Week 8 LVPs: Redskins’ receivers let RG3 down

Default LVP Choice That Needs No Further Explanation: The Philadelphia Eagles, from top to bottom.

The Washington Redskins' receivers: Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III came into the Redskins' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers having completed over 70 percent of his passes. In 2011, he completed more than 72 percent of his passes for the Baylor Bears. So, when RGIII completed just 16 of 34 passes against a Steelers defense that has been springing leaks against the pass for the last full season, you might assume that Griffin's receivers were the primary issue. And you would be right. Santana Moss. Leonard Hankerson, and the rest of Washington's receiver corps flat-out dropped anywhere from four to 10 passes, depending on the source of your information. Hankerson dropped what would have been a touchdown and caught just one pass on four targets, and Moss caught just four of the nine passes thrown to him. An atypical performance from an offense that has been pretty on point this season, but Mike Shanahan had best get this fixed.

Oh, and we'd give Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall his own booby prize, but we've already done that today. What a doofus.

[More NFL: Cam Newton faces another bitter Panthers loss]

Chicago's offensive line: You may have noticed that Carolina Panthers defensive linemen Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy didn't make this week's MVP squad despite their five combined sacks -- heck, Hardy led all defenders with three sacks in Week 8, and he's only had nine sacks in his three-year career before Sunday. Actually, that's kind of the point. Once again, a Chicago Bears offensive line "coached" by offensive coordinator Mike Tice proved to be woefully inadequate against any measure of quarterback pressure. Through the first half of the Bears' eventual 23-22 win, Cutler threw for a grand total of minus-15 net yards -- he had more sacks (six) than completed passes (four). Cutler said after the game that he didn't blame the Chicago fans for booing his offense, but those raspberries need to go in one specific direction -- the worst pass-blocking line in the NFL over the last few seasons.

The New York Jets' special teams: With all the turmoil surrounding the Jets on offense and defense, we're not supposed to be worried about the special teams unit run by Mike Westoff. But that same squad let the Jets down over and over in the team's 30-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins. The Fins scored a touchdown on a blocked punt in which Personal Punt Protector Tim Tebow blew a block, and there was an embarrassing onside kick attempt as well. Schedule your special teams meltdowns ahead next time, Jets. Now, we're very confused.

New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo: We loved Spags as the New York Giants' defensive coordinator and thought he got a raw deal as the Rams' head coach, but we're completely mystified by his inability to get anything going with a defense that isn't elite from a talent perspective, but certainly has enough talent to be better than what it has been. After their Sunday night demolition at the hands of the Denver Broncos, the Saints end the first seven games of their season with 335 yards per game allowed, a full 25 yards more than the second-worst NFL defense (Detroit Lions). Spagnuolo's defense has allowed 30 plays of 20 yards or more, six plays of 40 yards or more, and they have just 13 sacks. When Drew Brees can't carry the day, as he could not against Denver's improving defense, you get the 34-14 beatdown suffered by the Saints in this game.

[Also: Vick Ballard has one of the plays of the year in OT win]

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers: People push the panic button on quarterbacks too early all the time, but it's officially time to start wondering what's up with San Diego's main man. Rivers has had two entire seasons (2006 and 2009) in which he's attempted at least 460 passes and thrown just nine interceptions -- he has that many in 2012 already, and that's after throwing a career-high 20 in 2011. Against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, he threw 18 completions in 34 attempts for 154 yards and no touchdowns. The Chargers, a team that is supposed to have a high-powered offense, lost, 7-6. There's no question that the Chargers have been gutted by a series of missteps "masterminded" by Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, but Rivers must take most of the blame for his worrisome performance this season.

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