Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It's Not the Food, It's What the Food Goes Into


Because we know Ravens fans love a good cornhole

Dan Steinberg is obviously in an existential crisis wondering how his life came down to kissing Gilbert Arenas' butt and adoring Casey Rabach's scrotum and is trying out for the loosely regulated world of food journalism.

If there is a journalistic endeavor that requires less in the way of qualifications than sports reporting it's food reporting, I mean come on we all don't love sports but we all eat and who doesn't have an opinion on food, in the scope of news food is to the front page as gonzo porn is to the Steven Spielberg. I wish Dan good luck and we'll see him down the road writing about topics as dynamic as cabbage and lentils.

His piece is on Redskins tailgating versus Ravens tailgating, who has the better spread and the better victuals. It is no great surprise to me that Ravens fans have the better of both, you don't need a shrink to figure out that when you are empty inside you fill up the outside to feel better. Bigger banners, larger spreads, more heavy cream in the hollandaise to compensate for the dreary march toward death that is life in Baltimore.

Lower real estate prices? Baltimore's got them. Manageable traffic? Baltimore rush hour is nothing like DC. Diverse and walkable urban neighborhoods? Check. A functioning needle exchange program? Put another in Balmer's column. Crappy commute to your lucrative Washington area job? Perfunctory sex with bitter partners, awkward conversations with estranged neighbors, the occasional drunken hit and run, when you put it together it truly seems like Baltimore has it all.

=====

OF COARSE Baltimore has a better spread! There is food that defines the city. Seafood, crabs, oh that city knows how to cook!

And despite the Ravens being a mere child of 12, Baltimore knows how to celebrate football. The Colts are a storied franchise and you can't say 'Art Donovan' in Fells Point without getting a hug or a punch in the mouth.

At the end of the day Baltimorons define themselves by who they are and they take pride in the limited world around them and all week on the dock or behind the counter or in the delivery vehicle they are remembering the good times and great food from last week, at least as much as they can remember, counting the hours until the next intermission in the mindless march to premature death. Just look at how hard these fans are not thinking about Monday.

Redskins fans, we define ourselves by what we do, and at our peril. Increasingly the big spreads are disappearing in favor of conspicuous consumption. Whether it's a 90000 dollar Hummer in burgundy & gold, the 65 dollar bottle of wine, an imported Burmese wok (truncheon not included) or a 5000 dollar deep fryer (all op. cit.) Redskins fans are letting the goods do the talking.

Between rotten traffic, constant Blackberry messages, the huge house, the great career, the adoration of our gorgeous and much younger opposite sex partner and managing complex relationships with nannies, gardeners and landscapers there simply is not as deep a hole to fill with time consuming activities like mastering the tailgate party. Just grab a bottle of Cristal and a tin of beluga on the way to the game then bail in the third quarter to get to the office in time to close the Fisher account and then home for tantric sex and Sunday Night Football, before you know it Monday is here and out we go to save the world for capitalism.

Look for yourself, these Redskins fans are reveling in the empty world of catered tailgates, prefabricated high ticket meals and that effete sense of entitlement that comes from making more money than everyone around you. There's no enjoyment in their eyes, just thoughts of the next dividend payout.

How we envy the world of the Ravens fan, when life was slower and so was everyone around us.



The perfect thing for the Ravens fan that loves to cornhole from here.

Department of Bad News: Carlos Rogers


Done

Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers went down awkwardly in the first quarter of the Patriots game on a tackle colliding with London Fletcher, he tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee, this is a nine month recovery injury and barring setback Carlos should be back next season and ready to go.

This is not a good sign in a season filling up with not good signs.

=====

After the dreadful 2006 season when Carlos Rogers dropped 1427 potential interceptions and Shawn Springs was fully healthy for 0.003% of all plays the Redskins had a problem. Somewhat to my surprise the team did not jettison Shawn Springs and go for a high ticket free agent corner like Asante Samuels or Nate Clements, they instead chose to work with their players and figure out how to get better.

Anecdotally through seven games it has worked. The team has added LaRon Landry and removed Adam Archuleta, added London Fletcher and removed Lemar Marshall, added some young young linemen and cut two older ones so you figure it out.

Whatever it is it was working. Now the team needs to figure out what happens next. In the offseason the team added a former top drawer player in Fred Smoot, two lower tier corners in David Macklin and Jerametrius Butler, to go along with returning youngsters Leigh Torrence and John Eubanks.

Jerametrius was let go right before cut day and later signed with the Buffalo Bills so he's out of the question and John was allocated to the practice squad. Jason La Canfora speculated John Eubanks aka Bob Eubanks would be signed off the squad and he was.

Loveboat Freddie moves into the number two spot behind Shawn Springs with Leigh and David rotating at the number three with Leigh having maybe a slight advantage and Bob Eubanks at the bottom. Byron Westbrook is the emergency, still on the practice squad.

But hey, good thing we kept all those receivers right?



Carlos Rogers limping off the field in Foxborough: Peter Lockley / Washington Times from here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I Would Say More Like a Pause in the Era


Former Jets starter on right, future former Jets starter on left

Jets coach Eric Mangini is making a move, benching Chad Pennington in favor of Kellen Clemens who has already started one game this season when Chad was out with an ankle.

Chad Pennington has never been the same guy from 2002 with the deep touch since his wrist injury in 2003, the shoulder injury in 2004, the rushed return that forced two surgeries in 2005 (all op. cit.). In week one this season he turned his ankle badly (Kellen started game two as a result) and the Jets home crowd cheered as he limped off the field, trying to save the team a timeout, they Mark Brunell'ed him.

Jetfighter at SBN blog NY Landing Strip is apoplectic (hat tip Skin Patrol), the New York Times headline says it all, '2 Quarterbacks, 3 Points and No Answers.'

Kellen is a second year player and even though Chad will not regain his 2002 form again he is still the best chance the Jets have this season. It's too early to write the season off and mount Kellen as the starter so I think we will see Chad again this season.

The Jets have been at the bottom of both major statitstical categories (30th in offense, 29th in defense) and now they are switching quarterbacks. What more do you need Redskins, they are inviting you to their house for a date and there are no adults around, close the deal!



Kellen Clemens and Chad Pennington: Caffato/news from here.

Letter to the Editor, Wanker Edition


Pretty much the definition of a pedantic hater

Dear Wanker,

The Cardinals were the number one passing offense in the league in 2005, they have two bona fide Pro Bowlers at receiver in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin and tailback Edgerrin James is top five in yards the past four season, he's a three time Pro Bowler.

Les Carpenter is talking about the star power, not the stats. It was Kurt Warner in 2005 that made the Cardinals soar and adding Edgerrin was supposed to put them over the top. We can quibble stats but St. Louis Phoenix Arizona is talent-laden if not actually successful, chill out and don't read if all you're going to do is hate on the Redskins.


Void where prohibited this blog post invalid if letter writer is a Curly R reader, if you are the letter writer please click here.



Wanker motion from here.

Letter to the Editor: Mancrush Edition


Good one

Dude good call, the Redskins were up 21-6 when they started fading and almost lost the game, hardly a domination and it totally oversells the team when the homer paper needs to pump it up. Just give us the numbers and let us make up our own mind.

Next they'll say something stupid like the Patriots game was a 'different reality.'


Consumer warning: this tag not to be removed under penalty of law, if you are not the letter writer click here immediately.



Willie Geist mancrush from here.

No Such Thing


STFU & PLAY D K THX

It appears there are some concerns that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and the Patriots ran up the score at the end of this past game, let the record show that with 11:02 to go in the fourth quarter and up five touchdowns plus at least one two point conversion Tom Brady ran a quarterback sneak on 4th and one, they got it and then two plays later scored on a Wes Welker TD reception.

Randall Godfrey was the one that started it after the game, Joe Gibbs and Bill Belichick had a perfunctory shake after the game then I read about it here, here, here all sourced from here:

"I said something to (Belichick) after the game," Godfrey said to NBCSports.com. "I told him, 'You need to show some respect for the game.' You just don't do that. I don't care how bad it is. You're up 35 points and you're still throwing deep? That's no respect."

Randall is standing up for his team but even he knows there is no such thing in the NFL. The Patriots are playing hardball, they need to be ready for anything to get to a Super Bowl and if the Redskins don't want anybody to run up 38-0 lead on them they need to figure out a way to score and to stop the other team from same.

Today on Sirius NFL Radio The Afternoon Blitz with Adam Schein and Solomon Wilcots Solly made the same point, that some coaches tell players to ignore the scoreboard and even to forget the last play, focus on executing the one in front of you.

That goes for defense as well which was really the problem for the Redskins, as hard as the Patriots were going on offense Mike Vrabel, Ty Warren and Asante Samuel (probly extra pissed that one of the teams that did not give Asante Samuels a 20 million dollar free agent contract was the Redskins) were going as hard on defense. Bill Belichick correctly identified the Redskins problem and exploited it.

That problem being with a right handed quarterback playing behind a line with replacements on the right that if you can apply pressure from the right it will force the quarterback into a hot route. That's Jason's favored side so if the Patriots are playing Santana tight at the line as Asante was you can force the QB to throw to his worst option.

Jon Jansen is gone this season and Randy Thomas won't be back for at least seven games, Casey Rabach aka Casey Nutsach just missed a game and Todd Wade went out against Green Bay but had to come back when his replacement rookie Stephon Heyer went out.

If the offensive line does not get any better the team will not get better. Don't blame the Patriots. None of this means Bill Belichick is not an asshole.

Tuesday Update: Jason La Canfora agrees.




Waahmbulance from here.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Don't Tase Me Bro


Pissah

Takeaway drill: the Redskins were pummeled on both sides of the ball; the Redskins were dominated on offense and defense; the Redskins were unable to stop the Patriots or generate scoring of their own; the Patriots are a dark vision of the end of times.

=====

Monday walkthrough: the Redskins were pulled from their homes, stripped naked, chased through the town square, beaten and made to eat dog food 52-7 in Foxborough, that's naut how we do it Fayehfax. Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel was himself more productive than the entire Redskins team. This is a dog whipping kind of loss.

The Redskins got the ball to start the first quarter and only could drive 36 yards before punting. It looked as though the Patriots were in the Redskins huddle, each time Jason Campbell passed the ball the play was contested. The Patriots took it and spent a leisurely seven minutes driving for a touchdown on a Tom Brady scramble. On this drive Carlos Rogers hurt his knee making a tackle and did not return to the game (see Omnibus below for more). The quarter ended 7-0 Patriots after each team traded punts.

Things did not get better in the second quarter as the Redskins managed 56 yards and no points and the Patriots managed two touchdowns and a field goal, one of those TDs going to linebacker Mike Vrabel who had come in eligible on the heavy package. The lone bright spot for the Redskins this quarter was Phillip Daniels sacking Tom Brady on 1st and 10, he fumbled and Andre Carter recovered. The half ended 24-0 Patriots.

It went from worse to downright crappy in the third quarter as the Patriots took 7 and a half minutes on their first drive, scoring a TD Tom Brady's second QB rush. ON the ensuing Redskins drive Jason was sacked by Mike Vrabel whereupon Roosevelt Colvin scooped it up and ran 11 yards for a touchdown. The quarter ended 45-0 Patriots, and under the fading sun in the growing chill of an outdoor tiki bar a neighbor wondered aloud what would happen if the Redskins simply threw in a towel and went home.

K-Billy super sounds rolled on into the fourth quarter as the Patriots went on an eight minute drive and scored on a Tom Brady to Wes Welker two yard pass. This drive featured Tom Brady going for it on 4th and 1 from the Redskins seven up by 45 points where a field goal to extend the lead to 48 points would be called for. The Patriots managed another score when Tom Brady in training Matt Cassel came in on mop up and scored another QB rushing TD. The Patriots were not completely rude hosts, allowing the Redskins to score a 15 yard Chris Cooley TD catch from Jason Campbell to end the game. Final score 52-7 Patriots.

=====

Soapbox: the Redskins, at least their fans and coach Joe Gibbs know all about this kind of game, the Redskins were on the delivery end of an 11-0 start in 1991 and when you've got it going it is an incredible thing to watch. The Patriots stuffed the Redskins everywhere, Mike Vrabel alone had three sacks causing three Jason Campbell fumbles, each recovered by the Patriots. Jason was intercepted once and playing from behind from the first drive the Redskins were ultimately held to 47 rush yards on 16 attempts.

It was pathetic how easily the Patriots put the Redskins in their cage.

And what is the deal with the Redskins and the failing headsets? Yesterday was the third time the team has had problems with communications between the booth, the sidelines and the field, previously against the Eagles and Packers. It's about time to get out a Sherlock Holmes' opium ball, go into a three day trance and figure out whether all the other teams are targeting the Redskins or if the team's technical personnel are complete boobs and can't set shit up right.

I don't really think there is any such thing as running up the score in the NFL, a lesson I really learned playing EA Madden 92. You don't think I should be trying to move the ball and score up by three touchdowns? Then stop me bitch. Bill Belichick is keeping alive the dream of all football fans, to be sullen, awkward, attired inappropriately, cold, distant and supremely successful.

=====

Chattering class: Les Carpenter kicks it off with a brutal realization, the Redskins just are not that good. Hell the Giants made the playoffs at 8-8 last season so it's not time to pack it in and start hating on the team but inconsistency and now abject weakness in the face of superiority have become de rigeur. He also has the now-obligatory front page A section piece on the game, sandwiched betewen stories of love thwarted in the US Visa process and American weapons being used in Mexican drug cartel killings.

Dan Steinberg departs from the funny bunny the Sports Bog for some real shit:

Witness [the Patriots'] record (8-0), their margin of victory (25.5 points per game), their 30 touchdown passes (to 10 allowed). Consider their 79-7 scoring advantage in the first quarter, their 2.25 punts per game, their 48.8 percent success rate on third downs.

Whoa.

Sally Jenkins is writing about Tom Brady and his football instincts, but it comes out more like football porn:

...[Tom Brady's]taste for scoring impossible to satisfy. Deep in the fourth quarter, he was still lunging for the end zone.

Does it qualify as manlove if it's a woman writing it?

=====

Omnibus: the Redskins are sure to drop in defenive rankings, they were number five overall at about 280 yards per game and let the Patriots roll up 486 yards to the Redskins' 224 yards. Jason Campbell got blowed up and the Redskins were as low key in praise as they were in prep.

Carlos Rogers' injury (op. cit.) in the first quarter initially looked to me like a shoulder injury, like his body was whipping around and his flailing arm caught the turf but on review he turned his knee, so far we do not know exactly how bad it is but it is looking like a 'significant' sprain to the MCL with strain or sprain to the ACL. The Redskins well may be without Carlos for some time.

The Patriots have outscored opponents 79-7 in the first quarter this season. Also, Patriots linebacker and superhero Mike Vrabel has two more touchdown receptions (two) than the entire Redskins corps of receivers (zero).

The last time these two teams played the Redskins won and the Patriots went on to win 15 straight on the way to Super Bowl 38. The Patriots then ripped off a 6-0 streak to open the 2004 season.

=====

Area 51: Sean Taylor and LaRon Landry were both busy, with the running game smashing through the linebackers they seemed to be in every scrum. LaRon finished with ten tackles (op. cit.).

Freddie Your Cruise Director: Fred Smoot was inactive with that pesky hamstring but Loveboat Freddie said he could have gone (op. cit.). With Carlos Rogers going down in the first quarter (op. cit.) and not coming back maybe the team should have listened and at least left him on the active roster just in case. Leigh Torrence was pressed into service and it wasn't really Leigh's fault that the opposing quarterback was Tom Brady.


Washington Post recap, box score, play by play. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos.


Other recaps: Hogs Haven (now with 100% more anger at the Fox dancing football robot), The Redskin Report (smartly recognizing all the pressure on Jason Campbell came from the right side), Anthony Brown at Hog Heaven, Bram Weinstein at Covering the Redskins.


Up next (op. cit.), the 1-7 New York Jets at Giants Stadium. The Jets are near the bottom in offense and defense and the fans are openly booing Chad Pennington (not pictured, that's Thomas Jones Wahoowa!).




Jason Campbell being sacked and fumbling: Jim Rogash / Getty Images from here. Thomas Jones and his big guns: JetsInsider via here.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Game 7: Redskins (4-2) at Patriots (7-0)

vs.

The Redskins travel to the unbeaten Patriots, 4:15pm ET. Hope is a powerful thing and FOX agrees, check out how much of the nation will be watching this game.

The week started with the coaches, Joe Gibbs in specific, taking the blame for the offense becoming too conservative at the end of games, I think Joe Gibbs is still in a world where he's got the hogs (and that is where the name Hogs came from, just big piles of meat) to run it down your throat even when you know it is coming. Those days are gone. The Redskins are going to need more than a promise not to be so conservative this week.

Curly R aside: isn't Chris Hanson the creepy guy on MSNBC that barges in on the naked guys that show up to that house hoping to have sex with teenagers? Well now he's punting for the Patriots and I don't think I want to see or hear the locker room behavior in New England....(commence daydream sequence)

(scene opens with quarterback Tom Brady and receiver Wes Welker clad in towels joking about how Tom is going to 'stick it in there' for Wes 'about a dozen times' on Sunday to which Wes says you know me the more I get it the more I want it.

Enter Chris Hanson in suit

Chris Hanson (to Tom and Wes): it's fine, have a seat guys

(camera pans to Tom and Wes, concerned and confused)

Chris Hanson (to Tom): you said you were going to find an opening to stick it into (turns to Wes) and you said if there was no opening you would make one...what are you guys talking about?

Tom (growing concerned): um it's uh nothing we were just kidding around

Wes (clearly nervous): yeah we'd never really do any of that stuff

Chris Hanson (holding up hardcopy of IM exchange): that's not what it says here. Last night you two had an IM conversation about finding the soft spots on Sunday and penetrating deep again and again and how if Tom can't find another...(look of mild revulsion) outlet that Wes will...(look of open disgust) sustain Tom as long as he needs. If you think none of this matters you guys are free to go.

(Tom and Wes leave locker room, are gang tackled by Boston police and cuffed in the felony prone position.)

Chris Hanson: I'm Chris Hanson and you're watching To Catch A Predator: NFL Edition only on MSNBC.

(end daydream sequence)


The Washington Post seems to be laughing nervously when they run two pieces on the same day about how well the Redskins match up to the Patriots. I can think of a few things that make the Redskins a not so good matchup:

1. Skill positions. Redskins receivers have zero catches for touchdowns and Clinton Portis is averaging under four yards per carry.

2. Offensive line. The Redskins still have not fielded the same players on the offensive line two games in a row. Casey Rabach aka Casey Nutsach is getting better after his groin pull two weeks ago against Green Bay. Todd Wade aka Big Head Todd aka 8 Ball played hurt after his injury replacement Stephon Heyer hurt himself. It's a disaster and already shaping up to be the deciding factor in the Redskins season.

3. Redskins' performances against big spreads as underdogs. Not good, including this one from 1972 also against the Patriots.

4. Football sense. The Patriots bagged Randy Moss for a fourth round pick. The Redskins landed Brandon Lloyd for a fourth round pick. Read the rest and weep for the idiot Redskins.

Yeah I basically agree with the Post, but it's easier said than done: control the clock, limit Randy Moss, pressure Tom Brady and keep the crowd out of it, which is a joke get it because the Foxborough regulars are about the drunkest lot of them all and pretty much out of it starting at the tailgate. And I think the Post can get rid of Campbell's Corner, I haven't learned anything from these gameday pieces, except that Jason has leared to speak in those perfect sports aphorisms, one game at a time, we nee dto give it our best, they are a great team yada yada.

On the injury front there was a whole list of dinged after the Cardinals game: center Casey Rabach aka Casey Nutsach, linebacker Marcus Washington, cornerback Carlos Rogers, return man Rock Cartwright, and backup tackle Stephon Heyer all are dinged.

The good news is that the defensive backs are pretty much healing up and only Randy Thomas and Rock are out for sure.

=====

My take in 40 words or less: it starts with the Redskins secondary. If Tom Brady can pick apart the Redskins with the same ease he has done so to all comers so far there is nothing Jason Campbell, Clinton Portis and Santana Moss can do.

=====

With this profile piece Rock offically becomes a dedicated special teamer. I hope he sticks with the team as a return man but he has little future as a ball carrier. Curious too, this week there were three other profile pieces, one on London Fletcher, one on Sean Taylor and one on Anthony Montgomery. With the normally talkative defensive unit (Fred Smoot and London Fletcher can always be counted on saying something interesting) being a quiet as a little mouse for fear of generating clipboard material for the Patriots it looks a lot like the team and it's orbiting sycophants including me and the WaPo were looking for something else to talk about besides the possible Sunday trainwreck of a 16.5 point underdog Redskins.


Washington Post game preview, Redskins Gameday (PDF). Redsksins roster, Patriots roster, Redskins projected starters.

Other previews: The Redskin Report statalicious, rundown; Greg Trippiedi at Hog Heaven (10 Reasons), AOL Redskins Fanhouse has several, here's Sportz Assassin's 5 Questions with a Patriots blogger (hrmm, wonder where that idea came from) and preview, and Belichick-Gibbs matchup; Bram Weinstein at Covering the Redskins, Riggo's Rag number one/number two, The Fun Bunch (no preview but there are cheerleaders).


This is a gameday open thread.



NFL helmets from here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Blogger Deathsport: Week Eight Picks


This is my brain. Man, tech stuff killed me this week.

Thursday update: Curly R scored 6-7 this week,good for third, not a great week for us. Weekly results here.


Blogger Deathsport rolls on, week eight is upon us. Blogger Deathsport is our weekly against the spread competition with Hogs Haven, CommonPrejudice and Post Game Heroes. Those are blogs. This is a blog competition that is to say it is a competition between blogs though Post Game Heroes' MBP is completely absent and Brian at CommonPrejudice and Skin Patrol at Hogs Haven both have tick birds, Vikings Fan for Brian and TexSkins for Skin Patrol. I have petitioned both of them formally to take our deathsport. Will you gentlemen?

Sunday
DET @ CHI (-5)
Pick: Lions. Brian Griese is a great fantasy QB.
Results: Lions. Chicago is circling the drain.

CLE (-3) @ STL
Pick: Rams. When was the last time the Browns were a road favorite?
Result: Browns. My stars and garters.

IND (-6.5) @ CAR
Pick: Panthers. Because the Colts are sneaky.
Results: Colts. I think I was trying to impress a girl.

WAS @ NE (-16.5)
Pick: Redskins. Sean Taylor, LaRon Landry, Carlos Rogers and Shawn Springs could make a liar out of me.
Results: Patriots. Sean Taylor, LaRon Landry, Carlos Rogers and Shawn Springs made a liar out of me.

NO (-2.5) @ SF
Pick: Saints. Alex Smith is back, I'm like uhhooooooooooooh.
Results: Saints. One game under .500 now...

NYG (-9.5) @ MIA
Pick: Dolphins. This game is on foreign soil in a time zone five hours away, this game is a toss.
Results: Dolphins. The Brits carry whistles into games with them. Bad idea for a football game.

BUF @ NYJ (-3)
Pick: Bills. It's so good it's plain.
Results: Bills. And the Chad Pennington era ends...until it rebegins.

PHI (-1) @ MIN
Pick: Eagles. Tarvaris Jackson is a year away from two years away.
Result: Eagles. Brad Childress remembers when Dono was knee high to a linebacker.

PIT (-3.5) @ CIN
Pick: Steelers. Bengals are closing up for the winter.
Result: Steelers. They are good the same way a handjob is.

HOU @ SD (-9.5)
Pick: How can they even think about playing a football game this week? Texans.
Result: Chargers. Something was burning all right.

JAX @ TB (-3.5)
Pick: Buccaneers. I don't know why.
Result: Jaguars. I said I didn't know why, I wasn't kidding.

OAK @ TEN (-7.5)
Pick: Titans. For reasons yet to be revealed to me.
Result: Raiders. Jamarcus Russell's asscheeks are worth ten million each.


Monday
GB @ DEN (-3)
Pick: Broncos. Tu stultus es.
Result: Packers. Brett Favre keeps it going.


Results tallied Tuesday.



Abject desolation from here.

Blogger Deathsport: Week Seven Results


I win

Blogger Deathsport: NFL Pick'em wraps for week seven. Your results:

1. Curly R with 8 wins, 6 losses. Hyena.

T-2. Post Game Heroes at 7-7. Meerkats.

T-2. Hogs Haven at 7-7. Chipmunk.

(TexSkins had 6-8, he formally joined the competition in week eight).

4. CommonPrejudice at 5-9. Rat in Taco Bell.

I win I win I wi-...oh whatever this week is already over. Check the other sites for the boast post.


Season records through six weeks. Note now last week's position in parens and color codes green for improving or red for unimproving:

1. (1) Post Game Heroes: 52-43-8 or 54% with two weekly wins
2. (2) Curly R: 51-44-8 or 53.7% with two weekly wins
=====50%=====
3. (3) CommonPrejudice: 46-49-8 or 48% with one weekly win
(TexSkins: 46-49-8 or 48%)
4. (4) Hogs Haven: 41-54-7 or 43% with no weekly wins

Pushes are excluded from percentage as they can neither be won nor lost, next picks due today.



Bragging rights from here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Curly R This


Imagine my surprise when I open WaPo page E2

Thanks for the pub Dan.



Curly R fake pumpkinhead: uncredited photo (probably by Dan Steinberg) from here.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Attack of the One Armed Quarterback


I smell an ADA lawsuit coming

Takeaway drill: again the defense rescued the offense; the Redskins tried to give this game away a bunch of different ways; winning ugly is still winning.

=====

Monday walkthrough: despite being outgained in total offense by more than 200 yards the Redskins manage to hang on and win a critical home game against the St. Louis Phoenix Arizona Cardinals, 21-19, a game they tried to give away. Twice at the end of the halves the Redskins allowed the Cardinals to come down and score a TD and a tie in regulation was only avoided by bad playcalling and game management by the Cardinals. The Redskins had no big plays on offense and the offense owes the defense some beers and an apology.

In the first quarter the Cardinals came out passing, and stuck with this strategy all day and the teams traded punts until Sean Taylor got up under an overthrown Kurt Warner pass and picked it off taking it back 48 yards to the Arizona 25. Eight plays later Clinton Portis scored from two yards out on a sweep left. The Cardinals could not answer and the quarter ended 7-0 Redskins.

The second quarter got off to a punterrific start with both teams giving it up twice then London Fletcher picked off Kurt Warner and rumbled into the end zone for a touchdown. The tableau was grim for Kurt as he tried valiantly to stop the TD and was bowled over at the goal line, gimp arm and all. On the next drive the Cardinals moved to midfield and then got an attack of Redskinsitis, deciding to go for it on 4th and two but sending Anquan Boldin on a one yard route. The Cardinals turned it over on downs and then on the very next play a bad playcall caused a screen to Clinton to be intercepted (see Soapbox below for more detail). The Cardinals marched 21 yards to the Redskins two yard line before going for it on 4th down...again, this time scoring with no time left on the clock. A bad snap and hold led to a PAT block by Kedric Golston and Carlos Rogers made the mistake of touching Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers and before we knew it Carlos and Neil were wrasslin by facemask. The half ended on offsetting personal fouls with the Redskins leading 14-6.

Rock Cartwright opened the third quarter with an 80 yard kickoff return but it was wasted as the Redskins game up a sack and then Shaun Suisham's 41 yard kick was wide left. On their next possession the Redskins went 59 yards for a Clinton Portis one yard TD on a drive that featured the only catch by a receiver not named Santana or Antwaan. On the final drive of the quarter the Redskins gave the Cardinals lots of help with a personal foul on LaRon Landry for roughing Larry Fitzgerald and a taunting penalty on London for having too much fun near the Cardinals bench. The quarter ended 21-6 Redskins...

...which was cut to 21-13 Redskins two plays into the fourth quarter when Kurt found Anquan Boldin again from 10 yards out. The defense kept doing its best to close out the game with Andre Carter sacking Kurt and causing a fumble recovered by Phillip Daniels, the Redskins three and outed on the resulting possession. Then with 2:37 left in regulation and trailing by eight the Cardinals mounted their last drive and moved 70 yards mainly on receptions of 22, 11 and 29 yards finally scoring a one yard pass from Tim Rattay who came in to replace Kurt. The Cardinals then imploded on a horrible playcall for the two point conversion to tie the game at 21 with Tim Rattay lined up at receiver and Anquan Boldin taking the direct snap student body right looking for a receiving option. His shortarm pass was easily picked off by LaRon.

The fireworks were not over as the Cardinals then easily recovered the onside kick and mounted their real last drive which netted 22 yards before Neil Rackers brought the chip on his shoulder out onto the field and missed a 55 yard field goal barely wide left, game over Redskins hang on 22-19.

=====

Soapbox: well at least there were no serious injuries, Rock Cartwright pulled up lame with a hamstring after an 80 yard kick return but he is fine.

Damn right you should be embarrassed about this win, but how hilarious is it that the Redskins lose a game they should have won last week and win a game they should have lost last week, that's why they play the games.

The team's ability to move the ball is collapsing inward from the offensive line, like a black hole opening up in space. The replacements are doing their darndest but Mike Pucillo, Jason Fabini and Todd Wade aka Big Head Todd aka 8 Ball simply are not of the same quality as Casey Rabach aka Casey Nutsach, Randy Thomas and Jon Jansen. The offensive line was the bright point last season, no players missing a start until game 14 (when the Redskins were well out of playoff contention) while blocking for 2216 rush yards and a gaudy 4.5 ypc average. The rest of the way out it is all about hanging on for these kinds of wins.

London Fletcher is a beast, easily the game MVP and it is refreshing to see a Redskin acquired in free agency and be able to say with confidence that he so far has been worth every penny.

Al Saunders' fatigue seems to be setting in everywhere. Latest example, the playcall that led to the Cardinals interception of Jason Campbell. A playaction pass on 1st and ten at midfield after the Cardinals had turned it over on downs. Jason fakes the handoff and Clinton runs through the hole untouched whereupon he turns around to look for the pass which is batted and intercepted. So the play was to fake it to Clinton and then throw it to Clinton right where he would have been if he had taken the handoff. Quit being cute and overthinking this stuff and just run a smart play. Either hand it to Clinton or playaction to another receiver.

Poor Kurt Warner, he did everything he had to do to win and played in a lot of pain. Sadly for him the lasting image of this game is Kurt vainly trying to stop London Fletcher and his escorts Demetric Evans and Shawn Springs from rolling over the goal line on his second quarter interception as seen at the top of this post and captured from every angle at the game. The dude can't move his left arm enough to hand the ball off and he is in there trying to tackle on an INT return.

=====

Chattering class: Rick Snider at the Washington Examiner thinks Jason Campbell is on track and a banged up offensive line is what it is. His problem is with the playcalling and the receivers. I tend to agree with criticism of Al Saunders and if the receivers are hurt (Antwaan Randle El and Santana Moss that is) the coaches should be playing the others, I mean where is Reche Caldwell? Inactive yesterday. Rick is also piling on the Clinton Portis is done argument.

Mike Wise at the Washington Post has the Redskins walking a razor's edge, in some strange place where they could just as easily be 6-0 as 1-5, now with 40% more tortured golf analogies by Pete Kendall.

Tom Boswell at the same publication makes the same point my neighbor did last night: yesterday was the Redskins beating the Redskins, last week was the Redskins losing to the Redskins, as was the loss to the Giants and Tom manages to slip in a reference to the Sam Huff-Neil Olkewicz-London Fletcher continuum.

For the third time this year the Redskins get front page A1 treatment in the Washington Post, this time it's Les Carpenter sandwiched between stories on deadly Kurdish raids into Turkey and the US government employing surveillance lessons learned from the casino industry. Sometimes the real world intrudes on our little football escapism.

=====

Omnibus: Kurt Warner's left arm was so tender and so limited in that big brace that he was forced to hand off on his right with his right hand, it was very awkward looking and color commentator Tim Ryan noted several times that by backhanding with the near arm rather than forehanding with the opposite that the first thing the tailback hits is the back of your hand not the ball. I saw at least one early play where Kurt tried to hand off with the left but all he could manage was a little alligator arm, forcing the tailback to brush right up against his body.

I did not recall that Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt played for the Redskins, in 1990. He was a tight end, he caught no passes in two games which is not a surprise since the old Joe Gibbs did not use the tight end the way it is used now, Don Warren was the principle TE and he was in there to block.

Gregg Williams had planned to keep Shawn Springs in reserve and limited to fewer plays after being out all week with his ailing father Ron but Fred Smoot's hamstring injury in the first half pressed Shawn into fulltime duty.

The Redskins offensively were worse at everything this week.

Chris Samuels claims Arizona defensive end Antonio Smith, with whom Chris was locked all game, spit on him in the third quarter. Maybe he should ask Sean Taylor about the Mind of the Spitter.

=====

Area 51: Sean Taylor continues to be the man, hauling in his fifth interception of the season (op. cit.). Quarterbacks are nervous about throwing out there because wherever Sean is when the ball is released is not where Sean will be when the ball arrives. LaRon hauled in the interception of Anquan Boldin's weak effort at an option pass at the end of the game but sadly LaRon's greatest contribution to the game was helping the Cardinals score with a third quarter personal foul on Larry Fitzgerald.


Freddie Your Cruise Director: Loveboat Freddie got the start for Shawn Springs but shared time in this game when he hurt his wittle hammy. And for someone so loquacious and comfortable with an audience, Loveboat Freddie needs to be aware of what he is saying, just like making war analogies in football went out of favor in 1991 with the first Gulf War so are references to killing dogs now frowned upon (op. cit.):

"Once you got the dog down you got to kill it," Smoot said.

Not a great analogy. Update Monday 2pm: dwagner at Riggo's Rag also picked up on this quote by Loveboat Freddie, add your own Smoot aphorism here.


Washington Post recap, box score, play by play. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos.

Other recaps: Hogs Haven express recap, The Redskin Report, Hog Heaven #1 Anthony Brown, #2 Greg Trippiedi, Redskins AOL Fanhouse (with bonus cheerleader cleavage), Covering the Redskins, Rich Tandler's game blog, Running Redskins.


Up next, on the road against the New England Patriots and baby daddy Tom Brady, the Patriots have covered every game do far this season. Last time these teams played was in 2003, the Redskins won and it was the last game the Patriots lost on the way to Super Bowl 38.



London Fletcher and his leatherboys rolling into the end zone over Kurt Warner: Win McNamee / Getty Images from here. Tom Brady and Bridget Moynihan from here.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Game 6: Redskins (3-2) vs. Cardinals (3-3)

vs.

The Redskins invite the St. Louis Phoenix Arizona Cardinals into the cozy confines of Redskins Stadium for a 1pm ET tilt with the future of civilization at stake to put it bluntly.

After losing a game they should have won last week the Redskins need to win this game to keep pace with the division leading Cowboys, winning this game will reduce the sting of losing to the Packers.

Curly R aside: players and a team trying to take blame, taking responsibility for a loss, this is a good thing and is a great sign for team cohesion. It means that the players are comfortable enough with one another and with the coaches that they can admit mistakes and not feel exposed. It means they believe they will do better and they trust one another. Also, one more hangover from last week, I tend to agree with Mike Wise, Al Saunders runs an effective NFL offense but at times his playcalls appear to me to be tonedeaf to the situation.

The sore thumb this week, more like the anvil on the foot is the Redskins offensive line. Right tackle Todd Wade aka Big Head Todd aka 8 Ball, center Casey Rabach aka Casey Nutsach and backup tackle Stephon Heyer all suffered hamstring or groin injuries last week and two of those three guys are already replacements. Read here, here and here to see all the possible combinations of starting lineup but the shorthand is that the Redskins offensive line, a lonely bright spot in 2006, is in shambles and as the line goes so goes the Redskins running game, a critical component of the gameplan.

The solution? In the first place Chris Cooley and Mike Sellers are going to have to stay home and help with blocking which they may anyway since the Cardinals defense stuffs the center of the field which means fewer options for Jason Campbell and Lorenzo Alexander aka Scarface, a defensive end, took some reps with the offensive line, he will be the emergency go to guy.

Then, sign two guys off the street, Calvin Armstrong and Kevin Sampson. And it is not helping that practice squad lineman Kili Lefotu went out last week, got drunk, harassed a bunch of restaurant customers, destroyed some property, getting himself arrested and then cut in the process.

A young quarteback and a power running game? These are facts of life for the Redskins and if the line continues to deteriorate the team will be forced to try and change its personality, something teams don't do well. The running game is already suffering (Ladell Betts is averaging a whopping 2.3 yards per carry) and the top two receivers were hurting last week. This is not good and the offense will have to win conservatively.


Defensively it creates something of a challenge when a team cannot prepare for a quarterback with certainty (op. cit.) but this is not a serious problem (see below). The Cardinals run a spread style offense that attacks at short range with a few pops downfield. Edgerrin James is looking more like his old self but still not the dominant back the Cardinals thought they were getting. That's because when Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm arrived in Phoenix there was no offensive line to speak of.


For the Cardinals, they've had some problems at quarterback. Matt Leinart started the season as the starter, he struggled a bit and new head coach Ken Whisenhunt platooned Matt with Kurt Warner aka Bagger with some success then Matt broke his collarbone, it must have been a bad break to force him out for the rest of the season, and Bagger was hurt last week tearing ligaments in his non throwing arm so the Cardinals signed Tim Rattay and former Redskin Tim Hasselbeck. Bagger is expected to start but the Tims will be ready.

I would expect Gregg Williams' defense to try and get some pressure on the Cardinals quarterback no matter who it is, you got a guy that's hurt and two guys that were on the street last week.


8 Ball and Casey Nutsach were first listed as probable, then Casey Nutsach was downgraded to questionable, Redskins final injury report here, Cardinals here.


Washington Post game preview, Redskins Gameday (PDF).

Other previews: Hogs Haven, Greg at Hog Heaven, The Redskin Report statalicious and preview.


One other thing losing last week means for the Redskins? Time to start a new winning streak.

This is a gameday open thread.

Blogger Deathsport: Week Seven Picks


We serve no picks before their time

Tuesday update: Curly R went 8-6, to win. Weekly results here.


Blogger Deathsport rolls on, time for week seven picks. Check out the competition at Hogs Haven, CommonPrejudice and Post Game Heroes. And now your picks:


Sunday
BAL (-3) @ BUF
Pick: Bills. Rallying behind the latest fad named Trent, besides I think the Ravens are losing steam.
Result: Bills. Will this be the year Brian Billick finally almost gets fired?


NYJ @ CIN (-6)
Pick: Jets. New York is used to hearing boos at every game.
Results: Bengals. By the hair of their chinny chin chin.

MIN @ DAL (-9.5)
Pick: Vikings. That's a big line and Adrian Peterson and all.
Result: Cowboys. By the hair of Tony Romo's chinny chin chin.

TB @ DET (-2.5)
Pick: Buccaneers. The Lions' roar is actually a yawn.
Result: Lions. There are so many bad teams, why do I watch football.

NE (-16.5) @ MIA
Pick: Patriots. They have not not covered yet.
Results: Patriots. They have covered every game.

ATL @ NO (-9)
Pick: Saints. New QB for the Falcons and the Saints pummeled the Seahawks last week.
Results: Falcons. If it weren't for odds the Falcs would never win.

SF @ NYG (-9.5)
Pick: 49ers. Line is too big.
Result: Giants. My word what a bad week I'm having.

KC @ OAK (-2.5)
Pick: Chiefs. Fool me once, shame on the Raiders. Fool me twice, definitely shame on me.
Result: Chiefs. The battle of the bad teams.

CHI @ PHI (-5)
Pick: Bears. I think the Eagles will win.
Result: Bears. I get it coming and going: the Bears cover and the Eagles lose.

PIT (-3.5) @ DEN
Pick: Broncos. Because it's Sunday.
Result: Broncos. I watched this game and it was one of the better bad games I've saw this week.

STL @ SEA (-9)
Pick: Seahawks. It keeps getting worse for the Rams.
Result: Seahawks. Something tells me the Rams are going to have a high draft pick.

TEN (-1.5) @ HOU
Pick: Houston. If Matt Schaub is good enough for GoDaddy, he's good enough for me. Wahoowa!
Result: Titans. Unbelievable, that's three teams covering by a total of two points and I was on the wrong side of all three.

ARZ @ WAS (-8.5)
Pick: Cardinals. I have Redskins to win in my straight-up pool.
Result: Redskins. Again I win coming and going, I take the points here and pick Washington in my straight-up pool


Monday
IND (-3) @ JAX
Pick: Colts. That is an embarrassingly small line.
Result: Colts. Patriots are sucking their air and they don't care.

Results tallied Tuesday. That is all.



Late Seating image from here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blogger Deathsport: Week Six Results


A three way tie this week

Blogger Deathsport: NFL Pick'em wraps for week six. Your results:

T-1. Hogs Haven with 6 wins, 5 losses and 2 pushes. Winless Skin Patrol will no doubt claim moral victory.

T-1. Post Game Heroes at 6-5-2. Thus they maintain what they will describe as a yawning chasm of a two game lead in the overall.

T-1. Curly R at 6-5-2. I'm trying to play it tight, keep it close and hope for a break at the end.

(TexSkins had 5-6-2, he formally joined the competition in week eight)

4. CommonPrejudice at 4-7-2. Brian got called away to Burma mid-picking.

This week's threeway tie pushes the competition to next week, there is no boast post from no one this week.


Season records through six weeks:

1. Post Game Heroes: 45-36-8 or 56% with two weekly wins
2. Curly R: 43-38-8 or 53% with one weekly win
3. CommonPrejudice: 41-40-8 or 51% with one weekly win
=====50%=====
(TexSkins: 40-41-8 or 49%)
4. Hogs Haven: 34-47-7 or 42% with no weekly wins

Pushes are excluded from percentage as they can neither be won nor lost, next picks due Friday with today's lines.



Bragging rights from here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Curly R Caption Contest: Styling


Should I get one?

What does this picture say to you besides the awfulness of the 90s? The hair, the dead animal on his face, the awful jacket and the acid washed jeans, why do I think this guy has a Harley-Davidson wallet on a chain and is wearing white leather high tops?



Redskins jacket modeled here, don't wade in too far it's Free Republic.

Monday, October 15, 2007

When the Old Man Is 33


Since 2000?

The Washington Post ran a gameday piece on Redskins linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti. Amazingly Kirk has been with the team since 2000, Norval Turner's last season. He hung on through Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier and apparently he wowed Gregg Williams and Joe Gibbs enough to retain him.

How can this be, that there is still a holdover from Dan Snyder's first year as owner?

After Dale Lindsey was fired last January, Kirk was promoted and the players just rave about him. Whereas I am not necessarily a fan of the super old school Bear Bryant ways of guys like Dale, it was Dale that was in charge of the linebackers in 2004 when the Redskins were a top five defense and in 2005 when they were a top ten. I am also leery of coaches that are player favorites, there needs to be some distance between the coaches and players.

But the Redskins linebackers are playing well so far this season, Dale may have had a hand in holding back Rocky McIntosh last season and certainly after the fiasco with Shawn Springs and Dale making fun of LaVar Arrington before the Giants game you need to evaluate for character.

Kirk is the longtime son of Tom Olivadotti, the Dolphins' defensive coordinator from 1987 to 1995, a man so hated by Dolphins fans for running weak defenses during Dan Marino's prime that he was the inaugural inductee into the Dolphins Ring of Dishonor. Let's hope the nut falls far from the tree.



Kirk Olivadotti: Getty Images photo from here.

Mmm Drop


Always enough to get it done

Takeaway drill: Drops. Drops drops drops. Pass blocking was terrible and there were injuries to the offensive line. Drops. Two receivers are hurting badly and their play is reflecting. Drops. Run defense stood, passing defense gave. Drops. Brett Favre plays sandlot football...and wins.

=====

Monday walkthrough: The Redskins lose a tough one 17-14 in the rain to the Packers. If Washington had pulled in half the drops on offense and defense the Redskins would have won the game easily even giving the Packers back the two field goals they missed. The Redskins wasted a great defensive performance and all in all not a terrible game to lose and not a terrible way to lose it unless any of the injuries is or are costly.

The first quarter started with a stalled drive by each team then Carlos Rogers failed to wrap up tight end Donald Lee (who is more like a receiver but at 6-4 248 is not a small man to tackle) and in fact sprung him for a 60 yard gain; the shellshocked Redskins gave up a rushing touchdown on the next play. The Redskins responded by moving right down the field with Jason Campbell showing why manlove is in season by scambling six yards for a touchdown. The quarter ended in a 7-7 tie.

In the second quarter it started to get sloppy. Santana let an easy catch go through his arms and Antwaan Randle El and Charles Woodson both grabbed at it and it was awarded to the Packers but they wasted the chance and three and outed. Jason was sacked on the next possession but the drive was kept alive on a Packers penalty before Antwaan dropped a first down catch and the Redskins punted. The half ended with the Redskins marching 63 yards in eight plays to score on a Chris Cooley catch, the Packers then responded with a field goal try but the ball was wide left. The half ended 14-7 Redskins.

Butterfingers were still around in the third quarter when Santana opened the second half with a drop that bounced off his hands out of bounds; it would have been about a 30 yard gain. Sean Taylor finally hauled in a Brett Favre pass after dropping two certain interceptions in the first half but the Redskins could do nothing with it and punted. Brett ran the next drive out of the shotgun and marched the Packers down the field 53 yards for a touchdown that was called back for holding. The Packers settled for a 37 yard field goal. On the second play of the ensuing Redskins drive Santana was stripped on a reverse and Charles Woodson scooped it up and ran 57 yards for a touchdown. The Redskins stalled on the last drive of the quarter, ending 17-14 Packers.

Trailing only by three the Redskins flailed most of their way through the fourth quarter, opening the drive on a three and out that was all Clinton Portis running plays. Carlos Rogers was called for pass interference but it was not costly when the Packers punted. On the next drive Clinton dropped the ball and it was recovered by the Packers but hilariously they could go nowhere and NFL rookie (but CFL veteran) Chris Wilson recorded his first sack, backing the Packers up from the Redskins 8 to the 20. Mason Crosby missed his second field goal (it hit the upright, always amazing to me) and the Redskins recovered in better field position than when Clinton fumbled it.

The Redskins started last gasping at the 9 minute mark and Keenan McCardell got into the game with two quick catches. Unlike the Giants game when Clinton fumbled he returned to carry the ball and Brandon Lloyd came as close as he has all season to making me back off but as usual he dropped it, a pass that would have put the Redskins on the one at worst, skidding untouched to the go ahead score at best. Washington botched the drive with a terrible playcall on fourth and two, a one yard route by Ladell Betts that was stopped easily.

Just when things looked all over Sean Taylor intercepted another Brett Favre pass, showing some nifty footwork to stay in bounds. Sean and Rocky McIntosh tried to get a little too cute with the razzle dazzle and Sean's lateral to Rocky cost the team five yards on the return. All Jason Campbell did with this gift was botch a snap, throw a -4 yard reception and get sacked.

The Packers predictably ran all three times to soak the clock but Washington still got it back with over a minute left. When Stephon Heyer pulled up with what looked like a very painful hamstring pull the officials ran ten seconds off the clock, the rule being that an injury timeout by the offense with under two minutes left in the game costs you a charged timeout unless you do not have one in which case there is a ten second runoff. Pete Kendall then committed a false start, forcing another ten second runoff for the offensive penalty and facing third and 87 with 25 seconds left the team lost, final score 17-14 Packers.

=====

Soapbox: And so the Redskins blow another halftime lead. I'll have to go back and watch the tape unless I can find it elsewhere (helloo Dillweed) but I think I counted three dropped passes by Santana, one each by Antwaan and Brandon Lloyd and two dropped interceptions by Sean Taylor. I may have missed a couple in there.

I'm sorry but the interception credited to Charles Woodson in the second quarter was a simultaneous catch by Charles and Antwaan Randle El. The ball bounced through Santana's hands and whereas both Charles and Antwaan were heads up on the play you can see clearly from the replay that both of them are cradling the ball in and a tie goes to the offense. I did not understand why this question of possession is not reviewable (Joe Gibbs came over yelling for a review but was rebuffed) when all others (scores, boundaries, catches) are and the 'announcers' did not give us any insight. If I am forced to make a football judgement on that play and not just let it be a homeriffic hometown homefield Lambeau linesman call then Santana just catches the fucking thing and there are no worries.

I mocked the idea that the Packers' defense could be 23rd against the pass and still cause problems for the Redskins. I was wrong. The Packers front four got pressure on Jason Campbell all day and to be honest it looked to me like Jason was expecting a rush, his eyes not downfield but on the pocket. If you expect the pocket to collapse then you will see a collapsing pocket, just ask Patrick Ramsey.

=====

Chattering class: Tom Boswell at the Washington Post boils it down to one word: squandered. Squandered catches, squandered interceptions, squandered lead, squandered defense.

Once again showing the influence of this Redskins team on the psyche of the Washington DC area, the team gets front page A1 coverage in the Washington Post, this time by Mike Wise, sandwiched between stories on immigration and Iraq.

I agree with Sportz Assassin at Redskins AOL Fanhouse, the team needs to get a handle on clock and game management, a bunch of needless and costly mistakes.

=====

Omnibus: we have yet to learn the exact extent of the injuries to the offensive line. Todd Wade aka 8 Ball and Casey Rabach aka Casey Ballsach went out with groin injuries (Casey's is potentially serious according to Jason La Canfora op. cit.) and Stephon Heyer, pressed back into duty at the unfamiliar position of right tackle when Todd went down hurt his hamstring. The Redskins may be back in the market for linemen off the street. The team says Todd Yoder would have gone in to play right guard if 8 Ball had not come back out injured to replace Stephon but the announcers said Lorenzo Alexander aka Scarface who dallied with the offensive line in minicamp would have been the emergency tackle.

Look at the line (not this one), the Redskins played a good game: the Redskins shut the Packers down, Packers were 3 of 13 on third down; the Packers only managed 56 yards rushing on a 2.8 ypc average; Brett Favre only averaged 2.7 yards per passing play; the Redskins forced four Packer fumbles but could not recover any of them; the Redskins were two for two in the red zone with two touchdowns; Chris Cooley was there for Jason with nine catches for 105 yards and a TD when Santana and Antwaan could not be.

The Redskins running game is ranked 10th but falling. Santana blames himself for losing the game but I think it's coaching as well, Santana and Antwaan are hurt and the team should have prepared for that, what the hell are they carrying six receivers for anyway?

=====

Area 51: Sean Taylor helped Brett Favre over another record mark, the most interceptions thrown of all time, beating the legend George Blanda, who played into his 50s. Although Sean dropped two in the first half and a third in the second he tightened up though any of those drops may have changed the game. It is a quirk of history that Brett Favre's first two interceptions, when Brett was with the Falcons, were against the Redskins in 1991 on the road to the Super Bowl.

Freddie Your Cruise Director: Fred Smoot was in and out of the game and was not a huge factor that I can recall. I'll be looking for Loveboat Freddie in my tape review.

Washington Post recap, box score, play by play. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos.


Other recaps: Blog newcomer Jofizz at Redskins FanView, Hogs Haven, The Redskin Report, Hog Heaven, Running Redskins, Covering the Redskins, Redskins Gab. I normally don't link up to one line recaps but I'm making an exception for Riggo's Rag this week.

A tough loss yesterday but there is material here to keep hope alive. Better to lose a game when the Redskins quarterback can hit the receivers on the hands than to lose on wild pitching a la Patrick Ramsey.


Up next, the Arizona Cardinals at home in Washington, a team that was forced to play a quarterback that was signed less than a week ago. Losing the Packers game makes this a must-win to stay on schedule.



Brett Favre: Matthew Stockman / Getty Images from here. Kurt Warner getting hurt: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images from here. Titled with apologies to the Beastie Boys.