positions that third down back Chris Thompson leads Washington in rushing and receiving yards.

This isn’t to disparage Thompson by any means. He has proven to be worth the two year extension he signed before this season started. However, Washington has other players that were supposed to solidify the offense, namely wide receivers Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, as well as running back Samaje Perine. That hasn’t materialized, as Pryor, Doctson, and Perine have had their own individual issues with ball security.

Excessive dropped passes and fumbles have plagued the aforementioned players. These are issues that reduce a quarterback and head coach’s confidence in certain players.

Miami Dolphins’ wide receiver Jarvis Landry was rumored to be on the trading block. The Redskins know about Landry’s game breaking ability. He returned a punt for a touchdown that helped Miami beat Washington in their 2015 season opener 17-10. That season, Landry caught 110 passes for 1,157 yards. On their current 2017 pace, the Redskins’ top wide receivers will be hard pressed to reach that total collectively.

Jay Ajayi.jpg

Photo Source: Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe

In a surprising move, the Dolphins traded running back Jay Ajayi (above, carrying football) to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 2018 fourth round pick. Ajayi rushed for 1,260 yards for Miami last season while averaging close to five yards per carry. Word from Miami is that Ajayi didn’t get along with teammates and coaches,  making him expendable.

There’s no word of Redskins’ running back Robert Kelley not getting along with his teammates. In contrast to Ajayi’s production in Miami, Kelley lead Washington with only 708 yards rushing last season. Kelley missed two games this season with a rib and foot injury, as he has yet to solidify himself as Washington’s starter.

Landry and Ajayi could have helped Washington considerably. The Redskins were justified in standing pat and not trading for them. Washington has a history of trading draft picks for some veteran players that have severely underachieved. It’s best to build a franchise through the draft, as young players can learn and grow within a particular system. The current Redskins’ roster is devoid of consistent offensive playmakers, which makes a trade impossible.

Washington will continue their season with their current crops of players in the hopes that they will develop the chemistry and cohesion necessary to become a good team.

Another bitter pill for Washington Redskins to swallow

Photo Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

Even the most ardent Washington Redskins’ fan had to admit that beating the Dallas Cowboys at Fed Ex Field would be a tall task. The Redskins were without three of their starting offensive linemen, and fielded an offense that has regressed considerably in 2017. A win over their biggest rival would send a statement that the Redskins are a team to be reckoned with. It would also make the sub .500 Washington teams a thing of the  past.

Unfortunately, special teams miscues and three Washington turnovers propelled them to a 33-19 loss, sending their record to 3-4. A blocked field goal by Cowboys’ defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was returned 85 yards by Dallas cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The Cowboys made the Redskins pay as star running back Ezekiel Elliot scored on a one yard run to put Dallas ahead 14-13.

The injuries would continue for Washington as they lost tight ends Jordan Reed and Niles Paul in this game. The defense was put into several tight spots, trying to keep the Cowboys out of the end zone after Redskins’ miscues and offensive inefficiency. However, the defense employed a bend but don’t break approach, keeping the prolific Dallas offense out of the end zone in the second half.

Washington’s main problems are their lack of consistency. Many felt the team made a mistake letting wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson leave via free agency. The Redskins gambled that wide receivers Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson would provide near similar results to the over 2,000 receiving yards that Garcon and Jackson produced for the Redskins in 2016.

So far, it’s been a gamble that hasn’t paid off. Pryor has been invisible, seeing very little action against Dallas (he had zero catches). Doctson dropped a key third down pass that would have earned Washington a first down. While Doctson did catch a one yard touchdown pass, it was too little too late as that was Doctson’s only reception for the game. It’s par for the course for Doctson, who’s been an underwhelming presence at wide receiver for the Redskins.

This was a game that Washington had to win to not only save their season, but to gain confidence in themselves. Three Redskin turnovers and overall offensive inefficiency doomed them once again. The schedule doesn’t get any easier, as Washington must travel to face the Seattle Seahawks next week. The Seahawks recorded a thrilling 41-38 victory over the Houston Texans in Week 8. Washington is in need of a quality win to regain some confidence. For now the banged up Redskins will take this time to heal and get ready to head for the great Northwest.