Sunday, September 21, 2014

IIWII Week Three Staff Picks

Hail all football fans!!!! Another season is upon us and as we all know its gonna be unpredictable. With that being said once again FedEx Al and I (Tattooed Scorpio) try to predict these crazy games. Last year, I think we did alright for non experts. So we decided to try it again. My week 3 picks are as follows with Al's picks below mine:

* Point spread based on current line from CBS Sports and based on home team.
** Games times are in Eastern Standard Time
 
San Diego at Buffalo (-2.5) 1PM, CBS

TS: Buffalo is a shocking 2-0  while San Diego is 1-1 after handling the defending champs last week. Even tho San Diego is making that dreaded cross country trip I believe that they will prevail against a Buffalo. E.J. Manuel and Sammy Watkins look like a dynamic duo already but San Diego is a complete team that will probably use the same ball control strategy as they did against Seattle. 
Pick: San Diego

Al:  The point spread kind of tells you that despite a 2-0 record and playing at home this week, Vegas doesn't seem comfortable giving the Bills a decent edge. While I don't think the Bills start is a sham, I do think it may not be as good as people think. The Chargers will put a great deal of pressure on Manuel and will probably slow a somewhat successful Bills run game. The biggest thing going for Buffalo is the cross country trip for the Chargers and that they beat the Super Bowl champs last week. This seems crazy but Buffalo may stun again and go 3-0.
Pick: Buffalo
 
Dallas at St. Louis (-0.5) 1PM, FOX

TS: Dallas will be traveling to St.Louis to try and duplicate their success in Tennessee. They ran the ball well with Demarco Murray who is leading the league in rushing after two weeks. After this week he will still be leading the league because we all know how he loves to run all over the Rams. He has almost 500 yards rushing in his last three game versus the rams. 
Pick: Dallas 

Al: I think Dallas will have a harder time moving the ball against the Rams compared to the Titans. However, the Rams have no quarterback. As long as Romo doesn't throw 3-4 INTS Cowboys should win this game easily.
Pick: Dallas
 
Washington at Philadelphia (-6.5) 1PM, FOX

TS: This is a big game for both teams and DeSean Jackson, but he is a game time decision with a slight separation of his shoulder. I feel if does suit up he'll be on a limited snap count because it's no reason to risk season long issues for one game even though it's a division rival. Chip Kelly's offense has looked good but it's not consistent and that's what you get with a fast paced offense. I feel the Redskins defense will be able to contain Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy. 
Pick: Redskins
 
Al: The key for the Redskins is discipline on defense and pounding the ball down the Eagles' throats. This could be a serious trap game for the Eagles since they have the 49ers next week. I'm a homer and I think the 'Skins may make up for the week 1 loss by pulling a major upset this week.
Pick: Redskins
 
Houston at New York Giants (+2.5) 1PM, CBS

TS: The Texans looking to go 3-0 against a Giants team that looks very bad this early part of the season. All I have to say is ....J.J. Watt. Eli will have another long day trying to learn this new offense with limited running game and unsure receivers. Arian Foster will run the ball effectively opening up the play action game. 
Pick: Houston

Al: The Houston defense is just SICK. Meanwhile, the Giants look sickening. Houston may have a repeat game like they did last week against the Raiders.
Pick: Houston
 
Minnesota at New Orleans (-10.5) 1PM, FOX
TS: Both of these teams coming off bad losses last week and wanna get that bad taste out of their mouths. New Orleans will get a boost being back at home and I believe will get their first win of the season. 
Pick: New Orleans

Al: Beyond AP what do the Vikings have? Oh yeah, they don't have AP anymore either.
Pick: New Orleans
 
Tennessee at Cincinnati (-7.5) 1PM, CBS

TS: The Bengals look focused and balanced in their first two games, which is shocking being they lost their offensive and defensive coordinators to head coaching jobs. The Titans looked bad against the Cowboys last week with a weak defense so I don't think any thing different facing a potent Bengals defense. 
Pick: Cincinnati

Al: Couldn't write it any better than what TS just wrote.
Pick: Cincinnati
 
Baltimore at Cleveland (+1.5) 1PM, CBS

TS: This the Ravens third division game in three weeks and their looking to beat the Browns who shocked the world by beating the Saints last week. The Browns defense looking to keep improving and forcing turnovers to beat the Ravens. Brian Hoyer is doing just enough to help them win. 
Pick: Cleveland

Al: Kyle Shanahan knows Gary Kubiak's scheme. Matter of fact he runs practically the same scheme (minus the zone reads). The Ravens are asking their third string RB to carry the ball. I smell an upset at The Factory of Sadness.
Pick: Cleveland
 
Green Bay at Detroit (-2.5) 1PM, FOX

TS: This NFC north rivalry goes way back and as always it will be a hard hitting game. Detroit's defense has been playing pretty well giving up a avg. of 255 yards a game and only 57 yards giving up on the ground. Green Bay is also averaging almost 300 yards passing a game. With the combo of Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson thru the air and Lacy on the ground I think will be a little too much for the Lions at home. 
Pick: Green Bay
 
Al:  I just don't have a lot of faith in the Lions. Green Bay has the better offense.
Pick: Green Bay
 
Indianapolis at Jacksonville (+7.5) 1PM, CBS

TS: The good thing about this game is that someone will finally have their 1st victory of the season. The Colts coming off a disappointing loss to the Eagles and the Jaguars coming off a thrashing by the Redskins are looking to improve their records and get a division win. Even tho its the home opener for the Jaguars I think Andrew luck and crew are the better team and they will show it. 
Pick: Indianapolis

Al: The Colts have lost two tough games against the Broncos and the Eagles. They finally get their first win of the season against a banged up and struggling Jaguars team.
Pick: Indianapolis
 
Oakland at New England (-14.5) 1PM,CBS
TS: Well in this cross country match up I see it being over pretty early. Oakland is bad and New England is well....New England. Nothing much else to say. 
Pick: New England

Al: I feel bad for the folks who get this game to watch locally.
Pick: New England
 
San Francisco at Arizona (+3.5) 4:05 PM, FOX

TS: This is a big match up early in the season in the now toughest division in football and shockingly Arizona is at the top of the division. The Cardinals offense looks very potent with weapons that know their role and excel at what their asked to do. The 49ers lost their home opener to the wounded Bears and Colin's three INTs are the main reason they lost that game. I see a tough battle that I give the edge to the home town Cardinals. 
Pick: Arizona

Al: The Cardinals got lucky and were able to win last week with Drew Stanton at QB. If Carson Palmer can't go this week, Stanton won't be able to do it for a second week in a row. The Giants are horrible, the 49ers are not.
Pick: San Francisco
 
Denver at Seattle (-5.5) 4:25PM, CBS

TS: This rematch of the Super Bowl will be the marque matchup of the week. Seattle coming of a loss to the Chargers and Denver beating their rival the Chiefs. With the fast paced offense of Denver it will play into the hands of the Seattle defense. The question is will they use the same formula San Diego used of ball control and winning the time of possession battle. Seattle has a strong running game and a healthy ( so far) Percy Harvin but the Broncos defense is better then they were in February. The 12th man is sure to be loud and that's the deciding factor in my opinion. 
Pick: Seattle

Al: I don't trust the point spread in the game. Why would the Seahawks be only favored by 5 after dominating the Broncos in the Super Bowl and playing at home? Something doesn't pass the smell test here. Going Denver just because I don't like the numbers.
Pick: Denver
 
Kansas City at Miami (-4.5) 4:25 PM, CBS

TS: The Chiefs are looking to get on the winning side of things after losing their first two games. Miami is trying to replicate  their success in week 1 when they shocked the world and beat the Patriots. With storms in the forecast this will be a nasty ground battle won in the trenches. With Jamaal Charles out with a high ankle sprain I expect a heavy dose of Knile Davis a young powerful, quick back that will get plenty of touches. Most importantly it keeps Alex Smith from doing too much and throwing int's is always too much. 
Pick: Kansas City

Al: While I need Knile Davis to have a good game in fantasy, the reality is that the Chiefs just aren't the same team they were in 2013. I expect Miami to make some turnovers and win at home.
Pick: Miami
 
Pittsburgh at Carolina (-3.5) SNF, NBC

TS: This will be a hard hitting affair for the Sunday night football. Carolina is lacking a true passing game. TE Greg Olsen really being their only true threat but their read option based run game and potent, stingy top 10 defense make them a tough match up. Pittsburgh offense is looking good with LeVeon Bell carrying the workload out of the backfield catching and running. Their defense isn't as feared as they once were but they do have some young talent and as Pittsburgh does they will develop them. 
Pick: Carolina

Al: The Panthers will capitalize off of some turnovers that they will generate against the Steelers. After watching the Steelers/Ravens on TNF, it's clear that Pittsburgh will have trouble generating offense. Cam Newton will be putting up some points tonight.
Pick: Carolina

Chicago at New York Jets (-2.5) MNF, ESPN

TS: The Jets are looking to win this game specifically running the ball on Chicago's depleted defense. expect a heavy dose of the run game from the leagues leading rushing attack and the 3rd ranked defense. Chicago has a big WR combo in Marshall and Jeffrey and believe they will test the Jets defense. As long as Jay Cutler doesn't turn it over. With that being said. 
Pick: Jets

Al: Chicago is banged up and heading to NJ to face a strong Jets defense. I think if the Jets limit their mistakes, they have a good chance to win this week.
Pick: Jets 

And that's it for week three. Please feel free to leave comments. Are we right? Are we crazy? Which teams are you picking today?

Also, check out our coverage and comments throughout the day on Twitter @ Tattooed Scorpio and @IIWIISkinsBlog and like our IIWII facebook page.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

TNF Predictions: Buccaneers @ Falcons


OK, real quick prediction time from me an Tattooed Scorpio.

FedEx Al: Going with the Falcons here. They are a much better team in the Georgia Dome compared to playing outdoors like they did on Sunday. The Bucs are likely down a few starters and while they can't go 0-3 without pretty much calling it a season, but I don't like their chances.

Tattooed Scorpio: Atlanta Falcons. Going with the home team.

There you have it folks, 2 picks for the Falcons. Hopefully, we'll be right after the game.

Check back with us on Sunday for our picks for the rest of the week including Redskins/Eagles.

#HTTR and enjoy the game!

Redskins/Jaguars 2014 Photo Gallery

(....And Morris walks into the end zone. Touchdown, Washington Redskins!!!!!)
I think myself and Tattooed Scorpio (@TattooedScorpio on Twitter) must of celebrated too much after the 'Skins 41-10 victory over the Jags on Sunday because we're a little behind this week in getting out our weekly articles.

I'm still working on this week's GBU since I only had a chance to re-watch the game last night and to be honest there won't be a lot of "bad" in this weeks article.

Anyway...... It's not my best work as I only had my cell phone on me for the game (to be honest I wasn't really planning on taking pictures) but here's a few shots I took of the game.

No, these aren't my seats for the 2014 season. I bought them from a friend and to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm going to another game at FedEx this season. You may have heard that I gave up my season tickets at the end of last season but I wanted to go to the home opener at least and watch my team win.

GBU coming up today. Should have something to say about the Nats and O's and hopefully I can get back up with TS and start up our weekly prediction (granted two weeks late) thread.

Until then, here's some pics from the game.....Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Week Two: Thoughts And Observations After The Redskins Vs Jaguars Game

The Redskins defense came to play and make a statement and they did. 10 points given up, 10 sacks and a dominating performance throughout the whole game. Congrats to Ryan Kerrigan on a career day and franchise record tying four sacks.
Via washington.cbslocal.com


   Hail Redskins Nation!!!! It was a Victory Monday and since I've been busy I guess we'll extend it to Victory Tuesday. I find myself  conflicted about this victory with all the quarterback controversy talk and our injured franchise QB. I love that Kirk Cousins played well and led the team to a victory but the divide it has caused in Redskins Nation is troubling to this life long fan. We should all be talking about how good the team looked as a whole not about who's better under center. The team is bigger than one player or position. A win is a team win a loss is a team loss and that should be where it ends. You all know I'm a big RGIII fan but I am not a Kirk Cousins hater. I'm happy we have a capable above average back up quarterback that can come in when needed and is ready to lead the team to victory. The offense looked great from the start of the game with Robert Griffin III playing and when Kirk had to come in to take over he didn't miss a beat and showed how the offense is supposed to run. From the start the defense had it set in their minds they they were gonna dominate and that they did. The outstanding effort from the whole defense for the entire game was evident.  Tying the franchise record with the 10 sacks, giving up only 10 points and with only two blown assignments but only one the did damage (Bacarri Rambo) basically shut down the Jacksonville offense from the start of the game. The special teams even had an outstanding day. No mistakes, great coverage, hard hitting and superb returns by Andre Roberts. The punter Tres Way has impressed me with his mile high booming punts but the fact that he kicked off for most of the game and did a decent job is a bonus. Now for the quarterback situation I'm taking the high road because the debate is gonna be as decisive as the race, religion or any political square off. All I will say is I hope everyone understands the whole picture and not just on the field view even tho that's all that we feel really matters. I will elaborate more in a future post about the current situation with the quarterbacks and the franchise. Now lets get to my thoughts and observations.

Via foxsports.com
From the first offensive snap it seemed like this would be the Redskins day. Lining up in the pistol RGIII took the zone read play and hit the edge when the DE crashed down the line and got a 12 yard gain for a first down. In the short time he was in the game he looked like the RGIII of old.  The deep ball to DeSean Jackson that was ruled incomplete (incorrectly) was a nice throw but he could have led him a little more (has the arm strength but still learning D Jax speed). You can see they were starting to build in game chemistry.

Via foxsports.com
 I'm gonna say it now. I believe Alfred Morris can lead the league in rushing this season. His vision is remarkable, his ability to stop on a dime and cutback, the power that he runs with and his improved open field moves are just a few things that I see. He's not that 80 yard take it to the house type back but he can do everything else you need your starting running back to do. Once he improves his hands he will become unstoppable in my opinion.

Via redskins.com
I said when we signed Andre Roberts would be a quality addition that would pay off and it has especially on special teams. With DeSean Jackson going down early in the game Andre got his chance to shine and that he did. He did everything from running reverses, catching almost everything thrown his way, 37 yard punt return that he was one block from taking it to the house. His ability to play inside and outside helped the offense not skip a beat when D Jax went down. His special teams in both games has been very impressive. He makes great decisions and does not hesitate or do alot of dancing around when it's time to go. Once a weakness out WR corp is now deep as ever with talent and quality depth.

Via redskins.com
Now we all know the saying "next man up has to be ready whenever his number is called" well Kirk Cousins knows it and lives by it. He came in after the injury to RGIII and didn't miss a beat. First pass of the game for him he looked off the safety and waited patiently for Pierre Garcon's route to develop and then hit Darrel Young for a wide open 20 yard TD. Kirk was in a rhythm for the most part hitting targets in stride, throwing receivers open, knowing where to go with the ball and most importantly didn't turn the ball over. Now the true test will be this Sunday against Philadelphia where they will have a whole week to gameplan for him. Some of those intermediate wide open targets may not be there and you better believe they will be bringing pressure up the A and B gaps (between the guards and center).


Via redskins.com
Everyone from fans, media, and some even at Redskins Park reportedly wondered why Jay Gruden would keep Jim Haslett on the staff after such a horrible 2013 defensively. Well I know it's only two games but the numbers and performances of the defense so far speak for themselves. The franchise record tying 10 sack game was what I dream of but didn't think I'd see it this soon. It looked as everyone on the defense was ready to play and do whatever it took to win this game. I've been a Haslett supporter since he's been here and it's good to see a standout performance from this improving unit.

Via redskins.com

The front seven got very good push, penetration, stayed home, wrecked havoc and kept the Jaguars offense in check all afternoon. It would make this article entirely too long if I highlighted every standout player on defense so I'll try to keep it brief. The standout performance of course was Ryan Kerrigan with his career and franchise record tying four sacks. He shares that record with his fellow OLB Brian Orakpo. I wonder if teams are gonna start sliding protection to Kerrigan like they do Orakpo. Problem is you can't slide protections both ways so now its pick your poison.  Jason Hatcher so far is showing that age is just a number and the number is 2.5 sacks in two games. He is a menace to block with his quick hands and strength. If he continues to play like this he will truly be one of the best pick ups of the offseason. Chris Baker  shows why he feels that his natural position is nose tackle. With three tackles and constant push up the middle and occupying of multiple blockers which makes life much easier for the linebackers flowing to the ball. Everyone was concerned about the defense at the outset of the season but it seems that finally with improved personnel and being in the same system for four years now is starting to come together. Not to mention with Brandon Meriweather coming back this week from suspension the defense has the potential to be even better going into Philadelphia this week. With the release of Rambo I believe the team can't deal with his constant taking of bad angles and missed tackles.


Via redskins.com
 I do wanna spotlight 2nd year CB David Amerson. Just watching him in coverage, the run game and his reading of receiver and routes and I truly believe this kid is gonna be a stud at corner for the Redskins for years to come. Bashuad Breeland almost got his first int and pick 6 on the same play in the second half. If he continues to develop and fine tune his craft the Redskins could have a formidable duo on the outside for years to come.





Home opener at FedEx Field
   I haven't been to a home opener in a few years. It felt great to be back in FedEx for such a dominate game and a victory. I love being surrounded by #RedskinsNation cheering and celebrating our team playing well for a whole 60 mins. Thanks Fedex Al for the great seats.  Thanks for reading and sharing. Feel free to like It Is What It Is page on Facebook and subscribe to the blog. Just enter your email address and you will receive a email whenever we have a new post. Thanks for your great continued support. As always #HTTR and #InRG3AndKirkITrust

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The GBU: Redskins/Texans Season Opener

(The DY Touchdown just wasn't enough as the 'Skins fall 17-6 on Sunday. Photo: David J. Phillip/AP)

So, we're 0-1......

What I found most surprising about this game wasn't the missteps that cost the team the game or the few things that most fans will overlook that worked well (because the 'Skins lost so who cares what worked well right? Actually, wrong. But I'll get to that in a second.) but my sheer apathy to the way the Redskins lose. It wasn't just me either. My friend John, who came over to watch the game and enjoy the best part of Redskins football over the past decade - the tailgate, had the same reaction.

We weren't angry or screaming or even stunned. We just kind of shrugged our shoulders and accepted the mistakes as common things, not as something you'd see on a blooper reel or a game of Madden. This makes me a bit sad, but their is some hope on the horizon. The Redskins face the Jaguars next week, so hopefully mistakes can be fixed (yes, they are fixable) and the Redskins can bounce back and be back at .500 by the end of week two.

So, let's look back at the Houston game one last time and see what worked, what didn't and just how did RGIII do this week. It's time for the first The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the 2014 regular season.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week One: Thoughts and Observations After the Redskins Vs Texans Game



Week one was a uneven performance. Special teams and turnovers were the primary cause for the 0-1 start. The Redskins looked improved in some areas but the same in others against the Texans.
Via eog.com

    Hail Redskins Nation!!! I was hoping to start the season with a Victory Monday post but things didn't work out as I had planned. There was some good and some bad but mostly the same from this team. Inconsistency and mental mistakes at the worst possible time. Well anytime is a bad time in the NFL but you know what I'm saying. After watching the game and collecting my thoughts (mostly shaking my head). I will say the team played hard but sometimes were ineffective on offense and are not good enough to overcome turning the ball over three times. Especially one of the turnovers directly result in the game winning touchdown. The punt block for touchdown return by the Texans in the second quarter was  the momentum shift that they needed and they got it. I'll breakdown how they got it a little later. One part of this team that had to improve was special teams and in some categories they have but in others they have to correct the mental errors. The defense looked solid for the most part but a few 15 yard personal foul penalties and not getting of the field in the fourth quarter were the only negatives that stand out to me. As long as the mental mistakes are corrected, this team will win more games then they lose in my opinion. Now let's get to my thoughts, observations, and breakdowns after this game.

Via redskins.com
 

- The Redskins might want to start working these young guards harder in practice because if Chris Chester is the right guard for the whole season the team will look as inconsistent the whole season as they did on Sunday.

- Same goes for the right tackle position. Tyler Polumbus is a one dimensional right tackle. Run blocking he is above average but pass blocking he is a detriment to this team. The problem that I have is the the young players haven't unseated either him or Chester. Is it that they aren't ready or they are only good enough to be career back ups? The Redskins need to find out by putting them into the fire and see what happens.

Via redskins.com

- The knock on Jordan Reed was his ability to stay healthy. Unfortunately his strained hamstring in the first quarter is not going to change that perception (Plus he's my TE in both my fantasy leagues). I have a feeling this may be a lingering issue with this potentially dangerous offensive weapon. He has to learn to go down. When he has been injured it's normally when fighting for extra yards. Take what you can get and get down.

-Andre Roberts looks to be a solid pickup in free agency. His decision making on punt returns is in Brian Mitchell's words " A breathe of fresh air".  He knew when to fair catch, knew when to let it bounce and knew when to catch it and go. He catches the ball puts his foot in the ground and go. Perfect example was on the 25 yard punt return that swung field position. As the primary slot receiver he has shown a knack for getting open in the middle of the defense. Nearly made a big play in the second quarter but the catch was ruled out of bounds and challenged but wasn't enough evidence too overturn.

Via redskins.com

- Robert Griffin III had an efficient game with a quarterback rating of 96.7 but he did look rattled and indecisive sometimes as the pocket collapsed. Which it did very often against the Texans and their versatile D-lineman and newly signed 100 million dollar man J.J. Watt. RGIII still has improving to do but I believe it was a good start to build off of. Still needs to be quicker at making decisions. Getting rid of the ball, scanning the whole field and finding his open man quicker. But for his first real game at being more of a pocket passer I believe he played well. Not well enough to win but well enough to show he's learning.


- Jay Gruden's play calling in the first half was a little conservative but with the pressure that the Texans were generating...I understand. He seemed a little pass heavy in the first half despite Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr. were gashing the defense. The two most impressive drives of the day were both run heavy drives. For the most part the new coach did pretty well in his first game as a NFL head coach. Just like for the team and the quarterback he has room for improvement. A few plays I saw the zone read look or with a extra back or TE in the backfield. When this happened it caused the defense to hesitate and  created a few 10+ yard plays. Need to show that look more. Robert doesn't have to run but the fact the defense has to respect the threat it changes everything.

Via redskins.com

- Keenan Robinson has accomplished two of his NFL goals for this season. Starting at ILB for the Redskins and finishing the game healthy. Keenan had five tackles and a fumble recovery in his first career start but the numbers don't tell it all. He made good play calls, had good play recognition, and was going sideline to sideline with ease. It will be interesting when we face quality TE's during the season. Now with a linebacker that has size and speed maybe we can actually stop those seam routes that would always burn them.

- Jim Haslett called a very aggressive game but the defense only got a sack on the quarterback once even tho he was under constant pressure. The rush let down a some when Barry Cofield went out
Via redskins.com
with a high ankle sprain. No reports on how serious but his absence in the middle will be missed but Chris Baker and Kendric Golston (strained groin) will have to step up when needed. The defense wore down in the fourth quarter when Houston was able to run 13 plays for a little over six minutes and kick the game clinching field goal. With losing Cofield and Golston in essence shortened the rotation which might have attributed to the decline in the fourth.

- Special teams has improved in several areas but must improve in several areas and must erase the mental errors.  This was the case on the pivotal play of the game. The punt block for touchdown was a big mental error by Roy Helu Jr. He did not fully engage his man  properly on the inside and left too quickly and that gave his man all the advantage he needed. The good thing about it happening week one (trying to find a good thing about it) is that you can bet that special teams coach Kotwica will be addressing this issue first thing Monday morning. Also mental mistakes can be fixed and coached up. I know going forward that Roy Helu will not be leaving early again. The coverage was much improved on both kickoff and punt coverage and I've already spoken about the returns with Andre Roberts. Like I said previously it's going to be a learning and growing process and this was step one in that process.

Next week is the home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars who almost stunned the Philadelphia Eagles. If the errors are corrected this could be the first victory of Jay Gruden's career and the Redskins 2014 season with hopefully more to come. As always #HTTR4LIFE