One day after watching the Redskins defeat the New York Giants to get within one game of the NFC East leaders and defending Super Bowl champions, the NFL Network’s Heath Evans still isn’t a Washington believer.
Evans — a fullback from 2001 to 2010 with the Seahawks, Dolphins, Patriots and Saints — was asked yesterday on the NFL Network’s “Around The League” to buy or sell the Redskins’ chances at winning the NFC East this season (see the entire video below).
First, here’s what he Evans had to say:
“We have seen what we saw last night from RG3 a lot,” Evans said. “Now, what we’ve seen in regards to the Giants — not so much. The Giants just made some silly mistakes that both of us commented on last night. But you watch [the Redskins] throughout the season, they played down to the Rams, they played down to the Carolina Panthers. So you talk about them easily getting to nine or 10 wins — I just don’t see that, because we’ve seen the great RG3, himself, play down to competition. This defense — it’s atrocious. Red zone, third down, critical down-and-distances. When you’ve got to win in December, this defense is not going to get it done. Giants win this division; I sell this all the way.”
Well, the Redskins are currently 1-0 in their December games this season — isn’t it a little too premature to claim they can’t win the important games late in the season? And, in that game Monday night against the Giants, it was the Washington defense that sealed the victory down the stretch. Sure, the Washington defense has had its struggles this season, but I think a little credit is due here.
Also, Evans says the Redskins “played down” to the Rams. This is the same Rams team that also beat the Seattle Seahawks and tied the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers in their first matchup this season before beating them the second time around on Sunday. You can’t tell me that the 49ers on Sunday were “playing down” to the Rams after tying with them in Week 10. No; San Francisco was hoping to put a pounding on St. Louis, but learned the Rams might be a little better than advertised.
Yesterday’s comments definitely weren’t the first time Evans has been skeptical of the Redskins this season. After Week 4 this season, the NFL Network asked Charlie Casserly, Darren Sharper and Evans who they would pick as their early-season Rookie of the Year candidates. Casserly chose Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III while Sharper went with Redskins running back Alfred Morris.
Evans, however, said, “I don’t give rookies any award, especially just after four weeks,” adding that “if RG3 don’t learn to get his tail down — those hits he took last week — he won’t be getting any awards, either, at the end of the season.”
Then, prior to the Redskins’ Week 7 matchup against the New York Giants, Evans sold the possibility that Griffin III would outplay Eli Manning:
“If you look at the match ups, this is why I’m going to sell RG3 outperforming Eli Manning because, again, you talk about the teams [the Redskins] have lost to: Mike Nolan, Jeff Fisher — defensive-structured, disciplined coaches. Marvin Lewis with the Bengals,” Evans said. “What do you get with Tom Coughlin? You get fast, athletic defensive linemen, know what they’re doing, know what’s expected of them. I don’t think you shut RG3 down, no, but I do think the Giants win this game; Eli has a better game by the end of the day.”
Evans was only right about one thing that day: the end result. The Giants won the game 27-23 on a last-minute touchdown throw, but Griffin III shined despite playing against a “defensive-structured, disciplined” coach, completing 20-of-28 passes for 258 yards with a touchdown and an interception and running nine times for another 89 yards. Griffin III also led an offensive attack that ran all over the Giants for 248 yards on the day, including a then-career high 120 yards from Morris.
I’m not saying Evans doesn’t have a right to form his own opinion and that he should throw on a No. 10 Griffin III jersey and bow down to Mike Shanahan.
I’m just saying it might be time for him to throw a little more credit the Redskins’ way.
Here’s the full video of the aforementioned “buy or sell” segment on the NFL Network yesterday:
CHIME IN: What do YOU think of Heath Evans’ thoughts about the Redskins? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: Heath Evans, NFL Network, washington redskins
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