Instant analysis: offensive defense

Instant analysis: offensive defense
December 11, 2011, 9:11 pm
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Observations from the Redskins 34-27 loss to the New England Patriots Sunday:

Well, the Redskins deserve credit for playing hard when nothing is really at stake. Down a touchdown with a minute remaining, the Redskins got to the Patriots 5-yard line before they hurt themselves with a 10-yard penalty, and then the Patriots sealed the game with an interception off a deflection with 22 seconds remaining.

Wow, New Englands defense is really bad. The Redskins did whatever they wanted on offense, and it was the first time this season that when every drive started, Washington had a chance to score. The Redskins fell a point short of tying their season-high total and gained 463 yards.

Tom Brady remains one of the best quarterbacks to watch in person because of the way he conducts the offense without huddling, slides around the pocket to buy himself time to throw and shows willingness to stand tall in the pocket. He made some poor throws behind receivers, though.

Josh Wilsons interception that gave the Redskins a shot was his first of the season.

Roy Helu (126 yards) became the first Redskins rookie running back to reach 100 yards in three consecutive games.

Already depleted at tight end, the Redskins had to ignore part of their game plan when Mike Sellers injured his forearm while blocking on a kickoff return. That left Logan Paulsen and the just-brought-back Dominique Byrd left at the position.

Rob Gronkowski is a beast. The Patriots second-year tight end had six catches for 160 yards and two touchdowns.

Gronkowskis first catch covered 50 yards and was made possible by missed tackles by DeJon Gomes and Reed Doughty and the fact that DeAngelo Hall quit on the play, choosing to be a spectator.

The Redskins offensive line had its sixth different lineup, and rookie Willie Smith got his first action at left tackle after alternating with Sean Locklear early in the game.

Brandon Banks first offensive snap this year was an impact play he took the toss from Roy Helu and threw 49 yards to Moss for a touchdown.

At 4-9, the Redskins are guaranteed their straight losing season.

Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com.