After an encouraging 3-1 start, the Washington Redskins have fallen back to Earth in a way that only a poorly coached, ill-constructed team could. They have lost four straight games, and head coach Mike Shanahan was shut out for the first time in his NFL career last week against the Buffalo Bills. The Redskins' 19-11 home loss to the surprising San Francisco 49ers was more par for the course, and one way in which the team is upending its playoff hopes is through a series of boneheaded plays and missed assignments.
Left tackle Trent Williams was nailed for unnecessary roughness on this play when he went after San Francisco defensive tackle Justin Smith after the play with 10:03 left in the first half:
The worst part was that Williams' action not only negated a 10-yard pass from John Beck to Jabar Gaffney, but it also erased a defensive offside call on Ahmad Brooks. In other words, it blew a big hole in what could have been a scoring drive. And so it goes.
Also, Mr. Smith, the MLS will be calling about that soccer flop at the end of that penalty. Disgraceful, sir!
Williams tried to tell his side of the story after the game, claiming that he was coming to the aid of defensive teammate Maurice Hurt, who was playing right guard at the time. Williams claimed that he never heard a whistle, and that he felt Smith was engaging after the play.
"We're defending ourselves. I mean, [Smith] was playing through the whistle. We're playing through the whistle, so I mean, I don't know. I don't got no comment on it. It is what it is."
Hmmm. If you didn't hear the whistle, how could you play through it? In any case, Williams was pulled from the game at the time and earholed by Shanahan, who walked off the field after the loss looking about as frustrated as a coach can possibly be.