Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Does It Get Any Better?

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what Snyder expected to see when he bankrolled the Redskins. All cylinders firing in time, on time. With the breaks also going the Redskins’ way, the St. Louis “Marshall Faulk is back!” Rams had no chance. I believe that the Titans, Raiders, and even the Vikings would’ve had no chance. (Okay, maybe.)

It’s about friggin’ time, I thought to myself around 11:30PM, that the interceptions, penalties, and other pigskin quirks started going OUR way. No 103-yard fumble recoveries here. (Although I would have LOVED to see Champ take that interception 107 yards.) This was Big Time Football.

The Redskins converted 3rd downs, they deflected passes, they even pulled a little trickery. They outcoached and outplayed the Rams. People, particularly in D.C., are always compaining about how soft-minded our team gets and usually blames any mental breakdowns on the coaches. Well, they deserve some praise today—being down 10 points against the Rams is scary. At least, I was scared. But to stick to the game plan—run the ball first, set up the short pass w/ the long pass the third option—is to be applauded.

Tell me that wasn’t last game’s goat, Special Teams coach LeCharls “Please make a tackle, Guys!” McDaniel calling that oh-so-sneaky onside kick. When I saw it happen, I thought of all the times I’d seen that play executed on NFL Prime Time and wished the Skins had the guts to try the same. It’s about time we played with some urgency. True, the special teams gave up some unnecessarily long returns, but none went for points. Eddie Murray, you may unpack now.

The offense put up 33 points. Wow. Could’ve been 40, if there hadn’t been holding on Skip Hicks’ touchdown (which looked like a scrimmage play). Stephen “I Ain’t Hurt” Davis was again the money man, but that title was challenged by the sudden laser-accurate Jeff “What Interception?” George. Oh, let the controversy begin. Tell me, do you think Brad would’ve been able to hit Irving “The Reverend” Fryar on that 40-yard throw like that? I really don’t know. The 1999 Brad would’ve…

Is it me or is Darrell “The Ageless Wonder” Green still the Redskins’ defensive MVP? Man, the Rams tried to test him early and often. But strained calf and all, he limited Isaac Bruuuuce to only a couple catches. And darn if Green wasn’t the only man making tackles in the first quarter. Hats off to my man.

Marshall Faulk? MVPuh-leeze. Faulk disappeared after halftime. The D slowed the 4x100 squad and shut down that stupid 40-yard screen pass the Rams are known for. (Heck, the Skins offense executed it better!). Bruce “I’ll Take Two” Smith and Marco “Finally Got Another Sack” Coleman provided just enough pressure on Trent “Money” Green at the right times to make Green force some throws. Which was just enough for us to win. How ‘bout that Champ “Lil’ Darrell” Bailey? The Rams threw at him once, maybe twice—and Champ took one of ‘em away. Excellent.

And, um, I hate to say it, but Neon Deion “Prime Time” Sanders made a play. A big one, too. I dare say one of the biggest of the game. I’d already called him Sissy Sanders for hurting himself BY HIMSELF in a contact sport. But he redeemed himself with a heads-up play.

It’s not time to make a Super Bowl Shuffle video, but…if the Skins give 80% of this effort against the Eagles, Giants, Pittsburgh, Dallas, and Arizona, we sweep ‘em all and get home field for the playoffs.

Go Skins.

OFFENSE: A (George & Davis: two great tastes that taste great together)
DEFENSE: A (Deion gets a part of it, too. Shoot.)
Sp. TEAMS:B (I still hold my breath on kickoffs.)

P.S. I hope somebody has this and the Bucs game on tape. Best Skins games I’ve seen in years.

Monday, November 06, 2000

Boo! Boo boo boo!

For once I’d like to see the Redskins get beaten without the outcome the result of Redskins mistakes. Nobody beats us like we do.

Let’s get this over with.

On the Special Teams: LeCharls McDaniel, or whatever his name is, has gotta go. He’s the coach of this squad, and because they stink, he stinks. He should’ve been gone after last season, to be honest. Every kickoff and punt is an adventure for the Redskins. And the falls are NEVER in our favor—when was the last time the Skins ran a kick back for a touchdown? Can anybody remember that? I bet you can name off the top of your head three times that the Skins have given up critical plays on special teams. Oy.

And what’s with the kicking game? The extra point is the easiest way to score in football, and it’s been botched at least twice this season. Do you realize that some teams go an entire season without botching ONE kick? And that Heppner kid misses a 33 yarder? Horrible. Somebody’s gotta take the fall, and it might as well be LeCharlie McNugget. Or whatever his name is.

On the Offense: I kind of liked the zip George was putting on the passes. Granted, they weren’t all accurate. In fact, he missed Connell (or Connell missed him) on a couple of occasions, most notably in the last 5:00 scoring drive. George should’ve run for the first down. Instead, Heppner shanked a kick.. I still miss Brad’s short-range accuracy, primarily because we have no deep-threat reciever for George’s style. Get well soon, Brad. Stephen Davis is again worth his weight in gold. You knew he was going for 100+ yards after the first series.

On the Defense: Good work. 16 points ain’t much in the NFL, and most of the work done for the points came when the D wasn’t even on the field. Apart from one bomb over Bailey, the D held strong. Bruce had a quiet day, but Stubby did good against the run. Can’t believe I’m saying that. Man, why didn’t Deion cut inside and return the interception for a touchdown…?

I said last week that “I guess we shouldn’t spot the other team 14 points next time.” We gave Arizona 10. And I predicted 35-14 as the final score for the Arizona game. Skins had the ball inside the red zone six times, resulting in 15 points. I still ain’t Nostradamus, but if Washington had played half their potential I would’ve been dead on.

OFFENSE: C- (this high ONLY because of Davis’ running. 400+ yards with 15 points?!?)
DEFENSE: A (Heck, Deion even got an INT)
Sp. TEAMS: F- - - (that’s three minuses)

I watched the Rams do the same thing the Skins did today—beat themselves with stupid mistakes. They lost to lowly Carolina. Both teams’ll be looking for vindication and respect. Maybe, just maybe, if Darrell comes back, and Davis isn’t hurt too bad, and Connell decides to finish his routes, we’ll win. Redskins 28, Rams 27. Maybe.