Akh’s Thoughts: Week 5
Prologue: A new storm is coming. Our storm.
1. The Redskins are the best team in the NFL. Yes, I said it. The Giants did beat us and the Titans and them are still undefeated. However, would you bet against the Skins facing anyone in the league now? I sure as hell wouldn’t. Going into Dallas and Philly in successive weeks, and beating down both teams physically is something I doubt any other team could do.
2. I fully admit that Zorn had me worried after the Giants game. He had the deer in the headlights look, and the entire team fed off of this. However, he looks like he has pretor-natural instincts for leadership and for how to run an offense. This team has clearly wrapped themselves around his personality and especially his killer instincts. What is most impressive about this performance against the Eagles, to me, was that this team didn’t give up or start going through the motions after that terrible PR TD. Instead, they seemed to get their head and rear wired together. And again, its not like there’s some new leaders on the roster: this appears to be all Zorn.
2a-Some of the best offensive games I’ve seen called by the Redskins have been recently under Zorn. He just seems to know exactly how to attack an opposing defense, while setting them up for later in the game.
2b-Another impressive thing is that Zorn doesn’t have Brian Bilick syndrome: he doesn’t try to do things during a game just to prove that he’s the better coach. If the opposing defense is giving the skins the run, Zorn will run the ball. If they’re trying to take away the run and giving the skins the pass, Zorn will pass the ball. The Skins have the talent and playbook to power run the ball and spread teams out and run’n’gun it—and they will mix things up and throw from the run formations and run in the spread formation(like the 4th down play to end the game).
3. Campbell thrown 175 passes this season and hasn’t turned the ball over once. And he’s 10th in the NFL in passing yards. Do I need to say more?
4. Portis is 2nd in the NFL is rushing and is on pace for nearly 1700 yards rushing. Need I say more than that?
4a. The Eagles’ rush defense was only letting up 2.6 ypc before today also….
5. This game wasn’t without some concerns. The drops continued with the skins, and I counted 6 of them spread out among ARE, Moss and Cooley. There is just no excuse for this. The skins ended some drives with these today, and we still prevailed, but they can’t keep up with this many brain farts.
5a. Also, Devin Thomas need to focus more. I understand that he thought the pass was already thrown, but jeez. Wait a couple seconds and that’s an easy first down.
5b. Also, Jason Taylor can’t be our entire pass rush.
6. This was yet another game won by line play. The oline, after the 1st quarter, adjusted and started pushing around the undersized Eagles front seven(that wasn’t even fair at times, the skins have a 50+ lbs advantage over their dline). The Dline-minus Taylor-did a good job shutting off Westbrook’s running lanes, which caused their offense to stall out. Andre Carter’s play on the goal line was particularly impressive.
7. Chris Cooley had an absolutely great game. He punished the Eagles on run blocking and torched the Eagles’ zones all day long. Someone had to step up after the Eagles decided to focus the coverage entirely on Moss, and Cooley came through for the Skins.
8. The most impressive thing about Blache’s defense is that they seem to know the opposing offense’s playbook better than the opposing offense. I lost track of how many times Rocky, London, Landry and Horton were waiting for Westbrook where the play was designed to go to for him.
9. The NFC East is still looking extremely tough. The Redskins, Giants and Cowboys are a combined 12-2. The Eagles might be sinking into the mud currently, but they have too much talent to throw dirt on yet.
10. Looking forward to the next few weeks: yes, our opponents aren’t nearly the quality of our last few, but do NOT take these teams lightly. All of them have too many weapons to dismiss as sure wins.
To make it clearer what the grades mean, I submit to you a legend on how to read the grading:
10: Legendary performance.
9: AP All Pro team caliber performance
8: Pro bowl caliber performance
7: Good, maybe a brain fart here or there.
6: More good than bad.
5: More bad than good
4: I’m looking at NFL.com’s depth chart for who’s behind him
2: Should be starting for the Raiders
1: Opposing fans not only know his name, but openly mock him(and we have creatively snarky nicknames for him)
0: The player must have incriminating photos of his coordinator or position coach(or both)
Pass: the player didn’t play enough to merit a grade.
WR Santana Moss Pass. Basically a decoy throughout the day. Great run blocking though.
WR Antwaan Randle El 7 flat. Too many drops to give him much credit for his TD pass.
TE Chris Cooley 8.8. Great game for Captain Wang.
LT Chris Samuels 9.1 He’s going to give Trent Cole nightmares.
LG Pete Kendall 8.5. Quietly putting together a pro bowl year.
OC Casey Rabach 6.2. Called another great game, but another bad penalty.
RG Randy Thomas 8.5. Bunkley and Patterson didn’t have a chance against him.
RT Jon Jansen 7.7. Very solid game.
QB Jason Campbell 8.7. Great on 3rd downs, and they believe in him.
FB Mike Sellers 7.7. Great run blocking.
RB Clinton Portis 9.3. Destroyed the Eagles’ run defense.
K Shaun Suisham 7.9. Good kickoffs and hit some very long FGs.
KR Rock Cartwright 7.8. Good returns.
DE Demetric Evans 5.2. Non existant pass rusher.
DT Cornie Griffin 7.6. Played hurt and was effective.
DT Kedric Golston 6.5. Meh.
DE Andre Carter 8 flat. Great run defense and may have clinched the game with that goalline play.
SLB HB Blades 6.5. Good coverage.
MLB London Fletcher 7.8. Frustrated Westbrook all day long.
WLB Rocky McIntosh 7.9. Quietly making a strong case for Hawaii.
CB Carlos Rogers 8.4. As good at tight press coverage as anyone in the NFL.
CB Fred Smoot 6.9. Too many soft cushions
FS LaRon Landry 7.7. Solid, he played closer up and did a good job.
SS Chris Horton 7 flat. Struggled with some covers, but did a great job in run support.
P Durant Brooks 6.2. Meh
PR Antwaan Randle El 8 flat. Very solid game returning.