This Ole Fart Thinks: Redskins vs Giants
No Akh this next couple of weeks ?? No problem ! The Old Man steps up his game with an early column
Can you say 7-9? Yup, that is exactly what I see coming down the pike for us. What a strange season that would make it. 3-1 start, 3-1 finish. Major cycling the bowl the remainder of the year. The plain truth, however, is that we played a lot of tough close games and lost most of them. Switch the 2 Dallas losses on the basis of 2 plays, and we would end up 9-7 and in the playoff hunt. That is how close these things are.2-0 against the Giants this season. I don’t care if the Giants are a flawed team, they have an “Eli-te” QB and have positively owned us.. 1999 was the last time we swept a season series. Not only that, I loved the way we physically had the upper hand today.. Did you notice how many Giant players were on the sideline rubbing sore body parts all game ? We really took the game to them for 4 quarters — especially on Defense.
I said before the game that you could tell how this one would go if Jacobs and Bradshaw ran all over us in the first quarter. They didn’t then, and they didn’t the rest of the game. They had a few good runs, but what our Defense did was take away the running game and force Eli to beat us.. He was hurt by a lot of shoddy play by his receivers, Nicks in particular. But the Redskins played the game mostly on the Giant side of the line and got a lot of bodies around Giant play makers constantly.
So how about some individual comments :
Rex - Yeah he threw 2 picks and badly under threw the deep receiver on each play. But, he also made a lot of nice throws into the middle of the field and had fairly good pocket presence most of the time. There was some pressure, but Rex never looked rattled or frustrated. My guess is that Sonny is correct in that Rex will be back next year. Probably as early starter and mentor for whatever QB we take in the draft. And, YEEESSSSSSS, we will be taking a QB of the future in this upcoming draft.. More on that later
RB– Helu and Royster make a nice combination. Not real breakaway runs but they helped move the chains. I like Helu’s speed and toughness, but Royster just seems to get just enough to move the chains and looked solid. We have seen the last of Torain as he was a healthy scratch. I also loved the runs that they called for Young. Depending upon how Hightower looks (and whether they re-sign him — I think they WILL) I still think we will look to draft a Sproles type runner late in the draft. Someone with true breakaway speed who can provide that dimensions for third down.
WR - On the face of it, starting a trio of Moss/Gaffney/Stallworth is depressing to think about as it relates to the future.. But Moss can still make plays and Gaffney absolutely owned the NY Giant secondary.. After he turned Akamura totally around, the Price got sent to the sidelines.. That was a mid first round pick, that he scorched. So, I think they will look seriously at bringing Gaffney back. Stallworth, I think not, although he played pretty well also. It was good to see Austin out of the doghouse and actually have a play designed for him. He also was in later in the game, I would guess for his blocking. Same with Paul, who got a play called for him as well. Hopefully, we see more passes directed at them the final couple of games.
We still need a number 1 receiver type in the worst way, and Armstrong appears to be relegated to afterthought, even though he had 1 deep ball called for him. We can likely expect the team to take another Receiver on the second or third day of the draft.
TE - The absence of play makers now hurts this team. The odds of Cooley returning increases, if he is healthy, and I think they take a chance with Davis but don’t offer him a huge deal. He cost himself a lot of money by his antics and maybe he signs a 1 year deal to prove he is serious and get back his chances of a multi-year deal after that?
OL - Yes, Tuck is not himself and Osi was playing. And yes, there were times when Rex was pressured. The sacks by P-P were the result of a breakdown when someone “forgot” to block him off the edge (TE ?) and Smith blocked down, and the other when he moved over the nose and just steamrolled Montgomery. Still, could anyone have guessed at the start of the season that a line comprised of Smith(UDFA) Hurt ( 6-7 rounder) Montgomery (FA) Chester (FA) and Polumbus (Mid season FA) could have actually taken it to the Giant Defensive front 7? I doubt that that combination will be starting next year, but if nothing else, it showed that we are building depth and quality for the O line. Smith, in particular looks to have a mean streak, and despite 1 false start, Polumbus more than held his own. I don’t even recall if we had a holding call, but the line was very physical all game.
DL/LB’s– what else can you say except that they simply didn’t allow the Giants to control the game with their ground game, and they got modest pressure on Eli. Having Riley to go with Fletcher has made all the difference in the world.
DB’s- Atogwe showed why the team went out and got him. He still has superb ball skills and finally started hitting people. Maybe if he finally gets healthy we see who he can be? I also thought that Gomes played well. On Hall’s interception, Gomes had the deep coverage that allowed Hall to undercut the route. I think Gomes has made Landry an expensive luxury that the team can do without. Hall had his moments, but he still has great hands and is capable of covering any receiver. He will be back next year as well. Finally I want to say a word about Wilson, and the heat he has taken because Rogers has been having a great year with 5 interceptions. Wilson now has 2 and he plays well..For all the stuff about the number of picks that Rogers has, he only has 35 tackles. Wilson has 55, so he is always around the ball and makes plays. I think he did just fine in this regard.
ST’s – I don’t think that Alexander can be blocked to the point of keeping him out of any return tackle.. He is simply in on every one of them (it seems) regardless of whether he is blocked or not.. He deserves Pro Bowl recognition for this year.. and Gano? One of my favorite whipping boys? All he did was out-kick Tynes in that graveyard for kickers that is Giant Stadium. I didn’t see that one coming. He gets a shout out for that.
So what happens from here? I just don’t see this team laying an egg against the Vikes. Sure Peterson could run all over them and Harvin could break loose and you know how poorly we play against rookie QB’s (Ponder). Still, the Vikes are a bad team, and I think we will handle them. That takes us to 6-9 with only the Eagles remaining. The Eagles (thanks to us) are actually still in the playoff hunt, but my guess is that after next week they wont be. If they are out of it, I don’t expect them to be playing hard, whereas, I think we will be, one way or the other. I give us a solid chance of beating them and finishing 7-9.
Now, does that mean we don’t get a shot at one of the better QB’s coming out? Or that Shanahan uses the first pick for another position? Remember that Shanahan actually had to trade up to 11 (I think) to get Cutler. Also, I believe that there will be some settling out of the QB’s coming out in the draft and some will drift down- it almost always does. Suffice it to say, I still think that Shanahan knows he needs to draft a QB high this year and would be willing to trade up to get the guy he truly wants. But I also think that Shanahan trusts his own judgment most of all, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Shanahan go after a guy like Fowles or Tannehill, rather than one of the “Big 3″. Even at 7-9 we will still have a shot at a guy to run our offense for the next 7-10 years, it just might not be the guy most of us would like to see being drafted for that purpose. But despite the possibility that Rex finishes with 3 solid games, I cannot see Shanahan going with him and Beck for next year, even with an improved line and skilled players. Beck will be gone, and we will add someone to the mix from the draft class.
So, next week
As Rex has his best game of the year throwing for over 300 yards while Helu/Royster run for 150 yards
Talk to you about Philly after that…