This Ole Fart Thinks: Redskins vs Raiders
Who ever thought that 1-3 would feel sorta okay? Well, considering that we are probably going to be playing Dallas in less than 2 weeks with an opportunity to tie for first place in the NFC, that is how it feels to me. I have felt all along that the winner of the NFC is going to be the team that gets hot and separates itself from the rest of the pack in the final half of the season.I still feel that things will play out in that manner. 9-7 probably will win the Division, maybe even 8-8 if teams keep beating each other and losing to the teams outside the NFC East.
One way or the other, the season still lies within the grasp of this team. Normally I don’t care for early bye weeks but this year I think it plays perfectly into the Redskins needs. For one, we will go into it with a lift from the last game, or at least a sense of relief. Also, the injured may be recovered enough to play in 2 weeks Also, with each game RGIII looks a little smoother and more confident in the pocket and moving around. With another full week to rehab and get himself comfortable on his knee, I expect he will continue to improve.
I thought that RGIII looked off on a lot of his early passes. He was wild high, and quite a few were simply uncatchable. But the longer the game went, the more accurate he seemed to me. The critical pass to Helu looked like the old RGIII. He escaped from pressure and then found Helu while on the run, and threw a dart, across his body, and right on the money. Yes, he had some poor decisions about throwing the ball away, but I think that is going to get better with each game. He still is not the same explosive player he was last year, but he looks quicker and more confident in his running, and he looked to me like he had better pocket presence last week. That was in the face of a ton of pressure all game.
I loved the way the team used Helu. It was a shame that it took an injury to Morris to get them to use him, but I think going forward we will see him more, even when Morris is fully healed. He just brings a different speed, and he looked stronger on his TD run than I have seen him in the past. Now if we can just get a few plays for Young, I think we will really have a strong set of options.
I think that Garcon is on a mission. It is the first time in a long time I can remember a Redskin receiver who attacks the ball in flight and truly goes after it, rather than waiting for it to get to him. He is a very strong player and lacks only true blazing speed to be elite. Hankerson is claiming the #2 job. No critical drops and growing more dependable in his role. The others? Moss still has the occasional play, but he just isn’t ringing up the numbers. Still, RGIII looks for him a lot on 3rd downs.Personally, I would give Moss a few plays as a punt returner. I am still waiting for Robinson to break out and Morgan just looks like last year- solid blocker but no ability to separate himself from defensive backs.Letting him return kickoffs isn’t a bad idea because Thompson still is showing little in any phase of the return game– at least he isn’t fumbling however.
Tight ends? I think we are seeing the end of Davis as a Redskin. Funny how he looked pretty good in preseason but seems to have no speed or explosion now. Clearly it looks like Reed is not only the future, but the present when it comes to receiving. Paul doesn’t do anything except block, although he did get a pass. Paulsen thought he was Mike Ditka for a few seconds; until he got his face mask yanked and fumbled the ball. Uh, next time, just take the solid completion and get down, you ain’t gonna score from 80 yards out.
Offensive line has been getting some love from some of the rating services.Even Polumbus. I have to say, a lot of the pressure seems to be coming up the middle now, more than around the edges. In some ways that makes a lot of sense. If you send the End crashing in at RGIII and he gets around the corner, he is going to have a lot of daylight. On the other hand if you bring pressure up the middle and RGIII goes around the edge, you still have that End or OLB who hasn’t pinched inside and over committed. Also, I think that teams are less likely to worry about RGIII killing them by running up the middle. The one time he really did it, he ended up with that awful fumble, and there a lot more defenders who will have a shot at him. So the interior players on our line have to get their butts in gear and give RGIII a solid wall.
Defense? Best I can say is that we get 2 players back fresh in Jackson and Jenkins and that should help.Look for Cofield to continue being more effective with Jenkins next to him.
I also want to say it was the most complete game I have seen Orakpo play in a long time. He crashed the passer and tended to the run.He should have had that pick that hit him in the hands, but it was a tough catch to make. Given the rest of the game he played, I cant complain.Again he made plays against the run and if he can continue to do that, he will be worth every penny of a top tier contract. It also makes Kerrigan that much more dangerous.
What can you say about Fletcher except we committed to him this past offseason, and we have to roll with him now.Just hoping he elevates his play the way he did in the last half of last year. The thought of him climbing up Witten’s legs like a lumberjack does nothing to help me sleep better. Then again, Doughty doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in that role either. I think that Meriweather has the best overall skill set for that job, but the coaches seem to have found something pairing him with Doughty and playing BM at free safety. Also, did anyone notice that the only player to play in every single defensive snap was, Meriweather?
As for the corners, I think Amerson will only get better, and Wilson only seems to get worse. He has more missed tackles than any other player on the team.Really a damn shame that Crawford tore up his knee, he would be starting by now. I expect that Hall will get up for his game with Bryant. It should be fun to watch- at least I hope it will be fun
Special teams? No I don’t wish for Danny Smith back, but I sure wish we had taken a punter in the offseason. Rocca is so slow getting his punts off it is a miracle he hasn’t had more blocked. I think they held on to him one year too many. I wish Potter a successful career. Who knows, first we gave Akers his start, the we gave Nugent a boost, then we gave Suisham a start. Maybe we will be known as the “cradle of kickers?”. All jokes aside, it was nice to see Potter steady himself. Who knows he might have a career in the NFL? Maybe even as a Redskin if Forbath proves to be brittle?
So where do we go from here? Why to clean Dallas’ clock, of course. I don’t think it will be easy, but I think the Pukes will have one hell of a hangover after Denver takes them apart. In the unlikely scenario that they actually beat Denver, we will catch them overconfident. In all seriousness, I think we will play a very solid game and RGIII will continue to show improvement. That should be enough.