By: Dan Abramson
NFL Wild Card Recap: RGIII Hurt, Shanahan Dumb
Ugh. What a frustrating weekend of games this was. Of the four, three were unbearably boring. And the fourth featured the equivalent of a stage mom forcing her child to act through the tears.
Just to bring you up to speed: Through Week 14, Sir Robert Griffin III dominated the NFL, showing flashes of a player who would dominate it for some time. Then he sprained his knee. No bigs. Happens all the the time as these are men getting paid to hit other men. He was then rushed back to action in a dubious manner. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that team physician, Dr. James Andrews had given his player the green light. He had not. Is Shanahan a liar? Perhaps. Does Dr. James Andrews sound like then name of a character on Twin Peaks. For sure.
Everybody all set? So anyway, in short, RGIII reinjured that knee and became a shell of the player he is, yet stayed in the game, ultimately dooming the Redskins and ending their season, as they fell to the Seahawks. The fault does not lie with Griffin, however. Like the rest of the world today, I will put it solely on Shanahan.
His star player was clearly in pain, but Shanahan didn't have the courage (READ: balls) to pull RGIII from the lineup and replace him with the capable Kirk Cousins. He just sat there and watched Griffin take a beating. It's like he was Rocky and Ivan Drago is pummeling Apollo and Dr. James Andrews is like “Throw the towel! Throw the damn towel” and all Shanahan could do was sit there and watch his best player get murdered. The difference here is that this game was not a metaphor for the Cold War. And there's no way I would compare Russell Wilson to Drago. Though I wouldn't hesitate to draw comparisons from Pete Carroll to Brigitte Nielsen.
Here's a shot of Dr. James Andrews during the game.
There's multiple reasons, aside from common sense, RGIII should have been pulled. The first of which is that his health was at risk. Yes, he repeatedly told his coach he was good to go, but Shanahan's an experienced smart coach. More importantly he's a human being who has a soul? Maybe I'm wrong on that. (Just ask my fantasy teams circa 2007, am I right? BOOM ROASTED SHANAHAN.) The point is RGIII's future was put in jeopardy and it would be a damn shame for us to lose a talent like that.
Second of all, Shanahan dumb. Not only was he risking his QB of the future, but he was not putting his team in the best position to win. You didn't have to be a football coach to realize that something's wrong and he was not playing well. Here's a guy who spent the season treating the NFL like that scene in Billy Madison where Adam Sandler plays dodgeball with kindergarteners. Yet, after the second TD drive, he literally could not walk. Judging by his anxious pacing on the sidelines, it seems that Kirk Cousins had full use of both his legs.
Aaaaaaand superfluous rant over. Let's move on to the other games this weekend, all of which were snoozefests.
In Baltimore, Ray Lewis did his murder dance one last time. #RIPMurderDance. I'd also like to point out that a few a moves in said dance resemble the moves one would make while nailing the electric slide. The electric slide, of course, has its home at a Bar Mitzvah, a location I can't even begin to imagine Ray Lewis in.
I don't know when it all happened, but at some point in the last 5 years, everyone decided to forget Lewis's past and just love him blindly. Thus, much was made of this possibly being his last game and he was honored repeatedly. Hell, Lewis even showed up to play with a celebratory robot arm. I couldn't find a good shot of him with it from the game itself, but here he is testing it beforehand:
Oh wait, I found one of him using his robo-arm to drop an easy interception.
After the game, he recreated it in the locker room:
Whatever, the Ravens beat the Colts and we can all look forward to another week of 'Is this Ray Lewis's last game?'
I kind of enjoyed how boring the Bengals loss to the Texans was. Partly because it exposed how mediocre a quarterback Andy Dalton is, and how not dangerous the Texans are. Cincinnati should be starting AJ Green at QB and letting him throw to himself. The Texans need a gameplan other than “give it to Arian Foster and watch him go three yards a pop.” Boom, just fixed both teams. I await your call for any GM/Head Coach openings.
As for the Packers victory over the Vikings, if you tuned in for a playoff game, you were a week late. Sorry. At least you guys got to see Minnesota start a wide receiver at quarterback during the biggest game of the year. Who do they think he is, A.J. Green?