Sunday, November 8, 2009

Weekly Recap/ Game Recap Skins Fall to Falcons 31-17

I will talk about what's gone on the past week in a moment, but first the game.

I have never seen a team that takes almost a half to show up. This seems to continue to happen week after week and I'm not sure whether the Skins are poor at game preparation (and make good halftime adjustments) or the opposing teams just get lulled to sleep by their dominance and then have to come back late to prevent an upset. I had thought that it was just Jason Campbell, but I really think it's the entire team.

As much as this game was poorly executed and poorly played, I will say that there are some players who to quote Joe Gibbs "played their guts out"and fought hard to give the Skins a chance to come back. But the reality is that this is a really, really bad team with a few players who are talented but aren't enough to make this team a winner.

The defense made some major errors and some generally boneheaded plays. DeAngelo Hall still can't tackle. Albert Haynesworth jumped off-sides twice keeping a drive alive....... But I think he was possessed or something so I blame the demons, just look at the first few seconds of the video below (if that isn't somebody being possessed, I don't know what is).

And LaRon Landry still likes to make really, really stupid late hits for personal foul penalties (see below and notice the Haynesworth shove) and takes bad angles on plays.

Overall there is just a lack of execution and a lack of discipline on this team. Jim Zorn's tenure is starting to feel much like Norv Turner's time here. Little attention to detail, little attention to technique and detail and a great deal of frustration from the fans.

The mistakes and the lack of personnel to execute anything (ie offensive line giving up 5 sacks- I'm pointing the finger directly at you Mr. Cerrato!!!) are clear to me that this team is in shambles and not a few players will fix the problems. Really, the Redskins need to clean house. Much like what the Falcons had to do after Bobby Petrino/Mike Vick problems. The Skins need to change the attitude and culture of this team and try to build around the young players that will be here for the next 3-5 years.

Oh yeah, the Falcons have a great team. Michael Turner is a beast, Matt Ryan is a smart kid who is a real franchise QB and their defense is fast and tackles well. The scary thing is that the Skins almost came back. If I was a Falcons fan, I'd be glad they won and move on.

Ok. Good, Bad and Ugly time:

The Good

Brian Orakpo- 2 sacks (5.5 season). Not bad for a rookie. Even better for a player who is a natural DE and has been relegated to playing SLB with minimal snaps at DE. Orakpo right now is the only reason the 2009 draft hasn't been a complete and total bust. Orakpo may still have a legitimate shot at being DRotY.

Marko Mitchell- Finally activated and he didn't let the Mitchell Militia (c'mon Colt has the Cult of Colt and there are some rabid Marko Mitchell fans out there, he gets his own group as well) down as he caught 2 passes for 22 yards in his debut.

Shawn Suisham- 1/1 from 48 yards. 10/10 on the season and still continues to kick well.

Sam Paulescu- 3 punts: Long 53 yards, net avg. 46 yds. Not a bad fill in job for Hunter Smith and he seemed to hold the ball well for Suisham. Could Hunter the punter be replaced by Paulescu?

Jason Campbell- 15/22 for 196, 1TD, 1INT. Frankly this was a pretty good performance by Campbell. Maybe his best all season. The INT was on Fred Davis in my opinion (even though the ball was high). Campbell was sacked 5 times but kept playing and made some plays that I wasn't sure he would make (like the Yoder TD and finding Sellers for a huge gain). Campbell also ran for his life a few times (5 carries for 40 yards) to get a few first downs. I don't think Campbell will be back next year but I clearly don't hold him fully accountable for this team's struggles. If anything, Campbell nearly brought the Skins back today.

Ladell Betts- (15 carries, 70 yds. 1TD) Filled in well for an injured Clinton Portis. It's the first time since, well the start of the season where we saw a RB with some burst and fought for extra yards.

The Bad
Run Defense- (27 carries, 181 yards, 2TDs). Michael Turner just dominated as the Falcons ran at Andre Carter and made the most of it. Add poor tackling, taking poor angles and getting blocked, the Skins looked horrible.

O-line- Most of sacks came early (I believe 4 sacks by the middle of the 1st half) but in the end, they gave up 5 sacks total. The run game sputtered at times. This has to be the worst O-line in the league. There was one time when the Falcons only sent 3 players and......they still sacked Campbell.

Penalties- (10/88yds) Stupid penalties, just shows a lack of concentration. Plenty of holds and offsides. The one penalty where two Redskins were lined up in the neutral zone for a punt is just inexcusable (it also gave Atlanta a 1st down).

The Ugly
- I think Clinton Portis' career may be over. Prior to the concussion he wasn't looking good (4/4 yards). On the season he's averaging just under 4 yards a carry and has only 1 rushing TD. While the O-line has been horrible, Portis hasn't looked much better. I have to think CP will be out next week against the Broncos.

- LaRon Landry isn't getting any better. I remember that Sean Taylor also caused personal fouls and took bad angles early is his too short career. But by 2006, it seemed that Taylor had figured out how to take better angles, was a better student of the game and didn't cost his team 15 yards repeatedly for late hits. Three years into Landry's career, he's still making similar costly mistakes. Are the coaches not noticing this?

- Are the expensive free agents worth it? Dockery has been the little amount of stability on this team. He didn't cost the team that much and I don't remember many significant penalties coming from him. DeAngelo Hall has been really hit and miss. He's the only DB with an interception and leads the team with INTs (3). But his tackling is lousy and today was supposed to be his statement game.......we didn't see much. Haynesworth is a great edition, he's helped give Carter and Orakpo opportunities to make sacks with their skills. But I still wonder if the Skins would have been better if they had used that $100 million for a few O-linemen, a SLB and a couple of DTs.

- Dear Vinny,
Please don't ever, ever state again that Mike Williams was how you addressed our brittle O-line. That is not an upgrade or an improvement. You're actually making me think keeping a past his prime Jon Jansen would have been the better move. Oh and you're fired. You can't draft generally well and you can't address key positions when there are gaping holes.

Snyder's Apology and Riggo's "Dark Heart"

As you know by now Dan Snyder made some comments apologizing to the fans about the team and how disappointed he is by the team and the franchise's performance. I have mixed feelings on the comments, since from what I've read and seen on Redskin's Showtime was that Snyder only made the comments to a few reporters and didn't really field questions from those who was there.

I don't think Snyder handles the media well, but I do think the comments were sincere. I do believe that Snyder wants this team to win. Does he want to make money? Sure. If the Redskins was my team I'd like to make good money off of the Redskins fans. I mean he did spend $800 million to buy the team, you'd like to make that (and more) back. But I think Snyder does want to be a part of NFL history with his Redskin teams winning multiple Super Bowls.

The problem is that he doesn't know how to do it. Maybe he is willing to learn or he just thinks he's on the right track. I'm not sure. He has the wrong people around him to help. He also has burned a great deal of bridges over the 10 seasons he's owned the team and after the Zorn tenure/fiasco, he'll probably burn a few more. Snyder needs somebody whom he respects and will accept his authority to run the team. I just don't know if that man exists and he would want to come here. Actions speak louder than words Mr. Snyder, fix this team!!!

As for Riggo.......
I've always enjoyed the commentary of John Riggins. I really miss him on Redskins Report. Riggo was either the voice of reason to counter Sonny and George's blind homerism or he was the crotchety old guy that always saw the glass half-empty while telling kids to get off his lawn. This is the same guy who made the "Phoenix rise from the ashes" speech a few years ago. Now Riggo has been coming out lately going after various Redskin members from Portis to Zorn to Vinny to Snyder.

While many of the things Riggo has said I fully agree, I wonder what is the motive behind it. Is he trying to be the voice of reason again when there are only thousands of other fans/media/experts/former players/coaches etc. saying the same thing? Is he looking for a new job within the organization or with a media outlet? Or is he just throwing the team under the bus after his departure from ESPN 980? I mean Riggo did say he had an axe to grind. Either way it's just another part of this annoying soap opera that has gotten on my nerves. John, here's my suggestion: What do the Skins do to fix the problems? If in your opinion is no answer b/c things won't change until Snyder is gone, then there's really no need to have further weekly tirades about the Skins. We get it. The Skins suck. Next.

Notable Vinny Quote of the Week

"Criticize us as we're 2-5 in football, because we HAVE made some mistakes, and we admit that. And that's what we're working on correcting."
(Vinny on Inside the Red Zone via DC Sport's Bog)

Trust me. I have plenty of stuff to say about the many, many, many mistakes this team has made over the last few years (decades). I have no need to get personal about the owner or his staff.

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