Monday, October 16, 2006

Shades of 2000

Tennesee 25, Washington 22

More than 24 hours after the loss, the questions don't just linger, then haunt:

If I'm a coach, and my team's playing Washington, how soon before gametime do you break out the "Boys, the odds are good that one of you is going to have a career day like Chris Brown, Tiki Barber and Jared Allen speech?

In Redskins forums, the issue raised is whether to blame the offense's Coach Gibbs or the man calling the plays, Al Saunders. I'll see that question and raise you another: is this offense better off without Saunders?

Sure, it hurts to lose to a team that ESPN Radio predicted two weeks ago might go 0-16. And yeah, the cut's a little deeper when you were favored by double digits. But is there a worse feeling than doing all of that at home, with your best cornerback returned to the lineup, against a rookie quarterback, while simultaneously allowing a guy to run for nearly 180 yards?

Seems like it was a long, long time ago when the D.C. press heralded the incoming of Adam Archuleta, Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle-El, doesn't it? Isn't the letdown eerily similar to the Mark Carrier/Bruce Smith/Deion Sanders/Jeff George All-Viagra team of 2000?


When the Redskins stink, as they appear to do right now, it's tough to open the ol' email inbox. Inevitably, somebody's left some smack there for me to read. Sure enough, there was this question, posed by my Cowchip-loving colleague, Mr. Lim:

Re: redskins... tough loss.
Did you enjoy the eagles loss?

Cunningly posed question, as it both inquires about a mutual opponent and completely dismisses the Redskins as competitive. Nonetheless, I responded:

As much as I like watching the enemies in the East falter, it was hard to enjoy anybody losing when my team loses to a team that's LOST EVERY GAME THEY'VE PLAYED. Sure, the Titans played the Colts tough the other week--I believe they call that parity. But by all rational preseason predictions, the Skins should have beaten the Vikes, Texans and Titans, maybe beaten the Giants and Cowchips, lost to the Jags. That would put Washington at a respectable 4-2 or 3-3. But I'd give up the Jags win for Vikes/Titans wins any day, even if
they meant the inevitable "but they haven't beaten anybody yet" arguments.

At this point, I'll take any positivity for this team.

Meanwhile, things are quiet in Baltimore after a knife-twisting loss to the Panthers at home in which the second best defense as skewered for more than 300 passing yards. Hearing the game on radio, I drew the conclusion that Kyle Boller, king of the Hail Mary pass, had a pretty good game in Steve McNair's spot. But on further review of the three touchdowns he threw, only one wasn't tipped by a defenseman--and that one was thrown to Todd Heap who was double covered! How many Immaculate Receptions can one guy create?

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