Blog Entry

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

Posted on: September 30, 2010 8:46 am
Posted by Andy Benoit

Obviously on Sunday the focus in Philadelphia will be on Donovan McNabb. But what about the rest of the other 21 players on the field? The 1-2 Redskins are dangerously thin – emaciated, even – at the skill positions. Wideout Santana Moss can stretch the field. Fellow wideout Joey Galloway can stretch the field only theoretically. The 16th-year veteran has just three catches on the season.

You can’t count on Galloway or any of the backup wide receivers to provide much. Thus, one key for Washington will be finding ways to avoid a Moss-on-Asante Samuel matchup. Moss’ game is predicated on speed and quickness. Samuel’s off-ball style of coverage naturally neutralizes these elements.

Chris Cooley is often Washington’s X-factor. In this game, he’s a XX-factor. The Eagles struggled mightily last season in covering tight ends. Hence, the trade for speedy underneath outside linebacker Ernie Sims. By using Cooley in motion and aligning him in a variety of areas (the slot, backfield, etc.), Washington can force Sims – or, ideally, strong safety Quintin Mikell – to react presnap. This will make Philadelphia’s blitz schemes easier to diagnose.

A key factor will be whether rookie left tackle Trent Williams is healthy enough to block Trent Cole one-on-one (Williams was inactive in Week 3 but returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to play.) The Redskins would hate to have to keep Cooley in as an extra pass-blocker. In fact, they’d probably use Cooley as a de factor receiver and refer to second tight end Fred Davis for blocking duties. In that case, fullback Mike Sellers might off the field, which could dilute the play-action threat.

The Redskins must incorporate their run game to avoid getting into a shootout. Running will be tough given the issues at left guard (incumbent starter Derrick Dockery has fallen into a serious job competition with Kory Lichtensteiger). Philly’s Mike Patterson and Broderick Bunkley form one of the more vociferous defensive tackle tandems in the league. Plus, backup Trevor Laws is coming off one of his best games as a pro.

And let’s not forget, Clinton Portis is nearing the point where he’s only effective as a fourth quarter closer (assuming he’s still fresh in the fourth quarter). Plus, Portis’ bruising style won’t be as impactful against 258-pound middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Ryan Torain is Washington’s best runner – especially in Mike Shanahan’s zone scheme. Don’t be surprised if Torain wears the hat on Sunday.

Ron Jaworski thought McNabb had perhaps the best game of his career against the Texans in Week 2. That still came in a losing effort. McNabb’s return trip to the City of Brotherly Love could be a reminder that talent is important, but equally as important is the talent around you.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 31, 2012 12:57 pm

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 4, 2011 12:45 am

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

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Since: Dec 11, 2008
Posted on: October 1, 2010 12:53 pm

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

i'm just thinkin w all this hate towards the skins who have the eagles played...

Since: Aug 29, 2006
Posted on: October 1, 2010 12:38 pm

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

I agree with you there, not coaching. Management is obviously terrible for the skins, overpaying older players and not bringing in younger ones. Skins draft selections at skill positions have been poor. I do think you have a great 1-2 TE punch, maybe best in football. I like those 2, very good. Santana Moss is a decent reciever but Galloway, is he not 57 years old now, the rest I think are average at best? They should have rotated in a young WR. At first look way before preseason I liked your running back combos. I thought you had Portis, Johnson and Parker. What happened I must have missed that, guess they didnt make the cut, amazing how fast RB die in the NFL, even elite ones. I dont know much about Torain or Williams guess we will see in the near future.  You do have McNabb, I dont care what people say about him he is a good QB, best you guys had since a SB day so that will help you, he has some good years in him left. I was extremely impressed with the Skins D opening day, fell off after that so am up in the air with it. I think the owner and management biggest problem for the Skins, once that problem is gone then you will be back to being an elite force again, that and cut about 5 years off the average age on the roster. I think the Eagles gonna win by double digits this week, one thing McNabb cant do is bring a team back, he can keep you in it or blow you up, but never brings you back. That is what will happen Sunday. GO EAGLES!!

Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: October 1, 2010 11:40 am

Week 4 Key Matchup: Sufficient skill for 'Skins?

I have been saying for the better part of three years that the Redskins problems haven't been coaching or what the scheme is the real problem is they are an old team without quality skill players.

Vinny Cerato and Danny Boy are so inept at forming a roster that they have suck this team talent wise with poor free agent decisions, horrible draft picks (at least the ones they actually decided to keep) and overall poor management skills.

Mike Shanhan didn't all of a sudden forget how to coach and yet this team is struggling mightily especially on offense because they just don't have young talent, energy players who can perform at a high level.

That is why I was so against their compete now philosophy for this year. The team should have been blown up at rebuilt through the draft and proper scouting of college players and other young talent.

Until you can infuse this team with some quality talent at key skill positions they will continue to struggle and lose.

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