Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pro Bowl Redskins

For the first time ever, EVER, there will be a lot of Redskins making the Pro Bowl.  It's about bloody time.  Obviously the best part of Zorn getting the most out of our highly-talented roster is the winning record, but it will be nice to see a lot of our ProBowl caliber players get recognition.  Here are my predictions:

DEFINITELY making the Pro Bowl

-Carlos Rogers
-Clinton Portis (even tho he 100 yard games streak might end vs the Steelers)
-Chris Cooley

Most Certainly making the Pro Bowl

-Chris Samuels (He makes it every year and probably deserves more than ever before right now, just the last game he missed troubles me)
-Santana Moss (There's a lotta good receivers around, but I'd be shocked if he didn't make it)

Maybe making it

-Jason Campbell (it's possible)
-London Fletcher (I think he might get the 'well he really deserves it' nod, but he's having a pro bowl year nonetheless)
-Mike Sellers (Same deal as Fletcher I guess, especially when you're blocking for the leading rusher in the league right now)
-Chris Horton (this spot is always reserved for that idiot Roy Williams of the Cowboys, but he's out and I don't recall this being a terribly deep position, so HEY, if he adds another pick or fumble recovery before voting ends then why not??)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Roy Williams and Sarah Palin

I just realized that Roy Williams is the Sarah Palin of the Dallas Cowboys.  It's the exact same scenario:  A sinking ship (Dallas Cowboys/GOP) is losing ground to a hip, cool up-and-coming rival (Washington Redskins, or the whole NFL or NFC East anyway/Barack Obama) and things are generally looking disastrous.  So, in a panicky all-or-nothing move, each of them go after a partner that nobody expected (Roy Williams/Sarah Palin) to shake things up and distract everybody from the bad.  The media and fans were initially won over by the sheer shock  and excitement of the move, but not long after, reality set in and both newly-acquired stars were clearly not up to the job they are gunning for (being VP/being TO).  And all of this tomfoolery because an old man whose best days are behind him says he will do anything to win, but he just can't keep a level head (Jerry Jones/John McCain).  And come January, neither will be anywhere in sight...

It's about to get worse for the Cowboys

...That's hard to believe after getting smashed by the revived St. Louis Rams in Texas Stadium, but this coming Sunday should be even more depressing for the Cowboys.  They will face the Bucs, one of the toughest teams in the league, and a coach who knows Brad Johnson's style as well as anyone does.  Brad Johnson is so  terrible by now that this really is just unfair, Jon Gruden is going to destroy him.  I'm predicting 2 picks thrown by Johnson at the very least and probably  (definitely) more, something around 4-5 sacks and throw in a few fumbles too.  We all know that crazy look that Jon Gruden gets in his eye and somehow I feel like he's got it in for the QB that won him a Superbowl.  This game would be a statement, saying "Brad Johnson filled in at the position to allow us win the big game, but it was my Defense that won everything", which we all already know, but what better way to prove it than smashing BJ into the ground A LOT this Sunday.  I happen to be the biggest opponent of playing OLD Quarterbacks (old is anything over 36) in the world.  Obviously prolific passers such as Favre and Kurt Warner are an exception, but think about this: Jon Gruden benched Brad Johnson's sorry ass in 2004, when he knew he couldn't cut it anymore.  That was four years ago, imagine how unafraid Gruden is right now of Johnson's arm.

So one of two things will happen, or likely both: Brad Johnson has a horrible, ghastly 0.0 QB rating sorta-game OR he will be injured by the menacing Buccaneers.  Like I said, I can see both these happening...actually, possibility 1 is a sure thing, so the only question is will he be injured?  My question is what can the Cowboys possibly do when they realize they can't win a game with him?  I have no idea, and if I was a Dallas fan, I think I'd even be beyond the point of denial by now.  With the Giants and Redskins leading the NFC East and the Eagles giving everyone trouble as well, their season could be over. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pittsburgh Steelers

In the below entry I said that the Bills and Titans were the teams to beat in the AFC.  Completely forgot about the Steelers.  I think Big Ben and crew could beat both of these teams back to back.  Unfortunately, the Steelers especially violent brand of football seems to backfire on them and every single game is a dogfight.  Somehow I just don't see them two and a half months from now without some serious injuries.  Then again, I'm surprised they've lasted this long so maybe they'll prove me wrong.

Can the Pats repeat as AFC Champs?

...Probably not, but the chance is definitely there.  When Tom Brady went down in Week 1, I immediately wrote the Pats off as a team of no consequence, but last night MNF drubbing of Denver might have changed my mind.  I'm probably reading too much into a solid performance against the worst pass-defense in the league, but Matt Cassel showed that he's a capable NFL Quarterback.  It's such an important position (back up QB) that it is amazing some teams overlook it (ie the Packers with two rookies behind Rodgers, or the Cowboys with Brad Johnson...I have no idea why they thought HE could still play, didn't they learn their lesson with Drew Bledsoe?).  And to excuse a loss by saying "Well it was their backup QB" is a total cop-out.  That position is a vital part of the team,  don't put him on the roster if you aren't comfortable with him leading your team.  Funny how everyone seems shocked and suggests a QB controversy when the backup does well in place of the starter, even though that is his job!

     So now the Pats are 5-2 if I remember correctly, which makes them one of the better teams in the league.  And with the Colts and Chargers floundering this year, the Bills and Titans are left as the teams to beat in the AFC, so it's not all that hard to believe that Bellicheck could get the Pats to the Superbowl again.  I scoffed at the comparison of how Brady was simply filling in for the starter and got them to the big game in 2001, but if Cassel can have another good performance next week then I'll say it's possible.

Small Note:   This Denver collapse shouldn't be surprising, like the one we saw either last year or the year before, when they went 7-1 or something and then fell apart.  Am I crazy or should their defense be A LOT better than they are?  Seems like they have decent personnel and good coaching.  How a team with Champ Bailey and Dre Bly ranks last in pass protection is beyond me...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jason Campbell and the Interception-Free Season

At this point in the season, and with the way that the past two or three games have played out for the Redskins, I'd almost prefer if Jason Campbell had thrown at least one interception by now.  Having watched Gibbs-run games for the past four years, I know what being too conservative is, and Zorn most definitely is not.  But still, the Rams beat us and we hardly scraped by the Browns, and going back to the Eagles game, JC has thrown only 1 TD in the past 3 games.  Hardly a concern when you consider the priority of "team-ball" as Portis calls it, but I guess what I'm saying is...well, let's just get the ball to Santana Moss, ok??

What makes a Great quarterback?

Something that annoys me in the NFL is how everyone gets excited when a QB does something like throwing 4 TDs in a game or 400 yards and they're ready to anoint him a "great QB".  Brett Favre is great and all, but I sure didn't think he was going to have great success the rest of this season in NY just because he threw 6 TDs against the Cardinals.  In my view, the following QBs are good, no doubt, but overrated because they put up gaudy numbers but you can never be sure what you'll get in crunch time:

Tony Romo - I'm not exactly breaking this story, the guy has something like 10 straight games with an interception, and have we ever seen an elite QB who is so bad with handling snaps??  Maybe that's on the center in Dallas, I dunno, but what good is Romo 30 td season if he can't get it done when it counts...Having said that, the Cowboys just found out exactly why they have catapulted to elite standing in the past 2-3 seasons, it's all about Romo.  A sick surrounding cast yes, but they really did strike gold with him.  Brad Johnson was really terrible.

Jay Cutler - Maybe he'll prove me wrong on MNF tonight, but as they say being a big guy can be a curse cause you stay in the pocket too long thinking you can withstand any hit, Cutler's big arm is a curse because he thinks he can make virtually ANY throw.  If he makes 85% of those throws that no other QB in the game could make, that's impressive from a physical standpoint, but that other 15% is going to equate to interceptions.  So he can toss for 4 TDs in a game but make a bonehead play in the 4th quarter because he thinks he's superman, much like Tony Romo (Admittedly, a fair amount of the time these guys DO pull off the spectacular late-game play, which is why they get so much praise.  But all of that seems really unimportant when they make a stupid throw in crunch time).

Drew Brees - OK, this is a bit of a stretch, because he's considered the best QB in the game right now by many accounts.  BUT, like I said, gaudy stats really don't mean shit.  I lived in N.O. so I saw a lot of Brees and he can light it up a lot but he's no Tom Brady in the clutch.  I'm not saying he chokes or anything, but it seems like no one else is pointing out that that is the one aspect of his game that is weak.  Although, it can be hard to come through in the clutch again and again, and again, and again once more when you're defense can't stop anyone.

OK, on the flip side, here are good QBs that won't always put up huge stats, but if I had the ball in the final 4 minutes of a game down by 1 score, these are the QBs I would want right now:

Trent Edwards - He's doing an amazing job of "managing the game" this season.  I am only now starting to become a believer in the Bills, probably the 2nd best team in the AFC behind the Titans.  He doesn't make stupid throws very often

Jason Campbell - I am obviously very biased here (I'm wearing his jersey right now), but you can't argue with leading your team to a 5-2 record with ZERO interceptions and ZERO fumbles lost.  OK, so he's been leaning heavily on the defense and Portis, this year's MVP thus far, HOWEVER, the reason I include him on this list of the best is cause if Portis was getting utterly shut down and the defense wasn't getting it done (not bloody likely) then with some real confidence the team could say to Campbell "ok, YOU need to win this for us".  I wouldn't necessarily say the same of Kerry Collins, although he's had pretty much the exact same formula for success this season, and with far less talented receivers.

SIDE NOTE: I'm sick of hearing about the resurgence of Jeff Garcia.  He's got guts and all that, but a big gaffe is just waiting to happen.  

And I might as well throw Eli Manning in with the GOOD list.  Don't need to say much, we all know about that crazy bastard.

Friday, October 17, 2008

2 Minutes: Roy Williams Trade

When I first heard about this, as a Redskins fan I was worried.  Then it sort of sunk in that it was really not neccesarily the smartest thing to do for Jerry Jones.  This trade has the potential to be good, but also to blow the **** up in his face.  He did give up quite a bit.  Not to mention the confusion of having two Roy Williams on the same team, that's crazy.  I still get a little bit confused with Marcus Washington on the Skins who has the same name as the city he plays for.  But in conclusion, one thing keeps me happy even if this trade does work out well: the Redskins are no longer the wacky circus act of the NFL making non-sensical trades just for the headlines.  That "honor" belongs to the Cowboys now.  We'll stick to old fashion building by the draft thank you very much. (Although the Skins couldn't draft a good WR if their lives depended on it...) that's 3 minutes

2 Minutes: Who would you rather have on your team at the height of his career: T.O., Randy Moss, or Ocho Cinco?

Someone asked me this recently and it was surprisingly easy to  answer (for myself anyway).  Of the three, Moss is the only one without a huge ego.  He's arrogant, sure, but he's a shy guy pretty much and he's happy if he's winning; the other two are happy if they're winning AND it's all about them.  T.O is obviously out of the question, way too much baggage.  And Ocho Cinco is fun-loving but still makes it all about him, obnoxious.  So between him and Moss, talent-wise Moss obviously trumps him.  Moss has better hands than T.O. for sure too.  There's the issue of Moss not giving 100% always, but that's a danger with all three of them. 

Give Darren Sproles the Ball!!!

You know those fews players in the league that only get to touch the ball a few times a game, but every time they do they make a HUGE play?  And then you ask yourself, "why doesn't the coach give him the ball more??".  I wish I knew...I have one guy in mind right now, he happens to be on my fantasy team, but forget that: Darren Sproles.  Is this guy nasty or what?  Now LT is great and all, but Sproles has really shown explosive play-making ability this year not only in special teams but in the running and passing game as well.  And yet he gets 6 or 7 carries a game MAX, and that's on a generous day.  Maybe this is to keep the status quo: if LT was suddenly splitting carries with "some guy", the Chargers' identity would be in question.  I don't like that.  I like a coach like Jeff Fischer who will bench or play whoever helps get the team a W.  LT can certainly do that, but if Sproles got something like 12-15 touches a game, I think the Chargers would be a much more dangerous team.