Out of the box: A trip out west, what looked like the last best chance at a winnable game now looks like a task indeed as the Redskins travel to Oakland to play their AFC twin 4pm ET on FOX, who thought the Redskins would be looking up at the Raiders?
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The Story So Far: How close, how close. Six of the 2009 Redskins nine losses have been by less than a touchdown and none was a more devastating loss than last week's collapse against the still undefeated Saints, a game in which the first moment the Redskins were losing was the final moment of the game.
Long gone are the days of playing the Lions and the Buccaneers and the Chiefs, here now is the tough part of the schedule and who would have thought in August that the Raiders game would present a real shot at losing?
In football news someone finally paid the price for mistakes and it was the kicker and we call that selective application of accountability. Shaun Suisham is gone and has been replaced by a rookie named Graham Gano which I have heard is pronounced guh-noh, and like Marcus Mason, Shaun Suisham and Anthony Alridge has requisite superhero first name last name alliteration.
The running game by committee will continue (op. cit.), with Clinton Portis officially placed on injured reserve he is gone, even though Quinton Ganther will get the quote start unquote Rock Cartwright and Marcus Mason will still be in the mix, I know Rock is bummed to get the demotion but this is really about what we've got for next year and not a no confidence vote.
As for Clinton, he has a big payday coming in 2010 and most of it is guaranteed (op. cit.), if next season turns out to be uncapped that will make it easy as pie to let him go, a thing I am now in favor of.
There was a media development this week, technology giant Google has partnered with the Washington Post and New York Times in a flailing effort to save the newspaper business, the result appears to be... a blog.
Curly R Aside:
Trainer's Table: Clinton Portis is done, at the beginning of the week there was hope this might be the week Clinton came back, after the brain specialists in Pittsburgh (brain specialists in Pittsburgh lol) failed to clear Clinton for football, the team went ahead and did what everyone thought they would do, put Clinton on injured reserve (op. cit.).
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall, still hurt with a grade two sprain of his right medial collateral ligament, is out for another game, this will be his third game in a row out.
Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, after coming back for last week's game, is out again with the same ankle sprain. Including this game Albert has now missed three games. Put that in your hundred million dollar pipe and smoke it.
Fullback Mike Sellers suffered a big thigh boo boo in the Saints game, there is no specific indication it occurred in the final offensive play of that game, when Mike fumbled, but it was a serious enough injury that Mike spent Sunday night in the hospital over concerns Mike might suffer compartment syndrome (op. cit.), the serious condition that wrecked most of Jason Taylor's season here last year. Mike is out and will be replaced by tight end Todd Yoder. I am still pissed at Mike for fumbling.
Gameplan: Take the model and flip it, in this space we used to talk about how the defense did not need the help and to pray for the offense, now things are reversed. On offense hang it on Jason Campbell's arm and Devin Thomas' hands, blocking is spotty and the running game is shall we say questionable at best. Latest reports are crappy field conditions in Oakland meaning it could be a long day on the ground.
As for the defense, pray for anything but the same old shit, the god of double moves and late drives is not smiling on the Redskins.
My Take in 60 Words or Less: These Raiders have shown more scrap than these Redskins and this is a pride game for both teams. Get out there and shoe me Jason Campbell belongs on this team.
Washington Post interactive gameday, keys to the game, key matchups, Redskins roster; broadcast coverage, maybe the smallest national audience yet.
Other previews: Mark Newgent at Redskins Examiner has his regular exchange with the Examiner blogger covering the week's opponent.
Enjoy the game folks, this is our thirteenth time out this season and only our second 4pm game, I have a kitchen pass to watch football all day, how did I find such an excellent wife!
This is a gameday open thread.
NFL helmet logos from here.