For the fourth time this season, a team has won its first game thanks to the pathetic Washington Redskins. The Kansas City Chiefs kicked four field goals to the Skins' two and sealed the victory with a last-minute safety to win 14-6.
Many rumors are swirling about the future of head coach Jim Zorn and the wheels of change are starting to spin.
Football insider Peter King said on NBC's Sunday night football coverage that Redskins Executive VP of Football Ops Vinny Cerrato told him he has asked Zorn to give up offensive play-calling duties for next week's game against Philadelphia in order to concentrate on being the head coach and coaching the quarterbacks.
Redskins spokesman Zack Bolno told the Associated Press that Cerrato told Zorn he believes the coach had too many responsibilities and someone else should call the offensive plays. Zorn did not disagree with that assessment, Bolno said.
The move to strip Zorn of his offensive leadership role has many perplexed, including ESPN.com's Matt Mosley:
If Snyder's going to strip Zorn of his play-calling duties, he might as well go ahead and fire him. I hate that Zorn actually accepted this arrangement. It makes him look so weak. Snyder's already brought in a 67-year-old offensive consultant who's been on ice for five years.
Now Zorn looks like the ultimate lame duck. Perhaps Snyder and Cerrato thought that Zorn would resign once they stripped him of his play-calling duties. But it sounds like he's going to hang in there and keep taking punches. Now the Redskins will prepare to play the Eagles without knowing who their playcaller is. Zorn will probably push for offensive coordinator Sherman Smith to get the nod, but I'd be surprised if Snyder signs off on that.
So who will call plays this week? That will be announced Monday. Several names being tossed around: Sherman Smith, Sherman Lewis, Stump Mitchell and Chris Meidt. Sources told News4 that Lewis will get the nod.
Maybe playing teams that have won games is what the team needs. In recent years, they have had a tendency to play to the level of their opponent. Consider last year's loss to the St. Louis Rams in the middle of their 6-2 start. The Rams only won one other game the entire season.
Thankfully, the Skins (2-4) managed to squeak by St. Louis this season, or they'd be stuck with one win. Maybe a whiff of a winner -- they face 3-2 Philadelphia next week -- is what they need to be inspired to compete.
Chiefs rookie Ryan Succop kicked four field goals, including the go-ahead 46-yarder with 3:36 to play. Succop earlier made field goals from 39 and 46 yards. He also had a 24-yarder in the final minute.
The Chiefs (1-5) got their first victory for rookie coach Todd Haley. It was also the franchise's first win since last November and avoided the first 0-6 start in team history.
Once again, Washington was booed off the field, the only life all afternoon coming when Zorn benched quarterback Jason Campbell at halftime and replaced him with Todd Collins.
Collins immediately led two drives for field goals, but that was the only scoring for the Redskins, who didn't get a touchdown at home for the second time this season.
Nobody was expecting a classic, and it sure wasn't one. The first half produced three points, four sacks and 12 first downs, the only score coming on Succop's field goal late in the second quarter on a drive aided by a roughing the passer penalty on defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Campbell was 9 for 16 for 89 yards in the half, including an interception on a downfield heave on the final play of the half.
With a big zero on the board, Zorn opted for Collins, who hadn't played since the first-round playoff loss at the end of the 2007 season. The move energized the crowd, with stadium-wide cheers greeting No. 15 as he ran onto the field.
Collins' first pass was a 42-yard completion deep over the middle to Santana Moss. If only Moss managed to stay on his feet and keep moving forward. A holding penalty on Mike Sellers essentially killed the drive, so the Redskins settled for Shaun Suisham's 40-yard field goal that tied the game at 3.
The first play of Washington's next drive had an even longer result from Clinton Portis, who had sat out the previous series with a sprained ankle. Portis found space off left tackle for a 78-yard scamper to Kansas City's 10-yard line. It was the longest run of Portis' career, but not quite long enough, falling a few yards short of the end zone. Of course, the Skins stalled and settled for Suisham's 28-yard field goal to give the Redskins a 6-3 lead.
But the Chiefs also were competing in this field goal duel. Cassel hit Dwayne Bowe for completions of 20 and 16 yards, setting up a 46-yarder from Succop to tie the game late in the third quarter.
A personal foul on Washington's Rock Cartwright during a Kansas City punt return gave the Chiefs good field position for the go-ahead score. Starting at Washington's 36, the Chiefs picked up one first down before Succop's third field goal.
The Redskins went nowhere after that. The Chiefs got one more field goal from Succop and the safety by Tamba Hali to finish off the win.