Sunday, September 26, 2010

Game Recap: Skins Fall Hard to Rams.....Same as it Ever Was

Cue David Byrne:

 ("Same as it ever was"-- Look it's a Redskins fan after another loss to a bad team)

I guess it really doesn't matter who the coach is. Mike Shanahan, Jim Zorn, Joe Gibbs etc.....it really doesn't matter, they can't seem to win games against the teams they should beat. Oh yeah, every once in a while they beat a team they shouldn't beat and they hang with teams that are on their level. But they never can beat (and I mean dominate) the teams that just aren't as good as they are. This happened last year with Jim Zorn's team as they fell to the winless Lions 19-14 in a game that wasn't even close. Same thing can be said about today's game. At one point, I did feel a momentum shift towards the Redskins as they rallied back from a 14-0 deficit but that feeling was fleeting as the Skins fell apart after taking a 16-14 lead early in the third quarter.

I never did understand why the Skins can't out play teams like this. Look, the Rams won with Steven Jackson (groin) and O.J. Atogwe (thigh) on the sidelines. They held a Redskins defense with a O-line that has been very suspect (only Brian Orakpo sacked Bradford once). Sam Bradford had most of the game to throw with minimal amounts of pressure and how guys I've never heard of (Keith Toston and Kenneth Darby) had no problems running the ball on our porous D (25 carries for 71 yards and 1 TD) is unbelievable. I know Sam Bradford is going to be a very good QB in the NFL but all of the things I was expecting the Redskins to do (the exotic blitzes, overloads, tight man coverage)....they didn't. If anything, it looked like the Skins were will to play a soft zone during much of the game. When they did play man coverage, they didn't look so hot. DeAngelo Hall got beaten many times by guys that would be at best a #2 or #3 WR (or worse) on most teams. Bradford picked the Skins apart most of the day (23/32, 235 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT).

The offense wasn't much better. The good news is that the run game finally started to work. The bad news was the pass game was off with exception to a few big plays. In the second half the Rams made some adjustments or the Skins O-line just gave up as the run game came to a complete halt. Also the bootlegs and misdirection that had worked so well in the first half stopped. It seemed like the Skins just wanted to throw the ball deep and if they missed, oh well.

I also have some questions about personnel. If you wanted to bench Portis b/c Ryan Torain had the faster legs, that's fine. But, why when the Skins are in passing situations and they could use some help for Heyer and the rest of the O-line isn't Portis in the game. Unless he's hurt, he should be in there blocking his butt off. Same question about Devin Thomas. Banks has been cut and Armstrong is injured. You mean to tell me that Devin Thomas is so bad that with only 4 WRs he doesn't take a snap with the O? Not even as a blocker (correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see him on the field with the O during the portions of the game I watched)?

The Skins may have done some good things but again lost at some of the important stats. They were 0/3 in the Red Zone. They were only 1/10 on 3rd down conversions. They had 9 penalties for 65 yards. Most importantly they lost time of possession by a whole 10 minutes. Those are coaching issues and they need to be fixed.

Not much else to say other than this game is antithesis of what the fans were hoping to see out of the new Mike Shanahan Redskins. I had hoped we had finally overcome what the fans have been seeing for the last decade or so......instead, today we were sucker punched again with the past Redskins.

(This is the only Sucker Punch I have any interest of seeing/experiencing)

Ok, let's do some Good, Bad and Ugly and call it a night.....this game is giving me a migraine.

The Good

- The Run Game (17 carries, 116 yds). The run blocking looked great in the 1st half. Clinton Portis and Ryan Torain ran all over the place and it didn't seem like it was going to stop. The problem was that it was completely shut down in the second half and the Redskins didn't run the ball enough.

- Graham Gano. Made three field goals and one extra point. Had another good game with kickoffs and had to fill in as the punter when Josh Bidwell injured his hip.

- Reed Doughty. Generated a key fumble that gave the Redskins a very short field and led to a TD. Looked like it was going to be the play to turn the tide. Sadly, it didn't.

- Santana Moss (6 catches, 124 yds., 1 TD, 1 fumble). First game where Moss topped 100 yards and scored his first TD on the year. But had a fumble that led to a Rams TD and a stupid 15 yard crack back block penalty.

- Devin Thomas (6 KO returns, average 28.0 yds, long 31). One of these days he's going to break a kick off for a TD.

- Phillip Daniels (3 tackles). Awesome block of a 21yd FG. (end of 1st half)

- Kareem Moore (6 tackles, 5 solo, 1 INT). Nice to see him back on the field he does help the secondary.

The Bad

- Special Teams. We really don't have a punt returner currently on the team. Phillip Buchanon reminds me of Keenan McCardell as a punt returner in his last year or Antwaan Randle-El. Also, for the third week in a row we have either a FG or punt blocked or muffed. That's just unacceptable and that's on Danny Smith.

- Coaching. Again I don't understand why Portis is not out there pass blocking when you got Stephon Heyer on the field. You need to protect McNabb and Heyer on an island is a major mistake. I didn't understand why the emphasis on certain schemes that didn't work and why the coaches went away from the bootlegs and misdirection that did work.

- Receivers not named Moss or Cooley. Joey Galloway had no catches (although 1 deep ball looked like pass interference that wasn't called). Roydell Williams only had one catch. Fred Davis had two, but isn't being used enough. Anthony Armstrong was inactive. Why again isn't Devin Thomas being used. Is he so bad that he can't match what those guys are doing?

- DeAngelo Hall. After this week's "My Defense" rant, you would expect him to shut down the player(s) he's covering, or at least contain them and/or make a few big plays. The good news is that he really has become a decent tackler for a corner (I don't think he's at Carlos Rogers/Kevin Barnes level of nastiness but he's better than guys from the Deion Sanders school of CB). The bad news is that he was getting beat all day on various routes by guys who aren't close to being a top 10 WR in the league.

- Stephon Heyer. Two key holding calls and giving up pressure all day. I don't blame him really. He's just not a starting caliber LT. He can be an average starting RT and maybe play LT for a few snaps a game in a pinch but as a starter he's a liability and the Redskins didn't give him enough help.

- D-line. I like Adam Carriker but we have some serious problems at NT and DE. There is little push and little pressure from this unit. Haynesworth only seems "with it" in 4-3 sets and that's hit and miss.

The Ugly

- Skins deserved to lose this game. They looked horrible. They only seem to play hard when they face teams they're not supposed to beat or have about a 50/50 chance of winning. The good news is that the next three challengers should be highly favored to beat the Skins (@ Eagles, vs. Packers, vs. Colts)

- Skins fall to 2nd place in the NFCE. The Eagles are now the team on top with the win today and the Skins loss.

- Skins have lost 11 of the last 12 road games. Not good especially based on who they play at FedEx this season and the fact that the Skins aren't that much better at home.

Since I missed Friday Night Videos here are a few videos that have made me laugh. I hope they make you laugh as well. They have nothing to do with the Redskins or football. The Redskin fans could use a laugh today.

First, The Count from Sesame St. and how bleeping words turns a harmless song about counting into something very perverted and funny.


Next, the literal interpretation of the Men Without Hats song "Safety Dance"


hope this helps......next @ Eagles.

This Has been hard to watch

30-16  Rams.....we're finally put out of our misery. Another year wasted.
This is why I am not a journalist......I can't watch this.
I have Criminal Minds on A&E now.

Is Week Three A "Must Win" Week for the Redskins; NFL?

Last year, week three was an omen of doom for the Washington Redskins. They faced a bad (but getting better) Detroit Lions team and fell 19-14. It was a sign of the end of the Jim Zorn era, because if you couldn't beat Detroit (who was on a long losing streak going back to 2008) then you couldn't beat anybody. Today the Mike Shanahan 2010 Redskins face a similar challenge in the 0-2 Rams. A team that may have their QB of the future and RB of the now but very little of anything else. This ladies and gentlemen is what some would call a trap game, but I don't. This is a challenge to the Redskins. A challenge to test what this team is made of and what they will do as the team goes forward. Can the Redskins beat a beatable team? Can they send a message to the NFL that they are for real by beating a team that isn't there yet?

It's a good question. Both Jim Zorn and Joe Gibbs teams struggled against the easy teams. Will Mike Shanahan and the players stay up for a game that they should win or will they play down to the Rams level? If the Skins can figure it out and beat the Rams, it can mean that the Skins are still in contention to make a run for the NFCE title. Lose and forget about it.

At least the Skins have a win under their belt. There are a good amount of teams that have yet to win a single game this year. Three teams in particular are teams that many considered to be serious playoff contenders if not possible Super Bowl contenders: Minnesota, Dallas and San Francisco. None of them have looked particularly good and all are desperate to win. Teams that start out 0-3 have about a 4% chance of making the playoffs. It's still not impossible for Dallas or San Francisco since it appears that both teams are playing in weaker divisions (yes, the NFCE looks weak this year) but the odds still aren't good.

Hard to believe that some teams' futures may be determined this early in the season. Name another major team sport where the season can be determined before a quarter of the season is over?

No Game Recap for Texans/Redskins

Sorry, I just ran out of time (work played a big role in it not getting done yesterday).
But, if you really want to read some deep analysis of the game I'm going to link you to our friend Dave over at Staying Medium.

1st qtr. review
2nd qtr. review
3rd qtr. review
4th qtr. review
OT review

I do plan on covering the Rams and doing a game recap. This week will be hellacious (60-70 hour work week, plus working the next 4 days in a row after that, so technically 10 days in a row) with my work schedule. But I do plan on having a game recap win or lose.

Week 3 Picks

A few surprises last week and a late Redskins loss in overtime cost me. This week, a hope for a better record. The good news is that I bumped up from 29th place in the BGO pick 'em to 20th. Ok, let's get to this week's picks.

1PM Games

Tennessee Titans @ New York Giants (-3.0)
I don't think the Giants are nearly as good as their drubbing of the Panthers, but I don't think they're as bad as they played against the Colts. The Titans struggled against the Steelers run D last week. I don't think they'll have as many problems this week. Johnson starts his 100+ run yard streak again this week.
Pick: Titans

Cincinnati Bengals @ Carolina Panthers (+3.0)
Jimmy Clausen starts for a Panthers team that looks like they'll be in the top five of the 2011 draft. Bengals D will give him fits just like they did Joe Flacco last week.
Pick Bengals

Dallas Cowboys @ Houston Texans (-3.0)
The Texans have their opportunity to be the dominant NFL team in Texas. The Texan fans will be out en mass (they hate the Cowboys almost as much as Redskin fans do). If the Cowboys go 0-3, not only will it look very unlikely that they'll be hosting the Super Bowl, but their chances of winning the NFC East will look much more difficult. Could this be their Alamo? I think so.
Pick: Texans

San Francisco 49ers @ Kansas City Chiefs (+2.5)
I just don't think the 49ers fall to 0-3 here. Their D steps up and pulls off a win. But if KC won, it wouldn't surprise me much playing in Arrowhead.
Pick: 49ers

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.0)
Ugly game of the week. Charlie Batch and his walker  return to lead the Steelers. The Bucs have been playing smart, safe football and using their D to win. I like the Steelers D here better.
Pick: Steelers

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (-14.0)
Not my suicide pick of the week (I've picked the team playing against the Bills the last two weeks) but could easily be a good suicide pick. I don't like the spread however.
Pick: Patriots

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens (-10.0)
Ravens are mad after a loss to the Bengals. Browns at home will be a good tonic for them.My lock of the week (aka suicide pick).
Pick: Ravens

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings (-10.5)
The Lions are better than their 0-2 record. I like them and think that if Matt Stafford was playing, they would have won last week. I think the Vikings do enough with Favre and Peterson to pull off their first win at home. Again, another game that wouldn't surprise me if the Lions pulled the upset-- but I'm going with the safe pick on this one.
Pick: Vikings

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints (-4.5)
There is a lot of talk of the Falcons pulling the upset this week. I don't see it,
Pick: Saints

4 PM Games

Washington Redskins @ St. Louis Rams (+3.5)
Who are the Redskins? Are they a team that can't hold leads? Are they a team that plays down to their opponents? Or are they a team that wins the games they should? I think we find out that the 2010 Redskins win games that they should today. Final score 27-13.
Pick: Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)
Michael Vick's era officially starts here since Kolb is healthy and could start this week. It's hard to read this game b/c it is supposed to rain and be a mess in Jacksonville which may slow Vick somewhat. That said, David Garrard was benched last week and there are many questions about the Jags that need to be answered. Did I mention I hate the Jags in pick 'em? No matter how I choose, they normally play the opposite. I barely like the Eagles here, so probably the Jags will win.
Pick: Eagles

Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos (+5.5)
The Broncos starting corners are likely out for this game. Even with Garcon out, Peyton Manning should have a field day.
Pick: Colts

Oakland Raiders @ Arizona Cardinals (-4.0)
I like Bruce Gradkowski as their QB and I think the Raiders D will give Derek Anderson fits. Probably a close game, but I like Oakland in an upset.
Pick: Raiders

San Diego Chargers @ Seattle Seahawks (+6.0)
Pick: Chargers

Sunday Night Football

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins (-2.5)
I like the Dolphins defense to give the Jets fits tonight.
Pick: Dolphins


Monday Night Football

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears (+3.0)
I like the Packers here because I think they will give Jay Cutler problems. When Cutler has problems, he throws interceptions.
Pick: Packers

Last Week: 9-7
Overall: 19-13

Ed Note: While I'm also 19-13 overall at BGO, my picks were slightly different due to mistakes on my part. Should be the same on both sites from now on.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Who's Chad Simpson? The Redskins Know Him Well (In Pre-Season)

The Buffalo Bills had very little to be happy about when they faced the Redskins in week 1 of the pre-season. That said, one thing that did stand out for them (and was an early concern for the Skins) was their run game. Led by Chad Simpson's 7 carries for 67 yards (with a long of 43 on one carry), the Bills racked up 146 rush yards. Now you might think that a performance like that would make a roster, but we know that's not normally the case.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Game Recap Delayed.....Thoughts on the NFL/Redskins etc.....

Just a brief announcement and then some thoughts on the 2010 season.
The game recap is going to be delayed until Friday. I know, by then you've probably read everybody else's take on the game by now, but I'm going to try and look at something's that the Skins were (or weren't) doing that affected the game. Maybe more focus on the O-line and D-line. It's easy to say that the run game isn't working b/c there are no holes opening up. It's also easy to say that there's no push on the D-line. The question should be asked "why isn't this working?". Is it one player? Is it the scheme? Is the team out of sync? I'll be looking in particular at the lines on the next recap, so you might find something new and interesting.

Redskins News and Notes

- The Larry Johnson cut should be no surprise. I think the loss of 10 yards on the toss sweep against the Texans sealed the deal for Johnson. Now I know everybody is saying the same thing: "He was cut because he doesn't play special teams". That's true, but there's more to it than that. Right now look at Johnson and Portis and compare-- there's not much difference really. Neither play 'teams. Neither are great pass catchers. Portis is one of the best blocking running backs in the league (if not the best), Johnson isn't that great. They also run the same. That's the key. At this point in their careers, both seem to play a grind and pound the ball style where they hit the hole hard and drive the ball for 2-3 yards. That seems to be one of the problems with the current running game-- RB vision. Portis seems to get better as the game goes on, finding holes created by the zone scheme and taking whatever the defense gives the Skins. Johnson never seemed to be that "one cut" back (ie. RB sees a hole, makes a cut and takes off) and while Johnson looked good at camp, if the Skins feel that Keiland Williams can be the next star of this scheme, then the Skins are making the right move to give Williams' more snaps and slowly transition him to be the next starter (plus, he seems a better fit in situations where the Skins may throw to the RB).

- O-line transition: Who really are the starting 5? We know that Artis Hicks, Casey Rabach and Trent Williams are part of that group, but throughout the last two weeks we've seen rotation at both the LG and RT positions. At right tackle, the rotation may be in part to Jammal Brown's conditioning (ie. football shape). He missed most of the off season work with the Skins and he also missed parts of camp and the pre-season based on his sore hip. While Stephon Heyer isn't a major upgrade, he is in shape and seems to improved upon his run blocking somewhat better than in previous years. At LG there seems to be competition between Derrick Dockery and Kory Lichtensteiger. Until these positions are settled, I don't expect the run game to be stellar. From what I know about zone blocking, the blockers really need to be in sync which then opens multiple holes. The running back then picks the open hole (based on what the defense is giving). If the timing is wrong or somebody misses a block however, the play gets blown up or the running back has to slow up to try and find a hole-- thus, you don't get much or lose yards.

NFL Thoughts

- The NFC East is wide open. Dallas is just sloppy. On paper, they do look to be one of the better teams in the NFL. Too bad the 2010 Cowboys remind me of the Norv Turner (and Jim Zorn) Redskins. Their lack of discipline, poor coaching (has Jason Garrett ever heard of a run game?) and media hype has turned this team into the utter 0-2 mess that it is now. Don't expect this week to be that much better and with the 'Boys heading to Houston to play a very good Texans team (Note: the Texans average 32.0 ppg, in two weeks Dallas hasn't even scored 30 points- they've scored 24).

The Eagles are in a state of flux and they hope Mike Vick can be the guy that takes them back to glory. I love to watch Vick play, he's one of the most exciting players in the game. Maybe he'll be better in Philly because he's making more of an effort. The key however, will be how he throws the ball and how many drops his WRs/TEs/RBs start to pile up. Vick has little touch on the ball and those rockets lead to drops.

The Giants just look horrible. I know they're 1-1 but it doesn't look like the Giant teams of past years that would just out pound the Skins. Brandon Jacobs doesn't want to be a Giant anymore and I'm starting to wonder if the players are no longer buying into Tom Coughlin.

The Skins are a better team but not there yet. That said, looking at the NFCE, it looks like anyone could be the champion at this point.

- Jason Campbell benched. I was hoping it would work out for JC in Oakland, but it just doesn't look like it will. So far we've just seen Jason Campbell type performances, to the point that the Raiders went with Gradkowski and it worked. I think JC just doesn't feel the pass rush like better NFL QBs do and Campbell's accuracy is questionable. If only Campbell was running a Joe Gibbs 1.0 system and playing with the Hogs, then he might be a pretty scary QB.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Texans/Redskins Initial Thoughts

I still have to watch the DVRed game, but here's some thoughts from last night's game.

- The Texans are a very, very good team. The Skins have many things to work on (no doubt there) but they lost (and should have beaten) a team that so far averages 32.0 points per game. Their offense is just amazing and their defense isn't that bad either.

- The Skins again left points on the field. Galloway almost had a TD fall right in his hands, Mike Sellers dropped a ball that could have been a huge play. Bad blocking led to a blocked FG (gaaaahhhhhh!!!!). McNabb had Moss breaking into the end zone and some pressure caused McNabb to throw short. Short field thanks to a Rogers INT only led to a FG. Again a 3rd and one in the Red Zone and a false start led to an end to a drive (and eventually a blocked FG).

- The defense struggled against the Texans pass attack despite 5 sacks.

- The Skins still don't have a run game and that hurt the team. A better run game and maybe they can eat more time off the clock.

- The Skins can score. It's clear that Shanahan and co. have an ability to score TDs. We can hang with very potent offenses.

- For the second week in a row, I leave FedEx thinking that the game reminded me of the Skins/Saints game last year. In week one, it was Dallas that made enough mistakes in order to lose. This week it was Washington.

- For two weeks in a row the Redskins have had the lead most of the game only to lose it or come very close to losing it in the 4th quarter. That is a concern.

- The good news is that I see a great deal of promise from this team. There were mistakes, but they are fixable. While I'm concerned about the depth on this team, I think the starters are on the right track to get where the Skins need to be to be a winning team in the NFL.

* Whew * Some Good News After Last Night's Loss

Look like Trent Williams is going to be ok. Or at least, better than what we all thought.
Reported by various sources including ESPN 980's Chris Russell and The Post, it appears that Trent Williams has a knee contusion (ie. a bruised knee) and a sprained Big Toe after undergoing an MRI.

While having a sprained toe (which is rather painful, especially for an O-linemen who explodes off the ball putting force/pressure on said toe) and a bruised knee isn't something you want, this is great news. No MCL or ACL damage. Thus, he's not done for the year. Which is what everybody was fearing when he went down, was in a great deal of pain and the early word was knee injury.

If the Skins are to have any chance of being a winner this year, they need Silverback on the field. Stephon Heyer has looked better as a right tackle in spot duty, but I am very, very afraid if he's the Skins starting LT for any period of time. I also don't think the Skins are that comfortable with Jammal Brown to move him over as well.

No word on Williams' status this week against the Rams, but that probably depends on how well treatment goes the next couple of days.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 2 Picks

ok, let's do this quick. SHD has joined the picks this week. Hoping to do better this week, right now I'm in 29th place over at BGO but I'm still alive with my suicide pool.

Sunday
1PM

Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers (-13.5)
WD: Packers
SHD: Packers
Comment: I have the Packers as my suicide team this week. 'nuff said.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincy Bengals (+1.0)
WD: Ravens
SHD: Ravens
Comment: I had the Bengals, SHD swayed me for Ravens. SHD says Ravens blowout Bengals 28-10.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tenn. Titans (-5.5)
WD: Titans
SHD: Titans

Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys (-8.5)
WD: Cowboys
SHD: Bears
Comment: Fast fact: SHD hates the Steelers, after last year SHD almost hates Dallas as much as the Steelers. I can't say I blame him about Dallas.

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions (+4.0)
WD: Eagles
SHD: Eagles
Comment: If Stafford was playing, we'd both would've taken the Lions

TB Bucs @ Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
WD: Bucs
SHD: Panthers

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)
WD: Falcons
SHD: Falcons

KC Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns (-2.5)
WD: Chiefs
SHD: Browns

Miami Dolphins @ Minn. Vikings (-5.5)
WD: Vikings
SHD: Vikings

SEA @ DEN (-3.5)
WD: Seahawks
SHD: Seahawks

StL. @ OAK (-4.0)
WD: Raiders
SHD: Raiders

HOU @ WAS (+3.0)
WD: Redskins 21-20
SHD: Texans

Jax @ SD (-8.0)
WD: Chargers
SHD :Chargers

NE @NY (+1.0)
WD: Patriots
SHD: Patriots

NYG @ Indy (-5.5)
WD: Colts
SHD: Colts

NO @ SF (+4.5)
WD: Saints
SHD: Saints

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Man, Where Has the Day Gone? Updates and Link Dumps

It's Saturday and I'm convalescing from a semi-long week of work and trying to get ready for Sunday but I'm hoping to get some stuff done on the site today (since I really haven't had time to do much this week). So expect some stuff up tonight including some comments about the Texans, weekly picks, a Friday Night Videos segment on Ray Lewis and whatever else I can try to get done.

Also keep an eye out for me over at ExtremeSkins- I've got a 12th Man thread to write up (I've been such a slacker this week).

Add WUSA to our soon to be affiliates. Yours truly has been asked to do some contributing work with WUSA on one of their local blog sites. Interestingly enough, some of it may be original content and may not be just Redskins stuff (although, my guess will be that somehow I'll be writing about the Skins).

Links
- Our friends over at Skinscast have a new podcast up talking about Dallas.

- Also, don't forget to subscribe (it's free) and check out Hail! magazine put together by some of the best that cover the Skins.....also, it's free.

- BGO is having a bit of a blogger revolution on their site with many knowledgeable football/Redskin fans joining in on the fun.

- J.I. Halsell has an interesting take on Redskins/Texans looking at cap dollars and monies spent.

- Dexter's Rush Hour continues as episode 2 is up. Dexter talks about the Dallas game.....

- Mike Shanahan mic'ed up.

- Ben Muth's analysis on the Redskins O-line in Week 1 and Trent Williams.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Game Recap: Week 1: Cowboys @ Redskins (Victory 13-7; Dallas Beaten!)

(FedEx at full capacity and extremely loud; Photo-  The Mrs.)
Some have said that this game was won on the last play of the first half and the 2nd half. They have a point, but I think this game in a sense played out much like the weather at FedEx on Sunday night.

While getting ready for Sunday, we had heard that the weather was supposed to be good around mid-afternoon (our goal was to get there around 2PM, FedEx parking lot opened at noon). Instead we got a nasty amount of rain and drizzle that just made things a mess for those trying to tailgate early. The weather then let up around 4PM and the sun came out. Life in the parking lot was good and everybody was happy. By the end of the night, we had fog, a few confused drivers but over all everything worked out. Like I said just like during the game.
(Good times at the tailgate. Italian Sausage FedEx style; Photo- The Mrs.)

Going into the game you probably expected a "Clash of the Titans" epic scoring battle with Mike and Kyle Shanahan lighting it up against a high powered Jason Garrett offense. Dallas is heading to the Super Bowl and Washington is heading back to respectability. Of course almost everybody had picked Dallas to stomp the Redskins this week.

(Only Adam Schefter picked the Redskins, that's why he gets the Burger King crown)
But, if you know the NFC East and how the Redskins and Cowboys have played each other over the last few years, you know that these games are usually physical, low scoring games (of course I picked the Skins to win 27-24 go figure). This was another one of those games. Overall, the Skins had some ups and downs. The offense looked out of sync most of the night and with a few exceptions most of the series died out because of a key mistake (more on that later). The Cowboys equally had some serious problems. Their O-line isn't nearly good as it should be. Alex Barron held Brian Orakpo on 3 major plays (one being the final play of the game) and they weren't subtle. Barron does have a career with the WWE or TNA if he doesn't get any better-- those were some nice sleeper holds he had on Orakpo. I also seriously question the play calling and decision making in this game by the Dallas coaching staff. You have little to no chance to get the ball in a position to score with 4 seconds left in the 1st half, so why do you try to run a play that eventually costs you the game? I also wonder why Dallas chose to not run the ball more. They were averaging close to 4.7 yards/carry. The run blocking was working and setting up play action (so Romo could do what he does best, get the ball down field). Instead, the Cowboys kept trying to find ways to get the ball to Dez Bryant (bubble screens anybody?) and kept moving backwards b/c of holding calls and other penalties.

There is some silver lining to all of this and we saw it in the second half. Are you curious to see what the Redskins will look like when they get used to each other and the scheme? Look no further to than the first drive in the 3rd quarter. The Skins moved down field with relative ease going 52 yards in 5 minutes and 45 seconds. If Anthony Armstrong holds onto a fade, the Skins have their first offensive TD of the season. If Josh Bidwell holds onto a high but manageable Nick Sunberg snap, the Skins get three for the drive. McNabb seemed to have no trouble finding Chris Cooley or Santana Moss. In the fourth quarter, we finally got to see Mike Shanahan's run game take effect. On the last offensive drive for the Redskins, the Skins showed that they could execute zone blocking. Cutback lanes were forming and Clinton Portis looked like he had his zone blocking vision back. Take away a Sellers' dropped pass and two penalties (Cooley and T. Williams) and the Skins may have had a near perfect drive. The Skins know they left points off the board on Sunday and hopefully will do what it takes to correct those mistakes for next week.

Also, you have to like what you saw from the defense even with concerns about pressure and difficulties stopping the run. The Cowboys' only scored on a short field (starting at the Washington 34 after a lousy punt by Josh Bidwell). It was an interesting mix that Jim Haslett threw out on the field. At times the Skins only sent four. At times, he used corner blitzes (I noticed D. Hall on multiple occasions and Phillip Buchanon) to confuse the Cowboys. Sometimes the Redskins only had one down lineman, sometimes they had two OLBs come off the same side. It really was hard to determine who was coming and who wasn't and that was the point of the 3-4. I liked that the team focused on eliminating the underneath passes, thus limiting the effectiveness of Felix Jones in the flat and Jason Whitten underneath. I also liked how the secondary seemed intent on playing man with safety help. I also love how aggressive the Skins are at trying to strip the ball. On two plays prior to the Choice fumble, DeAngelo Hall was trying to punch out the ball being held by Dez Bryant. He didn't succeed there, but it was clear that if a player gets the ball, the Redskins will try to generate a fumble. It's refreshing and not luck, but an improved technique. Speaking of the key fumble that pretty much changed the dynamic of the game, let's look at the play and see what caused the fumble to occur.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Game Recap Coming.....Here's My Thoughts to LeBron James About His Team

I'm about half way through the re-cap write up. Finally got through watching the game again late last night. The re-cap should be up sometime tonight when I get home from my real job. Anyway, to tide you over, here's my response to NBA superstar (and most hated man in Cleveland) LeBron James who was at FedEx Sunday to see his Cowboys.

First, Lebron's comments about going to the game via twitter (thanks to Mr. I for the find).

In DC for My Cowboys game tonight. Gonna be a lot of sad faces tonight in this area. Lol!!


not so much LoLing now huh?

Of course my classic reply (via twitter):

Guess I should have gone with "How 'bout dem Cowboys?"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cowboys @ Skins Inital Thoughts

Hey everybody,
Just got back from FedEx and man am I tired. I've been on the road since noon and after some bad weather and traffic, have been at FedEx since 3PM.

Lots of good stuff to say about the game even though I would say that the game was generally sloppy. Loved the Burgundy jerseys (they looked a bit darker, maybe that was just from the humidity or sweat) and the yellow/mustard/gold pants.

Loved how FedEx was full and the crowd was into the game. Sadly, I was so hyped I only got a few photos. So there will be very little to show on that end.

Great performances by D. Hall and Graham Gano. Everything else may need some serious work. And yes, not a day goes by without some Haynesworth drama.

It was an ugly win, but I'll take an ugly win over an ugly loss anyday.

I need to re-watch the game and then I'll have a game re-cap (hopefully tonight).

Enjoy the win Redskin fans, you (especially those in the 12th man today) earned it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week 1 Picks

So with a new season it's time to talk weekly picks and man do I have some crazy picks for you. In future weeks, I'm hoping to get up with SHD (we still may have his picks up before Sunday) and post his picks as well. If we ever get around to the IIWII podcast, we'll do picks on the show.

Anyway, here are your week one picks*:
* Please, don't make bets based off of my picks!!! You won't be winning any money if you do.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Night Videos: Cowboys vs. Redskins

Usually when I do Friday Night Videos, I don't tend to have videos related to the Skins. More or less it's IIWII's attempt to be a little wacky, have some fun or just play some good music. Anyway, this is a huge week for Redskins football. New era. New coach/GM/QB. New season. What a way to kick off the season in prime time at a renovated FedEx against the Cowboys.

So in another attempt to get you fired up for the game (especially you Redskins fans who will be at the game Sunday night) here are some recent memorable moments in recent Redskins history against the Cowboys.
Enjoy!
(Ed. Note- none of these videos were created by IIWII, but they were embed capable- so we used them)







Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Great Stuff About Dexter Manley

Good news, Dexter's Rush Hour is now live and you can watch segments of his show on the site. Here's one such clip.


Also, on Redskins Nation it was announced that Dexter will be the Grand Marshall for a parade held by the band that should be happening at FedEx around 2PM. I can't wait for Sunday.

Dexter is the reason I'm a Redskin fan in the first place so any news about him will be put on IIWII.

Are You Ready?

Real football starts tonight. Vikings at Saints.
 So who wins you ask?


Yeah, I like the Saints.
The Vikings just don't look like they have the arsenal that they used to with Rice and Harvin out.
I'll have the rest of this week's picks up on Friday and you will be amazed how many away teams I have winning this week.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

2010 NFL and Redskins Season Predictions

I got some Pick'em leagues and some suicide pools to finish up with before week one starts tomorrow but it's time you know where I stand with the Redskins and the rest of the NFL before the season starts. First, I'll start with the NFL.
Football is the one sport that it is incredibly hard to handicap or make any legitimate predictions. There always seems to be some dark horse team that rises up out of nowhere and makes a play for the playoffs. One injury (or an injury at the wrong time) can end a season. Heck, weather or a bad ref. call can end the season for a team just by a momentum shift. In the modern NFL teams are pretty equal in talent and with exception to a few really bad teams, almost every team has a legitimate chance to make the playoffs.
So advanced notice, I don't expect to be that great at this. But usually all the football guides and experts aren't that great either.

AFC
Divisional Winners
Indianapolis
San Diego
Baltimore
New York
Wild Cards
Cincinnati
Miami

Comments: A pretty safe roster of teams really. The only controversial pick on this list is the Dolphins over the Patriots for the wild card. Frankly, I think you could argue New England, Miami, Houston and Tennessee in that last wild card spot. All of the teams are worthy, but I have the least amount of doubts with Miami. I like Miami's upgrade on O with Brandon Marshall. Even with a mediocre pre-season, I still like the Jets in the East. I like the Chargers in the West (not sold on either Denver or Oakland making a play). I think the Ravens are just a better team than the Bengals right now and the Colts are a clear cut favorite.

NFC
Divisional Winners
Green Bay
Dallas
New Orleans
San Francisco
Wild Cards
Minnesota
Atlanta

Comments: Despite my NFCE bias, I don't think there will be more than one team coming out of the NFCE this year. The Skins are getting better, but are we a playoff team? Not sure. I don't think the Giants or Eagles are better this year. If anything, Dallas gets the nod moreso based on what's on paper that what I've seen on the field. If anything, right now, the NFCE in my opinion is wide open for whatever team wants to step up and take the crown. I think Green Bay is the team to beat in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers may be the best QB in the league this year. The Packers D is pretty scary as well. I think the Vikings just won't be as good in 2010 as they were in 2009. The 49ers have pretty much the same situation as the Chargers. The Saints are just too talented to keep off of this list and I have a suspicion that it will be a good year for the Falcons.

So who's in the big game?
Green Bay vs. Indianapolis- with the Packers winning it all.

The Fate of the Redskins
So where are the Redskins you ask? Simple, they aren't in the playoffs. I'm hoping I'm wrong and I'm already saying that my prediction (again, hoping wrong) lies around the 8-8 mark. The Skins have a tough schedule a much improved team, but a team that may have some injury history and  a new coach/GM and a whole bunch of new players. There will be a vast improvement from last year and I really wouldn't be that surprised if the Skins were able to stay healthy and with some luck get to 10-11 wins.

So am I completely off? Are the Skins a good or bad team this year. What do you think about the Skins or the NFL? Leave a comment below and let your opinion be seen.

Guess Who's Coming to Dallas/Redskins?

(The Man, The Myth, The Legend-- Dexter Manley; No clue where I got this picture from)

That's right. Dexter will be at FedEx on Sunday and according to Comcast he'll will be an honorary captain. That pretty much made my decision to don the Burgundy #72 jersey (it was either that or my CP #26) for Sunday. Plus, it gives support to the Redskins current #72 Trent Williams. Got to give some love to the rookie who has looked pretty good during the pre-season and has a tough challenge ahead of him in DeMarcus Ware.

Dexter just participated in ESPN 980's Lunch with a Legend series and if you really want to get fired up you probably want to check it out:


I actually chatted with (I believe it was him) Dexter (via Twitter) the other day. He's got a new show coming out called Dexter's Rush Hour. DC Sports Bog has a good article on the show that's going to be debuting sometime soon on the web (and possibly syndicated on Comcast?).

I said to Dexter something like "It's not a real Dallas episode if you don't say I Hate Dallas at least once".
and he pretty much told me: (paraphrase) "you must be talking with my producers, they've said the same thing".

Anyway, you can head over and check out the Dexter's Rush Hour website (currently nothing on the site). I'm supposed to be getting some more info. from Dexter's people about the premier date/time etc......but haven't heard back from them yet.

Here's another memorable Dexter moment from the 1982 season as they faced the Cowboys in the playoffs.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Return of the 12th Man Threads

'Tis football season and I have a tradition that I started with ExtremeSkins and have tried to continue with BGO.
 I usually do 12th Man threads for the home games. It's a bit of a Redskin fan pep rally if you will. I poke a little fun at an opponent and try to fire up the fans for the next home game.

Well, back by semi-popular demand, it has returned to both the pages of ES and BGO.

Feel free to check them out:
ExtremeSkins version
BGO version

Matter of fact, if you want to participate you can join in with the crowd and have fun. I won't be posting over here on IIWII (feels like it loses something here). But now you know what I've been doing today.

Enjoy the rest of your labor day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Break From the Skins....

With the 53 man roster (finally!!!!) set. I figured it might be a good time to take a break. And what a better way to take a break than to watch some MST3K.

I was given a link to a really cool site by fellow BGO member Lump Beefrock (some hard core MST3K fans might get the reference) about a site called justintv. It plays MST3K eps. pretty much on one channel.

So take a look, I know I will.
Watch live video from Mystery Science Theater 3000 on Justin.tv

(of course as I type this they're playing Mortal Kombat)

In other entertainment news.....The Venture Bros. start back up on Sunday the 12th @ 11:30PM EST. Here's a trailer for the upcoming second half of season 4.


More Redskins news and other stuff coming tomorrow.

Cuts

 Update (7:10pm EST): The team is scheduled to release the official list at 8:00PM EST
Update 2 (8:23pm EST): This is getting really annoying. Got to wonder just what the heck is going on with the organization?
Update 3: Here is the official statement by the Redskins.

Here's the list of players so far cut. Will be updated throughout the day.

Ramzee Robinson
Justin Tryon (traded to the Colts)
Ryan Torain*
Lee Vickers
Terrence Austin*
Willie Parker
Carey Davis
Rob Jackson*
William Robinson
Tyrone Carter
Selvish Capers*
Shay Hodge
Erik Cook*
Anderson Russell
Darrion Scott
Richard Bartel
Chad Rinehart
Howard Green
Robert Henson
Bobby Wade
Clint Oldenburg
Curtis Gatewood
* (Practice squad if not signed elsewhere)

-Note: It had been reported that Logan Paulsen had been cut. Not true.

"Bubble" players confirmed (via media sources) on roster
WR, Brandon Banks
WR, Roydell Williams
NT, Anthony Bryant
DE, Jeremy Jarmon
CB, Byron Westbrook
WR, Devin Thomas
LB, Perry Riley
C/G, Kory Lichtensteiger
RB, Keiland Williams
FB, Darrel Young
TE, Logan Paulsen


Also of note, Ex-Redskins who got cut so far:
Randy Thomas (released from Dolphins)
Patrick Ramsey (Saints)
Ladell Betts (Saints)
Colt Brennan (Raiders)
Jon Jansen (Lions)

The Quest for 53 (Final) With Practice Squad Predictions

Breaking:
ESPN 980 reports Ramzee Robinson has been cut.
Rumors from Twitter is that Terrence Austin will be cut and put on the Practice Squad
Rumors from Twitter is that Ryan Torain will be cut and put on the Practice Squad

Here we go not that many changes, but there are a few. If you want to know my earlier predictions click on Part 1 and Part 2.

Okay, here we go.

QB (3)
Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck

Comment: If though Beck didn't look great in the final game, his extention means he's not going anywhere.


RB (4)
Clinton Portis, Mike Sellers, Larry Johnson, Keiland Williams

Comment: If Ryan Torain is practice squad eligible, I think they send him there. If not, he probably is put on the 53.

TE (3)
Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen

Comments:Paulsen is a big guy with good hands and speed. What made him make the roster in my opinion is his blocking. I expect to see him in a few short yardage and Red Zone situations.

WR (5)
Santana Moss, Devin Thomas, Anthony Armstrong, Joey Galloway, Terrence Austin 



Comments: Brandon Banks is only going to make this roster as a special teams specialist. He has amazing speed, but drops the ball too much. The Skins have had this problem last year and 2008 with Anthony Aldrige and in 2005 Antonio Brown. You can't make the team if you can't hold onto the ball. Don't count out the Skins going after T.J. Whosyamomma (I'll start using his name correctly if the Skins sign him).

O-Line (9)
Trent Williams, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Artis Hicks, Jammal Brown, Stephon Heyer, Kory Lichtensteiger, William Robinson, Will Montgomery


Comments:
I have deep concerns at the depth at the guard position. But this is really the best of the bunch. I still think the Skins may sign a player cut from another team.

Special Teams (3)
Graham Gano (K), Josh Bidwell (P), Nick Sundberg (LS)

Comments:No change. Gano still looking good and so is Sundberg.

D-line (8)
Now: Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Albert Haynesworth, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Phillip Daniels, Darrion Scott,Vonnie Holliday, Antonio Bryant.

Comments: I've been a big fan of Bryant in the pre-season. The Skins need to keep him as a backup NT and in some short yard packages. I also think Scott has done a lot to earn a roster spot. Jarmon should be a 4-3 DE that moves in as a fast DT in dime/fast nickle packages. I think the Skins will cut him, but maybe bring him back as a PS player.

Linebackers (8)
Brian Orakpo, Rocky McIntosh, London Fletcher, Andre Carter, Lorenzo Alexander, H.B. Blades, Perry Riley, Chris Wilson

Comments: Robert Henson had a great last game, but the injury could have him heading to the IR. If not, maybe the Skins find room to keep him. Or maybe they put him on the practice squad.

Secondary (10)

Now: DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Kareem Moore, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, Phillip Buchanon, Kevin Barnes, Byron Westbrook, Tyrone Carter.


Comments: Justin Tryon has done well this pre-season, but I don't think the coaching staff is a big fan. They don't like the size and his speed and skill set does not rival the skill set of Darrell Green. This is a tough choice. I think Westbrook is probably better as a special teams guy. I think Tryon is better out on the field on D but is limited against taller WRs.


Practice Squad (8)
Ryan Torain, Brandon Banks, Selvish Capers, Erik Cook, Jeremy Jarmon, Robert Henson and two players not currently on the roster
Comment: Jarmon might be on this practice squad but he may be gone as well. I think the Skins have to find some players to develop at WR and G. It is possible. Just look at Anthony Armstrong.





Final Thoughts
The Skins would not surprise me in the least if they dropped a few of these players on my projected roster and went after some cuts from other teams. The Skins have depth issues at WR and G and if they can get some solid and proven talent, that would be a plus.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

FedEx Chant: "Hey, You Suck!" Crass or Cool?

New poll is up about a chant that happens at FedEx during games. During the massive beat down of the Bills in week 1 of the pre-season, the chant came back to FedEx as I figured it would. It's been a mainstay at FedEx for a few years now (I think I first heard in in 2005, if you've heard it before then please let me know).

What am I talking about? If you've never been to a live Redskins game, you still may have heard it on you TV and wondered "what are they saying"? Or, you may have clearly heard what the fans were saying.


No, it's not "We Want Dallas!" (another famous and occasionally overused cheer/chant used by the Skins fanbase)

More or less it's Rock 'n Roll pt.2 by Gary Glitter but when the chorus gets to the part that says "Hey!", there's a pause. That's where folks have added "You Suck!" in sort of a MST3K style of genius taking advantage of the song's pause and yet riffing the song (making it better/ more appropriate for the trash talking sport venue where the song is immensely popular).

Did it start in DC? My understanding is that the chant may have started locally at the University of Maryland. Here's an example:


Although it's a pretty popular chant across the country at colleges:


So, it eventually came to FedEx and the Redskins. So, the big question is whether this is appropriate or over the top? I'll be honest, I don't generally boo opposing players- I root for my team. That said, I have done the chant during Cowboy and Eagles games (got to haze a rival) but I'm on the fence about other times to use it. Do you really need to tell a bad team like the Bills that they suck? Especially in a pre-season game that has no meaning. That seemed too much to me. Also, do the fans run a risk of motivating an opposing team if the chant is done during a close game?

So what do you think? The Redskins have a rich tradition of colorful fans, crowd noise and rocking bleachers. Does "Hey, You Suck!" fit that bill or is it too much? What do you think?

The Quest for 53 Pt. 2

- The 4 O' clock deadline has come and gone and when the dust settled, 4 players no longer are Redskins and one player has (injured) reserved a seat on the bench for the 2010 season. The four players cut: G/C Edwin Williams, DE/LB Hall Davis, S Lendy Holmes and LS James Dearth. Meanwhile, the ailing Malcolm Kelly was put on IR for a hamstring that just wouldn't get any better.

So far in the "quest" my last guess/prediction wasn't too bad with only Williams winding up on my 53. After cuts and the Jets game, here's my new prediction (note: last group will be listed above).

QB (3)
Last: Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman
Now: Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck

Comments: Beck stood out during the Jets game and may have done enough to earn a roster spot. A good performance during the Cardinals game may be enough to solidify the spot.
Update: Beck signs a two year extension, which pretty much means he's made the roster and could play a significant role for the team in the future.

RB (4)
Last: Clinton Portis, Mike Sellers, Larry Johnson, Ryan Torain, Keiland Williams
Now: Clinton Portis, Mike Sellers, Larry Johnson, Keiland Williams

Comments: Haven't seen that much of  Ryan Torain since the Bills game. We'll know more after Thursday.

TE (3)
Last: Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Lee Vickers
Now: Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Lee Vickers

Comments: Logan Paulsen will make a push for the #3 spot vs. Vickers.

WR (6)
Last: Santana Moss, Devin Thomas, Anthony Armstrong, Joey Galloway, Brandon Banks, Empty Spot
Now:  Santana Moss, Devin Thomas, Anthony Armstrong, Joey Galloway, Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin  
Comments: I'm not convinced that the Skins will keep both rookies Banks and Austin. I still think one of these guys will be on the practice squad, but if they both have great games in Arizona.....who knows. I still think that the Skins will have a WR not currently on the team on their final roster when all is said and done.

O-Line (9)
Last: Trent Williams, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Artis Hicks, Jammal Brown, Stephon Heyer, Kory Lichtensteiger, Edwin Williams, Empty Spot
Now: Trent Williams, Derrick Dockery, Casey Rabach, Artis Hicks, Jammal Brown, Stephon Heyer, Kory Lichtensteiger, Selvish Capers, Will Montgomery


Comments: When you look at depth, you look at guys who could start at multiple positions if needed. Heyer can play both tackle positions. Lichtensteiger can play G/C. Montgomery can play G/C and will try to play RT on Thursday. If Selvish Capers can show that he can play some guard, he'll probably make the roster (probably inactive most weeks but a very nice potential project).

Special Teams (3)
Last: Graham Gano (K), Josh Bidwell (P), Nick Sundberg (LS)
Now: Graham Gano (K), Josh Bidwell (P), Nick Sundberg (LS)

Comments: The cutting of James Dearth solidified the specialist positions.

D-line (7)
Last: Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Albert Haynesworth, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Phillip Daniels, Anthony Bryant, Vonnie Holliday.
Now: Ma'ake Kemoeatu, Albert Haynesworth, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Phillip Daniels, Jeremy Jarmon,Vonnie Holliday.

Comment: I still think Scott, Bryant and Green are in the mix.

Linebackers (8)
Last: Brian Orakpo, Rocky McIntosh, London Fletcher, Andre Carter, Lorenzo Alexander, H.B. Blades, Perry Riley, Chris Wilson, Robert Henson
Now: Brian Orakpo, Rocky McIntosh, London Fletcher, Andre Carter, Lorenzo Alexander, H.B. Blades, Perry Riley, Chris Wilson


Comment: Henson joins the practice squad for a few weeks until Kareem Moore is ready to go. Either that or a WR or CB spot gets cut until the Skins are healthy at S.


Secondary (10)
Last: DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Kareem Moore, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, Phillip Buchanon, Kevin Barnes, Justin Tryon.
Now: DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Kareem Moore, Reed Doughty, Chris Horton, Phillip Buchanon, Kevin Barnes, Ramzee Robinson, Tyrone Carter.

Comment: Could the writing be on the wall about Byron Westbrook after ESPN put out a report that he'd been cut? Robinson has looked good in practice and special teams play. He could be here. Carter knows the system and could help fill in until Moore is ready.

Final cuts are Saturday I believe at 6PM.
We'll have one more prediction after the Cardinals game.