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2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Buffalo Soldiers

Much of the talk this week on sports radio in Washington has focused on how the Redskins, and Shanalahan in particular, have failed at QB and how the season is over.  While I have to admit that while I feared we would lose to Philly and had that sick feeling in my stomach that only losing to Philly can produce, last week’s loss produced an overwhelming sense of dejection.  I heard this same feeling in the voices of my fellow DC fans this week as if they were lamenting another lost season.

The season is not lost.  We are one game behind the NY Giants who we beat earlier this year and we still lead the Eagles and are even with the Cowboys.  The Cowboys have perhaps the easiest remaining schedule of all the teams in the division while the Giants definitely have the toughest.  All that doesn’t matter though if we don’t start winning.

Brandon Jacobs came out this week and said that the Redskins’ luck has run out as an explanation for our recent 2-game skid.  As I have repeated on this blog, there is no greater enemy of DC fans, no player who is as reviled as Brandon Jacobs on this blog.  No Brandon, the lucky team is the NY Giants who had to have a blown call go their way in order to beat the Arizona Cardinals.  That is lucky.  You are arrogant and have ceased being a factor on a Giants team that is no juggernaut.  The Giants will probably win this weekend, but a lot more losses await them down the road.

What has brought the Redskins down has been a linebacking core and secondary that took poor angles against the run last week, some missed opportunities and some questionable play-calling on both sides of the ball.  While the Redskins are banged up, the fundamental differences that make us a better team than we were last year are still there.

People have been criticizing Shanalahan for gambling on McNabb last year and rightfully so, but they should not criticize him on rebuilding this team yet because last year was year 1 of the rebuild at every position aside from the QB.  This is year 2 and tomorrow against the Bills, we will see how far our rebuild has come along.  Young players will have to contribute all over the field in order for us to win.

What is lucky is that we are playing the Bills in Toronto.  I have been saying this to anyone who is willing to listen since the schedule came out.  The Bills have a good home-field advantage and playing them in Buffalo, where I bet there will be a very noticeable number of Redskins fans, is huge.  Even if they aren’t, it’s addition by subtraction by simply not having to play in front of a pumped up Bills crowd.

The Bills defense is weak and having watched them play against Philadelphia, they seem to be a gambling defense that leaves holes open for attack.  As many have said, they thrive on turnovers.  Last week the boy wonder, aside from the 4th and 2 play at midfield which apparently was a bad play because it didn’t work – (really the bad decision was in going for it there;  go for it inside the 40, outside the 40, play the field position game)- stuck to the run game.  I still think he needs to learn to sprinkle in two different runners and not just run one ’till he drops as was the case last week with Hightower.  Obviously the Bills will be keyed to stopping the run, but their defense will get worn down.  Their corners are not good enough to consistently make plays on our receivers if they are worried about the run.

I would be willing to bet that all of our receivers get looks tomorrow.  Moss’ absence means that the coaches will be looking for someone to consistently run routes well which is Santana’s strength.   Gaffney will play, but it will be interesting to see who gets more time.  Obviously much has been made of Beck’s interception and whose fault it was, him or Hankerson, but the Redskins have three young receivers, Paul, Austin and L Hank, who need to start playing minutes so we can see who has the kind of heart, route-running and desire to be a difference maker for years to come.  Send Armstrong on some fly patterns.  Don’t be scared to air it out when we do air it out.  Otherwise, the Redskins should stick with the run.

Our defense will be the deciding factor, as it will every week from her ’till kingdom come it seems, on whether we win or lose.  I like the fact that Fitzpatrick got a huge contract this week.  He may relax just a bit, think about the nice cars and nice places he’d like to go with some nice looking women (or his wife – I don’t know if he’s married) and a little less about looking off our safeties and checking out whether DeAngelo Hall is peeking into the backfield.  The Redskins have done an excellent job of stuffing the run in our 3 wins and a horrid job of stopping the run in our 3 losses.  Again, this is where the game will be won or lost.

Shanny is supposed to be a great coach. To this point, he has shown himself to be a great organizer, a football mind with a definitive vision about what kind of players he wants, and someone who commands respect because he demands precision and concentration.  What he has not proven to me yet is that he is a great coach.  The only time that I thought we had something was after we beat Tennessee on the road after getting pummeled by Philly on Monday night. This is the same kind of spot.  The season seems like it’s on the line because a 3-game losing streak is hard for any team, let alone a talented, but still flawed team like ours, to overcome. Tomorrow is do or die for us.

I admit that I’m no journalist.  I’m a fan first who opens myself up to ridicule when I do things like write a blog.

I think we will win:   Redskins 23 Bills 17.

The Red Army

I was supposed to go to this past weekend’s game in Carolina.  But then my old man said, well that he was too old to drive down there and back.  Then my buddy Ryan, who lives in Delaware and drives down to DC for every home game, said that he would not be able to go because his job wouldn’t give him Monday morning off which would mean that he would get home at around 2 am after having been on the road since 4:30pm.  So, I didn’t end up going to the game.

But a lot of other Redskins fans did.  So many that the Charlotte Observer talked about it extensively the day after the game.  I did however go with my old man to the game the Redskins played in Carolina two years ago and wrote about this same phenomenon on this blog.  Two years ago, like last Sunday, the place was about 35-45% Redskins fans.  There are two explanations for this:  1)  a lot of Redskins fans commuted down from DC;  2) There are a lot of local Redskins fans who were fans of the team before Carolina came into existence and they did not switch their allegiance.  This was the case two years ago when me and my old man were hanging out with other DC fans in the parking lot before the game.  And I think it’s safe to assume that is the same explanation for this year’s Red Invasion as I like to call it.

This is the case for most teams who “travel” well and the Redskins are one of those.  Sure they don’t get the press like the Steelers fans, but at most away games, you can see on TV noticeable amount of Redskins jerseys.  A lot of it can be attributed to fan dedication and fans who like to travel and a lot of it, like here in DC when we see other teams fans in the stands, are because people live here.

Now there has been a lot of talk recently about the quality of DC Fans.  Some people have used the word “bandwagon” fans which is disgusting and wrong.  Mike Wise had some scientific words in yesterday’s paper which amounted to us being self-preserving while Tracee Hamilton had something about us being loyal, but not crazy.

None of these are true.   I will put true DC sports fans up to any other city’s sports fans.  New York, Philly and Chicago.  When people say these names, they usually say in sort of an incredulous voice: “Oh DC has got nothing on these sports towns.  They live and die sports”.

Really?  How come when I lived in Chicago from 1997 – 2001, every year aside from 1997, I could walk up to the United Center box office and buy tickets to games when the Wizards were in town because no one was going to watch the Bulls when they sucked, even though they had just won 6 (did your read that SIX) NBA Championships?  Or, how about how I always bought Cubs tickets the day of the game.  ALWAYS!

How about when I bought 2nd had tickets below face value with a parking pass thrown in to a Giants/Redskins game on  Sunday night at Giant Stadium when both teams were fighting to make the playoffs.   Should we make an excuse for the Giants fans or just criticize them like we do the Redskins fans who tend to not show up for games late at night as much as they do for daytime games.

How about when I bought tickets the day of games to see the Nats play the Phillies BEFORE the Phillies starting winning division titles.  Or how about how the Sixers rank way below the Wizards in attendance.  Or how about when the Linc in Philly was occupied by 50% Redskins fans on the last game of 2005 because all the Eagles fans had jumped shipped when their season was in the tank?  I was there, I can tell you all about it.

People have said that Washingtonians will follow a winner and that somehow makes us weaker than the so-called great sports towns of Philly, NY and Chicago.

All towns follow winners.

NY is supposedly a great baseball town and Citifield was just as empty, if not emptier, whenever the Nats played the Mets this year than Nats park.

Redskins fans, Caps fans can stand up to any group of fans in the country.  Wizards fans and Nats fans are strong, but not numerous because the teams are not doing well. If Redskins fans flooded Carolina’s stadium and will be very present at this year’s away games at NY and at Philly, as we always are, and we have been losing for 20 years, imagine what we would look like if we actually won something?  Would anyone care or would they just turn a blind eye because somehow, DC is not a great sports town.

So much hand ringing and head-shaking today.  Yes the Panthers are not a terrible team, but something inside of me wants to believe that we are not a terrible team.  Yet, the 1-5 team made the 3-2 team look terrible yesterday.  Now I personally lay most of the blame yesterday on the defense.  There were opportunities to make plays that could have changed that didn’t happen.  The obvious ones are Hall missing on an interception which could have been 6 points, Orakpo not going for the strip on his vicious sack of Cam and Landry being a step slow to recover the ball when the Panthers were ahead 23-13.  If we get that one and score a TD like we did, the game is very different at the end.   But on top of that, the defense seemed to take so many bad angles throughout the day on running plays, which seemed to obviously be running plays pre-snap, which resulted in huge gains.   Letting Newton scramble for a 30 yard gain on Carolina’s 1st possession was another killer play at the beginning of a game which set the tone for the rest of the game.  (Last week, the killer play was due to the official’s failure to call Vick for grounding;  this one yesterday was self-inflicted) Our defense has looked quite porous against the run the last two weeks.  Both the Eagles and Panthers have had balanced attacks against us which have prevented us from being able to anticipate what will come next.

Frankly, we looked unprepared to play yesterday as we did two weeks ago in the 1st half against the Eagles.  In the 2nd half yesterday, the Panthers were able to wear us down and frankly seemed to make all the adjustments necessary.  The game of course was 16-13 at one point, but from that moment on, Carolina stuck it to us.  I thought that Wilson would draw Steve Smith more often since Hall has a bum knee and toe.  And even though Smith is great, Wilson seemed incapable of making any plays against him.    We missed having Atogwe out there on some of the deep outs that Smith and Newton connected on, but at the end of the day, we could have survived if all the Panthers got were some big plays in the passing game.  The running game killed us.

On our side of the ball, I thought that the boy wonder got away from the running game a bit early once again.  Sure we were down 23-13, but there was a lot of time left in the game and we had been successful running the ball with Hightower.  The problem was that Helu and Torain never got a chance to establish their rhythm.  I understand the importance of riding the back who’s got it going, but the great part of having depth at running back is that you can cycle the different backs into the game to keep the defense on their back feet.  When Hightower went down, the boy wonder seemed to say “F@#! it, let’s just pass”.

Now with the injuries piling up, the outlook for the Redskins looks bleak.  Sure we’re only 1 game behind the Giants, but they play the Dolphins at home next week and while the Giants are good for one stinker at home a year, they already had theirs against Seattle a few weeks ago.  Dallas could be 4-3 and Philly 2-5 or Philly and Dallas both 3-4 after they play next week.  We of course have the Bills in Toronto.   Winning this game would not have covered up the issues the Redskins have, nor does losing it hide the strides we have made as an organization.  But at the end of the day, progress comes in victories and we have lost 2 in a row and it feels like if we lose next week, like our season will be over.

This will be the test of Shanny as a coach.  Will we go quietly into the night against Buffalo or will he gather what’s left our patchwork offense, light a fire under a defense which shows a lot of potential and prepare the team to save the season.   Good draft picks, wise off-season free-agent acquisitions are all good, but now it comes time to coach Shanny.  Put the Boy Wonder aside, tell Haslett to cool his engines a little and take this team under your wings.  It’s now or never.

Things have been pretty down around here this week.  It’s as if we had lost to a 1-5 team starting a rookie QB.   No one seems to be able to stop talking about the QB situation.  And no one, aside from Steve Czaban seems at all confident that Beck will do anything other than direct our season into the toilet.  Then the sharks in the media, smelling blood in the water, have begun to question Shanny’s decision-making process about QB since he took command of the sinking ship that was the Redskins after Zorn and Cerrato had led us adrift into a gulf filled with icebergs and malicious sperm whales.  As I wrote at the time of the trade, I thought bringing on McNabb and dumping Campbell was a mistake.   Shanny and the boy genius should have given him a chance.  And of course, they compounded their mistake by trading picks for McNabb.  However to their credit, they cut their losses as McNabb, based on last year here and currently at Minnesota, has truly lost his game.  This year, as I have said, I don’t think we are really going to see either QB win us any games.  Grossman’s mistakes have played huge roles in our two losses and had one play which almost cost us the Rams game.  As I wrote, I think it’s time for a change.

But change scares people.  The best description I’ve heard about Beck is that he is the fire extinguisher for all Redskins fans.  Up until now, he was always there, sitting in a nice pretty glass, only to be used in emergency and likely to save the day.  Well now Shanny and the Boy Genius have broken the glass.  The fire is blazing and we are wondering whether our quarterBeck, all dressed in red, will save our season from burning away into a molten pile of ash and dust.

I don’t know, but I think he will lead us to victory against Carolina.  (You may be thinking to yourself, “But this idiot has picked the Redskins to win every week.  His pick means nothing. ”  To which I respond that I am winning 60% of my predictions which is better than most degenerate gamblers in Vegas or in Arlington for that matter).  No one around here or in Carolina thinks the Redskins will win. Vegas has us as 3 point underdogs against a 1-5 team.  Last week we were home dogs to a talented Eagles team that was trying to save its season.  Well, Carolina’s season is already lost, especially since they play in probably the toughest division in football.  So what does all this mean?

That we are the least respected 3-2 team in NFL history.

Why all the disrespect?  All the so-called experts which predicted the ‘Skins to finish with no more than 3 victories all season are going 50/50 on picking the ‘Skins and Panthers.  Well, one reason is that our offense has been creeping along slowly towards the bowels of ineptitude the last three weeks.  The fact that that we are 1-2 in these last 3 weeks, and have not scored more than 17 points, is a credit to our defense which has not allowed more than 20 points.  In fact, we turned the ball over 4 TIMES last week and only lost by 7.

Our defense is good.  Our offense is not.  We rank 6th in overall defense and 3rd in points allowed.  We are tied for 1st in forcing the most fumbles and are 1st among teams that have only played in 5 games in sacks.     We are only -3 overall in turnover ratio which is not good, unless you think about the fact that our QB has turned the ball over 11 TIMES in 5 games, meaning we have already created 8 takeaways.

So, while the Panthers have weapons, I think we will be able to contain their weapons because unlike Philly, they don’t have multiple weapons at each position.  They have one excellent receiver, Steve Smith, who will receive double coverage.  The Redskins should be able to continue their harassment of opposing QBs.  The only thing is that Cam, (by the way, if you have not heard Deion Sanders exclaim “cam” while commenting upon Carolina highlights which, I found out from lovely wife, is  his spoof of the 80′s singer Guy’s “Jam” , it is definitely worth checking out.  Hopefully most of the highlights of Carolina will be of Cam’s mistakes), does well under duress due to his ability to create extra time with his feet and throw the hell out of the ball.  I would like to see Josh Wilson, not D-Hall, be assigned to Steve Smith this week due to Hall’s injuries to his big toe and knee.

Kerrigan and our LB’s have shown themselves to be good at covering tightends.  Only Jason Witten has had a strong game against us to this point from that position.  The ultimate key will be shutting down the running game which is something we have done fairly well in our 3 victories and very poorly in our 2 losses.  If Cam is forced to win the game alone, I don’t think he can do it.

Carolina’s defense on the other hand is not that good.  Statistically, it is the worst run defense in the league.  (We’ve heard this story before).  With our new offensive line though, it seems unlikely that we will be able to dominate on the ground, but we will have to stick with the run.  And this time, I really mean stick to it.  Falling behind 20-0 in the 1st half last week was not a reason to abandon the run.  Being behind 20-6 was not a reason to abandon the run until halfway through the 4th quarter.  Things move quickly in the NFL.  If we fall behind on Sunday by more than 1 score, the boy genius has to learn patience.   The ultimate key will be mixing all 3 backs in there to keep the defense on its toes.  Running is about desire and timing and if you the defense thinks that you are willing to run even when it’s not working all that well, any offense will have a distinct advantage.

I think it’s easier to make your debut on the road instead of at home at QB, especially if you’re green as our quarterBeck is.  I do expect good things from him though.  Having Armstrong will allow us to stretch the field and take advantage of Beck’s arm, which while it may not be that strong, is certainly stronger than the chubby arm of Rexus.

Special teams may be where this game is won.  Specifically, I’m talking about on punt returns where Carolina is giving up the most yards/return in the league on punts and ranks in the bottom third on return yards on kick-offs.  This could prove to be the game that Banks breaks one for a score or to set up an easy score and that may be exactly what our anemic offense needs.

While the previous 5 games have pitted current, prominent Redskins playing against their former team, this game pits the Redskins up against an very unenviable record.  We are 0-4 in our last 4 games against rookie QBs:  We lost last year to Bradford, two years ago to Stafford, 3 years ago to Flacco and in 2006, we lost to Vince Young.  That’s not a good streak.  Last week, we were unable to erase the past.  But this week, history will not repeat itself.  Redskins win 20-17.

Double vision:  When things settle down in my life, I will start to write more about the Caps.  But hell, what else can we want.  A veteran goalie who looks like the real deal, 4 lines contributing at both ends of the ice, a 6-0 start and we have beaten both the Flyers and Penguins on the road.  Sweeeet!

 

Sick and tired

Before yesterday, I had missed 4 games in 9 years of owning Redskins season tickets:  1 came for my marriage, the other 3 came after or in the days leading up to the birth of my 1st child.  Yesterday was the 5th.  This time I was not overjoyed by a life-changing event, but a 102 fever which continues to keep me bed-ridden.  As such, I have no tidbits to share, no bashing of Eagles fans (which apparently were present, but not in hordes of the last two years), and I have no insight to share about what the game looked like from high atop section 449.  My seat was occupied by my co-worker April, a staunch Redskins fan who, from all indications, fit in quite well with the rowdy crowd in section 449.

23-43 is the record the Redskins had against the NFC East from 2000-2009.  Abysmal.   There was only one glimmer of light in those dark ten years:  2005 when we went 5-1 in the division and at the end of the year has the best year of anyone in the division even though the Giants won the division.   With Shanny’s arrival, the one thing I had hoped for was a better record against division foes.  So far this century, we are 3-6.  More a propos, we are 1-2 five games into this new year and while the Giants and Eagles have also already lost division games, it already feels like we are slightly against the 8 ball considering even an optimist could hope we win 2 out of the 3 remaining division games.

The Redskins looked slightly flat yesterday at the outset of the game, but really yesterday’s game, more than anything else demonstrated how fragile an NFL game is and how it hinges on a very few plays and calls.  There were three crucial moments in yesterday’s game all of which went against the Redskins.

1. On the play where Orakpo was whistled for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Vick, it was obvious that there should have been an intentional grounding call made on that play as well.  While Orakpo may have hit Vick with his head (and even if he hadn’t, all of Vick’s recent whining necessitated that the referee make a call,) at worst the result of the play should have been off-setting penalties which would have resulted in Philly having a long 3rd down to convert.  Instead, they got a free 15 yards on a play which should have cost them big-time, and probably a safety at the most.  This propelled them to their 1st scoring drive which gave them the confidence they needed to rack up 20 1st half points.

2.  After the ‘Skins picked off Vince Young, Grossman’s interception on the following play was absolutely awful.  While I was not at the stadium, I have yet to see an angle that justified Grossman going for that throw at that moment.  This play happened right below section 449 and my old man told me today that Davis was covered the entire time and that Grossman should have NEVER thrown the ball.  If we score a TD then, the lead is 20-13 with more than a quarter to play and momentum is totally going in our direction.  We very likely would have won the game.

3. After we cut the lead to 20-13, our defense, which played very well from about midway through the 2nd quarter and on, could not stop Philly when we knew they were going to run.  That brought back so many memories of past games sitting in section 449 and watching another team eat away at your heart by slowly running the ball when everyone in the whole stadium knows that they are going to run.  It essentially was using classic Redskins football against us.

On top of all that, it’s shameful that the Redskins did not come out fired up.  Landry and Fletcher admitted that the defense was playing a little too cautious in the 1st half and was not being aggressive.  God knows why.  This was the game we needed to propel our season forward!  We were coming off a bye.  We were playing at home and we had the revenge factor on our sides and we let Philly beat us with only 1 half of good football.  AHHHH!!!

It is admirable that Fred Davis said two of the interceptions were his fault.  It’s nice to hear he and Moss stick up for Rexus.   But at this point, what else is there to see?  Rexus was good in the Giants game and at times, particularly in the clutch, he was great in the Arizona game.  But since then, he has two TD throws and 7 interceptions along with one fumble lost.  He did not lose us the Dallas game, but he contributed to it.  He did not lose us the St. Louis game, but he almost contributed to it, along with suspect play-calling to even ask Rexus to throw in that spot, and he definitely had a LOT to do with us losing yesterday.

Shanny has to weigh this decision carefully.  The whole season hinges on this Carolina game.  If we win this week, which we should be able to even though Cam looks like a dangerous offensive player, we are 4-2 and are in 1st place in the NFC East, still 2 games ahead of the Eagles and probably one game ahead of the Cowboys who will likely beat the Rams on Sunday.  If we lose, the chances of having a successful season will likely be lost.

The logical thing to do, with the injuries to the offensive line, is to play Beck.  On top of it, how much worse could he do than 2 TD and 7 interceptions in less than 3 games of play?  (I may have to re-visit that question in a couple of weeks).  But at the same time, this Redskins team, despite what everyone is thinking on the outside, seems to have a mojo which makes them believe in themselves and Shanny doesn’t want to screw with the team chemistry in changing to Beck.  I gotta think though, after Sexus’ 3rd quarter pick inside the 20 yard-line that every last player on the team though perhaps calm and workman-like on the outside, looked like Munch’s ‘The Scream’ on the inside.  So what does Shanny do?

Grossman could obviously rebound, as the moron Wilbon said today on local radio, again criticizing the DC fan base and praising Chicago sports fans like they are the wise ferrymen among US sportsfans, but what if he doesn’t?  Switch to Beck again?  That would look a little crazy.  On the other hand, if Beck does badly, Grossman will be ready to prove Shanny was wrong for benching him.   I say go with Beck.

Yesterday sucked in every way imaginable, but much will be forgotten if we right our season’s course and win against the 1-5 Panthers.  I just hope our captain knows when to “about ship”.

1st we had the Barry Cofield Bowl; next the Tim Hightower Bowl; then the Stephen Bowen Bowl, followed by the Otogwe Bowl and now, we have the Sav Rocca Bowl.  Yes, each one of the Redskins 1st five games have featured a key member of our team going up against the team he left last year to join our hometown heroes.  So far, if not for 3rd and 21, things would have worked out perfectly.  But still, 3-1 ain’t too shabby.

This interesting statistic however has not persuaded many people to believe that the Redskins will win this weekend against the Eagles.  For most, this lack of confidence comes from a lack of respect given to the quality of players the Redskins have on the field this year.  Fans like me worry less about the players on the field this year and more about the recent history of the Redskins in games like this here at home at FedEx Field.

This is a game where the Redskins have an opportunity to essentially bury the Eagles and their so called ‘Dream Team’ season and in the process put ourselves in a very advantageous situation as we embark on the 2nd quarter of our season.  While this game is huge for Philly, it is equally huge for us.

History guides my fear and the sick feeling that I left with on so many recent occasions as I slogged by to my old man’s car after a crushing defeat to a division opponent is something that I will never forget .  Let’s go back on a trip down bad memory lane.

In 2008, the Redskins went into a crucial game at home against  the Cowboys where we entered the contest 6-3 and the Cowboys 5-4.  A victory would have put us 2 games ahead of the Cowboys, 1.5 games against Philly (who had tied Cincy earlier that day) and only one game behind the Giants.  We lost 14-10.

In 2007, we entered a early-season contest against a floundering Giants team that looked a lot like Philly does entering this game – their defense couldn’t stop anyone as they were adjusting to their new defensive system and Manning was turning the ball over like it was going out of style.  Entering the game, we were 2-0 and the Giants were 0-2. A win would have ended their season. Despite our 17-3 halftime lead, we lost the game 24-17.

That same year, we entered a week 10 match-up against Philly with a 5-3 record while the Eagles were floundering at 3-5.  A win would have given us a 6-3 record and would have buried the Eagles on yet another occasion since a loss would have put them at 3-6 and 3 games behind us. And yet again, we came up short, losing 33-25 relinquishing a late 4th quarter lead.

So this is why I fear us losing.  Have we beaten the Eagles before at home?  Sure, many times.  Have we done it when we were riding high and had a chance to deal a knock-out blow to their season?  Nope.  And that’s what scares me.

The Redskins however do have some key match-ups in our favor.  We run the ball well and the Eagles can’t stop the run.  We have Fred Davis and the Eagles don’t have someone who can cover him.  On offense the Eagles are explosive, but have a terrible o-line.  We get after the quarterback well, but Vick, a.k.a the Philly cry-baby, is not a usual kind of QB as we all know.  (It’s funny, by the way, that since Vick has been throwing for 400 yard games that he no longer is complaining about calls not going his way.  But when he gets shut down a little, all of sudden the refs are swallowing their whistles).  So our defense will have to contain the speed of Vick and his unpleasant, arrogant cohorts in DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Macklin.  (I don’t know much about LeSean McCoy, but I’ll assume that his only personal fault is being on the Eagles, which is something I can’t say for Vick, Jackson and Macklin.)

Then of course, we have Sav Rocca.  After all, this is the Sav Rocca bowl.  Mr. Rocca, a.k.a. Australian for punter, has been great this year and I would expect that his booming punts should limit Jackson’s effectiveness as a punt returner.  On the flip side, Banks, who has seemed to have lost a step the last 2 weeks, has had a week to heal and I expect him to be at his speedy best.

History is doomed to repeat itself.  That’s what so many think and what all of us Redskins fans have come to expect as our reality.  But sometimes, the world and history regenerates itself into something new and breaks the mold created in the annals of dusty newspapers and ancient heartbreak.  So, it will be this week as the Redskins will win 23-21.

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