Monday, December 14, 2009

Game Recap: Skins Dominate Raiders 34-13

Finally the Redskins played four quarters and finished off a struggling team. It was nice to see the Redskins attack instead of just play for the field goal and hope the defense would hold. For another week, many of the same players who have stepped it up again showed their skills and have solidified or improved their status for the future. Also, a few players stepped up their games and played great as well.

Before I go to the Good, Bad and Ugly section, I just want to talk about the Raiders. They played sloppy, both teams did really. But I will say that with Gradkowski in there, this team is pretty dangerous. They have a good run game, a good TE in Miller and a young WR corp. Their defense pummeled Jason Campbell with blitzes. Don't let the final score fool you, It was 17-10 Skins before Gradkowski went down with an injury. Based on the play of the Skins, I still think they win but it would have been much closer. Thanks JaMarcus Russel. He is just bad......and that's saying it nicely.

Redskin fans have been split on Jason Campbell. I know I have been. You see flashes of greatness mixed with inconsistency and as a fan you wonder if Campbell really is "the guy" or not. But one thing no one could ever question is his work ethic. The guy busts his ass. We know this. We know he does his workouts in the offseason (more on this later). We know he is generally one of the first players at practice and one of the last players to leave. We know he spends a great deal of time studying film and working with his receivers to get better with them. There are other QBs who are more talented, more fluid passers but not nearly as many that work as hard as Campbell (and gets so much abuse also). That's the difference between Campbell and Russel. Russel doesn't get what he needs to do to make it in the NFL. Campbell does. One day Campbell will see his hard work pay off even if it isn't in a Redskins jersey.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Brian Orakpo- (4 sacks, 6 tackles, 1 FF). Orakpo had another career day tying a team record with 4 sacks in a game. In his rookie season, his 11 sacks continues to shatter the all time Redskins rookie record. Here's an interesting bit of trivia: Dexter Manley, the Redskins all time sack leader (and my favorite player) didn't have an 11 sack season until his 3rd season. Not to mention Orakpo had this game without the help of Albert Haynesworth.

The Rest of the D- A combined 8 sacks. When was the last time the Redskins had this many sacks? Of course this was without the help of Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall. For the first time in the last few games, the D didn't fall apart late in the game. Fletcher had another solid but quiet game with 9 tackles. Andre Carter had 2 sacks (11 on the year). You didn't hear Tryon, Smoot or Rogers name much which is normally a good thing when it comes to corners. Reed Doughty had a nice sack. Lorenzo Alexander also had a sack and made two key tackles on special teams.

Jason Campbell-  (16/28, 222yds, 2TDs 106.5 rating). Another superb outing by Campbell. Especially when he was getting hit/sacked/hurried early and often. The workouts have paid off since Campbell is able to recover from hits that would have knocked a few QBs out of the game.I don't think Campbell gets enough credit for the times when he plays this well. The Skins should bring him back next year or at least tender him very high and force any team interested to give up close to what the Bears gave up for Cutler.

Fred Davis- ( 3 catches for 50 yards, 2 TDs). He's become a true Red Zone threat for the Skins. Hopefully, Davis can continue to perform this well when Chris Cooley is healthy.

Quinton Ganther-  (93 yards of total offense, 2 TDs). Ganther is a bowling ball with legs. He's elusive and can run over people. What I like about Ganther is that if he needs a yard, he can get a yard. Sure he can get more than that, but it's that tough yard (y'know the 3rd and short, 4th and 1 type of yardage) that we haven't seen Portis, Betts, Cartwright, Sellers etc. be able to consistently get over the years. Also, Ganther has the total package of running, blocking and catching passes where other Skins RBs are good/great at one or two of those skills but not all three.

Graham Gano- (2 FGs 41,46 and 2 Touchbacks on kickoffs). Not a bad start to your career as a rookie. Sure, you struggled in preseason with the Ravens, but you go on to kick the game winning FG in the UFL championship and have a great first NFL game with the Skins. It has been a long time since we've seen KOs that actually go into the endzone. Welcome to the fold Mr. Gano.

Antwaan Randle-El- Pretty much ARE has been reduced to Mr. Fair Catch on punt returns, but even then he's hasn't looked great. He muffed one fair catch that was recovered by the Raiders. Another punt he let bounce and it went for another 18 yards. I don't get why he's still back there when you have Devin Thomas, DeAngelo Hall, Justin Tryon and Santana Moss who could all at least platoon as the PR until next season.

Laron Landry- Really shouldn't even be here if I had a medium section like Mr. I's Winners and Losers, but since I don't he falls into the Bad section. He was toasted a few time by Darren Mcfadden. He even got beat on a double move, but recovered to make the tackle. Let's face it, Landry isn't Sean Taylor and the Redskins need to continue to use him in the box and play more in zone coverage for him to fare well. He can not cover a player in one on one situations. The Redskins will need to find a starting caliber FS next season (unless they believe Kareem Moore is the guy) and move Landry to mostly as SS.

Dick Stockton and Charles Davis- I like both, but neither called a very good game. Stockton kept on calling Orakpo, Orapko (Seriously, he must have been speaking to Vinny Cerrato. Only Vinny pronounces his name as Orapko). It's O-Rak-Po. Not that hard. Here's a brain teaser: try to pronounce Ndamukong Suh. Charles Davis was wrong on his calls mostly and the kicker was that he knew he was wrong a few times and kept talking about it. Davis is pretty good on NFL Network's Path to the Draft show that I can't wait until it comes back.

The Refs- Almost every call went the Redskins way. I actually almost felt bad for the Raiders. Almost. Some of the plays were called well, but the Moss PI penalty (Moss slips, fall down and a Raider player trips on him and is called for Pass Interference) was total BS and the Skins got a few other breaks as well from questionable penalties. I thought the refs had it out for the Skins, but they really had it out for the Raiders.

The O-line- Horrible performance. Campbell is sacked three times, hit a bunch of times and hurried often. Stephon Heyer and Levi Jones both struggled, We need some improvements on the O-line......nothing new.

- Could Mike Williams be the next Leonard Davis or Robert Gallery?
Williams has played the last two games as the starting right guard. He hasn't looked bad and is actually a pretty good run blocker that can drive players off the ball.. His big problem as a tackle was that in space he struggled with speed rushers and usually lost his balance or his position trying to keep up with them. With him being in the "phone booth" (ie. a guard between two walls of a Center and a Tackle), there is less open space for a defender to run around Williams, thus he can use his size to dominate the defender at the point of attack. Keep an eye out for him as a guard from now on. He'll never be a great pull guard like a Randy Thomas, but his bulk makes him a good mauler in a power run game.

- Zorn deserves this win.
If you looked at some of the other junk teams like the Bucs, Rams and Lions on Sunday, then you would have noticed how these teams have given up for the season and ar battling for draft status. The Skins haven't done this. If anything, they've played harder the last few weeks that they have the entire season. Zorn won't be back next year (most likely) but despite the injuries and the drama, he has kept this team fighting and you have to like and respect what he has accomplished in the last few weeks.

- Drop the Cooley trade talk.
Instead of thinking about trading one of our best players to get maybe a 2nd round pick, let's think about what a good coordinator can do with two talented tight ends and a few guys who may be able to stretch the field with their speed/size (Kelly, Moss, Thomas, Mitchell). Cooley is one of the few guys we actually drafted that has succeeded here and wants to stay here. Let's find a way to use both TEs.

- Vinny deserves some credit.
I hate even thinking this, let alone typing it but some of the success has to be credited to Vinny Cerrato. He brought in Ganther. Drafted Orakpo, Thomas, Kelly and Davis. Brought in Levi Jones and Mike Williams. Of course we're 4-9 and  12-17 since he became Snyder's official number two (pun intended), he never seriously addressed the O-line in particular the aging starters and is the sole person responsible for the Campbell debacle during the off season and the Zorn circus during the regular season.

- Vinny will be back next year.
Mark it (Arrrrrgggggghhhhh!!!!!). Especially since he and Snyder have been scouting QBs Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen. That's right, Snyder is a scout too.

- Campbell should be back next year.
I think he's earned it. He has a good relationship with his receivers. He has his teammates respect. I think he's shown he can win if you put him in the right situations and put the right people around him. No he's not Drew Brees or Peyton Manning, but I think eventually he could be like a Doug Williams.

- We hurt our draft status with the win.
I'm guessing we're in or around the 7th spot as of now. Hopefully Okung will still be there at # 7, but I'm thinking we'll have to be around # 4 to get him.

I could say more but I think this is plenty
Next Week: MNF vs. The G-Men.

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