Monday, December 26, 2011

If the Season Ended Today...The Redskins Would Draft at #7

Looking at the Vikings/Redskins game in a draft perspective, the loss didn't do much for the Redskins while it did hurt the Vikings draft stock. Minnesota has been eliminated from the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes with their win. Even if they lose next week and both the Rams and the Colts win, it looks like the opponents strength of schedule is too high to win a tie breaker.

Here is this weeks top 10 (or 10 worst the way you look at it):

1. Colts (2-13)
2. Rams (2-13)
3. Vikings (3-12)
4. Jaguars (4-11)
5. Browns (4-11)
6. Buccaneers (4-11)
7. Redskins (5-10)
8. Dolphins (5-10)
9. Panthers (6-9)
10. Chiefs (6-9)

Also the Bills have a 6-9 record as well but based on estimated OPP% they would be 11th.

You'd think week 17 for 'Skins fans would be meaningless, but it's not. There are a bunch of games to follow when we are looking at the 'Skins draft status for 2012. Here is a list of games to keep an eye on:

WAS @ PHI- A Redskins loss would keep them no lower than 7th but could move them up to as high as 4th in draft order depending on who wins ahead of them (Jaguars, Brown, Buccaneers). A Redskins win could knock them as far as 10th or 11th in draft order, falling behind Miami (if the Dolphins would lose). Philly also currently in the teens with their current record.

CHI @ MIN- Not a significant game to Redskin fans, but if the Vikings win and the teams in the 4-6 slots all lose, there is a chance that the Vikings could far as fall as #6. Vikings could also move up to #2 if the Rams and Colts win and they lose.

SF @ StL- The Rams could win #1 overall if they lose and the Colts beat the Jaguars. What this means to the Redskins and anybody else looking for a QB if that the phone lines are open for a trade to move up and get Luck.

NYJ @ MIA- Miami is right behind the 'Skins in draft order. They need a QB. I'd like to see them win this week.

IND @ JAX- This is a draftnik's game of the week and probably the most unwatchable game on TV. If the Jaguars win and the Redskins lose, the Jaguars would likely fall to 7th and the Redskins would move up one spot (could be more if both the Browns and Buccaneers win as well). This scenario would have the Colts win the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes no matter what the Rams do. On the other hand, if the Colts win, the Jaguars could move up to #3 if Minnesota loses and with a Rams win the Colts would fall to #2 and the Rams would win "Suck for Luck".

PIT @ CLE- With a Browns win and a Redskins loss, the Redskins would move up one spot in draft order (more with wins by Jags and Bucs). The Browns could fall back as far as 10th based on who wins and loses this week with a win. I hope the Browns win this week, but I doubt it will happen.

TB @ AtL- There is a slight chance the Bucs could win this game because the Falcons are in the playoffs and the only thing to be determined is the 5th or 6th seed between them and the Lions. With a Bucs win and a Redskins loss, the Redskins will move up at least one spot in the draft; possibly more with losses from the Bucs and Browns. If Atlanta wins, this could slightly help the Redskins as their pick will fall further making it less valuable for the Browns if they try to move up and get either Luck or a RG3.

Other Draft Notes

- The decision of Matt Barkley will have significant ramifications on the 2012 draft. I will go into this in further detail in another post, but this hurts NFL teams that need a QB. It also helps NFL teams that are looking at other positions as the QB needy teams will trade up to get their QB while leaving more talented players at other positions available. It also helps the draft stock of other QBs like Tannehill, Foles, Cousins, etc. All of the QBs projected to be late 1st to 3rd rounders have a chance to go as high as the 1st depending on which underclassmen declare.

- I don't expect to hear word from Landry Jones (Oklahoma) or Robert Griffin III (Baylor) to announce whether they are staying or declaring for the draft until after they've played their bowl games. Baylor is set to play on December 29th against Washington in the Alamo Bowl. Oklahoma will be facing Iowa in the Insight Bowl on December 30th. Underclassmen eligible for the draft have until January 15th to declare that they are going pro. Even if they do declare, they have until January 18th to change their minds.

- Word is that it's a 50/50 bet on whether Griffin is entering the draft this year.

- No clue about Landry Jones, but my guess is that he'll stay for another year. He ended his 2011 season with some bad play and his draft stock appears to be at a low point. I would have Jones as my 4th best QB right now. He'd be the 2nd or 3rd best QB in the 2013 draft depending on if Griffin declares for 2012.



Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from IIWII and Happy Holidays From the Redskins


The above was a Holiday Card sent to me from the Redskins, wishing a happy holiday and I thought I would share.


Merry Christmas and have a safe and happy holidays from IIWII.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Week 16 Picks

Quick list of winners b/c I'm running out of time.
Patriots
Ravens
Redskins
Broncos
Steelers
Panthers
Titans
Giants
Chiefs
Lions
Eagles
Seahawks
Packers
Saints

Friday, December 23, 2011

Redskins Game Recap vs. Giants 2.0

(Any day Rex Grossman isn't the worst QB is a good day)
"The 'Skins tend to win every four years or so at Giants stadium" Andy Polian of ESPN 980's The Sports Reporters said while talking about last week's game. That's why he picked them to win. Me, I was less confident. The Redskins hadn't swept the Giants since 1999. They, haven't won at Giants stadium since 2007 (remember that crazy Todd Collins wind game?). Obviously that means that the 'Skins have never won in the new Giants/Jets stadium. The opening Rex Grossman flea flicker interception didn't give me any signs of confidence. But then something happened.......

The Giants began to stink it up. It was the Giants that dropped passes, made stupid mistakes and cost themselves points right and left. Meanwhile, the Redskins did enough to take advantage of those mistakes to score and win the game. The Redskins were able to convert 3rd downs and move the ball. It's amazing how bad the Giants can play and how good this team can play at times.

Anyway, the win moved the Redskins back from #4 to #7 in the draft and I know some fans are having a serious meltdown while we speak. That said, man did it feel good beating the Giants and sweeping an NFC East opponent. I don't care what you think about it. This win felt good. Let's do some The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good
Kyle Shanahan- I almost wish Fred Davis and Trent Williams had been suspended earlier in the season because Shanahan has finally decided to open up the playbook and try to do something with what he has. He has two young and pretty decent running backs, so he runs the ball....... This sets up the play action passes and helps with reverses and whatever else the 'Skins are doing. Finally, I'm happy with the game plan.

Jabar Gaffney (6 catches, 85 yards)- A very quiet, but very effective season for Mr. Gaffney.


London Fletcher (12 tackles, 1 FF)- Top free agent priority is to re-sign Fletcher. Is he like a fine wine and gets better with age?

OJ Atogwe, D. Hall and Josh Wilson- 3 INTs. They didn't drop passes, they made plays. That's all I ask.

O-line- Only gave up 1 sack to a Giants defense that usually eats up the offense. They opened up enough holes to grind the ball and set up a few scores. Major kudos to Willie Smith for containing Jason Pierre-Paul, who really kicked the crap out of Trent Williams at times in week 1.

Roy Helu and Evan Royster- Pounded the crap out of the Giants D. It wasn't pretty and they didn't put up great numbers, but they kept the ball away from Eli Manning and the Giants O. Most importantly it kept the Redskins from having to throw the ball (Grossman only threw 24 passes).

Graham Gano- A rare game where he made all of his FGs (3), all of his XPs (2) and didn't kick the ball out of bounds. Worth putting in a good because he didn't screw up I suppose.

Brian Orakpo- Finally, his first career sack on Manning. He needed this.

Darrel Young- 1st career TD and what a run it was.


The Bad
Trent Williams- No excuses for the #4 overall pick in 2010. If Willie Smith can contain Jason Pierre-Paul, then you should be able to do so as well.

-Can't really think of everybody else. Grossman was decent beyond the two INTs.

The Ugly
- I joked to my wife after the Grossman 2 INTs that he met his mandatory quota of 2 TOs a game. Now he can't start throwing well and throw some TDs. I know, this is a joke but I'm starting to wonder if I'm right about this.....

- 3rd down conversions 8/15 (53%). When have the Redskins topped 50% all year?

- 'Skins just outplayed the Giants at every level. What else is there to say?











Monday, December 19, 2011

If the Season Ended Today....The Redskins Would Draft at #7

With two playoff caliber teams playing on MNF, we can already look at this week's draft. While the Redskins win was good for the team, the players and it's fans, it did bump the Redskins back from 4th overall to 7th overall. Here is the top ten based on who won and lost this week:

1. Colts  (1-13)
2. Vikings (2-12)
3. Rams (2-12)
4. Jaguars (4-10)
5. Browns (4-10)
6. Buccaneers (4-10)
7. Redskins (5-9)
8. Panthers (5-9)
9. Bills (5-9)
10. Dolphins (5-9)

Worth Noting

- USC LT, Matt Kalil has declared for the draft in the past few weeks. While this isn't a guarantee, it's likely that QB, Matt Barkley will be probably heading that way as well with the man protecting his blind side (and likely a top 5 pick) going pro.

- The rumor is that the parents of Robert Griffin III are interviewing prospective agents for their son. What this does is keep RG3 college eligible if he decides to stay at Baylor another year. That said, Griffin's stock can't get much better than it is now. Winning the Heisman, leading Baylor to another bowl game and putting up huge numbers will likely make him a top 10 pick. It's fair to say that if the Colts, Browns, Redskins, Dolphins all pass on him I would be very surprised.

- There have been stories on how some experts, analysts and even NFL executives view either Matt Barkley or RG3 as better prospects than Andrew Luck. I don't see it to be honest. Luck is the best skilled and most polished QB to come out of this class even if both Barkley and RG3 enter the draft. RG3 will have to get used to taking snaps under center, running a pro style offense and using the entire field. Barkley just doesn't have the arm and the skill set compared to Luck in my opinion.

- It's been a crazy week 15 with many upsets. The silver lining to the Redskins win was that other teams like the Dolphins, Seahawks and Chiefs who also will be looking for a QB in the draft all won as well. Yes, the Redskins fell three spots but so did those teams. Enjoy a rare Redskins win! Especially when the 'Skins sweep the Giants.

- I still think the Browns could draft a QB. Although they have problems in other areas. They could use a play making WR (like Julio Jones who they passes in the trade with Atlanta last year) to give McCoy an actual open target. Don't be surprised to see some mock drafts giving them a QB.

- College Bowl season has begun already and while it'll be a few week before we start seeing some good games, keep an eye out for all the games being played. Draft stock will be rising and falling as these games are played.

- Expect the Redskins to focus on offense early in the draft but remember that free agency will precede this year's 2012 draft unlike last year. What the Redskins do and don't do in free agency will set the tone for where they will go in the draft. I'm still convinced that QB will have to be the top priority.




Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Redskins Aren't Expecting a Big Fan Turnout on Saturday

Now for the record I will tell you that I got this email from the Redskins prior to today's victory. Matter of fact, it was sent to me on Friday. But I figured I would share with the IIWII community. Normally, as a ticket holder on the Redskins mailing list, I get similar emails telling me about "player ticket returns". On a side note, if you are interested in catching a game and don't have tickets its worth calling the ticket office and checking for returns. Generally, you can get some decent tickets at face value from time to time.

Anyway, this was a interesting email. Instead of offering up available tickets to fans/season ticket holders, they want those who aren't planning on coming out on Christmas Eve to give their tickets to charity instead of eating them and leaving the seats empty.

Here's most of the email:

Wow.  The Redskins have put out emails and ads like this before and even ExtremeSkins has a plea to fans to give their tickets to charity as an alternative to selling them to a stranger (or worse an opposing team fan). I guess it just comes off to me that the Redskins aren't expecting many fans to come and support their team when they have no chance of going to the playoffs, are 2-5 at home in 2011 and it's the day before a major holiday. It doesn't help that its against the Vikings with no Donovan McNabb either.

NFL Week 15 Picks

2-0 already this week and I'm hoping for a chance to sweep this week. Not impossible but very hard to do.

1PM Games
Dolphins @ Bills (-1.0)
The Dolphins are starting J.P. Losman in place of the injured Matt Moore. Losman struggled in Buffalo as a Bill, now he'll struggle there as a Dolphin. Former Redskin Todd Bowles takes over as the Dolphins new HC.
Pick: Bills

Seahawks @ Bears (-3.5)
I know the Bears are at home and are favored but I don't like them here. Too many injuries and the Seahawks have looked like a real NFL team since they lost to the Redskins.
Pick: Seahawks

Panthers @ Texans (-6.5)
Close game but I'm still taking the Texans here. Best D in the league and a hard to stop run game gives them the edge.
Pick: Texans


Bengals @ Rams ( +6.5)
Man are the Rams bad. Take the Bengals here.
Pick: Bengals

Titans @ Colts (+6.5)
Might be a closer game than you think early on, but I think the Titans pull away. They have something to win for, the Colts have something worth losing (Luck).
Pick: Titans

Packers @ Chiefs (+14.0)
New head coach, Chiefs have looked like they've given up weeks ago. Get ready to see discount double checks early and often in this game.
Pick: Packers

Saints @ Vikings (+7.0)
Adrian Peterson is back so that might give the Vikings a chance, but I kind of think Drew Brees will air the ball out all day.
Pick: Saints


Redskins @ Giants (-7.0)
The 'Skins are horrible in NY. Frankly, I may watch the Red Zone channel after the 1st quarter.
Pick: Giants 24-10.

4PM Games
Lions @ Raiders (+1.0)
Two teams that like to break the rules and get in trouble. I'm going with the original bad guys in the Black hole.
Pick: Raiders


Browns @ Cardinals (-6.5)
This could be the battle of the back up QBs and I like John Skelton almost better than Kevin Kolb.
Pick: Cardinals

Jets @ Eagles (-3.0)
The battle of two annoying green fan bases. I'll go with the team that plays better in December and has a better defense.
Pick: Jets

Patriots @ Broncos (+6.0)
Can the Tebow inspired Broncos beat the high scoring poor defense that is the Patriots? Maybe. I think this is closer than some think, but the Tebows finally can't pull of the miracle.
Pick: Patriots

SNF
Ravens @ Chargers (+2.0)
Part of me really thinks this will be the end of Norv. I hope so if only for the sake of Chargers fans who would like to see another Super Bowl in the next decade. But this is the type of game Norv tends to win. Picking the Ravens here, but I don't like the pick.
Pick: Ravens

MNF
Steelers @ 49ers (-2.0)
Did you get a chance to see the new Dark Knight Rises trailer? Hines Ward scoring a TD for the Gotham Rogues-- meanwhile the field is caving in behind Ward thanks to a new weapon by Batman villain Bane. Anyway, the Steelers are on the road, banged up and facing a good 49ers team. I like the 'niners especially if Big Ben is out.
Pick: 49ers








Tuesday, December 13, 2011

If the Season Ended Today.....The Redskins Would Draft at #4

Week 14 is done and the Redskins move up slightly and pass Jacksonville to be #4 in draft order. "Suck for Luck" also officially ended this week for the Redskins as the Colts lost another game, this time to the Ravens. The Colts are now 0-13 for the season. There is a chance that Minnesota or St. Louis could overtake the Colts for the #1 overall spot if the Colts win the final three games and either the Rams or the Vikings lose out.

I doubt that this will happen.

Here is the current top 10 in draft order (from Walter Football)

  1. Indianapolis (0-13)
  2. Minnesota (2-11)
  3. St. Louis (2-11)
  4. Washington (4-9)
  5. Jacksonville (4-9)
  6. Carolina (4-9)
  7. Miami (4-9)
  8. Cleveland (4-9)
  9. Tampa Bay (4-9)
  10. Philadelphia (5-8)
- Worth noting is that the Brown have a bit of power in this situation. They have both their pick (#8) and Atlanta's 1st round pick (#21- 2010 Julio Jones trade). If they really thought they needed a QB (which is possible) or another top prospect they could trade both 1st rounders and move up to #3 overall. At this point the Browns have many problems and I think they would be better off getting 2 good 1st round players, but you never know with the Browns.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quick Updates 12/12/11

Just wanted to pass along some news.

1st is that I've been going through some of my pictures and finally added pics from the Giants game to the IIWII Flickr feed. So go there and check them out. I'm hoping to add other games in the upcoming weeks and January. I'm limited in photo space on Flickr so this is why I can't load up all of my photo's at once.

2. People have been enjoying the NFL Weekly picks and this may be my best year in picking games. So far, I'm 11-4 on the week with one game to go. I might have a chance to be in the top 5 in the BGO pick'em league this year. I'm hoping to continue doing picks through the Super Bowl this season.

3. I will have a post with some pictures from the Army/Navy game. Just need to start writing it.

4. Redskins Game Recap will be up later today, I also just have to start writing it. Despite the loss, I don't have too much to complain about, so expect a shorter than usual article.

5. Still have a bunch of stuff to post about 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. Right now, he's the guy I want to see the 'Skins draft in the 1st round. It's early and Griffin may return to Baylor next year so while I'm excited in this potential draft prospect I 'm going to try and temper the excitement. He might not be available to draft in the first place.

6. I still have over 300 pictures to share from my trip to the Hall of Fame back in September. That will probably get pushed back to January/Feburary/March as I'm still in the thick of Redskins news, draft prospects, draft standings, ranking draft prospects, Bowl games and All-Star Bowl games to cover.

7. Going to put up a poll soon asking readers what type of content that they would like to read about during the off-season. Please vote. I like readers here often as possible and if we can provide content in other forms of sports, or tv or movies that would be great. That said, if all you want is Redskins and football, well that's where I'll go.

Thanks for reading and keep checking back.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

NFL Week 14 Picks

1PM Games
Buccaneers @ Jaguars (+1.0)
Jeez, I feel bad for the TV fans who get stuck having to watch this game. I can't get Patriots @ Redskins, but at least the Colts @ Ravens game isn't this bad.
Pick: Buccaneers


Patriots @ Redskins (+8.0)
The field will be rough and the end zones will say ARMY and NAVY. I guess the 'Skins figured the pounding that they'll have, they might as well not even show their name on the field today. I expect many a Redskin fan in the parking lot by half-time.
Pick: Patriots 37-16

Texans @ Bengals (-3.0)
Battle of the rookie QB's today. I like the rookie with one of the best D's in the league to back him up
Pick: Texans

Chiefs @ Jets (-9.0)
The Chiefs can't score and the Jets are in December form. Easy game to pick.
Pick: Jets

Vikings @ Lions (-8.0)
Lions bounce back with a win over the hapless Vikings.
Pick: Lions

Saints @ Titans (+3.5)
I have a feeling that the Titans will have a good day running the ball on the Saints. Going with the upset here.
Pick: Titans

Eagles @ Dolphins (-3.0)
Mike Vick is back, but the Dolphins have figured out how to finally win at home. I like the home team to keep it up today.
Pick: Dolphins

Colts @ Ravens (-16.5)
Raven fans still remember the Baltimore Colts. This could be a bloodbath with Manning not there.
Pick: Ravens

Falcons @ Panthers (+2.5)
I expect the Falcons to run the ball early and often against a depleted Carolina D-line
Pick: Falcons

4PM Games
Bears @Broncos (-3.5)
The Bears have no offense. The Broncos have enough. Can the Broncos win the AFCW?
Pick: Broncos


Raiders @ Packers (-11.0)
Somebody on NFLN made a bold prediction that the Raiders would beat GB today. Really? Did you watch last week's Miami/Oakland game?
Pick: Packers

49ers @ Cardinals
The 49ers are just playing smart smash mouth football that many teams have forgotten how to play.
Pick: 49ers

Bills @ Chargers (-6.5)
This is Norv's last stand and I think he'll have his team do well enough for them to probably bring him back for another season. I feel your pain Charger fans.
Pick: Chargers

SNF
Giants @ Cowboys (-3.5)
Giants D dominates Romo and the 'Boys.
Pick: Giants

MNF
Rams @Seahawks (-6.5)
Do you really care about this game? Anybody?
Pick: Seahawks










Saturday, December 10, 2011

College All-Star Games Announced

I figured that you may be interested in a few of the college all-star games that occur every year as we head towards the draft. I watched three of these games last year: The East/West Shrine game, The Senior Bowl and the NFLPA (Texas vs. The Nation) game.

I know what you're thinking: "why do I need to watch another college game to look a potential Redskins?"
Well, let's just look at The Senior Bowl. Ryan Kerrigan, Jarvis Jenkins, Leonard Hankerson, Roy Helu and Chris Neild were on those rosters. I raved about a OG from East Carolina named Willie Smith during the NFLPA game. Smith went undrafted but may be the Redskins starting LT for the next four weeks.

You get the point.

Anyway, here is a list from Pro Football Weekly (I've added times of a few of the games in EST)


Dec. 18, 2011
Russell Athletics HBCU Bowl — Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.
Jan. 16, 2012
Eastham Energy College All-Star Game — Kino Park, Tuscon, Ariz.
Jan. 21, 2012
East-West Shrine Game  — Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla. (4PM)
The Battle of Florida — Florida Atlantic U Stadium, Boca Raton, Fla. (6PM)
Jan. 28, 2012Senior Bowl  — Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala. (2PM) NFL Network
Feb. 4, 2012Players All-Star Classic — War Memorial Stadium, AT&T Field, Little Rock, Ark.

Friday, December 9, 2011

2012 NFL Draft Dates Confirmed

Just in case you wanted to know when the draft is taking place in 2012, I have the dates and location for you.

Place: Radio City Music Hall (NYC)
Dates: April 26th (Thursday) - April 28th


I would expect the 26th and 27th will be in Primetime formats similar to last year's draft times.
Don't believe me? Well, here's NFL PR guy Greg Aiello confirming it with me on Twitter.


So Redskin fans get your RGIII jerseys ready (hopefully) and mark your calenders. We should be in for a treat in a few months. Of course, we always do well in the off-season. It's the regular season that usually throws a wrench in the works.

Also, I would expect the Redskins to have the annual Draft Day Party at FedEx on April 28th.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Game Recap: Jets @ Redskins- Why Kyle Why?

(Even John Beck thinks we should run the ball. Photo via The Examiner)
 Prior to this game I really didn't have anything bad to say about Jet fans. Matter of fact me and my regular posse of tailgaters (there's usually four of us) did a joint tailgate with a group of Jet fans. Good times, beer, brats, chili and other food and drink items were had by all. By the end of the game, I have a near hatred of the Jets and their fan base (but not the guys we tailgated with). So much so that I'm hoping New England beats the ever loving hell out of them from now on.....and I can't stand the Patriots. Let's just say I had a bad day at FedEx when it came to the game and the opposing team's fan base. We'll leave it at that.

The Redskins didn't have a very good day either and while this team lacks playmakers and depth, it was one of their stronger elements, the coaching, that failed the team on Sunday. My rant here is focused at Kyle Shanahan mostly but it goes to Mike Shanahan as well. Here's the thing, by now we all have a good understanding about Rex Grossman. We know who he is and what he does. We know that he can succeed and make good plays on occasion and he also makes some of the most illogical decisions that I've ever seen a starting quarterback in the NFL make. Grossman can move the ball and score TDs but he's a turnover machine who tends to turn it over usually about two times a game (either by fumble or INT). If he's having a good game, Grossman will complete over 60%, throw 2 TDs and probably turnover the ball once or twice.

Why do you think I haven't said much about starting Beck over Grossman for three games after he regressed? Because I know, much like you, what you're getting if you stick with Grossman. So you give Beck his last chance to prove he could do it in the NFL. Beck failed miserably. So you had to go back to the guy who could at least move the ball vertically down the field. You know all of this, so why would you have Grossman throw the ball 46 times in a game where you could actually run the ball? Not only that, but he was facing one of the better corner tandems in the NFL. Jabar Gaffney went to Revis island and became a castaway (zero catches).

At one point (1st half) Roy Helu was averaging 6.3 yards per carry. Yet, the Redskins decided to throw for play after play late in the first. If you were worried about Helu being worn out or tired then why didn't Torain or Royster carry the ball? Hell, give it to Mike Sellers for all I care. The pass wasn't working. The Redskin WRs just aren't elite enough to get open and the Jets weren't biting on play action. Matter of fact the Jets were chomping at the bit for more pass plays so they wouldn't look stupid diving at and missing Helu as he ran by them.

Other beat writers and pundits have said this and I agree with them- Kyle Shanahan on occasion calls plays for a team that he wants the Redskins to be not the team the Redskins are now. Rex Grossman isn't Matt Schaub and there is nobody on this team in 2011 that is close to Andre Johnson. All the Redskins had in this game was Roy Helu and Fred Davis. Instead of working the run with Helu, Torain and Royster, the Redskins threw the ball. They didn't need to do this. The Redskins weren't behind until about 5 minutes remaining in the game. So why throw so much?

Something to think about.

Now let's get to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Monday, December 5, 2011

If the Season Ended Today...The Redskins Would Draft at #5

Based on what has gone on so far this week, it looks like the Redskins are in the #5 spot if the draft was starting today. Thanks to wins by Miami and Carolina it looks like the 'Skins will jump ahead of both teams (because of strength of schedule) and move from 7th to 5th in draft order.

The Redskins could move up to #4 overall with a Jaguars win tonight against the Chargers.

It is possible with a few wins by the Rams, Vikings and Jaguars that the 'Skins could go to #2 overall* and it is possible but practically improbable for the 'Skins to be the #1 overall team if the Colts were to win all four of their final games and the 'Skins to lose all four. That however is just not happening with the Ravens hosting the Colts in Baltimore on Sunday.

Right now barring a trade, it looks like Luck will be off the table. That means the Redskins will have to choose another passer possibly Matt Barkley, Robert Griffin III, Landry Jones or Ryan Tannehill. I will have a top 5 QB ranking with some video evidence later in the week.

Don't be surprised though to see the Redskins make some trades again this year and I would not be surprised to see the Redskins trading back a bit, and drafting a player and then accumulating more picks. It also wouldn't surprise me to see the 'Skins trade back a few spots, draft a WR in the first round and then taking a QB like Tannehill in the early 2nd or trading back into the 1st to get their man. Just speculation on my part. The Redskins aren't looking at the draft right now (except for the scouting department) and there is still the Bowl games, all-star games and combine to look forward to watching before we can get into the meat of the draft. That said, why not start looking at scenarios? The Redskins aren't going to the playoffs. We might really start looking at the future of the franchise.


* Hat tip to Rick Snider of the Examiner who was already looking at how the Redskins could end up at #2 overall on Twitter today @Snide_Remarks

Williams and Davis Suspended: DC's New Cheech and Chong

(Half-Baked seems more appropriate though)
Last month there was a Yahoo! report by Jason Cole mentioning that 11 players would be fined and/or suspended for violating the substance abuse policy. On one of the Redskins Post Games shows on ESPN 980 during this I heard for the first time that both Fred Davis and Trent Williams were possibly on that list. Of course after that report nothing much happened and I kind of let it go since nothing had been said since of that issue.

Flash forward to Sunday. After the game ends and the Redskins yet again lose, we find out that both Williams and Davis will be suspended for the remaining games (four) this season. What could be worse is that since both players have failed multiple tests in in the past, if they fail another one they could be suspended for up to a year.

The Post's "Football Insider" has more details:

 "Each player has failed at least three drug tests since entering the league, according to a league source, including two since the lockout ended in July. Davis and Williams tested positive for recreational drugs, believed to be marijuana, according to a league source familiar with the case."

 "While nine of the 11 players will face no punishment for their failed tests, Davis and Williams will be suspended because they subsequently failed another drug test after the regular season began in September, according to the person with knowledge of the situation."
 - From Mike Jones 12/4/11

This is pretty dumb by most standards. For Davis in particular because he's in a contract year. Davis has shown why he was a 2nd round pick back in 2008 and has had a stand out year as a pass catcher (59 catches, 796 yards and 3TDs) who could have had a chance of having 1,000 yards receiving had he played in the final four games. Davis has just lost a substantial amount of money and possibly a few suitors because of this. I can think of a few teams that will pass on him because the "sword of damocles" will hang over their heads with fear of a year suspension looming.

As for Williams, the Redskins are stuck with him. He's in the 2nd year of his rookie contract (large rookie contract by the way) and while he's been inconsistent at times he's arguably the most talented and best O-lineman on the team. I would expect Mike Shanahan to make his life hell during OTAs and training camp next year.

Both of these guys have let down the team and the fans. I know the Redskins aren't a very good team right now, but both have been some of the better elements of this team and now the 'Skins are without two more starters for the rest of the year. I'm not going to go into discussion about legality or any moral issues on the subject but I will again state how beyond stupid these guys are for failing multiple tests over a few short years. These are professional athletes who play in a league where drug testing is frequent and random. They were given heads up as to when the lockout was ending (so they could stop said use of drugs to get it our of their systems- remember there was no drug testing during the lockout) but still failed a test. Then after failing one test post-lockout they failed another during the season according to Jones' source. How dumb is that? Didn't they think that after failing one test post lockout. that the NFL wouldn't test them again and possibly more frequently?

The loss to the Jets on Sunday was bad for many reasons, but these suspension have given the Redskins a serious black eye. It hurts the present and the future of this team and is going force Mike Shanahan to make some tough decisions in the next few months.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

NFL Week 13 Picks


Raiders @ Dolphins (-3.0)
Pick: Raiders

Falcons @ Texans (+2.5)
Pick: Falcons

Titans @ Bills (-1.5)
Pick: Titans

Chiefs @ Bears (-8.0)
Pick: Bears

Jets @ Redskins (+3.0)
I think the Redskins are going to pull it off this week.
Pick: Redskins

Bengals @ Steelers (-7.0)
Pick: Steelers

Ravens @Browns (+6.5)
Pick: Ravens

Panthers @ Buccaneers (-3.0)
Pick: Panthers

Lions @ Saints (-7.5)
Pick: Saints

Broncos @ Vikings (-1.0)
Pick: Broncos

Cowboys @ Cardinals (+4.5)
Pick: Cowboys

Packers @ Giants (+6.5)
Pick: Packers

Rams @ 49ers (-13.0)
Pick: 49ers

Colts @ Patriots (-21.0)
Pick: Patriots

Chargers @ Jaguars (+2.5)
Pick: Chargers

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Torn: 'Skins @ Seahawks Game Recap and Team Analysis

(To win or not to win? That's me being ripped apart by the 'Skins)
You have to understand something before I get into The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of this game. This game (and probably the next five) will be hard for me to watch. It's not just that the Redskins are bad; they're bad enough to put themselves in a spot to draft a potential franchise quarterback in the 2012 draft. So I'm torn on what I want the Redskins to do for the rest of the season. First and foremost, I want the team to win or at least that should be the normal thought of a football fan. Games aren't fun to watch when your team is losing. Where is the fun seeing the team give up a big run or pass play? Where is the fun when they can't make an extra point or make the dumbest penalty that costs the team a score? Where is the fun to see your quarterback get picked off when he throws into triple coverage? I pay to go see the Redskins for eight games a year. Why in the world would I want to pay hundreds of dollars to see my team lose? Maybe because the losses could be more valuable than wins for the remainder of the season.......

Of course I know the season is over. The best thing to do with the 'Skins is to watch some of the rookies develop. Maurice Hurt has been alright in two starts and barring further injury, he should get a chance to start in five more games. Roy Helu has shown his talents including being able to hurdle. Part of me doesn't have a problem with the team losing is the younger players are getting a chance and we're setting ourselves up for future seasons. Matter of fact, I've accepted it in a way. I figured last week that if the 'Skins lost it wouldn't affect me that much. Plus, I picked against them in my pick'em league (the smart choice to be honest). So with a 'Skins loss I get a point in pick'em and the 'Skins get a better hold on a draft pick. But there are no guarantees in drafting a quarterback high. I mean hell, look at the last three 1st round quarterbacks the 'Skins have drafted: Jason Campbell, Patrick Ramsey and Heath Shuler. Shuler was the highest of the three taken and he was horrible. So horrible that he lost his starting job to Gus Frerotte.
(Gus Frerotte: the only QB to knock himself out of a game)
 So, the draft is never a guarantee on what you're getting. The 'Skins may be able to find say the next Jay Cutler or it might be the next JaMarcus Russel, you never know. That said, the higher draft pick means more options. If most of the talented underclassmen QBs enter the draft, then the Redskins have a literal smorgasbord  of options to choose from and that means a better chance of getting their guy (plus better options in future rounds as well). It also give the option for the 'Skins to trade back if it means more 2nd and 3rd round picks but still getting their guy later in the first round. Mike Shanahan has shown through two years of drafts that he does have an eye for talent and how it relates to his scheme. Which brings me to my final thought on this issue: Mike Shanahan isn't going to keep his job by accumulating high draft picks, it'll be by winning games and getting the Redskins into the playoffs.

Dan Snyder has been patient and quiet when it comes to Shanahan's tenure. Obviously this wouldn't have been the case with former Redskin coaches but I think Snyder knows that this may be the last high profile and winning coach that would touch this team with a ten foot pole. But overall I still believe that Shanahan and Bruce Allen are on the right track. Before you jump to conclusions and say I'm a big fan of Mike Shanahan from his Denver days, you'd be more than wrong. When the word was leaked during the Zorn era that it was down to Mike Shanahan and Jon Gruden, I wanted Gruden. The team has been in need of continuity and a overhaul in talent for a while and it's taking Shanahan 2-3 solid drafts to get the team where it needs to be to contend. He hasn't been perfect by any stretch. Mistakes with McNabb, Haynesworth and John Beck have been glaring. That said, I see some progression in a team that's little in depth and battered. None of it matters though if Shanahan can't prove that his changes are working and that's done through winning games. If the Redskins finished 3-13 they would be in the top 5 in the draft, but does that help the players that will be here have confidence in their coaches and schemes? Does it convince Dan Snyder that they are a draft/free agency off-season away from getting back to respectability? I don't think so. If anything, Snyder might want to pull the cord again to bring in another coach who would draft his QB but have another amalgam of players that don't fully fit his scheme. That's been the problem with the Redskins since Snyder bought the team and hired/fired his carousel of coaching staffs.

I'm all in with Mike Shanahan. I can't go through another HC change and deal with the false hope, excuses of not having the right players ad having to learn yet another scheme that comes with every coaching change. The team needed the win more than the fans and the franchise this week. It's not like the Redskins are going to win the remaining five games. Matter of fact, they'll be lucky if they win another game this year. Yes, the win set the 'Skins back a back in terms of a draft pick but they should be able to move around with a couple of additional picks that they have. Shanahan will find his QB this year. He really has no choice with Grossman's split personality (Good Rex vs. Bad Rex) and that John Beck really has me missing Todd Collins and Colt Brennan. The 'Skins need to find their franchise in 2012 and it will happen.

The game itself was a sloppy mess and full of mistakes, bad play and errors. It didn't look nearly as good as the game against the Cowboys the week before. But I'd rather take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day. Let's look at the The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and let me get back to writing articles on the upcoming draft.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Remembering Sean Taylor

(Picking off passes and and kicking butt, that was Sean Taylor)
Today is the 4th anniversary for the passing of the late Sean Taylor. There's not much that I can add that hasn't been said already or in the last few days.
I will say that it's still rather hard to watch the video of him that was played after his passing during the Bills@ Redskins game in 2007.

Anyway here is another well done video put together by a Taylor fan (I didn't do this). Great job by the way and using Devotchka's "How it Ends" was a good choice.



NFL Week 12 Picks

2-1 for the week as I picked both Dallas (makes me ill) and Baltimore in the later Turkey day games. Let's see how the rest of the week works out.
* Suck for Luck game
** For entertainment purposes only.

1PM Games
Vikings @Falcons (-8.5)
Word is that Adrian Peterson is out today. The Vikings have no chance to win if that's the case.
Pick: Falcons

Texans @ Jaguars (+3.0)*
Let the Matt Leinart era in Houston begin as the Texans face a really bad Jaguars team. This could be a classic trap game with a new QB for the Texans, but their D is still good enough to to hold the Jags. to nothing.
Pick: Texans

Buccaneers @ Titans (-3.5)
The Titans are still having trouble running the ball and rookie Jake Locker is bound to have some growing pains in his first start. I wonder if Albert Haynesworth actually does something since he's coming home.
Pick: Buccaneers

Cardinals @ Rams (-3.0)*
What a horrible game to watch. Well, I suppose somebody has to win. I'm going with the Cardinals because of Larry Fitzgerald more or less.
Pick Cardinals


Browns @ Bengals (-7.0)*
At least one Ohio team is playing well. What surprises me is that the game is held in Cincy and not the Factory of Sadness stadium and yet the game still didn't sell out. Thus, there's a blackout for this game. Crazy.
Pick: Bengals

Bills @ Jets (-8.0)
We know what time of year it is when the Jets look like they are starting their run to make the playoffs and the Bills have started to free fall down the AFCE. A few weeks ago I would have picked the Bills. Not today.
Pick: Jets

Panthers @ Colts (+4.0)*
Maybe the Colts turn it around this week and beat a young Panthers team. BWHAHAHA!!! That was a great joke huh?
Pick: Panthers

4PM Games
Redskins @ Seahawks (-4.5)*
The Redskins have some opportunities here and I like a few of the matchups for the Burgundy and Gold. What I don't know is how Rex Grossman will play today or who will make the big mistake to cost the team a chance to win.
Pick: Seahawks 16-10

Bears @ Raiders (+1.0)
A lot of pundits are thinking the Bears will be ok with Caleb Hanie starting for the injured Jay Cutler. That's because Hanie played well during the playoff game last year to the Packers. Problem is that there is a big difference coming off the bench compared to starting and also being on the road. Look for the Raiders to bring the heat today.
Pick: Raiders

Patriots @ Eagles (+4.0)
Eagles tend to play better on the home than away and I just can't see the Patriots losing another game to the weaker NFCE.
Pick: Patriots

Broncos @ Chargers (-7.0)
No, it's not TEBOWMANIA! that has me taking Denver today, but the Denver defense. Phillip Rivers has been a turnover machine this year and with Miller, Dumerville, Bailey, Dawkins and the rest I expect Rivers to be hit often and to turn the ball over frequently. And yes, Tim Tebow seems to be the guy in the clutch.
Pick: Broncos

SNF
Steelers @ Chiefs (+10.0)
May be the crappiest SNF game of the season. Think I'll probably skip it and watch The Walking Dead mid-season finale.
Pick: Steelers

MNF
Giants @ Saints (-6.5)
Can Drew Brees get the ball off before the Giants D gets to him. Yes, I think he can.
Pick: Saints


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Guest Blogging on BGO

So what have I been doing this week? Well, in between working the real job and having Thanksgiving with my family (and watching a little football in during the meal), I was spending some time writing as a guest blogger for BGO. They have a weekly Blognostication article- which is a blog where one of the members of the fan community does a write up about this week's game. You can pretty much do the format however you want, which is nice. I stuck to a more stats. based preview of the game which highlights possible strategies and keys for the 'Skins success.

Anyway, since I have only so many hours to write on IIWII, I used most of them to work on this article. Sorry for not doing a great deal of content this week. Although lately, I haven't done that much on IIWII because there just isn't much to say about the Redskins at the moment.

Below is the first couple of paragraphs of the article with a link to the full article on BGO.

The Redskins head to Seattle in a post- Thanksgiving Day weekend with aspirations to roast a fictional bird’s team in order to snap a six game losing streak. But it may not be as easy as it seems as the Seahawks have started to turn around their own franchise and are interested in extending their winning streak to three. CenturyLink Field (formerly Qwest Field) has been a mixed bag of results for the Redskins over the past decade with the Skins going 2-2 there since 2002. The good news is that during that stretch they are 2-0 during the season with wins in 2002 and 2008. The bad news is that the last two playoff appearances for the team (and the only two in this millennium) have ended in this stadium. The first in 2005, where former Redskin Carlos Rogers was first dubbed “Hands of Stone” as he dropped an easy pick six (if only the Redskins gave him an eye exam when they drafted him) that could have altered the outcome of the game. The second was in 2007 when the ‘Skins rallied to make the playoffs by winning the final four games of the regular season. The momentum of winning for fallen comrade Sean Taylor finally ended in the first round of the playoffs at the hands of the Seahawks.


Most football aficionados will be skipping this game. Neither the Redskins nor the Seahawks are likely to have any chance of making the playoffs. Both teams are rather mediocre and there will be more entertaining and meaningful games to be watching for both playoff implications and fantasy leagues. However, this is an important game for both fan bases and the teams because of potential draft implications that could result from the outcome of this game. This is a “Suck for Luck” game so to speak. While neither team is bad enough to probably land the number one pick, both teams have a chance to land in the top ten. Both teams are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and it is very possible to see the loser of this game benefitting more in the long run. At least the team with the worst record will have first dibs on the other QBs after Andrew Luck which may include Robert Griffin, Matt Barkley and Landry Jones.


Click Here to Read More

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Quick Thanksgiving Pick

Going with an upset in the first game.

Packers @ Lions (-6.0)
The Packers aren't a perfect team although they've been playing like one and have an undefeated record through 11 weeks. I think the Lions take their shot today and we could have a great Aaron Rogers vs. Matt Stafford shootout. I still think the Packers are the best team in the NFC, but even the best teams have lost a game or two.
Pick: Lions

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Back to Writing IIWII Soon.....

Hey Everybody,
Just a quick word and then I'm calling it a night. I will be doing some sort of Game Recap for the Cowboys game, but expect it to be rather quick.

Matter of fact, expect many posts about the 2011 Redskins to be brief for the remainder of the season. There's just not much to say and not much implications regarding the future of the team. Expect more of me doing some scouting reports and analysis of potential draftees and possible free agents.

Also, I haven't been writing on IIWII this week because I am doing an article over at BGO that will be published in the next few days. It's a game preview and prediction on the Seattle game in almost 2,100 words. I will link it to IIWII when it is published.


Have a Happy Thanksgiving if I'm not back to writing by then end of the holiday.
Thanks for reading,
FedEx Al

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

If the Season Ended Today.....The Redskins Would Draft at #6

The only thing I'm looking at right now is where the 'Skins stand in draft order. Thanks to The Huddle Report's weekly draft order (changes at the end of each week), if the season ended today, the Skins would be drafting at #6.

Right now there are 3 highly targeted franchise QBs and if the 'Skins pick at six, it's likely they could get one of them. Draft order is based on record with tie-breakers determined by the opponents strength of schedule (actually the lower the opponents %, the higher the draft pick).


So through 10 weeks, here are your 11 worst teams:
(Ed. Note- chart made by Huddle Report)


What's Worth Noting:

- The Colts look like the clear winners in "Suck for Luck". They had opportunities against the Jaguars but could do nothing. I just think it is possible that they could go winless this year. Going winless is practically as hard as going undefeated in the NFL unless your team resides in Detroit.

- The Panthers and Dolphins could be on the rise (especially Miami with back to back wins) and if either team wins one more game, the Redskins would jump past them.

- With wins by Arizona, Jacksonville and Seattle, the Redskins were able to rise (or drop whatever way you look at it) from 9th to 6th place with their loss to Miami.

- The Redskins OPP% will increase as the season continues when they have to play teams like the Jets, Patriots, Giants and Cowboys. But they still have weaker teams like Minnesota (5), Philadelphia (9) and Seattle (11) to play.

Sorry to go all draftnik on you IIWII readers as we head into week 11, but right now I'm more interested in what the Redskins are going to be doing in a few months than what they are doing right now.




Monday, November 14, 2011

Can We Just Forfeit the Rest of the Season? (More Bad News)

[Ed. Note- Yes, I plan on doing a game recap, although at this point I wonder why.]
(I was doing this much of Sunday when Hankerson wasn't catching a pass)


It's tough when your team is losing to bad teams. It's even tougher when your team is losing badly to bad teams. Yet, there is a silver lining as the 'Skins fell to the Dolphins and dropped to 3-6. In this game we were able to see Leonard Hankerson shine as a potential future star.

Then we come to today's news (via PFT):
"Redskins rookie receiver Leonard Hankerson is out for the year with a torn labrum in his hip. It’s a shame after he topped 100 yards against Miami Sunday."

It doesn't get any better with this announcement during Mike Shanahan's press conference (via The Post):

"Defensive end Kedric Golston, meanwhile, will miss an indefinite amount of time with torn ligaments in his knee." “We believe it was a third degree MCL tear and partial tear of the ACL. Right now there’s a question mark of where he’s at,” Shanahan said.
 And
"Shanahan also said “it’s a longshot” that right tackle Jammal Brown (groin) could play this week against Dallas."

So, it seems like the 'Skins are at the same point with roster health and depth that they were last year at the end of the season. Remember, the Jaguars game last year? The Skins had Macho Harris and Kevin Barnes playing safety because of injuries. I'm expecting to see Aldrick Robinson on the active roster now that the 'Skins have lost another WR.

Speaking of injured WRs, Santana Moss may be available as soon as the Seattle game. At this point though, I'm starting to wonder how much he can help the team.

It's not looking good and I am starting to wonder if 2011 will wind up the same way as 2009 and 2010.
This is getting tough folks. Expect more fan and media meltdowns which will including calling for the heads of Shanahan, Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett. The Redskins need to stay the course in my opinion (more on that opinion coming up in another article) and frankly, we as a fan base need to start focusing on the draft and where the Redskins need to go in order to really turn this ship around sooner than later.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NFL Week 10 Picks

I hate TNF because it makes me to have to make my weekly picks earlier than I like.
Anyway, here's my picks for the rest of the week.

Bears
Jaguars
Broncos
Bengals
Bills
Falcons
Browns
Texans
Titans
Eagles
Ravens
49ers
Jets
Packers

Redskins @ Dolphins
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the 'Skins can turn it around and be a successful team and beat a woeful Dolphins team. I don't see it though. I expect the Dolphins to put up a score or two and the game is over.
Pick: Dolphins 24- 13

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday Night Videos: FedEx is a Factory of Sadness

Just replace the below video with FedEx Field in the background and I could have a similar rant about our Redskins........yes, FedEx Field is also a "Factory of Sadness".  To quote Mr. Polk "10 miserable games including two pre-season games that I have to pay for and one sh***y Kenny Chesney concert."

And much like Mike in the video, I'll be back next Sunday to repeat the process all over again.

Speaking of Mike Polk Jr., this is the same guy that did the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Videos. My favorite is this one (embed disabled on You Tube), but this one made me laugh a few times as well.
 


Meanwhile in Former Redskin News......
Hey, hey, hey guess who got cut this week? That's right Albert Haynesworth. Looks like Bill Belichick may be a great head coach but even he isn't a "Sloth Whisperer". Getting cut from the Patriots to many means that Haynesworth is pretty much done in the NFL.Adam Schein of Fox Sports thinks so in the clip below.

Of course, he was picked up off waivers by Tampa Bay. It's still a win for Washington. Haynesworth doesn't get what he wants (he wants to play for the Eagles) and the Skins still get a 5th rounder in 2013.

Finally, Some Music to get you Ready for Sunday....... 
Iron Maiden's The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg If anybody needs to be reincarnated to something better it would be both the Redskin and Brown franchises. Here's to hoping that they can turn it around someday.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Game Recap: 49ers @ Redskins: The Many Faces of Mike Shanahan

(I'm just waiting to see the steam coming out of his ears. Pic via)

So we have another week of frustration and irritation in the life of a Redskins fan as the 'Skins fall at home 19-11 to a good 49ers team. Don't let the final score fool you. Eight of the last 11 points came in the final few minutes of the game. Let's get to some of the good things (or silver linings if you will) that came from this game and I'll get to the bad parts right after.

The lone good parts of this game was that the 'Skins gave opportunities to 3 rookies and we got a chance to see what impact they could have down the road. Maurice Hurt got his first start at LG. It wasn't perfect by any stretch. He made a few mistakes, but it was clear he looked better than he did during pre-season and fared well enough that the Redskins shouldn't have to rotate C, Will Montgomery back to LG and bring back Erik Cook to play center. Leonard Hankerson got his first career start at WR. It wasn't spectacular, but he did get into the endzone albeit a two point conversion. That said, did Malcolm Kelly ever get into the endzone during his time here? Roy Helu got his first start and we now know he can catch passes out of the backfield and in the flat. Also, I have to give credit to the defense overall. In most cases if you can hold an opponent to under 21 points a game, you should win.......if you have an offense, which the 'Skins don't.

What can I say about the offense? It's pretty horrible. John Beck reminds me of Patrick Ramsey (post Steve Spurrier era where he was a punching bag). Ramsey played scared and so does Beck. It's not the fear of being hit but more of a fear of failure. Beck either holds onto the ball too long or throws the ball too quickly (not finding the open receiver down the field). Rex Grossman will at least put up points even though he'll turn over the ball 3-4 times a game. The O-line looks okay, but nothing great. Most importantly, the Redskins have no play makers at this time. There is no deep threat, nobody can consistently get open and/or catch the ball that isn't garbage time. There are some serious growing pains on this side of the ball in that either the players are too young or too old to accomplish anything.

Gah, no wonder I've been procrastinating about this post. Time for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

NFL Week 9 Picks

Ok, gotta make this quick running for time, but this week we'll highlight crappier games as a "Suck for Luck" tie in. The comic industry does this all the time during major events, to try to sell a title that isn't doing well.
* A "Suck for Luck" game
** For Entertainment purposes only

1PM Games
*Dolphins @ Chiefs (-5.5)
Chiefs have woken up. The Dolphins are playing in "Suck for Luck"
Pick: Chiefs

Buccaneers @ Saints (-7.5)
After getting caught in the trap of the Rams game last week, there is no way the Saints are going to allow themselves to lose to Tampa again.
Pick: Buccaneers

Falcons @ Colts* (+7.0)
The question is more or less what should the Colts do with their high pick whether Luck is there is not.
Pick: Falcons

Browns @ Texans (-10.5)
I don't really qualify the Browns as a "Suck for Luck" team. They're just mediocre.
Pick: Texans

Jets @ Bills (-1.5)
The Bills are a more high powered team, that makes turnovers and puts up points. I think they probably should win here, but the Jets are starting to look like the team that's been in the AFCC for the past two games.
Pick: Jets

49ers @ Redskins* (+3.5)
The 49ers a looking great. The Redskins are not. Hey it's a rebuilding year.
Pick: 49ers: 34-7

Seahawks* @ Cowboys (-12.5)
'Boys bounce back from last week's loss to Philly. Oh how, I wish they could pull off an upset.
Pick: Cowboys

4PM Games
Bengals @ Titans (-3.0)
I just like the Bengals in this game. Still haven't seen much of a run game from the Titans at all this season.
Pick: Bengals

Broncos* @ Raiders (-8.0)
Could this be the end of Tim Tebow?
Pick: Raiders

Giants @ Patriots (-8.0)
You know Brady and Belichick want this game more than most of the games this season. Expect the Patriots to run up the score.
Pick: Patriots

Rams* @ Cardinals* (-4.5)
The Rams are a better team than what we thought based on last week's game against the Saints. Can they do it again? I think they could.
Pick: Rams

Packers @ Chargers (-5.5)
The Chargers are starting to look like a classic Norv Turner team. That's not a good thing, trust me I know.
Pick: Packers

SNF
Game of the Week
Ravens @ Steelers (-3.0)
With exception to week 1, the Ravens really struggle against the Steelers when Roethlisberger is starting. Until they can do it with regularity, I'm going Pittsburgh.
Pick: Pittsburgh

MNF
Bears @ Eagles (-6.5)
I'm not convinced that the Eagles are a good as they appear. I'm still convinced that "The Dream Team" is still over hyped.
Pick: Bears

























Mike Shanahan's Pass: Another Redskin Goes on IR

(Is there a doctor in the house?)

I have to think at this point that no matter how poorly the Redskins play for the remainder of the season, Mike Shanahan will be back as the Redskins head coach.

The reason: injuries.

The Redskins have announced that they have placed another player on IR.
Today's walking wounded: Phillip Buchanon.

Buchanon suffered a shoulder injury towards the end of the pre-season, but with a looming 4 game suspension nobody was that concerned. I treated it like it was a shortened version of the PUP list. However, once  the suspension ended, it was clear that Buchanon wasn't 100%. He only played in one game this season but his experience in the league and his ability to be a pretty good nickle corner will be a true loss to a team that again is trying to piecemeal together a 53 man roster with duct tape and whatever else they can find.

Buchanon joins a growing list of IRed players including Chris Cooley, Tim Hightower and Kory Lichtenstiger. Former starting FS Kareem Moore is still on the PUP list and must join the IR or be activated by Novemember 16th. This doesn't even include current players on the active roster who are injured and might not be available for Sunday which includes: Santana Moss, Trent Williams, Oshiomogho Atogwe and Fred Davis.


Hurt to get 1st career start?
The Redskins have done some line shuffling this week. What we don't know is who is going to play where and who will be available. What we do know is that the Redskins want Will Montgomery back at C. Montgomery struggled at LG and his replacement, C Erik Cook, hasn't shown much in two starts. Most likely, the Skins will give rookie G Maurice Hurt the start, moving Montgomery back to center. Trent Williams is a game time decision (high ankle sprain) but may return to the starting lineup after two weeks.

The silver lining to all of this? Rookies like Hurt and CB Brandyn Thompson gets some playing time and some experience. Let's face it, the Skins did well to get to 3-1 early in the season but they were going to have a very hard time making playoffs with some of the positions. With the injuries, you hope that the rookies get a chance to develop and become solid depth or possible starters in future seasons. Worst case is that you find out they can't cut it and have another area to target in the 2012 draft or free agency.





Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Davis hurt, Choice a 'Skin: News and Notes

More bad news on the Redskins front. The leading receiver on the team TE, Fred Davis has a ankle sprain and was in a walking boot after the game. According to Mike Shanahan, it's a grade one ankle sprain and Shanahan hopes that he'll be able to practice Wednesday. That's "hopes"......at this point, I'm starting to think the Redskins will be pulling athletic fans out of the stands to catch passes for the team during games.

Meanwhile, with hopes to spark an anemic run game, the 'Skins picked up former Cowboy RB Tashard Choice off waivers yesterday. In order to make room, the Redskins have released CB, Brandyn Thompson. Expect Thompson to be re-signed to the practice squad later this week if/once he clears waivers. I get two things from this move. First, is that RB Evan Royster isn't ready to be on the active roster. Second, the Redskins want to use Roy Helu as a change of pace back moreso than the 'Skins 3rd down back. I expect Choice to be the main 3rd down back and that the Skins will pick his brain a bit about the Cowboy's offensive schemes/tendencies.

Monday, October 31, 2011

If You Like Dr. Who, Maybe This Will Make You Feel Better

Not much to say about the Redskins lately that I haven't already written in the past three weeks, so IIWII is going to focus on more entertaining and happy things than our current state of Burgundy and Gold. Remember, IIWII is more than just the Redskins......see the tagline:

"A Blog About the Washington Redskins, Football, Sports and other Pop Culture"

So in honor of Halloween (happy Halloween, by the way....) here's a cheerful video made by the cast and crew of Dr. Who (the 10th doctor, David Tennant) doing a a farewell to The Proclaimer's "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles". I've always been a fan of Dr. Who ever since I saw it on MPT (along with Red Dwarf and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) while I was growing up. I've recently gotten back into the show with the 11th incarnation of The Doctor (Matt Smith) but have enjoyed going back and watching Tennant's run as The Doctor as well.


Hope you enjoy it. Consider it an early Friday Night Videos......


(Original story via Buzzfeed, Hat tip to i09 where I first found out about the video).

More on the Redskins, sports and other pop culture coming up.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Game Recap: Redskins @ Bills: Saved By Zero?

(The London Fletcher INT is the only thing worth celebrating this week  GIF via.)
Well, not much worth saying on this edition of the game recap. The Redskins generally looked putrid against a good Bills team. The Redskins fall in Toronto 23-0. Funny thing is that the Bills are supposed to be really bad this season and yet have emerged to be a serious threat in the AFC. That has to give hope to some Redskin fans who are hoping that at some point this franchise can turn itself around instead of crumple into the fetal position at the first signs of struggling or injuries.

The defense gave up a large quantity of yards (390) to the high powered Bills offense, which was somewhat expected. What wasn't expected was the complete lack of offense against one of the lowest ranked defenses in the league. The Redskins surrendered 9 sacks to the Bills. Worth noting is that the Bills only had 4 sacks on the season prior to today's game. The Redskins quickly went away from the run which was ineffective in 9 attempts (9 carries for 16 yards; 12 for 26 if you include John Beck's 3 scrambles) and tried to air the ball under heavy pressure from the Bills. The sacks were a combination of John Beck holding onto the ball too long and very poor pass blocking. This had to be the worst pass blocking performance I've seen from the Redskins possibly ever and that says a lot. I still remember games against the Steelers where Jason Campbell would get hit as soon as the ball is snapped.

The most surprising thing I could tell you that might make you feel better is that this game could be worse than it was. If not for a London Fletcher INT of Ryan Fitzpatrick in the end zone, a fumble and a missed FG the Bills could have put up much more on the scoreboard than 23. Also, the lone silver lining may be twofold. First, the notion of the Redskins being a playoff contender should be out of your minds by now. It's a rebuilding year, possibly the first of many over the next couple of seasons. So, take a deep breath and try to find some good in what's not so good. At least we can admit to ourselves that we're rebuilding might help dealing with the week to week struggles. Hopefully the Redskins will get this as well and continue to build the talent and depth of this roster. Second, while I'm not convinced that the 'Skins are bad enough to qualify for "Suck for Luck" it helps their draft status. No, I'm not saying I want the 'Skins to lose. But when there is not a lot of things to be happy about, I'm trying to make lemonade from a lemon of a game.

Good, Bad and Ugly time....


The Good


Sav Rocca (6 punts, Net avg. 42.8 yards, LNG 57, 2 inside the 20) - Rocca kept the Redskins in the game by trying to change the field position. It forced the Bills to make long drives in order to score.

London Fletcher (20 tackles, 12 solo; 0.5 sacks, 1 INT)- Fletcher did struggle at times in coverage against speedier TEs, but he was all over the field making plays and trying to win this game by himself.

Ryan Kerrigan (5 tackles)- Kerrigan made some nice tackles and had at least two for losses.


The Bad

Offense- only 178 total yards. 2 INTs. 9 sacks given up. It was a pretty horrible day. There was clearly a lack of execution by the line. John Beck looked confused and not sure where to go with the ball. I'm also assuming that there wasn't a great deal of separation between the Redskin receivers and the Bills DBs. Some suggest that Grossman should be back at QB and I'm not convinced that's the case. The Redskins have regressed week by week. Maybe it started in the Eagles game when both Kory Lichtensteiger and Trent Williams were injured, but it is arguable that this started as early as the game against the Cowboys. Rex Grossman wouldn't have fared that much better if he was getting hit as much as Beck did today. Granted, Beck is to blame for some of those hits/sacks but he didn't have much help.

Danny Smith- Can we have a game where Graham Gano can attempt a FG without it being blocked? This is now the third FG this season that has been blocked. That has to go on the coach. If the players aren't executing, then you have to find players who can execute. If there is a weakness to your blocking scheme, then you have to fix that weakness. Same with Brandon Banks poor decisions to come out of the end zone on kickoffs or the blocking. A FG wouldn't have changed the outcome of this week, but it would have stopped a shutout.

Offensive Playcalling- I don't understand the playcalling in this game. The runs not working and you're down by 10-13 points, so I understand why you may leave the run. What I don't understand is why did every pass have to be 15-20 yards down field. You have Niles Paul and Leonard Hankerson, can't John Beck throw a slant now and then? How about a curl route? It seemed that the only 2nd half adjustment was to throw deep to Anthony Armstrong. It didn't work because he was always covered or Beck couldn't get to him.

Run defense- 138 yards on the ground just is unacceptable. Got to stop the run and try to make a team one dimensional.

Rocky McIntosh- This is another week he's missed tackles and it's cost the Redskins big yards both on the ground and in the air. Maybe it was the injury to the ankle. That said, the coaches should have kept Fox in there. He was playing better in my opinion.

The Ugly

- I believe that this is the first career shut out for Mike Shanahan as a coach in the NFL. At least as a head coach.

- Leonard Hankerson caught his first career NFL pass. Hopefully it will be the first of many and that Hankerson won't be the next Devin Thomas or Malcolm Kelly.

- Speaking of former Redskins, did you notice one of the starting offensive guards for the Bills? Yep, that was former 3rd rounder Chad Rinehart. Amazing that the Skins never tend to get much out of players and then they shine with another team. Drives me nuts, maybe that's just my perception.

- The real problem with the Skins is lack of depth. There isn't much at the guard position which has forced the Skins to make Erik Cook the center and move Will Montgomery to LG. Montgomery is a better center and Cook hasn't shown much. Maurice Hurt isn't ready to start because he's a rookie. We have the same problem at WR, LT, and RB. Either the talent there is limited or too young and need to be developed. Welcome to a rebuilding team.

- Redskins 3rd down efficiency 4/14 (28%); Bills 7/14 (50%). Notice that good teams, winning teams tend to be well above 35% in a game. Usually they're in the 40-50% range. This is still a problem that has carried over from 2010.

- Fred Davis has stood out in 2011. Of course he's a free agent at the end of this year and there will be a debate about bringing him back. I think the Redskin want him back, but Davis will probably not only want a pay raise but an affirmation that he's the #1 TE on this team. At this point, I would have no problem with that.

- Did the Redskins even target Logan Paulsen this week? Just wondering.

- So far in 2011 Skins are: 3-4, 2-1 (Home), 1-3 (Road), 1-2 (vs. NFCE), 3-3 (vs. NFC), 0-1 (vs. AFC)

Next week isn't going to be much better as the 'Skins host the 6-1 49ers. Maybe jet lag and underestimating the 'Skins can help. Who knows?

NFL Week 8 Picks

Still not a bad week although I missed five games. But c'mon who really had the Ravens losing to the Jags? But I've jumped 8 spots over in the BGO pick'em league with a record of 68-35. How is it against the spread? That I'm not sure, but overall a good year picking so far. Not much at 1 PM but a decent amount of 4PM and prime time games this week.

For entertainment purposes only. Point spread based on the home team.

1PM Games
Saints @ Rams (+13.0)
Is Bradford playing today? Does it really matter? The big question for the Rams is who should they draft at #1 overall. Or should they try and trade out and get somebody else's draft board to trade away Andrew Luck?
Pick: Saints

Dolphins @ Giants (-10.0)
Another weak 1PM game. I hope the Red Zone channel keeps flipping through these games. Giants should win this one, but they have that tendency (like the Skins) to play down to their opponents.
Pick: Giants


Cardinals @ Ravens (-12.5)
Ray Lewis has got to be pissed after last weeks performance. The good news for Baltimore is that Arizona is horrible travelling to the East coast for 1PM games. Lesson in all of this: Don't trade for QBs with Andy Reid. The Eagles picked up some good picks to get rid of two QBs who weren't going to help his team.
Pick: Ravens

Vikings @ Panthers (-3.0)
Ponder vs. Newton. A battle of 1st round QBs. This might be one of the better 1PM games to watch today. I like the Panthers at home. They know how to use Newton and his abilities.
Pick: Panthers

Colts @ Titans (-8.0)
Major prediction here......the Colts score against the Titans will be better than it was against the Saints last week. They'll still lose though.
Pick: Titans

Jaguars @ Texans (-10.0)
I don't think the Jags will have a repeat performance against the Texans, but you never know. Going with the Texans but I think it will be a closer score than the spread will have you believe.
Pick: Jaguars


4PM Games
Lions @ Broncos (+3.5)
Are we going to see more Tebow magic today? Maybe. But remember in 2011 the Lions are a much, much better team than the Dolphins.
Pick: Lions

Redskins @ Bills (in Toronto) (-5.0)
Here's the problems. The Bills are a team designed to run up the score. The Bills have a (+9) TO differential playing a team that has been bad about turning over the ball (Skins -6 TO diff.). The 2ndary is so banged up that Brandyn Thompson was re-signed off the practice squad. Can the Skins win? Yes. Will they? I highly doubt it if the Bills score early and force turnovers.
Pick: Bills 31-20

Bengals @ Seahawks (+2.5)
Something tells me to go Seahawks here because I'm picking too many favorites this week. I just can't do that though. I don't trust the Bengals and would not bet any money on this game.....still picking them though.
Pick: Bengals

Browns @ 49ers (-9.0)
Great maybe with another win this week, the 49ers will overlook the Redskins next week. One can hope.
Pick: 49ers

Patriots @ Steelers (+2.5)
Pats coming off a bye and Steelers coming back from playing on the west coast. I like the team who's had the rest this week.
Pick: Patriots

SNF
Cowboys @ Eagles (-3.5)
I like the Cowboys here. Expect Mike Vick to get pressure all day.
Pick: Cowboys

MNF
Chargers @ Chiefs (-3.5)
I can see the Chiefs pulling out another surprise win here, but I'm going with the Chargers again.
Pick: Chargers














Saturday, October 29, 2011

Updates: Thoughts on the 'Skins through 6, Why No Posts?

(Weeks 6 & 7: Not the best two weeks in the 2011 season for the Redskins)

It's been a long couple of weeks for me. The 'Skins have played some pretty bad football over the last week and combined with a busy work schedule, I just haven't had that much time to write about the Redskins. There's no need to rant about the Redskins at this point. If you're a fan (like me), you've already heard it or did just that last Sunday. I know I wasn't too happy and made that opinion clear a few times on Twitter but there's no reason to write an article about it. Plus, there's no reason to have a meltdown about the Redskins at this point in the season. They are 3-3. The fact that they are still in the race for the NFC East should be impressive since they've lost some key starters and are in the process of rebuilding a broken franchise.

When I originally looked at the schedule, I thought the 'Skins were likely to be 2-4 at this point (Losses to: Giants, Cowboys, Rams, Eagles; Wins against: Cardinals and Panthers). So 3-3 isn't too bad in retrospect. I still think the 'Skins have a chance to go 8-8. They play the Eagles well at the Linc. as they do the Cowboys at FedEx. Miami and Minnesota are bad teams (with exception to Adrian Peterson and Jared Allen) and there is a chance the Redskins may play the remaining teams on the schedule well enough to eke out a victory here or there. I know there is a facet of the Redskins fan base that wants the 'Skins to win the "Suck for Luck" competition, but the fact of the matter is that the 'Skins just aren't bad enough of a team to be getting Andrew Luck.

Alright, with that out of the way, let me write about what I'm hoping to get done this weekend on IIWII. I don't plan on doing a full blown game recap of the Redskins @ Panthers game, but I do plan on making some final thoughts on the game. At some point, I plan on skimming through the game one more time to focus on some players and then do a post about the game. Late tonight/ early tomorrow, I will be posting my Week 8 picks and doing a brief  preview of the 'Skins/Bills game.

Right now I'm doing some scouting. I'm watching QB Ryan Tannehill as Texas A&M hosts Mizzou. So far, I'm liking what I'm seeing from Tannehill. Also, he seems to play in a pro style offense that runs a few plays similar to what Mike/Kyle Shanahan runs in DC. Later today, I'll be watching the Baylor/OSU game to scout Baylor's QB Robert Griffin and to look at OSU's WR Justin Blackmon (projected to be a high 1st rounder in the 2012 draft).

Stay Tuned.......

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Beck Gets 2nd Chance, But Is It Enough? Redskins/Panthers Preview

John Beck should be starting for the Redskins today. Not because of the poor performance of Rex Grossman last week (more on that in a moment) but because of the current situation that's taking place on the offensive line. With an entirely new left side and a center getting his first career start, the Redskins will need the mobility of a John Beck to help continue plays, make first downs with him running the ball and to just have time to get away and git rid of a pass before getting hit or sacked. The run game struggled last week and with Kyle Shanahan's tendency to try play action even when the run isn't working, they'll need a QB who can at least make the Carolina defense respect his ability to run with the football. Rex Grossman can't do that.

We knew what we were getting with Grossman. He's a QB who tends to throw as many TDs in a game as turnovers (combined fumbles and INTs). It's something that you can live with if your run game is working and your defense is limiting opposing team scores. However, when your run game is non-existent and the defense is struggling, you can't throw 4 INTs. Grossman knows this, so does his coaches. Although I really respect the fact that his teammates stood up for him and wanted him to start today.

The key for today won't be Beck. It will be the Redskins run game. Can the O-line open holes for the RBs? Can either Torain, Hightower or Helu see holes, cut through them and plow through players at the second level? If they can, the Skins have a good chance to win. Beck seems to be a bit more game manager than gunslinger compared to Grossman.

I don't like the matchup on D. They tend to struggle with mobile QBs. They tend to struggle with shiftier RBs more this season.

This is a game where a struggling team either beats the lowly Redskins or the Redskins find a way to pick themselves up and find a way to get back on track despite the obstacles of injury.