Jay Gruden, 0-3 Redskins have another miserable night in loss to Bears
If you close your eyes, you can picture Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder’s reaction to what unfolded in the first half on Monday night.
There, in his bland suburban stadium he’s desperately trying to leave, which had its dwindling attendance bolstered for one night by an invasion of Bears fans, Snyder’s team barely showed up.
On a “Monday Night Football” stage, Washington got blown out. The final 31-15 score against the Chicago Bears didn’t indicate how bad the Redskins were before the Bears eased up. The Redskins didn’t seem to consider that they might want to block Khalil Mack. The defense continued to bleed passing yards, even to struggling Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky was 20-of-23 for 173 yards and three touchdowns at halftime. Redskins quarterback Case Keenum threw three interceptions and while he rallied a bit in the second half, it wasn’t enough to overcome a horrendous start.
With 41 seconds left in the first half, Taylor Gabriel beat $75 million cornerback Josh Norman for a touchdown, somehow getting both feet in bounds on the sideline. That made the score 28-0. If anyone stuck around after that, they were probably wearing blue and orange. At that point, Washington had 36 yards on offense more than 29 minutes into the half. The Redskins are 0-3 after the loss.
It has been miserable in Washington for a while, and you wonder how much patience Snyder has left. He can’t fire all the players. But Jay Gruden certainly shouldn’t feel safe if things don’t improve soon.
Washington struggles against Chicago
There’s practically nothing positive for the Redskins right now. That much seemed clear when left tackle Trent Williams held out and it seemed he’d rather have his career end than play for Washington anymore. And the Redskins still haven’t traded him.
Snyder doesn’t want to lose, but he doesn’t know how to win. He was petulant and impatient for most of his ownership of the team. Then he decided to be patient with Gruden. At the start of this season, 11 NFL head coaches had been with their teams at least five years. Gruden was the only one with a losing record. He was also the only one without a playoff win.
Patience with Gruden isn’t paying off. His offense isn’t stocked with playmakers, but it still looked lost on Monday night, at least before showing some signs of life in the second half. A late rally was stopped when Danny Trevathan met Keenum on a fourth-and-1 jump over the line and knocked the ball loose for a fumble.
Keenum struggled but it wasn’t all his fault. The offensive line did very little to protect him, and Washington often didn’t keep in extra players to compensate. After Keenum’s second interception, with the Bears leading 21-0, ESPN showed the graphic that Keenum had been hit on seven of his 14 dropbacks and sacked twice. It’s hard to play quarterback with Mack in your lap most plays. One of Keenum’s interceptions was returned by Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for a touchdown.
Maybe first-round pick Dwayne Haskins will get a shot soon. Maybe the Redskins don’t want to expose him in a bad situation.
What can Washington do?
It’s not like there’s much to revitalize the fan base. Cutting a 28-point deficit to 13 points in the fourth quarter isn’t going to sell tickets.
The Redskins were once a proud franchise with a long waiting list for season tickets. Attendance has plummeted. Fans are disowning the team at a remarkable rate. The losing is a factor. So is the soulless stadium. But it seems the biggest reason is the franchise has become unlikeable under Snyder.
Winning would solve a lot of that. But Washington doesn’t look close to turning that corner.
It might be time for Washington to try a new plan. Gruden likely won’t be given much more time to turn things around.
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