Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Game Recap: Skins @ Vikings - Too Many Mistakes

(Favre's last game at FedEx)

I almost called this game perfectly. Except that I had the teams in the wrong places. Skins fall 17-13 (I had them winning 17-14) in a game that was pretty much filled with mistakes on the Skins part while the Vikings were practically mistake free.

The game started off well as the Skins took the ball down on the opening drive and scored on a 10 yard pass from Donovan McNabb to Fred Davis. On that drive, McNabb was 8/8 with a TD. The lone sack on the drive was McNabb's fault as he fumbled the snap and fell on the ball. Outside of that the pass blocking was good. Also worth noting was that the Skins were 4/4 on 3rd down conversions. This is notable based on their struggles this season on 3rd downs and the fact that the Skins finished the game converting only three more 3rd downs for the rest of the game (7/15 total).

If you had turned off your TV then, you probably would have thought the Skins were in for a route of the Vikings. You would have thought wrong. The Vikings on the next drive took the ball right down the field and scored an easy touchdown tying the Skins. Adrian Peterson (6 carries, 36 yds; 1 TD 1 catch, 34 yards) looked unstoppable as the defense seemed unable to stop the run throughout the game.

It was a good game plan by the Vikings. The Redskins struggle against power runners and have difficulty scoring 20 or more points per game (this is the 7th game this season the Skins have scored less than 20). So, you run all game long. Eat up clock and have interception machine Brett Favre throw on occasion so the Redskins can't stack the box with eight men. The game plan was perfect and the D was kept off balance the entire game. When they expected run, Favre would bootleg be untouched and hit his WR/TE/RB in stride. When the Skins expected pass, he would run a draw to the RB. Even when Peterson was knocked out of the game, the Vikings continued to run the ball with Toby Gerhart and it worked well enough for the Vikings to move the ball, score a 2nd TD and eat enough clock to get out of DC with a win. Favre never came close to throwing an INT in this game.

That's not saying that the defense didn't have their moments. They did make a few key stops in the game. The most important being the drive that led to 3 points after a McNabb interecption on the Redskins 9 yard line. A sack by Haynesworth and Carter forced the Vikings to take the three and this kept the Skins in the ballgame until the end.

The offense and special teams had their opportunities but failed on every occasion to seal the deal and turn big plays into TD drives. The first of these opportunities came late in the 3rd quarter when Brandon Banks takes a kick off  65 yards to the Minnesota 28 yard line. The next play, Donovan McNabb is sacked for an 8 yard loss. This drive ended in a FG.

The next drive, McNabb (being pressured mind you) under throws a wide open Anthony Armstrong, who comes back for the ball and makes a beautiful 45 yard catch, putting the Skins again in Vikings territory (24 yard line). Next play,  Armstrong is wide open again but this time McNabb throws the ball right to him and he drops the easy pass. It wouldn't have been a TD by any stretch but it would have been 2nd and short if he had caught it. Many drives in this game was killed by dropped passes. This led to another Gano FG.

The final opportunity came still rather early in the 4th. Brandon Banks returns a punt 77 yards for a TD. While the crowd is cheering and Banks is doing the John Wall, I see the yellow flag and knew it was coming back. Perry Riley was called for his 2nd block in the back penalty and this pretty much deflated the remainder of the game. Skins get the ball back deep in their territory, go three and out and punt it away. The Vikings never give the Skins another chance as they run out the clock to end the game.

More or less this is the Redskins folks. They have talent issues and mistake issues. If the other team makes mistakes and the Skins execute and play with less mistakes, they have a chance to win close games. If the opposing team plays like the Vikings did and the Skins make a few mistakes, the Skins will lose the close one. Expect to see this for most of the remaining games this year. The Skins are an average- to above average- to below average team right now. They have some serious injury issues and can't run the ball. They have holes in their defense and you didn't think the Skins would just keep generating multiple turnovers every game did you? Remember, this is Mike Shanahan's 1st year here. Despite the "win now" mentality the Skins are trying to portray, they are a team in a serious rebuilding mode. From the scheme to the roster. 2010 didn't give the Skins much to work with via Free Agency and the Skins only have so many draft picks. 2011 offers more in FA and hopefully the Skins will be  able to acquire more picks via trade and compensatory picks. So don't be upset if this team finishes 7-9 or possibly worse (or possibly better, I still think 8-8 or 9-7 is possible).

Good, Bad, Ugly time:

Monday, November 29, 2010

You're Breaking Records Today on IIWII!!!

Wow. Get mentioned on The Post with a link to the article and the people will come.
I won't give a number b/c for many sites it's probably chump change in # of hits. But today, IIWII has increased in it's number of hits (compared to yesterday) by 7,000%. And the day isn't close to being over. Trust me compared to my daily hits this is a big deal.

So a quick bit of thanks to Cindy Boren over at The Early Lead for the link and thank you to the readers of The Post, Twitter, Facebook etc. for stopping by. Hopefully, if you liked that then you might want to check out some of the other articles here on IIWII and leave some comments or become a follower.

We've got some great stuff here about the Skins and some other stuff that's not exactly Skins related but you might like anyway.

Thanks again for reading IIWII,
-WD

I Survived FedEx and A Game Recap is Coming........

(Sadly the Skins didn't survive to win this game- Photo WD).

Yesterday was interesting. Right around the time Donovan McNabb was picked off from a deflected pass deep in Redskins territory, there was a brawl in my section two rows below me. Initially, it was a catfight between two girls with some hair pulling, a punch or two and people shoving each other to separate the fighters. Just when you thought it was over,came a brawl with completely different people (this time all guys). Beer was thrown and so were punches. Guys were bear hugging and grappling like something you'd see in a backroom attempt at MMA or wrasslin' (professional wrestling). Blood was spilled (note: it's not smart to have eye brow piercings and get into a fight) and eventually the cops had to come in to break it all up, escort some people out and probably arrest a few people.

It wasn't the only incident. Later, the cops had to come back to the section and carry out three guys in the lower portion of 108. I'm assuming being drunk was a reason (one guy could barely walk two cops had to help walk him up the steps). Outside of getting some beer splashed on me and the Mrs. we got out of FedEx.

No, sorry I didn't get photos/video of this. I was more concerned about not getting caught up in the thing and trying to move the Mrs. out of the way (her seat was closer to it than mine). But it was a big enough incident that DC Sports Bog mentioned it in his Best/Worst article. More details coming soon.......

Update: Somebody recorded it. (ah, You Tube how could we live without it).
via The Big Lead, via The Early Lead

Update 2: Not sure when I'm getting around to the game recap, so here's the story that started it all (this was from what a fellow STH that sits next to me told me from the one of the fighters [I believe the guy in the white #98 Orakpo jersey] wife). Apparently, a group of people came down from the upper bowl to the lower bowl to see if they could snag better seats that weren't being used. Either the real ticket holders came back, or somebody didn't care for people sneaking down. It led to words and right when McNabb threw the INT, the crowed roared and two blond women started fighting. That was broken up and that led to the two guys (#98  and Redskins jacket guy) fighting #26. Beer was thrown (I believe from #98) that hit me and other people in the crowd. As you can see on the video #26 is bleeding around his eye piercing after punches were thrown on both sides.

What was the saddest part of the situation was that after the fighters left, one of  guy's wives (lady in the #98 burgundy jersey) was looking for her husband's wedding ring (not sure if it flew off his hand or what during the melee). She went row by row asking if people they would look around them for it and apologizing for the whole mess. I heard her say something about having one drink too many. I felt bad for her.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week 12 Picks

Have to do this quickly, so here is the list of who I think will win today.
Giants
Steelers
Texans
Redskins (17-14)
Bears
Falcons
Ravens
Browns
Chiefs
Raiders
Broncos
Chargers
49ers

Last Week: 10-5
Thanksgiving: 3-0
Season: 95-67

Saturday, November 27, 2010

FNV: Sean Taylor, More Fun With Ray Lewis, PM Sports

Normally, Friday Night Videos is more for having fun and getting a laugh. But today is the anniversary of Sean Taylor's passing, so in tribute, I decided to share a few videos in his memory. The first one is still hard to watch (made by the Redskins, originally played on 12/2/2007 at FedEx vs. the Bills).



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Means Football and Picks

(How does she even carry that bird?)

"  Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence."
-Erma Bombeck
So while you eat 'til you burst today, we have three games being played. I missed last Thursday's game but this week I'll be following these three. None of them look that great based on record. But the Saints @  Cowboys might be worth watching.
12:30PM
New England Patriots @ Detroit Lions (+7.0)
Only a few weeks ago, I would have thought this would be a good game. The Lions were giving good teams fits and beating my Skins. Meanwhile the Patriots were very up and down and getting beat by a improving but still weak Browns team. Now the Patriots are starting to look like the Patriots of the last 5 years (without Randy Moss) and the Lions are starting to look like the classic Lions. It's hard to tell if this game will be really close or a blow out by the Pats., but either way I like the Patriots here. They know how to win games and the Lions are still trying to figure that out.
Pick: Patriots


4:15 PM
New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys (+3.0)
Saints have looked better, but so have the Cowboys who have won two in a row. I think the Saints break that winning streak today in their first ever Thanksgiving appearance.
Pick: Saints

8:20PM
Cincinnati Bengals @ NY Jets (-9.0)
Last year, the Jets had to beat the Bengals to stay alive in the playoff hunt. Since then, it's been nothing but good things for the Jets and nothing but letdowns for the Bengals. I don't expect anything to change those ways after tonight.
Pick: Jets

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Game Recap: Body Bag Game Redux (Skins @ Titans)

This was an enjoyable game on both sides of the ball. No, it wasn't a pretty game with balls flying all over the place and the final score in the eighty point range but really that never has been Redskins football. To me, Redskins football has been pounding the ball, staying on the field and finding ways to get drives continued despite the team's struggles. This game should be the game that defines Mike Shanahan's tenure here and it should be a game that the Redskins hope to duplicate from here on out. Not the final score mind you (because most of us couldn't take 16 overtime games that requires 48 yard FGs to win) but the effort and the message that teams win when all 53 (45 active on game day) play together.....they can't lose.

Wait didn't our current GM's father say that? You bet he did!

There was a lot of little details that made this game work. It's stuff that we don't see in the highlights. Guys stepped up when others went down and players you thought were disappointing so far showed that they can do something and more. In all, the Redskins lost many players during the game and already had three starters out prior to the start of the game. Let's look at the players inactivated before the game and were lost during the game.

Carlos Rogers (inactive)*
LaRon Landry (inactive)*
Artis Hicks (inactive)*
Ryan Torain (inactive)**
Chad Simpson (foot- during pre-game)
Casey Rabach (knee)*
Derrick Dockery (knee)
Anderson Russell (knee)**
Lorenzo Alexander (hamstring)*
Clinton Portis (groin)*
Rocky McIntosh (groin)*
*starter, ** would/has seen significant playing time.

That's seven starters. And I'm not even counting the times when Santana Moss, DeAngelo Hall, Keiland Williams (we had FB Darrel Young take carries at one point as a RB/HB), Brian Orakpo and Kedric Golston had to leave for a series because of a minor injury. Yet, the Redskins endured and other players stepped up to fill the void. It didn't work as well for the Titans.

Vince Young was knocked out of the game with a torn tendon in his throwing hand midway through the third quarter. Unlike the Redskins depth, the Titans had little at the QB position. Kerry Collins was the 3rd QB because he had a calf injury and the announcers on FOX said that if the Titans used him, it could only be in shotgun formation because he can hardly move. That meant the Titans had to use rookie Rusty Smith at quarterback. It was funny, as soon as I heard his name all I could think of was a recent Venture Bros. episode with Dr. ("Rusty") Venture writing a musical about himself (with a title track called "I'm Rusty!"- view the entire post to watch the video).

So, every time he came out on the field I could hear "I'm Rusty!" blare in the back of my head. Rusty didn't fare well as he threw one of the worst interceptions I've ever saw right to Phillip Buchanon. The one nice pass he threw was to Randy Moss for a TD....that was called back on account of offensive pass interference. The Titans looked like they couldn't handle the pressure and the Skins stepped up to the plate.

Case in point, the final drive of the game. After what initially appeared to be a Donovan McNabb interception, Titans DE  Jason Babin gets called for an unsportsman like conduct (by ripping Kory Lichtensteiger's helmet off his head). The interception was overturned and the Redskins got 15 yards and an automatic 1st down on what should have became 3rd and 22. Then on the next play, the Titans get called for another 15 yard penalty for a roughing the passer call on Will Witherspoon (helmet to helmet hit). Those two penalties helped give the Redskins the opportunity to get into position for Graham Gano to kick the game winning FG.

The lone Titan score came off a punt return, that only happened because the Redskins had to re-punt after off setting penalties occurred and the Redskins main contain player on one side of the field (Anderson Russell) was injured opening a gaping hole for the returner.

To me this game was the best game I have seen all season. It could be the early defining game of Mike Shanahan's tenure here in DC. The Redskins were coming off a short week after being disgraced at home by the Eagles, going into a rather tough stadium in LP Field and facing one of the best RBs in the league and a strong pass rushing D. It would have been understandable to see the Redskins lose this game. It would have been even more understandable to see this team lose with so many injures. Yet, this team came to play. The back ups played strong and the team kept its composure despite starting poorly, facing adversity throughout and seeing what could be a game winning FG fall just short. As much as I faulted some on the Skins team and the coaches for coming up short and not being ready, they stepped up this week and showed what this team might be able to do down the stretch.

That's just the nature of this team I suppose, sometimes you see flashes of greatness and sometimes flashes of mediocrity. Let's do some The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

In Memoriam......the Redskin Fans Who Stayed

This will be the final commentary on the MNF blowout by the Eagles. What's been lost in the mix of things isn't the fact that the Redskins looked slow and mediocre against a divisional foe or that they fell to under .500 that week and the chances of any playoff berth look slim. No, it's the Redskin fans who actually stayed through most of the game. It's not easy to watch something like that and it's even harder to put up with that live in front of Eagle fans no less. Plus, it's hell to drive home after something like that, especially if you live an hour or so away. You're pissed/upset, stuck in traffic and tired after making the trip up there and spending hours of tailgating and being at the game.

And it rained......no less.

So for those who made it past halftime, I'm pretty impressed. If it wasn't the score that made you leave I'm sure Billy Ray Cyrus playing Achy, Breaky Heart (I'm guessing he played it, I wasn't there) probably would have done it. So here's to you. You suffer for your fandom and remained to try to root the team towards something. Maybe you just stayed to watch the disaster as history was made......either way you stayed and bore witness to something that we hope we'll never see again in our lifetimes.

IIWII wants to reward a few readers here for that.......

Here's the deal. I don't make any money for my posting/creation that is IIWII. I didn't like the ads getting in the way of content. I wasn't going to make much if I had kept them and I really don't get enough hits to make it worthwhile. There are other reasons but those are a few.
My point is that I don't have funds from the site to give thank yous to a lot of people and they would come out of my pocket but I want to thank a few Skins fans.

In the Skins/Eagles recap I mentioned for anybody that stayed past halftime to email (or leave a comment) and I would find a way to thank you. Dave at Staying Medium suggested cash (*I know you were joking*). Cash is good idea. I figured I would make it Redskins related though. So here's the deal: Redskin fans who stayed past halftime, please email/comment/twitter me and your name (or handle) will be added to this post in honor of you putting up with one of the worst games in Redskins history.

For the 1st 5 people who get up with me, I'm going to buy you a beer (only those 21 and older mind you)/ soda/water/Johnny Rocket's shake etc. . That's right a beverage of your choice up to $10 is on me. We've already gotten two people (JD and Dave), so 3 more people are eligible. Details will be forthcoming to those who win (so try to email/twitter me, it will be easier to get up with you that way). Thanks for staying and supporting the Skins and thanks for reading IIWII.


To Those Who Stayed.....We Will Not Forget

JD
Dave

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Initial Thoughts Skins @ Titans

Wow. What a game!
Going to start working on that game recap. But here some quick thoughts:

- Based on the Twitter buzz it sounds like a bunch of the guys that were injured won't be available for the Vikings game next week. More on that later.....

- The patchwork O-line looked better than much of the starting group. Heyer at RG and Montgomery at C looked worlds better than Artis Hicks and Casey Rabach.

- Keiland Williams might be one of the best unknown pick ups the Skins made in a long time and that says a lot based on some of the undrafted guys the Redskins have picked up.

-Donovan McNabb showed why he deserved an extension today. The screen to Davis where he got crushed and the pass to Cooley that should have been a sack are just a few examples. I'm glad the Skins got the deal done, but also got it done in a way that is beneficial to both McNabb and the team.

-Nice to see Joey Galloway play better. Nice to see Fred Davis used in passing situations.

-Graham Gano is going to get abused a bit this week for missing the 47 and 51 yd FGs but the 51 yarder was b/c of where he was located on the hash (more in Game Recap) and his kickoffs were all tocuhbacks except for 1 KO. Need to continue to develop this kid.

- Tenn.'s one lone touchdown (the punt return) can be attributed to the Anderson Russell's injury. He had the outside contain.

-Could this be Clinton Portis' last game as a Redskin?

More coming up soon.

Redskins pre-game News and Notes

Will be updated as I find some new tidbits of info.

- LaRon Landry, Carlos Rogers and Ryan Torain are out. My guess is that Kevin Barnes will be active today. Maybe Chad Simpson as well?

- Clinton Portis is supposed to start today.

- Rumors are swirling including a report by The Post that WR Terrence Austin has been called up from the practice squad. Has yet to be confirmed, but if true who's going to be cut or IRed in order to give him the roster spot?

- Per ESPN 980 Skins will be wearing white jerseys and the gold pants today.

- NO word on RB James Davis' status. I'm assuming he's still on the practice squad.

- Full inactive list: Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Ryan Torain, Artis Hicks (ut-oh!!), John Beck (3rd QB), Perry Riley, Anthony Bryant and Jeremy Jarmon via Grant Paulsen's twitter

So the big question is who will be the starting guards? Lichtenstiger and Montgomery? Lichtenstiger and Dockery? Lorenzo Alexander?

- Will Montgomery starting at RG. Phillip Buchanon will start in place of Rogers and Anderson Russell is starting ahead of Reed Doughty at SS (via ESPN 980 and Grant Paulsen)

The Skins uni look today (via Larry Weisman's twitter):

- In former Redskins news: Devin Thomas is active today for the Panthers in the game against the Ravens.

- Titans are 12-0 against the NFC in their last 12 games. are 3-0 against the NFCE this season.

- Per Matt Terl and Redskins.com this is the first time the Skins have worn the Chief helmet with the white jersey and gold pants. Hope it helps.

- A note for next week: Sidney Rice is supposed to play today for the Vikings, so I would assume we'll see him next week @ FedEx.

- Still no word on Terrence Austin.....my guess, the Skins changed their mind and decided not to promote him.

-Skins are 0-2 against the AFC this year.

- Chad Simpson limping off the field per various Twitter reports. Can we have a week with 3 healthy RBs? I hope Keiland Williams ate his wheaties today. If Portis gets dinged or winded, it's all on him again.

-Reading Chris Horton's Twitter. He cut off his dreads. No more Predator?

- Both the Titans and the Skins have lost two in a row.

Week 11 Picks

Last week was a generally bad week for yours truly. Then I missed the Bears/Dolphins game. So here are this weeks picks. Hopefully, this week will be better for me and the Skins. This looks like a crappy week for football viewing, most of these matchups are bad.

1PM 
Baltimore Ravens @ Carolina Panthers (+10.0)
I just see no way that the Panthers can win this one. You're basically giving a start to a QB who wasn't in the league until last week. You're down to your 3rd or 4th string RB. Add that you're playing a team that has a pretty good defense and lots of weapons on offense.
Pick: Ravens

Buffalo Bills @ Cincinnati Bengals (-5.5)
The Bills have looked better lately and the Bengals have been ripped apart on defense and poor QB play by Carson Palmer. That said, I like the Bengals here. I think they can put up enough points to win in a shootout.
Pick: Bengals

Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys (-6.5)
Only a few weeks ago, I would have picked Detroit here easily. Dallas looked better after last week, but you wonder if the Cowboys overlook Detroit here. I'm going with the Cowboys, but think it will be much closer than the spread suggests.
Pick: Cowboys

Cleveland Browns @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5)
Cleveland is looking much better than their record suggests. I still can't figure out Jacksonville.
Pick: Browns

Arizona Cardinals @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5)
Arizona has looked better and the Chiefs have struggled lately. That said, Arrowhead is one of the tougher places to play when it's cold, the 1PM game will hurt the Cardinals and I think the Chiefs will come back after being trounced by Denver last week.
Pick: Chiefs

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (+ 3.0)
Could this be the end of the Vikings? I think so.
Pick: Packers

Houston Texans @ NY Jets (-7.0)
In NY I think the Jets muster enough of a passing game to hurt the Texans. I also think they'll limit Arian Foster.
Pick: Jets

Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-7.5)
Steelers aren't going to lose back to back home games. Raiders have improved, but not that much.
Pick: Steelers

Washington Redskins @ Tennessee Titans
Not much has improved to make me think the Redskins will win this game. If anything, losing Landry and Rogers seems to make me think the Titans have an even better chance this week.
Pick: Titans 27-16.


4PM
New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks (+11.5)
Don't like the spread on this one either, but I'm still taking the Saints here.
Pick: Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ San Francisco 49ers (-3.0)
I really want to take the Bucs here, but my gut is telling me to take  the 49ers. Going with the gut here even if I don't think that it makes much sense.
Pick: 49ers

Atlanta Falcons @ St. Louis Rams (+3.0)
This is another upset in my opinion. I like the Rams at home and I think they'll pull one out here.
Pick: Rams

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots (- 3.0)
Neither team has been a consistent team compared to teams of the past. Going with the home team this week.
Pick: Patriots

SNF
NY Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3.0)
Mike Vick just can't look as good as he did last week. But I still think he does enough to beat the G-Men.
Pick: Eagles

MNF
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers (-10.0)
This is the time of years for the Chargers to start really pumping it up to make the post season. They should be able to beat the Broncos.
Pick: Chargers

Last Week: 5-8 (5-9 if you counted TNF)
Season:  82-62

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What's On Tap for the Weekend......

(Hooray Beer!!! You have to be drinking if you're watching the Skins lately)
 I'm about a day behind on my posting. I was planning to have a Friday Night Videos featuring more fun with Ray Lewis and some clips from our new friends over at PM Sports. But we went and saw the new Harry Potter (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt.1) film last night. I got in a little late and before I knew it, its 9:30 Saturday morning. So expect a Saturday Night Videos instead tonight.

After the Eagles blowout I decided to take a week off from football.  I didn't really want to hear from the pundits at ESPN about how bad the team is playing and such and frankly I didn't care about what the team had to say on the matter (so I skipped another week of Redskins Nation and Comcast Sportsnet). They sucked, they got their butts kicked.....what else is there to say really? Get over it, move on and figure out some way to beat the Titans on Sunday. I even missed my TNF weekly pick. Oh well, after a week off I'm ready for football again.

So here's whats on schedule for the weekend (or what I hope I can get done):
- A memorial for the Redskin fans who bared witness and stayed for most of the horrible Eagles/Redskins game; including a guest appearance by another Redskins blogger!!!!

- Week 11 Picks. I would have picked the Bears if I hadn't forgotten, I won't count it but I just wanted to state it for the record. I hope this week I do better. Last week I had my first losing week of the season.

- Some thoughts on the Skins/Titans game. Haynesworth homecoming. Secondary Shredded. Portis may play. More on that later.....

- Redskins/Titans Game Recap.

- Really hoping to get a post done on WUSA's blog. The theme (and some of my smart ass wit) might be toned down a bit there, but I'm hoping to add a touch of IIWII over there for their Landover and Ashburn sites.

Anyway, I have a whole bunch of yard work to do, so I better get started....more tonight.
Oh and Harry Potter was good. If you're a fan of the series or books, you should enjoy it. My only gripe is that Voldemort isn't that scary to me. Frankly, he kind of comes off as a bit of a wuss. Overall I'd give it a B or B+. I think some people will get bored however because modern society has little attention span.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Game Recap: Bummed Out

(You think Mike Shanahan is mad, talk to some of the Redskin fans that went to the game. Photo via Redskins.com -Ned Dishman)
I could never be a beat writer for the Redskins. The main reason is because I can't watch the Skins get their asses handed to them. It hurts as a fan. It drives me nuts. I wasn't able to go to the game last night, so I watched it on TV. By the end of the second Eagles drive I already had the Mrs. switching to something else.

" Turn the ****ing channel, I'm sick of watching this ****!!!!! Watch whatever you want."
-Me, around 9PM last night

If you know what I'm about, you know I've always dreamed of a FedEx where we had a 12th Man like the days of RFK when the Skins were a good team. I'll just say this, if you're a Redskin fan who stayed past the 1st quarter last night, you're a braver soul than I would've been. Especially being at night in the cold rain. If you stayed past halftime, please email me. IIWII wants to honor you in some way on the blog for putting up with that crap.

Of course, I didn't stop watching. We turned the game back on and off a few more times and I kept pace of what was going on via NFL.com's game tracker in the hopes of keeping the screams of profanity down to a minimum. Either way it was sickening. It was sickening to get beaten this bad at home, by a divisional rival, in front of their a-hole fans that love to invade FedEx on national television no less.

Mike Vick was made to look like the 2nd coming of Joe Montana last night. Vick has vastly improved from his Falcon days. He actually knows how to play quarterback now, not just rely on a cannon arm to throw a ball deep and to run. But Vick can be stopped and contained, yet the Redskins made him look unstoppable. The Eagles broke records against the Skins last night (592 yards total offense and 59 points) and the Skins just looked old, lazy and pathetic.

Of course some guys always play hard. Guys like London Fletcher and Lorenzo Alexander always play hard. Some of the other guys who are trying to make a name for themselves (Banks, Armstrong, Young) play hard. Even guys who just don't fit the scheme like Andre Carter plays hard. The problem is that there are too many high paid players on this team that don't......frankly, I'm sick of it.

I've been kind of down on the Redskins since the Detroit game. The Skins have to find a way to beat good, yet beatable teams and they can't......Detroit felt like it was a sign of the end of the 2010 season. The Philly loss may have just confirmed that despite having 7 games left to play. I know I've been predicting a 8-8 schedule but there have been a few times where I could see glimmers of what this team could be. Now I'm starting to wonder if the Skins can win 6-7 games this season.

There won't be any in depth analysis this week. I'm sure Dave-O over at Staying Medium will be brave enough to go through the play by play game analysis and break down and for that we thank him. All I think you really need to know is that the Skins were down 28-0 by the end of the 1st quarter and to improve upon that the Skins only gave up 17 more points in the second quarter. That's game.

A word of advice to the Redskins (if anybody from the Redskins organization reads this blog.....I kind of doubt it): You guys better get your **** together ASAP. Fans have grown really tired of the pitiful performances we've had to witness week after week on TV and especially at FedEx. Fans had hoped that things would get better with Allen and Shanahan coming in and the removal of Vinny Cerrato. At first we thought they had, but losing like this has made many change their minds. Fans pay way too much to see their team get blown out by 31 against a good team, but a team that the Skins beat only a few weeks ago and a team that the Skins had two weeks to prepare for. Play mediocre against the Vikings at home in less than two weeks and expect a stadium full of boos. You'll deserve it.

Time for a quick The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good (Not much)
- Keiland Williams (16 carries, 89 yds 2 TDs rushing; 4 catches, 50yards 1 TD catch). Portis out. Torain out. Simpson inactive. Davis on the practice squad. It all came down to Keiland Williams to run the ball as the Skins only RB. He did his best. Still has to improve upon the pass blocking and isn't really a speedy guy but he put up numbers and carried the load.


- Anthony Armstrong (3 catches, 83 yards). The Skins only deep threat on this team anymore.

- London Fletcher (13 tackles, 9 solo). Deserves to be on a better team than this one.

The Bad (Plenty of that)
- Mike Shanahan. Clearly did not get this team ready to play after the bye week. I blame the HC primarily for that. Took a risk and inactivated Chad Simpson and failed miserably as Torain went down during warm ups by re-aggravating his hamstring.

- Kyle Shanahan. After being down 7-0 decided to run three straight times for a 3 and out. Never got much better after that.

- Jim Haslett. The D was toasted.....period. What makes it worse is how well the Skins handled the Eagles last time.

- Donovan McNabb. Numbers aren't that bad. The three INTs were just horrible. Still hasn't earned that extension in the eyes of many Redskin fans. Just doesn't look like the guy who gave the Skins fits over the years.

- Joey Galloway. Catch the damn ball. It still amazes me why Galloway is on the roster, yet Devin Thomas was cut and a kid like Terrence Austin is stuck on the practice squad. Galloway hasn't done anything since week 2.

- Albert Haynesworth. This .gif pretty much sums up his career here. Every time you think he's going to be a non-stop domination, you get this:

- LaRon Landry. Looked like the Landry from 2007-2009.

The Ugly
- 3rd down conversions haven't gotten better, if anything they've gotten worse. 0 for 10 last night.

- The Skins are now 2-1 in the NFCE as still have the Giants at home and both the Giants and Cowboys on the road.

- The Skins fall to 3rd place in the NFCE. The Cowboys are only two games behind the Skins at this point. The Eagles and Giants however, are tied at 6-3 for 1st in the NFCE, just liked the media was hoping for.

- Silver lining: 1st game the Skins have scored  28 points this season and 4 touchdowns.

- I'm picking against the Skins every week until they win again. Based on last night's performance, I'm not sure if they will win another game this season.

Next Sunday.....at the Titans

Monday, November 15, 2010

So Much for the BYE Week.....

Skins already down 21-0 in the 1st qtr. McNabb thrown an INT.
This game isn't worth watching.......waste of a bye week if you ask me. Plus, Torain is injured which leaves only Keiland Williams to pick up the slack. Terrible gamble by Shanahan and he rolled snake-eyes.

Good News, Redskins News and Notes Pregame

Early reports from Rich Campbell and John Keim via Twitter is that Brandon Banks is warming up and running routes with the other WRs. No sign of impairment.

Looks like he might be available after all......Skins can use him for sure.

Update#1: McNabb looking happy and healthy (ie. moving well) from Redskins kick off
                 Clinton Portis is inactive, so is Chad Simpson (whuh?) per Kelli Johnson.

Update#2: Good news for some ex-redskins that I like. Jason Campbell has been named the starter again for the Raiders for the rest of the season. Also Patrick Ramsey has signed with the Miami Dolphins to replaced IRed Chad Pennington and Chad Henne (via ESPN).

Update#3: Inactive list via Matt Terl
John Beck, Kevin Barnes, Clinton Portis, Chad Simpson, Perry Riley, Derrick Dockery, Anthony Bryant, Jeremy Jarmon


Also, check out TBD.com for a live chat during the game featuring many of the Redskins bloggers including myself. Feel, from to stop by and say hi and rag on me for picking against the Skins this week.

McNabb Extended.....Can We Start Building That O-line Now?

With the reports that Donovan McNabb has been given a 5 year, 78 million dollar extension with 40 million guaranteed. So now that McNabb isn't going to be one and done in DC it's time to focus on the O-line. The Detroit game was a perfect example of what's going on. The interior line was shredded by rookie DT Ndamukong Suh and veteran  DE Kyle Vanden Bosch.

It has been hard to watch this sometimes as McNabb, much like Jason Campbell is getting hit almost as soon as the ball is snapped. This is never good for young QBs trying to develop or aging QBs that have a history of missing a few games a year due towards injury. Skins need at least 3-4 new starters on the line and they need they sooner than later.  Artis Hicks has struggled in his pass protection. Jammal Brown can't stay healthy/never has been healthy and may not be a long term solution for any team. Casey Rabach just struggles. Watch the failed stretch plays and notice that the initial breakdown takes place many times in the gap between the LG and the C. Kory Lichtesteiger has also struggled but I hear he may be better as a center than a guard. Derrick Dockery will be gone by the end of the season, he doesn't fit the scheme. As for depth, it's limited. Will Montgomery and Stephon Heyer are okay in a pinch and surprisingly Heyer has looked better this year than he did in 2009 (not saying much he had a very bad 2009). Selvish Capers and Erik Cook have yet to show that they will be anything more than depth.

This is simple. Remember how the Redskins won their 3 SB trophies and went to 4 SB's in the 80's and 90's? They did it with The Hogs. The QBs, RBs they were interchangeable. It was the O-line and the men that made that unit up that dominated football. You've got your franchise QB now Skins, just don't forget the O-line so McNabb can make the plays that he's getting paid to make.

Let's Look At......The Redskins Schedule Pt. 2

So, the 2nd half of the season is here and before we get to that let's take a brief look at the 1st half of the 2010 season. The season that debuted Donovan McNabb as the Redskins QB and Mike Shanahan as the next legendary head coach to try to get the Skins on a winning track. The 1st half didn't end well with a loss to Detroit of all teams and a benching of McNabb. That said, for a tough starting 8 games the team trying to rebuild after 2009's terrible 4-12 season have done pretty well with a strong possibility that the team could improve down the stretch.

Here's a breakdown of the 1st 8 games (from NFL.com)

- The Skins are .500 heading into the 2nd half of the season. They are already at the same win mark that the Skins had in all of 2009. In some instances, you have to think this is a good sign based on the spotty play by the entire offense, limited play by the top paid player on the team (Albert Haynesworth) a conversion to a new defensive scheme (4-3 to 3-4) and some injuries.

- The Skins are neither better at home (2-2) then they are away (2-2). Although when they lose on the road they tend to get destroyed much more then when they lose (on road lose by a total of 26 points vs. 6 points at FedEx) at home. Margin of winning is practically identical either at home or away.

- All but two games (the two losses) have been decided by 6 points or less. Again, this has been common for the Redskins over the last few years.

- The Skins are currently 0-2 vs. the AFC (This year playing the AFC South). This has been a general trend as the Redskins have struggled year after year against AFC opponents. Surprisingly, the Redskins finished 2009 with a 2-2 record against the AFCW. They finish the 2010 season with away games against the Titans and the Jaguars. I'll be surprised at this point if the Skins do better than 1-3 against the AFCS.

- The Skins are 4-2 in the NFC. While many Redskin fans are pulling their hair out for losing against losing teams like the Rams (4-5) and the Lions (2-7), they have gained key wins against good NFC teams like the Packers (6-3), Bears (6-3) and the Eagles (5-3). If the Redskins get into playoff contention, those wins will help in tiebreaker situations. The Skins still have a few conference games remaining against the Vikings and the Bucs.

- Speaking of the Eagles and the NFCE, going into week 10 the Redskins are currently 2-0 in the division. Mike Shanahan is one game away from tying and two games away from exceeding what Jim Zorn did in two seasons (3-9). A key factor in how well the Redskins do in the 2nd half will be determined by how well the Skins play the NFCE down the stretch. The Skins still have two games upcoming against the Giants (a team they have had the most amount of difficulty in the NFCE since Gibbs 2.0), the Eagles at FedEx and a trip to Dallas against the Cowboys.

I'm still standing by my 8-8 prediction. If anything I wouldn't be surprised if they went 7-9. The remaining schedule is not easy. The Skins face 7 teams (in eight games) with a combined record of 32-30 (.516). Only two of those teams have losing records (Vikings, Cowboys) and neither team are playing poorly enough to list as guaranteed wins. Also, the Skins have to play the Giants twice, which hasn't been fun to watch lately if you're a Redskins fan.

Let's look at the upcoming games just like we did in Let's Look At....pt.1

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 10 Picks

OK. So 0-1 so far this week as I thought they would pull an upset on the Falcons.Almost was right except for the final minute of the game.....oh well.

Anyway, time for the rest of your week ten games.
1PM
Tennessee Titans @ Miami Dolphins (+1.0)
The Dolphins don't play well at home this year, it's the debut  of Randy Moss as a Titan and Chad Henne has been benched for Chad Pennington. I like Chris Johnson to have a good day today.
Pick: Titans

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears (+1.5)
I want to take the Bears here. I really do. But the Vikings look like they may have gotten a spark back to be closer to the 2009 team than the 2010 team. Plus, I don't trust Jay Cutler. I expect "The Mope" to make at least 1-2 big mistakes in this one.
Pick: Vikings

Detroit Lions @ Buffalo Bills (-3.0)
Colder weather plus no Jason Hanson and no Matthew Stafford. I have to believe that the Bills will win one game eventually. They're bad but not 0-16 bad. The Lions are giving them an opportunity to win here.
Pick: Bills

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7.0)
Can Jimmy Clausen save the Panthers this year? Will Devin Thomas ever get a chance to be on the active gameday roster? Do the Panthers have a chance here at all? *Shakes Magic 8-ball* It says: very doubtful.
Pick: Bucs

Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.0)
I like the Texans here primarily because I think they have more weapons. I can never figure how the Jags are going to play from week to week.
Pick: Texans

New York Jets @ Cleveland Browns (+3.0)
I think this will be my upset for today. I'm a big fan of Colt McCoy and I think the Browns may be able to do enough to outscore an anemic Jets offense.
Pick: Browns

Cincinnati Bengals @ Indianapolis Colts (-7.5)
Colts get back on the playoff track today. Marvin Lewis gets closer to being fired.
Pick: Colts

4PM
Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos (+1.0)
Broncos just aren't much right now, I like the Chiefs to rebound from the loss to the Raiders last week.
Pick: Chiefs

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants (-14.0)
I would like the Cowboys to win here for two reasons (knock the Giants down a peg, lose draft ranking) but I can't see that happening in the Jason Garrett era.
Pick: Giants

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals (-3.0)
Seahawks have a QB issue. So does Arizona, but they're doing alright with Derek Anderson right now.
Pick: Cardinals

St. Louis Rams @ San Francisco 49ers (-6.0)
The Rams have shown to be excellent at home.....the road, not so much. I like that Troy Smith is starting for the 49ers as well.
Pick: 49ers

SNF
New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-4.5)
Patriots are young and a very up and down team. The Steelers may be the best team in the NFL. I like the Steelers at home here. Should be a good game to watch.
Pick: Steelers

MNF
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins (+3.0)
I've only picked against the Skins once this season. It was when the Skins were coming off a bad loss to the Rams and facing a really good Michael Vick Eagles team. The Redskins coming off a bad loss to the Lions and a McNabb benching are at home facing a really good Michael Vick led Eagles team. Last time, I challenged the Skins to prove me wrong. I'm doing it again. I am more than willing to eat crow if they win.....so do it again Skins, prove me wrong and go 3-0 in the NFCE!!!!
Pick: Eagles 24-13


Last Week: 9-4
TNF (week 10):  0-1
Season: 77-54

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week 10: Thursday Night Football



Only Ray Lewis could do a commercial so bat-**** insane that it will sell tons of Old Spice. Really, let's look at this video really quick.

- Ray talks to his teammates about having "The Heart of a Champion" and then pulls a Temple of Doom (or something from Mortal Kombat) by ripping out his heart.

- Ray's heart is a stick of old spice, that contains a tiny universe that looks like the one from Men in Black.

- Ray then eats the universe, grows multiple heads and shoots lightning out of his mouth

If you don't fear that you just dropped some acid after watching this, either you just did drop some acid or something is seriously wrong (Ignore the voices in your head!!!!).

Anyway, tonight is the debut of 2010's Thursday Night Football on NFL Network. It's a good matchup with the Ravens facing the Falcons. I know this is a big game for SHD in that not only do the Ravens need a win to keep up with the Patriots, Jets and Steelers but also it's the first meeting between Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan who were drafted in the same year.

Falcons are favored by one, but I like the Ravens in this one. I think Ed Reed will make a big INT late in the 4th quarter to make the difference in the game.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Phillips Fired....How 'Bout Them Cowboys?

(Finally put out of his misery.)
It has not been a good year for the Dallas Cowboys. The team that supposedly had turned around the franchise with a win against the Eagles in the playoffs last season have now fallen to an abysmal 1-7 (after being destroyed by the Packers last night). The 2009 Redskins had a better record at this point last year in their quest to fail at 4-12.

Remember this was the team that was supposed to play in the 1st ever Super Bowl hosted in their own stadium. And yet, at this moment they're more likely to get the #1 overall pick in the 2011 draft instead. I can't say I feel sorry for the Cowboy fans. When the Cowboys are winning they are down right obnoxious and the media coverage is ridiculous. It's no surprise to talk to fans of other non-NFCE teams and find that enjoy the Cowboys failures as well.

So this sound pretty much sums up the Cowboys' season.


Remember, we first saw where the 'boys were heading all the way back in week 1 on this single play (also notable is that 31 of 32 teams probably wouldn't have run that play based on the situation).



Now the only question one has to ask is who will be the next head coach?
Early rumors indicate John Fox or Jon Gruden.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Week 9 Picks

Not sure what to do with myself with no Redskins on the TV this weekend. I'll probably stay in and watch the Red Zone channel and catch up on some sleep. I've been doing pretty good the last few weeks and with the Skins not playing, I'm hoping that I'll get an extra win today. Okay, here are you're week 9 picks.

Bonus: SHD picks added!!

1PM Games
NY Jets @ Detroit Lions (+4.0)
I almost had the Lions here based on last week's performance. But after I thought about it, I went with the Jets. The Jets O-line is much better than the Skins and they have a better run game. Also, the Jets have a more solid D. Expect Matthew Stafford to return to reality this week.
Pick: Jets
SHD Pick: Lions

Miami Dolphins @ Baltimore Ravens (-5.5)
The Dolphins have a better away record than home record. That said, it's cold and breezy in Baltimore today perfect weather for the Ravens style of football. I don't think the Dolphins have a chance in this one.
Pick: Ravens
SHD Pick: Ravens

New England Patriots @ Cleveland Browns (+5.5)
Darth Hoodie always wants to win this game. One, it's revenge on the team that fired him. Two, it's Eric Mangini who blew open the whole Spygate saga. IF this was earlier in the season, I might think this would be close. I don't now.
Pick: Patriots
SHD Pick: Patriots

San Diego Chargers @ Houston Texans (+1.0)
Again, I almost had Houston here. But then I thought about Phillip Rivers and the Chargers passing game against a real bad Texans pass defense. Despite Norv Turner, I have to take the Chargers here.
Pick: Chargers
SHD Pick: Chargers

Chicago Bears @ Buffalo Bills (Toronto) (+2.5)
Even with the BYE for Chicago, this may be the game where the Bills finally find a way to win. Either that or they'll blow another one at the end (and I'll lose a game).
Pick: Bills
SHD Pick: Bills


Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings (-9.5)
The spread on this one is a joke and there is no way I would take Minnesota favored by more than nine. That said, I just don't think Derek Anderson is good enough to lead the Cardinals to a victory.
Pick: Vikings
SHD Pick: Cardinals

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons (-8.5)
We start to see a little separation in the NFCS after this game as the Falcons take this one.
Pick: Falcons
SHD Pick: Falcons

New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers (+7.0)
I'm more interested to see if Devin Thomas is active for today's game more than anything.
Pick: Saints
SHD Pick: Saints

4PM Games
New York Giants @ Seattle Seahawks (+5.5)
No Hasslebeck and the 'Hawks are playing a tough front seven. Welcome to the NFL Charlie Whitehurst, this will probably be a long day.
Pick: Giants
SHD Pick: Giants

Indianapolis Colts @ Philadelphia Eagles (-1.0)
I like the Colts to sweep the entire NFCE this season.
Pick: Colts
SHD Pick: Colts

Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders (-3.0)
This is a tough one. I'm going with the Chiefs though because I think they know how to win better than the Raiders at the moment.
Pick: Chiefs
SHD Pick: Raiders

Sunday Night Football
Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
Packers are still dominant despite the injuries. Dallas couldn't win before Tony Romo got hurt and they won't tonight either.
Pick: Packers
SHD Pick: Packers

Monday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5)
Carson Palmer vs. the Steelers D does not favor the Bengals. I also expect Big Ben to toast the Bengals secondary at least once.
Pick: Steelers
SHD Pick: Bengals

Next week, we'll have two weekly pick columns as Thursday Night Football premiers as the Ravens face the Falcons.

Last Week: 9-4
Season: 68-49

Friday, November 5, 2010

On the McNabb Benching.........

(McNabb tossing the ball around during the good old days of training camp 2010)
Did we see this coming months ago and just ignored it? Read on fearless viewer: 
"  The biggest concern I would guess would be the accuracy of Donovan McNabb. He threw some classic McNabb passes and a few not-so-classic passes that led to interceptions (one being a major overthrow). But it's early and we'll see if this remains a problem throughout the season. I'm not that worried about it as of right now."

I guess it's time to worry now, huh?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Randy Moss? Why Not.

(I can see him in Burgundy and Gold, just not as #81- that's a sacred number around these parts)
 Before you start saying "Are you out of your mind Deadman? Don't we already have enough divas on this Redskin team?" you need to read on and hear me out on the Moss situation. There are some clear cut cons to taking Randy Moss and as many of you might know, I was very much against seeing T.O. come to DC (can you imagine T.O. with McNabb playing like he has in 2010?). Nor is Moss to DC a great long term solution. He wants a new contract and personally, with an unstable QB situation and a horrible O-line I can't see signing an older Randy Moss to a new mega-deal as one of the Redskins major needs at this moment. Moss is also generally known for being a malcontent but it really depends on the situation and how he and the team for whom he's playing is doing. All of that said, I think for 3+ million he might be worth brining in for 8 games, here's why.

1. Height- Moss is 6'4". The next tallest WR on the roster is Roydell Williams at 6'0". One of the things Mike Shanahan really liked about Malcolm Kelly is his height and that's why the Skins wanted Kelly to be out on the field so badly. Jump balls and fades are doable for the taller WRs. With Kelly on IR, you bring in Moss for the height factor and if Moss isn't back in 2011, then you have Kelly or some other FA/draftee who may be able to fill that role. Right now, there's nobody better available to do that.

2. Production- Moss' numbers haven't been that great in 2010 but let's look at the stats anyway. In his 4 games with the Vikings, Moss had 13 catches for 174 yards and 2 TDs. Now let's look at the Redskins. Roydell Williams and Joey Galloway have less catches in 8 games combined (11 catches 184yds, 0TD). Anthony Armstrong (who I like) only has 17 catches (although he's averaging 21.6 yds/catch) and 1 TD. Even in a off year for Moss, he's doing better than most of the Redskins WRs.

3. More opportunities for Cooley and S. Moss- Randy Moss still requires double coverage against many teams, so this opens up more opportunities for Cooley and Santana Moss and the run game for that matter.

4. Would bringing in Moss hurt Armstrong's development? No. You still rotate Armstrong in with Moss. Moss takes plays off on the field, so it makes sense to rotate him in (kind of similar to Haynesworth) and let Armstrong get some snaps.

So yes, I think it only makes sense to take a shot with Moss. What the heck. If worse comes to worse you cut him just like the Vikings did.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quote of the Week as we go into a BYE

From Kissing Suzy Kolber's weekly Fun with Peter King segment last week:

"If Donovan McNabb can pick up his game and Washington’s receivers can stop dropping it so much, the Redskins might have as good a shot as anybody." (Peter King from MMQB 10/25/10)

"If the Redskins can stop being the Redskins, they could be AWESOME." (Drew Magary 10/25/10)

- it's funny because it's so true Drew.