Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Future of IIWII 2014 and Beyond

(Maybe we will see this again someday in my lifetime. Photo: AP)
 Hey folks,

This will probably be the second to the last post made on IIWII this year. I'm hoping to do a final Points, Picks and Predictions post early tomorrow..... and then, that's about it for possibly awhile.

First off I and Tattooed Scorpio would like to wish all of our readers and Redskin fans a belated Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas etc. and hope that you and yours have a safe and Happy New Year.

I also hope that your 2014 can be better than 2013. I'm thinking mine will be and I'm hoping the Redskins will be as well.

It's the end of the 2013 season and as of tomorrow, we'll probably be starting a new again with a new head coach, players and possibly a GM. While all of this is good and I think is the right thing to do in order for the franchise to move on and succeed, I know that going through this process again will take a bit of a toll.

So, instead of taking a step forward with the searches, the rumors, the hirings, the firings and the speculation of what the new regime will do scheme and personnel-wise, I'm going to take a bit of a step back from all of this.

IIWII isn't going anywhere and if I get motivated maybe I'll come back and focus on some draft articles and the general state of the NFL on the site. I still plan on writing over at Son of Washington and the frequency of that will depend on my real life work schedule and what not.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to update the site. Hopefully, TS will have time to contribute from time to time depending on his life and work schedule.

So, if you're a Redskins fan and would like to hone your writing skills. Here's your chance. Email me at IIWIIARB@hotmail.com and you may be the next writer to join our illustrious site.

Also, if you have your own independent Redskins blog and would like to get a little more profile for your site, please email me or drop a line in the comments below. I am currently starting to update our Blog Roll and would love to highlight some indie writers to other readers. If I can help other writers out, that's what I'll try to do.

Thanks for reading and hopefully, the Redskins can end the season with a win.
Hail to the Redskins!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Editorial: State of the Redskins in 2013 and Beyond


Via bleacherreport.com


    Hail Redskins Nation, sorry for not being able to post observations of the last two games but at this point all the recaps are becoming pretty redundant. I've been a little under the weather, plus the holidays and working OT it just wasn't enough time to get recaps done in a timely manner. But as you see I'm back writing about my favorite team. Now getting to the state of the Washington Redskins in 2013 and going forward. The same issues are continuing week in and week out and costing this team games that are winnable. We can talk about the weak interior of the O-line, the lack of production from the #2 WR spot, the inconsistent play of the offense, and the lack of a big playmaker on defense. There are plenty of things that have gone wrong but it also has been a few things that have gone right. Bruce Allen said it best at the beginning of the season " The cap penalty will effect this team for years to come not just the two years of the actual penalty" and that's the case in point right now. It's showing now with the lack of addition depth and talent to surround this mixed core of young and veteran  players on this up and coming roster. The good news is that the team will have a penalty free offseason that will allow them to finally address and fill the holes that has plagued this roster for all four years of Mike Shanahan's tenure. Last I heard the Redskins should be atleast 20 million under the cap before any roster moves are made at the end of the season or during the offseason. With that amount of money and a few key free agents this team can return to the form of 2012 and forget this terribly inconsistent 2013. There has been plenty of negative buzz around this team for the past few weeks and it's getting pretty ridiculous. Been reports of RGIII and Mike Shanahan aren't getting along, that RGIII and Kyle Shanahan aren't on the same page and even going as far as to make a big deal about RGII coming to the locker room to check on his son after a rough game against a tough,physical 49ers team. All these reports goes to show the media loves you when your winning and turn on you when u aren't winning and facing some adversity but the one good thing to come out of that is that the team hasn't fed into any of the "anonymous" reports. I'm gonna breakdown each side of the ball and the coaching and during the offseason I'll breakdown position group by position group to see what has to happen to improve and possible free agents to help fill the holes on this roster. I'll start with the offense:



                                                                  Offense
Via bleacherreport.com

    This season unlike last season has been an uneven roller coaster ride for this offense. With RGIII coming back off of injury the big question was, how will he play after his second ACL surgery in a little over four years. I believe that is the major factor in why this once potent offense has been so inconsistent this season. Since Griffin's offseason was spent rehabbing and not learning how to better read defenses and learning how to improve on going through his progressions and reads and  it has put the offense in difficult situations facing opposing defenses this season. All the blame does not go on RGIII's shoulders alone, the next biggest issue is the offensive line. As we've seen the last let's say....5 weeks the opponent has done the same thing and that is blitz up the middle and watch Tyler Polumbus get beat in pass blocking and giving up constant pressures. This line is superb at run blocking but pass blocking is clearly a problem. I would like to see Adam Gettis or Josh LeRibus get some playing time but as the head coach said in his Monday Press Conference he is not gonna just play someone to see what they can do, they must prove themselves in order to get into the lineup. I guess that's a little disheartening being how bad the interior of the line has looked lately. Does that mean that these young players aren't ready and will never be or it is that they are close and will battle for starting jobs in the offseason? I believe that is going to be a major key in 2014 for more then one reason. It will effect the free agents the team goes after, if they need to go after any linemen in free agency, and if some of the veterans on the O-line may not be on this team next season. The offensive line has been so bad lately I don't even feel like going into anymore detail
Via redskins.xtrablog.timesdispatch.com


    The next biggest issue is at the wide receiver position, after Pierre Garcon there is no one else on the roster opposing defenses fear or respect. Leonard Hankerson made some strides but still didn't have the breakout season that most expected, including myself. Santana Moss looks nothing like the ageless weapon that caught 8 touchdown passes and seemed to catch any and everything in his grasp in 2012. Aldrick Robinson has become better at running routes but still has to improve on getting separation off the line and once he's running his pass patterns, but he has improved his run blocking noticeably. I have many questions about Josh Morgan's diminished role in the offense. Was a result of ineffectiveness or because of  bigger role on special teams? Either way it seemed like a wasted season for the finally 100% healthy wide receiver. I foresee the team going after a big wide receiver either via free agency or possibly the draft. It's a must that this team get a true #2 wide receiver that can be a threat and help take the bracket coverage off of Pierre Garcon. This will also benefit TE Jordan Reed by leaving bigger holes in the middle of the field  for him make defenders miss and use his play making ability. With Lance Lewis and Nick Williams getting promoted from the practice squad, hopefully they'll get a shot in the offense to see if they are NFL caliber receivers. I would love to see the Redskins go after big WR like Hakeem Nicks, Eric Decker, or Mario Manningham. All are big targets, can get separation, and have the ability to break tackles and take it to the house. That will help open up this offense in 2014 and beyond.

Via isportsweb.com

   One of the bright spots for the offense has been the tight end position. With Jordan Reed making an instant impact, Logan Paulsen getting more reps in the passing game and becoming more effective, this is one position the team has some depth. Unfortunately it looks like Fred Davis is not in the plans in 2014. If things would've worked out the two TE combination of Jordan Reed and Fred Davis would make this offense that much more unstoppable. I would like Niles Paul to step up and possibly become a better contributing TE, but I guess its still a learning curve for the ex-WR.  Going forward I'm hoping that Jordan Reed can recover from the concussion he suffered and continue to contribute and develop into a potent weapon going forward. I can see the Redskins probably drafting a late round TE or  picking up a undrafted free agent.


Via sportstalkforida.com

     The only other bright spot for the offense this year is at the running back position even tho there has been a lack of sticking with the run in crucial situations this year. The 2nd year standout Alfred Morris is having another stellar season by running over opposing defenders and getting precious yards after contact. Roy Helu Jr. has returned to his rookie form after a injury plagued 2012. The only problem is trying to compliment each back enough in the game to keep them fresh and effective in the running game. With the right mixture of Helu Jr. and Morris it'll keep defenses off balanced and can wear em down so late in the game the Redskins can pound the ball with a lead to seal victories. Evan Royster is kind of a enigma to me. I like what he did his rookie season but he is neither very shifty or very fast but his is a hard runner who has enough wiggle to fight for extra yards on each and every run. I would like to see him traded or used in a package deal to help improve the team or even a late round draft pick. But as I've stated throughout this article, that's best case scenario going forward but only if they address the issues that I've pointed out for this offense.


   It has been a disappointing season for the offense and team as a whole but in my opinion it will all come together in 2014. I know fans are tired of hearing "there's always next year" but I think it actually means something this time. With the additional cap space, the quarterback being fully healthy going into 2014, and the ability to actually fill wholes on this team with quality talent will propel this team back into the hunt for the division crown and playoffs. Chemistry and continuity are two major keys that can make or break a football team and if either of the two are effected with this team it could set this franchise back another 5-10 years in my opinion. I'll post editorials on the defense and special teams next and my final segment will be on the coaching staff. I'll let you know when to look out for them. As always #HTTR4LIFE and thanks for the love an support from #RedskinsNation. You can follow me on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and feel free to comment, share and give ideas for aricles. I love hearing from #RedskinsNation. If you would like me to continue doing recaps please let me know because I do enjoy writing them for #RedskinsNation


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The GBU: 49ers/Redskins

Photo: via Deadspin Another genius move keeping Giants/Redskins on SNF.
Photo: via Deadspin
Another brilliant move by the NFL for keeping Giants/Redskins on SNF.

Why Roger, Why?

I'll get to the 49ers/Redskins game in a minute, you didn't miss much last night or at least nothing you haven't seen all season long. But right now, I think I'll start off this week's GBU with some questions for the NFL. My first question is who's the genius who decided to keep the Giants/Redskins game on Sunday Night Football? My only guess is that Sunday Night Football didn't want to go up against The Walking Dead's mid-season finale or the post Thanksgiving weekend. That would be the only reasons in my opinion, because nobody cares about RGIII and Justin Tuck selling sandwiches for Subway or Eli advertising Citizen Eco-Drive watches.

So instead of watching a good game against two potential playoff teams in the Cardinals/Eagles, we're stuck watching a prime time game against two inept squads that have little to no hope in reaching the post-season.

The Redskins are done. Period. At this point if the Redskins can find a way to beat the Giants at home and the Falcons on the road, I would be ecstatic. I don't even like the odds of them winning those two games at this point. Meanwhile, the Giants are almost equally sad. Eli has become a walking turnover machine and this team finds the most interesting ways to lose (see the Victor Cruz fumble for TD vs. Dallas). So again, why is this crown jewel of failure being kept on prime time television? Wasn't the flex game option made to keep garbage like this game off of NBC? I sure would like to know.

Fun Times To Be Had At FedEx During Prime Time Games (Unless You Root For The Redskins)

Not another night game at FedEx!!! At least they won this game.
Photo: Alan Anthony
Not another night game at FedEx!!! At least they won this game (vs. Cowboys 2010). 

Speaking of prime time games, I hate prime time games at FedEx Field. First and foremost is that the Redskins are generally lousy when they play nationwide on prime time television. They're just as bad if not worse when they play these games at home. I learned last night that the Redskins are 2-12 on Monday Night Football since they've been playing at FedEx. I think the records are slightly better when it comes to Sunday Night Football and Thursday Night Football but I still don't think they are that terrific (anybody wanting to do the research can leave those stats in the comments below).

 I can go on about driving home at 2 in the morning, dealing with more drunks than you normally see during daytime games and all the fun things that can happen when you can't see in the dark (porta-johns as an example) but the Redskins inability to win at night is the main reason. So back to back prime time games at home haven't made me that jolly during the start of the holiday season and unfortunately I'm not sure it's going to get much better come Sunday night.

What We Learned From Last Night's Game?

It's not good. Let me first compliment the 49ers on their defense. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what a 3-4 scheme should look like and be played. You saw the following things that you don't see in the Redskins 3-4: DEs make tackles despite being blocked, OLBs actually getting to the QB in order to hit and or sack him, players making tackles and coverage. Yes, actual coverage. There was a DB in the vicinity of the WR/RB/TE trying to catch the ball. In most cases the DB actually made a play on said receiver and if he didn't break up the play, he made the tackle.

Second, is that the journeyman patchwork that we call an offensive line in DC has got to go. We already knew that they're not very good at pass blocking but against a good defense, they're not that great in the run game either. Multiple times LBs came in untouched and the O-line had difficultly stopping the DEs and NT from penetrating the backfield. The Redskins O-line is one of the lightest in the league and they have difficulty against bigger defensive linemen. There's more to be said, but I'll save it for this week's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

NFL Week 12: Points, Picks and Predictions


(Me, watching football this year.)
First, a quick apology to our constant readers on the site. I haven't had time to do the weekly picks for the past few weeks because of some issues with my life not related to football. If only I could write this full time and make enough money to not have to work a job.......

Anyway, both myself and Tattooed Scorpio have been busy and its just been a hard year to watch football. The Redskins have stunk it up and to be honest, I just don't get the feeling that we're getting as many exciting and epic games that we've seen over the past five years or so.

Maybe its a lack of talent. Maybe its injures or a watering down of teams. Either way parity seems to have become parody in the NFL.

That's all I've got to say for the moment. Onto this week's games.

1PM Games (EST)

Tampa Bay @ Detroit (-8)
I don't think Detroit covers this game, but they win one at home. Expect Matt Stafford to be picked off a few times to keep this game close throughout.
Pick: Lions

Jacksonville @ Houston (-10)
Here's my first upset of the week. The Texans look like garbage and it seems like they're going to go out on a real bad note. I'm going Jaguars here for a home upset.
Pick: Jaguars

Minnesota @ Green Bay (-5)
The Packers are fading and the Vikings well, they still aren't that great. That said I think I'm going with another upset and picking the Vikings today. Crazy, Green Bay won't make the playoffs this year.
Pick: Vikings

San Diego @ Kansas City (-4.5)
This is probably the best game of the 1PM games. The Chargers are desperate and the Chiefs want to prove that they can beat good teams (granted, the Chargers aren't that great.). Arrowhead is a very tough place to play when the Chiefs are good.
Pick: Chiefs

Carolina @ Miami (+5.0)
Carolina is on a roll and Miami is spiraling out of control. I like the Panthers here easily.
Pick: Panthers

Pittsburgh @ Cleveland (-1.0)
The Factory of Sadness may be joyous today as the Browns face a mediocre Steelers team. I like the Browns here primarily because hardly anybody would expect them to beat Pittsburgh.
Pick: Browns

Chicago @ St. Louis (-1.5)
Hard to believe that the Rams are favored here. I like the Bears in another mediocre game.
Pick: Bears

NY Jets @ Baltimore (-4.0)
The Ravens are a hard team to beat at home and Geno Smith has been a turnover machine. This doesn't fare well for the Jets.
Pick: Ravens

4PM Games (EST)

Tennessee @ Oakland (+1.5)
The Raiders are again playing at a below .500 level. Meanwhile, the Titans have just enough talent left on the roster to make a last minute playoff push (not likely though). Slight edge to the Titans.
Pick: Titans

Indianapolis @ Arizona (-2.5)
Hard to believe that the Cardinals are 6-4 with the putrid play of Carson Palmer. I think the Colts will give them problems today.
Pick: Colts

Dallas @ NY Giants (-2.5)
Hmmm.... does Dallas start to lock up the NFCE or does the Giants start to flip the switch at the right time and take advantage of the Cowboys typical fade that starts in November? I think the Cowboys hold the Giants off for at least one more week.
Pick: Cowboys

SNF 

Denver @ New England (+2.5)
I kind of expect another classic Brady vs. Manning shootout. If that's what it boils down to, then the Broncos win this one.
Pick: Denver

MNF

San Francisco @ Washington
Man, I'd love to say the Redskins have a chance here. And believe it or not, I think they do. However, the problem with the 'Skins all season is that they can't play 60 minutes of consistently good football. I expect the Redskins to blunder early (or start out slow). The 49ers will get a 21-0 type of lead and then the Redskins will start to comeback. But as we've seen, they won't be able to do enough. Either that or the Redskins will go up by 10 and blow the lead in the 4th quarter. Either way, I can't see them winning this one. Sorry.
Pick: 49ers 31, Redskins 17

Friday, November 22, 2013

Observations and Thoughts after the Redskins Vs Eagles Game


Via NFL.com


       Redskins Nation this latest loss to the Philadelphia Eagles was both sickening to watch and possibly the nail in the coffin of the post season hopes for the Redskins. Honestly I don't know which is more maddening the terrible play on the field or the negative media attention to my favorite team. I'll address the media issue a little later but the offense has been dreadful and very predictable. I'm not sure how big of a impact Jordan Reed getting hurt (concussion) had on the game plan or play calling but whatever the reason the Eagles had it figured out for most of the day. Kyle has to start going away from his tendencies and mix up his playcalling. It was said immediately after the game by Robert Griffin III that is was like the Eagles knew what plays were being called before they were called, which I agree with fully. For three quarters the Redskins looked inept and uninspired on offense and defense plus the special teams just can't get any type of positive momentum going. I believe this is a result of a combination of things that are in the teams control and few things that aren't. Some of the things that are in the teams control such as execution, penalties,clock management issues and not being able to make the play when the play is there to be made.
Via redskins.com

    In this most recent game these issues came into play along with some glaring others. The quarterback play was a big issue being that the Eagles were batting his passes and pretty much knew the plays that the offense were trying to execute. I put most of that blame on Kyle Shanahan for seemingly running the same series of play combinations that easily keyed the Eagles defense to what was coming. During my observations of the game it was a combination of zone read run, option read run and max protect PA pass. If I can see these tendencies I know a paid defensive coordinator can also. Another issue with the offense is not being able to make the play when it's there to be made. Last season whenever the Redskins needed a big play on a 4th and 10 or a 4th and goal it seemed like they always made the play, this year that is not the case. This game was no different with drop passes, blown assignments, bad play calls, and ineffective play of the QB and the offense as a whole. I stated in my last observation about the chemistry that RGIII had with Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon, since they were practicing together during the offseason and I believe that is the major reason the offense hasn't been as crisp.RGIII's rookie season he had a chance to build chemistry with all the pieces on offense hense the balanced attack of last years offense. The other skill position players on offense that he didn't get offseason reps with haven't been in sync with the QB or the offense as a whole. As long as the 2nd year QB stays healthy and can head into the offseason fully healthy and able to participate fully in OTA's and training camp the team will show the benefits of that next season. The fact the fans and the media are questioning a 2nd year QB coming off a injury and trying to duplicate the success from last season is puzzling to me. Last season he could do no wrong and shocked the world with how big of an impact he made on the game, team and fans alike but having a last place schedule did have some factor into that also. Not making excuses for  him or this team but just  #StayingMedium and look at the situation from a strictly football perspective and not as a fan. I also had high expectations for this season but I had to look at the reality that this team has a lot of holes to fill and playing a 1st place schedule tends to showcase your weaknesses more then the strengths and not to mention the 36 million dollar cap penalty. My hope for the rest of the season is hopefully not a double digit loss season which will give the St.Louis Rams a high 1st round draft pick from compensation for the trade for the rights to RGIII.
Via redskins.com


    The defense is another whole issue in itself. Some fans and media would like to see Jim Haslett fired and I don't agree with that idea at all. I say atleast let his contract be fulfilled unlike any other coach under the ownership of Daniel Snyder. Not saying he doesn't deserve criticism and much of the blame but when you have to settle for 2nd rate players and not the players you want or believe are the pieces necessary to get the job done how can you receive a fair assessment. The defense since Haslett has been the DC has been in flux and has constantly had a lack of playmakers and talent. Just look at the fact he hasn't had a quality FS in all four years he has been here which is a key position in his 3-4 defense. I believe the core of the defense is there with the likes of Barry Cofield, Ryan Kerrigan, Brian Orakpo, DeAngelo Hall, Perry Riley Jr. and rookie David Amerson. The key now is getting playmakers around these players and watch the defense come together. It's a difficult task to improve your defense when you can't get the personnel that you need to fit your defense and scheme. The fact that the unit is filling holes with walk on talent for the past 2 seasons should be a sign that the cap penalty was and is a big issue and should be treated as such. Next season will be a big year for the defense I believe. With David Amerson showing he was worth his 2nd round pick that the team spent on him and hopefully the signing of a true veteran FS  in free agency will address alot of the issues that has slowed this secondary. The team must also address the depth on the DL and at LBs especially with London Fletcher possibly retiring at the end of the season, I'm hoping Nick Barnett maybe his replacement since Keenan Robinson can't seem to stay healthy. It's hard to go from worst to first but this team did it last season with the benefit of the schedule, a new type of QB and offense and the uncanny knack for making plays when needed or not. But last season should not make you have less patience or understanding of this team. It takes time to build a championship caliber team, just look at New England Patriots, New York Giants and the Colts (during the Peyton Manning years). It takes years to build a winning team and is very hard to maintain hopefully the Redskins can find out in the next coming seasons.


     Now to address all this media negative spin and even some of the fans now showing some negativity towards the team and most notably RGIII. I totally diagree with last weeks media storm concerning the quarterbacks comments after the game and Santana Moss's reaction to those comments. During RGIII's Wednesday press conference he explained his comments and the reactions to it. I'm not going to go back into it because I know Redskins Nation is tired of hearing it, but I will say I'm not concerned at all. He's a second year QB trying to develop his skillset in the NFL, being a team leader at the young age of 22 and he has brought back to life a franchise and fan base that has had nothing to cheer about for the last two decades plus. I know it's a "what have you done for me lately" league but cmon now it's technically a year an 10 games into his pro career and the expectations are seemingly ridiculous. Last season they couldn't get enough of the newest face of the NFL and now with some adversity and reality now there's actually a question asking "Is RGIII the problem in DC". When I saw this on a sports channel and immediately changed the channel, while laughing at this buffoonery. The one thing fans and the media have to realize is that you can not let the last two decades plus of mediocrity lessen your patience and understanding going forward into this next chapter of Redskins History. It's hilarious how fast they love you and how fast they'll throw you under the bus. I know it's the media's job to get people to watch to get ratings and get people talking but some of the stories are utterly ridiculous.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Via redskins.com
                                                                                         With the San Francisco 49ers coming to town for a Monday Night Football this week this could be a major embarrassment for the team or a major stepping stone after two back to back sub par performances. The 49ers have a stout, opportunistic defense and a equally potent offense when firing on all cylinders and they're getting healthy at the right time for them and the wrong time for their opponents. It's gonna be a tough uphill battle for the Redskins but I believe they have it in them to win this game and shut up all the negativity surrounding this team over this recent weeks. The 49ers have also had their difficulties recently also but the Redskins will have to play a FULL 60 mins in order to beat the reigning NFC Champions.As always #HTTR. You can follow me for all your Redskins and football news on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and can follow the editor for this blog, writer for @SonofWashington and good friend @IIWIISOWSkins and don't forget to subscribe to the blog for a email whenever a new article is posted. #BeatDa49ers

Monday, November 11, 2013

Observations of the Redskins Vs Vikings


Via Redskins.com





             Hail Redskins Nation, sorry for the delay in posting after that disappointing loss to the one win Minnesota Vikings. Normally I have a 24 hour rule about posting after a loss but after that debacle I needed 72 hours to get my thoughts and observations together. As you noticed this will be a observations of the game.Also has some of my opinions about this team. Please feel free to comment about your observations and if you agree or disagree with my thoughts. As for the grades I'm giving the whole team top to bottom an incomplete. That includes the players, coaches, the second half gameplan. The inconsistency of this team is baffling me week to week. One of the pleasant things that came out of the game was the first half of Robert Griffin III but unfortunately it's two halfs in football. In the first half the offense looked unstoppable scoring on 5 of 5 possessions but in the second half it looked like the offense couldn't get out of it's own way. It wasn't just RGIII that looked totally different in the second half, it was the whole team. The coaching staff was in the same boat,once Minnesota made adjustments after halftime the game went in a whole different direction. The most disappointing part of it all is that the week before Kyle Shanahan, in my opinion called his best game of the season. By mixing up the playcalls, sticking with the run and adding some new wrinkles to the offense I felt that this team was on its way to getting on track to repeat as Division Champs. One of the wrinkles the team added was the triple option last week which opened up holes for the team to gash the Chargers but didn't see it once this week. Why is that Kyle?
Via Espn.go.com


      My first observations of course are going to focus on RGIII and the offense. When this season started I was very optimistic that this team would pick up right where it left off in 2012. I failed to take into account the importance of of the offseason for a rookie QB going into his second year in the NFL. The most important fact of the missed offseason is the signal callers ability to learn how to read defenses. If u recall in 2012 this offense was dynamic, could score from anywhere and when the time came for some on the field magic....they produced almost flawlessly. One of the biggest contributors was Santana Moss, who was seemingly in the right place at the right time whenever RGIII called his number and would make the big catch but that is NOT the case this year. Either the two miss each other, Moss doesn't make the tough catch, or a dumb penalty negates the play when they do make it. I say that to say this, I believe with Griffin missing the offseason and only getting reps with other injured players has slowed his progression as a NFL quarterback. We all see the chemistry that has been formed with Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed (both players that were injured during offseason) during the season making Garcon look like the #1 WR I knew he could be and Reed looking like a true draft steal.. The rest of the WR's and TE's either haven't gotten open, have dropped catch-able  passes, and sometimes have been missed by the 2nd yr QB when they've been wide open. At this point in the season its time for this open to get clicking and stay clicking but in order to do that you must have time that is provided by the offensive line.



      The offensive line, which was one of the best run blocking units and so so pass blocking team I feel has taken a step back. With the whole offseason, defenses have been learning to counter the Redskins unique offense of zone read, zone blocking with the occasional bootleg action. The way they're doing this is by going man coverage and blitzing the A gap (between the center and guard) to keep pressure in the QB's face and make him rush his reads and throws. Kory L, Chris Chester and Will Montgomery are all under contract until 2015 but the way they're playing it looks like they don't wanna be here past 2013.Kory and Chris gets manhandled most of the time, and with Montgomery you have bad snaps, bad blocks when getting to the second level and sometimes just bone headed plays. I'm not saying replace the whole interior of the line but you have Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis inactive every week without giving the youngsters a shot to see if they could outperform the vets and improve the inconsistency. I still can't understand how they can be so good at run blocking and sometimes so porous against the pass. Now Kyle's playcalling has something to do with it but I will address that a little later. With the team getting a little over 20 million in cap space next year,  I feel the needs and wants will be addressed via free agency and offensive line is a priority.


Via Redskins.com

    Now to talk about the so called skill positions of WR's and TE's. I've already mentioned the good with Reed and Garcon and some of the bad with Moss but the others aren't producing either. Hankerson disappears sometimes for whole games and Robinson shows flashes but just can't get over the hump of consistency. As I stated earlier in the article teams are going man coverage and blitzing up the midddle to help slow down and stop the Redskins sometimes potent offense. When this happens the WR's have the advantage, as long as the line gives him the time to throw(which isn't always the case) but when they do have the time they aren't winning the 1 on 1 battles. With a young QB learning to the NFL game by trial and error he needs his WRs to step up and make plays when the plays present itself. If the players on the roster can't make the plays maybe it's time to promote one of the practice squad players and see what happens. Nothing like competition.




    When talking about the defense I am not as critical, just for the fact that the unit is still in flux with injuries, suspensions, and lack of playmakers. Don't get me wrong the D doesn't get a free pass at all after this game. Most fans and critics are calling for the firing of Jim Haslett (which I don't agree with) but coaches coach and players play. I'm still wondering how they made Christian Ponder look like a Pro Bowl QB. With the defense having no true FS, an aging leader (London Fletcher) and the declining play of Josh Wilson in my opinion the defense is doing a decent job making teams work to score. The D may give up yards but haven't been giving up as many points as it had at the beginning of the season. The defense has faced plenty of top tier QBs and offenses, with that being said the rankings of the defense isn't a true barometer for the unit. There needs to be more consistency with getting to the QB, they have improved on the pass rush but have to complete the mission and sack the QB. Those are momentum plays and help change or keep up the momentum of the game.


     The front seven has improved with the return of Brian Orakpo and the emergence of Ryan Kerrigan, they have improved the pass rush that was seriously lacking last year. The rushing stats has suffered this season, but I attribute that to the team playing from behind and the other team running the ball to try and run the clock out. Not to mention the absence of Adam Carriker and the step back that Stephen Bowen took this season (in part due to injured PCL ) has also added to the raised rushing stats. The assumption that this would be the strongest unit on the team at the start of the season had to wait until midseason, but they're coming into their own now but has to get more sacks not just pressures. The only issue In have with the aging London Fletcher is his ability to go out and cover TE's and RB's but with Nick Barnett getting some reps in relief of Perry Riley Jr. I see better coverage but still needs to improve. From what I've seen Nick Barnett maybe the replacement for Fletcher since Keenan Robinson can't seem to stay healthy.

Via WPGC.cbs.local


    To me the secondary has been the most improved unit and for the last 4 weeks has been the most consistent. I've mentioned the declining play of Josh Wilson but I also have to mention the improved play of the rookie David Amerson. He's had a typical rookie season with its ups and downs but there certainly has been more ups then downs. With DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson, and E.J Biggers all  being unrestricted free agents next season I believe Amerson's play has made one of them expendable. To me it seems like Wilson will be the odd man out and with Chase Minnefield on practice squad chomping at the bit to get some playing time I don't see Wilson being here next year. DeAngelo Hall is having one the best season of his career, not stats wise but play on the field wise. The safeties haven't been a issue since Hasllet has started Brandon Meriweather at FS and Reed Doughty at the SS. Both have been steady since they've been playing beside each other. Meriweather has received a suspension for helmet to helmet contact but other then that he's been lights out....no pun intended. It will be interesting to see how things fall out during the offseason, I'm sure a FS will be a priority since there isn't a true experienced FS on the team. Bacarri Rambo has had his ups and downs but as the teams only true FS it's apparent that he's not fully NFL ready.



    My biggest disappointments of the game was the playcalling, coaching and lack of adjustments once the Vikings made their adjustments in the second half. Going into the third quarter the Redskins had a 10 point lead, great first half execution and the chance to kill Minnesota's will with a touchdown drive. Once the Vikings stopped running zone coverages and started playing man coverage the game changed dramatically. The receivers couldn't get open and they blanketed Garcon with safety help over the top. They also started  blitzing straight up the middle and getting pressure right in the face of the QB. Now what Kyle failed to do was adjust his playcalling since they were doing these things to stop what was working in the first half. In my experience when a team starts blitzing and playing man coverage the way you counter that is to throw running back screens, run draws and delays draws to use the defenses aggressiveness against them. This did not happen and the results were 3 and outs for the whole second half which allowed the Vikings to get back in the game. Kyle has to stay focused on what's working and what's not and when the defense finds ways to stop What's working you must have a back up plan to counter the adjustments. Also seems to me he gets impatient and sometimes tries to force plays that goes totally against what was working and throws off the rhythm of the offense. The 3rd down conversion rate had gone up drastically over the last three games (was converting 55% of 3rd down) but due to Kyle's lack of adjustments the second half was filled with 3 and outs.



      I'm so tired of talking about special teams that all I'm going to say is atleast the team didn't give up another TD by punt or kick return. Upcoming game with the Philadelphia Eagles on the 17th is a huge game for this team, only because the weak state of the division. If the Redskins can follow there trend of playing a good game then bad game, we should be in for a great game. With enough tape on the Eagles now the Redskins should have a better idea to stop them so it wont be a repeat of the Week 1 blowout loss. Nick Foles is looking lights out, with a 15:0 touchdown to interception ratio the defense can't afford to take this young QB lightly. After Christian Ponder looked great last week against this defense with limited weapons, if they underestimate Foles with the Eagles weapons it will be a long day .As always #HTTR. You can follow me for all your Redskins and football news on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and can follow the editor for this blog, writer for @SonofWashington and good friend @IIWIISOWSkins and don't forget to subscribe to the blog for a email whenever a new article is posted. #BeatDaEagles

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Week 10 Thursday Night Football: Redskins/Vikings

(Image via ESPN)
So finally, I have a serious reason to watch Thursday Night Football. I have to be honest, I may have watched maybe 2-3 full games of TNF this season. Primarily because the matchups have generally been putrid and I have to admit, I enjoy watching The Big Bang Theory, Elementary and some of the other decent TV shows that come on during Thursday.

Of course I generally have to turn on the game just to get the TNF introduction. "In my city" is really a perfect song for TNF.
Smart move by NFL Network. While the song is annoyingly pop and the lyrics are equally silly, the song is catchy, upbeat and performed well by Priyanka Chopra.


So where I turn on the game just to keep up with my fantasy stats, now I'm going to watch for the 'Skins.
So how are the 'Skins going to do?

I think they can win this game if they can contain Adrian Peterson and make Christian Ponder throw a couple of picks. The Vikings are without one of their better pass catchers in Kyle Rudolph and their secondary is seriously banged up.

This could be RGIII's break out game of the season, if Kyle Shanahan runs the ball enough that he can set up the pass for the rest of the night.
There is a reason that the Vikings are 1-7 and hopefully the Redskins can exploit those faults into a victory.

Pick: Redskins 24, Vikings 16

Monday, November 4, 2013

Grades and Recap: Redskins Vs Chargers


Via footballamerica.com


       Another #VictoryMonday Redskins Nation. On the brink of a season crushing loss the Washington Redskins steadily improving defense had the goal line stand of the season. 1st and goal from the six inch line with less then 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter and only up by three points is usually a recipe for disaster. Not today for the now 3-5 Redskins, they put together a full 60 mins plus of football in all phases of the game. Was it all pretty....no but it was a total team effort and team win, which the Redskins needed badly. Looking at this game I figured it would have to be one of the teams more complete performances of the season to get the job done and that they did. Robert Griffin III looked more like the reigning OROY. He was making the throws into tight windows, broke the pocket when he had to and in his words he "tried to fly" by leaping at the end of a 3rd down run that gave the Redskins a 1st down and extended the drive. Alfred Morris finally got his 2nd 100 yard rushing performance of the year with 121 hard fought yards on the ground and a touchdown. Darrel Young had a career day with three touchdowns on the ground and is the first running back since Jerome Bettis (1994)to have three TD's and less than 14 yards rushing.

     Last week Pierre Garcon made some statements about the passing game that seemed to rub some folks the wrong way but boy did he show and prove in this game. With seven catches for 172 yards and numerous highlight reel catches he was a one man wrecking crew against the Chargers secondary. Leonard Hankerson did show up with some big catches and finishing the day with five catches for 55 yards. The rest of the wide receiver corp didn't do much in the passing game but did  do a hell of a job in downfield blocking to spring Morris on several big runs on the day. Young TE Jordan Reed made some plays early but once again disappeared in the second half but did make a huge 3rd down catch in overtime to help extend the drive and  get the win. One pleasant surprise was the play calling of Kyle Shanahan, he stuck with the run, added some wrinkles to the playbook, and utilized the triple option to help open up holes in the passing and running game. Kyle kept the defense off balance with a steady dose of zone stretch, zone read and well timed play action pass plays.With the play distribution of 40 rushes and 32 passing attempts it seems to be a good combination for winning and hopefully Kyle will keep this in mind going forward.


     The defense has been steadily improving week to week and kept that streak going with a gritty and gutty performance that saved and won this game. The stats might not reflect this but the on the field product is showing improvement not saying there isn't room for more improvement. The defensive line did a good job getting constant pressure around Phillip Rivers and forcing him into two interceptions. One of which was just a misscommunication with his WR but the second was an athletic INT by the rookie David Amerson. Amerson read the route perfectly and went more aggressively for the ball then the WR and came up with his 2nd INT of the season. He also missed an assignment on a 4th down on the game tying drive by the Chargers. The linebackers had another tough and steady performance by allowing only 69 yards on the ground and helped contain the high powered Chargers offense. The secondary didn't have as good of a afternoon like in weeks previous but did collect two interceptions from Mr. Rivers which always makes your secondary look better. The goal line stand made by the defense in the fourth quarter with less then 30 seconds was one of the most impressive stands I've seen from a Redskins defense in a very long time. Since the defense had been stuffing the run for most of the day it made the Chargers one dimensional and forced them to throw it on 2nd and 3rd down and ultimately settling for the game tying field goal to force overtime.

   Last but not least the special teams. I'll start with the bad, two blocked field goals is never a good thing but in defense of that part of the unit the 59 yard field goal attempt had to be kicked low because of the distance. Now on the other hand the 25 yard field goal attempt was all on the kicker, it was no reason for that kick to be that low for a lineman to be able to just reach up and block it. This unit is in flux with Nick Sundberg being on IR but hopefully they can get this issue fixed this week in practice. One part that has improved in the last three weeks has been the coverage on punts and kickoffs even with Kai Forbath kickoffs being returned and not held in for touchbacks. I like the fact that they are finally improving as a whole unit but can't continue to have plays that cost the team points or gives the other teams points. With two winnable road games coming up (Minnesota 11/7 and Philadelphia 11/17) this team will have to mirror this 60 min performance to get them back to .500. Have to take one game at a time, now let's get to the grades:

                                                               Offense
Via Redskins.com

Quarterback: Robert Griffin III had one his best games of the year throwing the ball completion percentage wise against the Chargers. Only had 9 incompletions with a few drops mixed in but did complete passes to eight different receivers. Early in the game Robert didn't look as accurate as we're used to but in the 4th quarter and overtime he threaded the needle to Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed to help extend the game winning drive. I believe the chemistry with those two is growing just hope another WR can step up and give RGIII another dependable target. He did have an interception on a crazy play backed up in his own end zone but that was more on the offensive line than the 2nd year QB. The highlight of the young playmakers day was when he "tried to fly" and made a five yard leap for the first down while getting hit and hitting the ground pretty hard. It extended the drive and eventually lead to points. Grade: B+

Via redskinsxtra.blog.timesdispatch

Running Backs: Once again the three headed monster Alfred Morris, Roy Helu Jr. and RGIII ran for over 200 yards with Darrel Young chipping in with three TD's. Of those three touchdowns the last was the game winner in overtime after and impressive drive which featured six rushes out of the 10 play game winning drive. The fact that the team pulled out the triple option to give the defenses something new to think about was a game changer. It was really effective,aided the play action passing game and even got Santana Moss and Jordan Reed  involved with both receiving pitches on the triple option and both gained 18 yards on their runs. Grade: A



Tight Ends: Jordan Reed can be a deadly weapon for this offense if they can find a way to keep him involved throughout the whole game. Fred Davis looks as if his time here in D.C is over with him being a healthy scratch for the third week in a row. I would've loved to see a two TE set featuring Davis and Reed but looks like that just isn't in the cards unless things drastically change. Logan Paulsen even tho he's not 100% he is still the teams best blocker at the position and has above average hands. I've said previously that Niles Paul has to get more involved in the offense and it looks like he's getting more reps and even caught a pass but I would like to see a lot more out of Paul. Grade: B


Via utsandiego.com

Wide Receivers:  Pierre Garcon is proving all the doubters wrong and doing it in a flashy fashion. Most critics and experts say Garcon isn't a true #1 WR....well with 7 catches,172 yards and a number of spectacular catches what would you call that? After the comments he made after last weeks loss, Pierre definitely backed up his words. There was a Leonard Hankerson siting on Sunday, after two weeks with only two catches Hankerson stepped up and had five catches for 55 yards. Santana Moss got involved receiving a pitch out of the triple option and would've had a big gainer in the third quarter but RGIII over threw Moss.It's a sad statement that the TE's have more targets and receptions then any other receiver not named Garcon.(Pierre deserves a A but the unit as a whole gets). Grade:C+



Offensive Line: This unit has had its ups and downs this season but it's clear that the right side of the line needs to be addressed. Chris Chester, who has been consistent and productive thru his time here but he is looking out matched recently and was called for holding twice . The Tyler Polumbus experiment needs to be concluded. He does well in the running game but in the passing game he is a liability. On several plays he was man handled by the DE and I believe his play sometimes is the reason the offense doesn't succeed in many aspects. Trent Williams is putting together another Pro Bowl season by effectively making his opponent disappear. Kory Lichtensteiger and Will Montgomery have been okay but has been giving up too much pressure up the middle but they did rush for over 200 yards for the third time this year (2-1 record) and didn't give up a sack for the first time this season.Grade:B-



                                                             Defense  



Defensive Line: The D-line did a good job of constantly getting pressure and collapsing the pocket around Phillip Rivers and kept him uncomfortable throughout the game. Barry Cofield did a hell of a job of clogging up the middle which helped allow the team to only surrender 69 yards rushing. It wasn't a stellar outing but it was a consistent outing and was a major part for this team victory. The late fourth quarter goal line stand was not only game saving but hopefully going forward maybe even season saving. Some experts say that San Diego made some bad play calls but when your team has only 69 rushing yards and your short yardage back is hurt (Ryan Matthews) you have to do what you can to try and score. Grade: B+



Linebackers: The linebackers were active, aggressive and impressive even tho the numbers don't truly reflect it. London Fletcher, Perry Riley Jr. and Nick Barnett did an excellent job containing the All Pro Antonio Gates to only 53 yards on five receptions. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan got constant pressure even tho neither recorded a sack they did make things very uncomfortable for the veteran QB.  Brandon Jenkins was activated over Darryl Tapp and the rookie didnt't make a big impact but he was in the mix of getting pressure. Grade:B

Via Riggosrag.com

Cornerbacks: Even tho the ranking of 28th against the pass this unit is playing far better then its ranking. DeAngelo Hall had another good game but without any turnovers. Josh Wilson had a another decent game but did nothing to stand out and E.J Biggers grabbed his first interception as a Redskin and had pretty good coverage when he was in. As for the rookie David Amerson he recorded his 2nd INT when he read the play perfectly, broke on the ball aggressively and beat the WR to the spot and made an athletic interception. I think with Amerson gaining confidence and Wilson not standing out I can see a secondary with Amerson on one side and Hall on the other going into next season. David did make a crucial mistake by letting a WR run free for a 20 yard gain on a 4th and 2, but also did make the stop of Danny Woodhead at the six inch line to force the goal line stand. If this unit keeps improving and  it can help propel this team back into the race for the division title. Grade: B


Via Redskins.com

Safeties: With starters Reed Doughty and Brandon Meriweather back together this was the first time all season that all 11 scheduled starters were on the field together. Brandon played a smart, hard hitting game and didn't receive any personal fouls. Reed Doughty once again plays his position well and was where he was supposed to be. Going up against a potent passing attack the back end has drastically improved since the start of the season. Rambo is chomping at the bit to get back into the defensive rotation and hopefully will get some reps to see if the game is finally slowing down for him. Grade: B



Special Teams: If its not one thing it's another. Finally sure up the kickoff and punt return coverage and you get two field goals blocked. As I stated the 59 yard FG attempt had to be low with it being such a long FG but the 25 yard attempt was all on Kai Forbath, he must improve and get his kickoffs deeper. I was happy to see Santana back on a kickoff return but would love to see him on punt returns too. Grade:C-



    Now with a quick turn around and a road game versus Minnesota who lost a heart breaker to Dallas and are a strong team at home. This is a crucial game for the Redskins with the Eagles being their next opponent, a win against the Vikings and it could be the game to get this team back to .500. As always #HTTR. You can follow me for all your Redskins and football news on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and can follow the editor for this blog, writer for @SonofWashington and good friend @IIWIISOWSkins and don't forget to subscribe to the blog for a email whenever a new article is posted.#BeatDaVikings 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NFL Week 9: Points, Picks and Predictions

(Everything is Thumbs Up in KC.............so far. Photo via buisnessinsider.com)
Hard to believe that we're going to be half way through the season after this week. For some teams (who haven't had their BYEs yet) last week was the middle ground.

It's been a weird season personally.

Of course Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning. And there haven't been that many surprises with the incredibly talented Seahawks still rolling. The Saints are back to form with Sean Payton back and even look a bit tougher using a Rob Ryan defense. And I've been impressed by the Colts as they've beaten so really tough teams early on this season.

What's been so weird is how some really good teams have dropped off drastically in less than a year's time. Atlanta, Houston, NY (Giants), Baltimore, Pittsburgh just to name a few teams that have gone from great to pathetic. Although the Patriots find ways to win, Tom Brady looks below average. Granted, there are reasons for all of this but this season just hasn't felt right.

It doesn't feel right with the NFC East either. Dallas is the division leader and they're 4-4. What you have to remember about the current Cowboys is that they're hot in early months and then fade in November/December. Meanwhile the two teams I saw fighting for the NFCE- The Giants (2-6) and the Redskins (2-5) are cellar dwellers hoping to still be able to talk playoffs by the end of this week.

Speaking of the Redskins, it's been a bad year to be a fan of the team. National and local media has done nothing but bash the team and its fans for supporting the name "Redskins". Of course Bob " social justice" Costas and Peter "Mr. Coffee" King have no problems mentioning Indians or Chiefs in their diatribes about the world. Same goes for the KC Star, the local Kansas City newspaper that refuses to use the name Redskins but has no problems with their local team (or the fact their fans dress up in head dress and use the same "tomahawk chop" song that Florida St. and the Atlanta Braves use) the Chiefs. I love media hypocrisy.

This has been a big enough thorn in my side but then add the inconsistent play of RGIII, the fact that Kyle Shanahan isn't willing to run the ball and that our defense is still pretty sorry has made my 2013 crap so far.

So what's going to happen with the rest of the season? I don't know, but here's a few predictions:

1. Reality Check: I expect the Chiefs in particular to get a bit of a rude awakening in the 2nd half of the year. They still have to face the Chargers twice, the Colts once and the Broncos twice. Plus, the Raiders have become a much better team with Terrelle Pryor. If the Chiefs go 3-3 or better in those games, I will be impressed. I also feel that unless Tom Brady can turn it around, the same thing will happen with the Patriots.

2. Resurgence: 49ers, Ravens, Giants. Three teams to keep an eye on down the stretch. Now the 49ers are playing good (6-2) but I think we'll see them blow by the Seahawks for the NFCW title. The Ravens will get their heads straight and figure out how to get the ball more to Ray Rice. The Giants, you can't count them out. I would love to include my 'Skins here but they are so hard to predict and even harder to see the good team play for an entire game.

3. Staying the Course: I really like Miami and Cincinnati as two teams that will be on the bubble to be playoff contenders and be in a position to win their division if certain things happen.

4. Two 0-16 teams?: Yeah, that looks like the reality. At this point both Jacksonville and Tampa Bay are just putrid. Maybe the Jags pull an upset on Houston or Arizona and maybe the Bucs can beat arch rival Atlanta, but the odds are slim.

5. Awards: Coach of the Year- Andy Reid, MVP- Peyton Manning

Finally time for this week's picks:

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Week 9 Thursday Night Football Prediction

(Photo: Al Tielemans/SI)   
It only took nine weeks, but finally Thursday Night Football has a good match up as the Bengals face the Dolphins in Miami tonight.

Fitting that the team that symbolizes Halloween colors is playing on Halloween.

TNF is the only day I've gotten every game right this season so, I'm finally going to get a bit of a challenge here tonight.

Even though the Dolphins are at home, the Bengals are favored by three.

I'm going with the favorite as I like the Bengals to win this one 33-18. And I hope AJ Green can start of my fantasy team to a good start. So far I'm 1-7 on the year. Last year I only lost two games during the regular season of fantasy.

Go figure. But that's what you get when Tom Brady and Trent Richardson are your starters.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grades and Recap: Redskins Vs Broncos

Via Usatoday.com

Hey Redskins Nation, it's another loss of a game that Redskins had control of and were playing for the most part error free football up until 4th quarter but some how found a way to lose. Once again Kyle Shanahan went away from the running game, which was working very well and tiring out the Broncos defense but then all of a sudden decides he wants to throw the ball down the field.

  Denver does have the 32nd ranked pass defense but that's mostly because of teams having to throw to keep pace or catch up with their potent offense. I'm guessing Kyle thought he would try to take advantage of this stat but it turned out to kill the momentum that the defense had help build with two turnovers in the first five minutes of the third quarter. The defense has been steadily improving and the sad fact is that since the Broncos put up 45 points it looks like they didn't do their job to the casual fan but this is not true.

With two backup safeties playing for the first time together and Peyton Manning being the super human quarterback that he is no one gave the Redskins a chance. For almost three quarters of the game they kept pace and contained the Broncos offense. The inconsistent offense constantly going three and out for some of the first half and all of the fourth quarter really was the downfall of the defense.

Addressing Kyle's playcalling and going away from what works has been a constant issue for me this season. He's out thinking himself and really putting our offense in situations where I don't see helping the team being successful offensively. I'm looking for the play caller that had a cast of Rex Grossman, Jabbar Gaffney and Anthony Armstrong that stretched the field and had the right play call most of the time.

Now to address Robert Griffin III, to me this was one of his worst performances of his short career. Between him missing wide open receivers, not reading the defense properly, not trusting what he sees and to me it looked like he made his mind up from the jump that he wasn't gonna run the ball. I hope the latter isn't the case because I would have a real problem with that, but it did look like on several occasions he had a running lane but didn't take it.

Don't get me wrong he did extend plays with his feet and made some plays but there was a lot more yards and points left on the field that this team could've used against the #1 scoring offense. The offensive line did give RGIII time to throw but the interior of the line once again was porous and got man handled by the Broncos front seven but was doing a very good job run blocking until Kyle got pass happy.

Last but not least the special teams took a huge step forward by not giving up a TD return this week and contained one of the more dangerous returners in the league. Sav Rocca did have one bad shank that helped spark the Broncos offense but as a whole the unit was much improved and looked like the extra practice helped.

To me this season is still far from over but this team has to put together a full 60 mins on offense, defense, special teams and coaching. until they do this the Redskins will continue to be inconsistent this year. Now I know that I try to stay away from berating the officials but it seems to me that every week the Redskins get held, facemask pulled, even helmet to helmet contact and it's a no call, but if the Redskins commit a penalty it's called asap. I don't know if it's me because I'm a fan and I know the refs can't see everything but when you can clearly see the foul and don't call it during the game but send a letter later in the week say "Sorry we missed the call" what else can you say?

 I'm starting to wonder why the NFL doesn't have a policy similar to the NHL. Roger Goodell says the goal is to preserve the integrity of the game but isn't getting the calls right part of the integrity? When a controversial play or call happens during a game in the NHL they stop play and call NHL headquarters in Toronto for an official review to make sure the call is made correctly and the game continues after the correct ruling is overturned or confirmed. There is no letter later in the week that means absolutely nothing to a team that took a loss maybe because of a called that was missed or called incorrectly. Well that's just a thought I had now let's get to the grades and recap position by position:  

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Week 8: Points, Picks and Predictions

(Love the helmet, feel bad for the fans of the team.)

This is probably the worst week on the NFL schedule this season. All three prime time games are/will be lousy (TNF: Panthers/Bucs, SNF: Packers/Vikings, MNF: Seahawks/Rams) and most of the schedule features juggernauts vs. teams that haven't played very well this season.

I actually plan to go out and try to catch up on yard work during a chunk of the day.

Anyway, picks are going to be slightly less thorough this week. Due to scheduling conflicts, Tattooed Scorpio is out this week. So it's just me making my usual weekly picks.

The question we really should start asking is who's going where in the draft? Yep, only in week 8 and I'm already looking forward to the draft. Two reasons. One is that my 'Skins aren't playing very well and I'm curious where they'll be picking (granted the Rams get the 'Skins 1st rounder in the 2014 draft). Second, is that there are some really, really bad teams out there. The Bucs, Jaguars, Giants (so far) immediately come to mind.

Next there are about a dozen teams that have been extremely mediocre. Heck, you can apply that term to almost half of the divisions in the league this year. That's why part of me hopes that the draft can bring in an infusion of talent because I'd rather see parity than mediocrity.

Onto this week's picks:


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recap: Redskins Vs Bears

Via Ign.com


Well Redskins Nation, it feels good to say it's #VictoryMonday after a hard fought comeback victory against the Chicago Bears. Could this be the win this team needed to "right the ship" and get some momentum going forward to make a run at a playoff spot and possibly repeat as NFC East Champion.But let's not get ahead of ourselves, this team has to fix some major issues and get more consistent in all phases of the game. The game changed in the 2nd quarter when Jay Cutler went out with a torn groin muscle (out 4 weeks) when he was sacked by Chris Baker (1st career sack) and it didn't look like anything major when he got hit but apparently it was. Once again the special (needs) teams gave up a  81 yard return for touchdown by Devin Hester, who tied Deion Sanders record with 19th return for TD. It was superbly blocked by the Bears but for the second week in a row Niles Paul had the returner in his grasp but failed to make the tackle or atleast slow him up for someone else to make the tackle. The one good thing that came out of this was that the unit didn't implode after that return, they actually improved and the highlight was when Jose Gumbs  made a bone jarring tackle of the returner short of the 20 yard line. Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris looked like the rookies that were the dynamic duo that propelled this team to the title and a improbable run to the playoffs. For the second week in a row Griffin has a season high in rushing yards with 77 yards last week and 84 yards this week. The second year quarterback looks like he has the confidence in his repaired knee to go out and be the playmaker that he was and is. Roy Helu Jr.may has made his case to stay a vital cog in this offense by scoring three TD's and the third being the game winning score 3 yard scamper to the end zone. Last but definitely not least on offense the 3rd round steal Jordan Reed, this rookie broke several Redskins TE records and along the way had his breakout game of the season. With his 9 catches 134 yards and a 3 yard TD catch off a beautifully thrown fade pattern where he abused the safety C. Conte. On defense I have to highlight the play of the whole unit but for the second week in a row DeAngelo Hall get the first star of the game. He all but shutdown the big time receiver Brandon Marshall who had a quiet 6 catches for 75 yards and most importantly no TD's. Brian Orakpo (who is one of my favorite Redskins)  got his first interception and pick 6 of his career when another one of my favorite players Reed Doughty had tight coverage of Alshon Jeffrey. Reed forced a deflection and bobble of the ball which fell right into the hands of the 2-time pro bowler Orakpo who returned it 29 yards for the score to give the team the lead for the first time in the game. I'm not gonna go into the Brandon Meriweather launching himself and getting flagged (twice) all I'm gonna say is reputation rules in the NFL and he maybe looking at a possible suspension since he's a repeat offender. Now lets get to breakdown and grading position group by position group:

Offense
Via examiner.com

Quarterback: Robert Griffin III reminded us that he is still a dynamic athlete, quarterback and reigning OROY. He gashed the defense on runs and showed off his new rookie playmaker Jordan Reed. Robert did have a couple of bad throws, which included an ill advised throw into triple coverage which resulted in a interception by the ball hawk Charles Tillman but he was more fundamentally sound. The last drive to win the game was impressive and showed how comfortable the QB has become in the offense and how easily he moved the team down the field to win the game. Grade:B

Via news.yahoo.com

Running Back: Alfred Morris, Robert Griffin III and Roy Helu Jr. showed sticking with the running game does payoff with another game over 200 total yards of rushing offense. Helu really looked like the rookie that started and had three consecutive 100 yard games while he was the starter in 2011, he was a change of pace back that was too much for the Bears to keep out of the end zone. Alfred was Alfred running threw arm tackles and dragging defenders for extra yards before they could get him down, his running style is what loosens up the defense for Helu to do his damage.Grade:A


Wide Receivers: This unit did improve from last week's dreadful performance but it wasn't a big improvement. We still saw drops by normally sure handed receivers and at times slim to no separation from the DBs. Despite that Aldrick Robinson made a 45 yard TD catch on a deep pass that fell into his arms as he beat double coverage for a much needed score. Hopefully he can start contributing more, he had another nice grab for 30 yards. I don't know what's going on with Santana Moss but he isn't resembling the WR that caught everything thrown his way last year. If he can't get his hands on the ball in the passing game I say put him on punt returns. Leonard Hankerson took a step back this game with a couple of drops and only one reception. Grade:C+

Via news.yahoo.com

Tight Ends: With Fred Davis being inactive (healthy scratch) and Logan Paulsen returning from injury it showed that Jordan Reed was going to be a featured target on this day. Of the first six passes RGIII threw all six went to rookie TE and he caught all of them and made a great grab on the fade route to score. The blocking has improved by this young unit as the season has progressed. It's sad to say but possible that we wont see Fred Davis in a Redskins uniform again, unless he can get his practice habits up to the coaches standards.  But it might be time for a change on scenery for the still young TE to get his career back on track.Grade:B



Offensive Line: After last week's embarrassment at the hands of a division rival this unit played better but still have much room for improvement. The interior of the line did block better and didn't look over matched like last week. That being said they did block for a second consecutive 200 yard plus rushing as a team. Chris Chester did make one of the possible game saving plays by diving on top of and recovering a botched handoff  in Bears territory. Pass protection has to improve if the young QB is to progress as a pocket passer. Not to gloss over the job that Trent Williams did on Julius Peppers . He showed why he should be selected for his 2nd Pro Bowl appearance Grade:C


Defense
Via Redskins.com

Defensive Line: This unit had it's second strong showing in a row. They constantly collapsed the pocket, for the most part contained Matt Forte except for his 50 yard run after a great cutback to the open field. I can't say enough about NT Barry Cofield, since he got thal cumbersome club off of his hands he has been a force in the middle and collected a sack in the process. Jarvis Jenkins is getting in football shape and getting more reps and starting getting some push. But once again Stephen Bowen hasn't had one of those stellar games yet this season but I see slowly but surely he's getting back into 2012 form. The backups did their jobs and didn't see any drop off when they were on the field.Grade: B-

Via therepublic,com


Linebackers: This unit was a steady force this game nothing to flashy besides Brian Orakpo's first interception and pick 6 of his NFL and football career. Perry Riley Jr. is one of the more underrated ILB's in the game because he's rarely out of position and makes the plays that are in front of him. Ryan Kerrigan had a quiet game with only one tackle and an assist but his presence is always felt on the field with his relentless motor. London Fletcher played better this week but did get beat on the late TD to Martellus Bennett while staring into the backfield trying to read the quarterback. Nick Barnett got some limited action he didn't register any tackles, but seeing him on the field with the defense to me is a good sign.Grade: B+




Safeties: The steady and reliable Reed Doughty got his 2nd start at SS and had a hand "so to speak" in on Orakpo's pick 6. His sure tackling and ability to read the play and help diagnose it before it happens is a vital part to the resurgence of the defense the past three weeks. Unfortunately he got a concussion on the surprise onside kick Chicago attempted late in the game. Already spoke about Brandon Meriweather if he were in the box playing SS he wouldn't be in those positions to get those 15 yard penalties.  The 1st penalty looked to me that it was more shoulder then helmet in my opinion. With Meriweather facing a two game suspension I'm not sure where the team sits at FS going into Denver next week and hosting San Diego the following week.Grade: C+

Via bleacherereport.com


Cornerbacks:  The cornerbacks have been playing very well as of late and no one more then DeAngelo Hall, who for the third week in a row has faced an elite WR and has won the battle and the war. Calvin Johnson , Dez Bryant, and Brandon Marshall all are bigger and frequent targets but DeAngelo Hall only gave up one touchdown total. Very impressive by the seasoned veteran. Josh Wilson had a decent game trying to cover the Bears other big WR Alshon Jeffrey who had a quiet 100 plus yard receiving day. The rookie David Amerson is rounding into the 2nd round pick the Redskins imagined when they drafted him. Very physical, instinctive and as long as he stays discipline and be weary of the double move, he will be one of the starting cornerbacks next year.Grade: B+




In order to not sound redundant I'm not even gonna speak on the (non) special teams unit. I know everyone else is talking about so I'll leave it alone. All I will say is Keith Burns might be showing why he was a assistant special teams coach  and not the special teams coach. Special teams should win you games and give you good field position not cost you  games like they already has. With Denver Broncos coming up next this team will need to be at its best, especially special teams. Trindon Holliday of the Broncos is a game changer returning punts and kickoffs. Its bad enough you have to face Peyton Manning after a loss to his replacement but you have to contend with  Von Miller and Champ Bailey returning to the defense. If the Redskins can answer back if and when the Broncos score they will have a shot..As always #HTTR. You can follow me for all your Redskins and football news on Twitter @TattooedScorpio and can follow the editor for this blog, writer for @SonofWashington and good friend @IIWIISOWSkins and don't forget to subscribe to the blog for a email whenever a new article is posted. #BeatDaBroncos