Posted on: October 24, 2008 1:59 pm

Week 8 Update

It's been a while since posting a blog since it doesn't seem like much traffic comes this way, but I like to write, especially about Redskins football.

Washington had a solid performance on both sides of the ball in Weeks 3-5 against the Cardinals and then against 2 division rivals on the road, beating the Cowboys and Eagles to improve to an impressive 4-1 record.  They started the first third of the season without a turnover on offense; but in Week 6 that luck would change.  The offense gave up 3 turnovers on potential scoring drives and let the Rams hang around to notch a game-winning fieldgoal as time expired.  It was a seemingly inexplicable loss at the time, but after the Rams throttled the Cowboys, it doesn't sting so badly.

On to Week 7 to rebound.  Sitting in the 200-level seats of FedEx field for this game brought me right into the action and the intensity from the crowd despite a relatively boring first half against the Browns in Week 7.  This game featured another heavy dose of solid Skins defense that limited Cleveland's passing attack that seemed to come alive the week before against the Giants.  I felt like there wasn't a whole lot of creativity in the play-calling early in the game as several 3-and-outs resulted in punts while even the drives that started out nicely ended near midfield with no points to show.  Suisham's only attempt in the first half came as time expired just to ring it off the upright to remain scoreless.  I have to give credit to the Browns defense that showed up to play despite the lowly record and recent reputation.

It was the second half that featured all of the scoring, started by a 62-yard drive in the third quarter for a Portis TD.  The defense limited Cleveland to a FG on the ensuing drive to keep a 7-3 lead into the final frame.  A short field on the next Skins scoring drive led to a TD pass from Campbell to Moss to put the Skins up by 2 scores.  But it was the Browns that drove back down the field again on the ensuing drive just to be stoned at the goal line for a turnover on downs.  It seemed like Washington had this one wrapped up with little time remaining, but a nice tackle by the Browns' defense forced a Portis fumble and gave new hope.  Derek Anderson would complete a TD pass and a 2-point conversion to pull within a FG difference with under 3 minutes to go.  A Washington 3-and-out punt set up a short drive for the Browns who had a FG attempt to tie the game, but missed wide.

Pheww.  Deep breath.  Relax.  Redskins improve to 5-2 and look ahead to the Lions in Week 8.  I'm not sure much preview needs to be said about this game, but the Redskins need to be careful not to get caught looking ahead to a Monday night showdown against the Steelers.  It's no secret the Lions have looked unimpressive (to be kind) on both sides of the ball, so the Redskins should be able to post nice numbers in another victory.  Prediction: Skins 30, Lions 17.

Category: NFL
Tags: Redskins
Posted on: September 15, 2008 9:54 am

Week 2

Wow, what a game overall!

After learning that Marques Colston will be out for several weeks, I knew the legitimate long-ball threat was gone for the Saints, and they would have to rely on underneath stuff from Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey.  I picked the Redskins to win outright in all of my "office pools" with the opening game at FedEx Field.  I didn't expect the finish that would come.

I do have to admit I was quite apprehensive when I saw the Skins settling for field goals the entire first half: 5 drives, 5 FG attempts, 2 misses, and only 9 points--all very reminiscent of typical Skins play.  One play for a good offensive team like the Saints, and they were right back in it...and that's what happened.  A 10-9 lead for NO at half seemed like another typical poor offensive outing from the Skins where the defense would have to keep them in the game.

But the D gave up the TD on the opening drive of the 3rd Quarter.  But the Skins offense came alive with a 10-play, 83-yard drive of their own to punch it into the endzone and stay within one score.  The Hogs defense locked down and didn't allow any more points.  The next TD for the Saints came on a punt return to put the Skins down by 9.  But there was no panic, and Jason Campbell found 4 different WRs on the next scoring drive to set up Portis' scamper to the endzone to pull within 2.  It was the long 67-yd bomb to Santana Moss that showed the confidence in Campbell and his ability to deliver.  The defense stopped any comeback effort with an INT with 3 minutes to go.

Nine different players had at least one catch in the game, and Campbell went over 320 yds passing on the day with no INTs and the TD to Moss.  It was a solid performance from the offensive line allowing only 2 sacks all day.  And the defense was solid as usual, keeping the explosive Saints in check and coming up with the critical INT to end the game.

A quick preview of the next game shows a similar matchup with the Cardinals where they have an explosive passing game, but an average defense that will allow Campbell to throw as well.  Another close matchup that I give to the Redskins at home again due to the edge in the defense.

Category: NFL
Tags: Redskins
Posted on: September 12, 2008 2:55 pm

Week 1

I'm not so convinced that the Giants deserve a high mark for their overall performance in week 1. They totally went into a shell before the half, allowing the Redskins to hang around. One big play and the momentum would've shifted drastically. I also don't think the Giants defense did as much as been said rather than the Redskins just looking miserable on offense...thanks to the awesome play calling from Zorn and crew.

The Giants didn't record a sack after the first play and had no turnovers the entire game. The offense was held scoreless in the second half, and after the opening TD, two drives inside the red zone resulted in 6 points. Granted, they controlled the game while Washington looked confused and overwhelmed at times, but a heavy dose of Brandon Jacobs, who was literally running over defenders (ask Landry how his shoulder felt), and the Giants would have scored even more to put the game away.

Some positives for Washington include a second half of shut out defense, no turnovers, and a healthy squad to start. Washington needs to be more creative in the play calling so defenses can't tee up on predictable plays. They have talent, they just need to get consistency in the coaching staff and play book. A little more intensity and urgency from the start would've helped too (ie play the entire game like that 2-minute drill to end the first half...not the second half).

Also, look for rookie WR Malcolm Kelly to be in the lineup soon, as well as getting DBs Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs back from injuries.

Any thoughts out there for Week 1 performance or Week 2 preview?

Category: NFL
Tags: Redskins
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