September 27, 2009
In the children's book, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day", our young protagonist endures a day in which he wakes up with gum in hair, trips on his skateboard, gets in trouble at school, has no dessert in his lunch, gets told by the dentist that he has a cavity, gets pushed in the mud (not by the dentist), eats lima beans for dinner, and has to wear his railroad train pajamas to bed, not to mention a host of other indignities.
Sounds about like the Washington Redskins' first half in their 19-14 loss to the Lions. By the time the 'Skins went in the locker room for halftime, they were down, 13-0, to a team that hadn't won a game since December, 2007. They were outgained 274-94 in the first 30 minutes, converted none of their three third-down attempts, while the Lions converted nine of their 12. This against a Washington defense that led the NFL in defensive three-and-outs in 2008. Albert Haynesworth(notes) suffered a hip injury sacking Matthew Stafford(notes), Clinton Portis(notes) and Ladell Betts(notes) rushed five times for a total of zero yards, and the same defense that was supposed to lead the Redskins to at least a shot at the NFC East title allowed a 12-play, 99-yard drive in the first quarter. Actually, if you include the 14 yards in Detroit penalties, it was a 113-yard drive.
The Redskins had the ball a grand total of eight minutes on the dot. Our own Chris Chase has already detailed Jim Zorn's coaching and game-calling foibles, but let's be honest - if you can't put the ball in the end zone against the Detroit Lions on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, you have no business winning no matter who's wearing the headset.
In the book mentioned above, young Alexander wanted to move to Australia to escape his problems. His mother assured him that people have bad days everywhere, even in Australia, but it's doubtful the Redskins have ever had a first half this bad in their long history.
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