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

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

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.
"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.


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

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

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.