Archive for November, 2010

I listened to Chris Cooley on 106.7 the Fan today as  I rode home from work.  He seemed as dejected as I and many others around town, at home and at work all felt today after the Redskins suffered what almost amounts to the death knoll on our season.  Cooley mentioned lack of team leadership as perhaps a reason why the Redskins lost the classic “what if” game. Cooley postulated that the constant shift of personnel in the locker room makes it hard for veterans and others to really get in one another’s face.  That makes some sense and this team does need some consistency with a focus on young talent which is slowly, but surely happening.

However, could leadership have really changed the following “what if” questions:

What if Perry Riley had not been called for a block in the back on Brandon Banks’ 77 yard punt return for a TD which would have given us the lead?

What if McNabb had not under-thrown Anthony Armstrong when Armstrong was 7 yards behind the last Vikings defender?

What if Santana Moss and Chris Cooley had not dropped consecutive passes that would have netted us a 1st down in Minnesota territory in the 2nd quarter of the game which could have resulted in us taking a lead into the halftime locker room? On that same note, what if Anthony Armstrong had not dropped a pass that would have gotten us close to another 1st down after he made the catch for 45 yards?

All of these answers can be solved not by better locker-room leadership, but by simply a better offensive line.  You see, drops happen to every team and coming into yesterday’s game, the Redskins had the fewest drops in the NFL according to NFL.com.  Questionable block in the back penalties happen, even two like we have had this year.  QBs underthrow passes.  All of these things can be overcome when you have an o-line that consistently blocks well and gives the QB time to hit his receivers and gives our running backs holes to run through.

Many people have said today that the Redskins desperately need a new wide-receiver in this year’s draft.  These people are over-looking the obvious problem.  Yesterday, between Lichtensteigher, Rabach and Will Montgomery, we had three centers starting across the interior of our offensive line.  The Redskins will have a better offense when we draft a center and guard in this year’s draft.  A tailback wouldn’t hurt either.

Still, despite all of our deficiencies, the Redskins should have won the game yesterday and on defense, we frankly looked a little lifeless.  Sure we knocked out Peterson, but we didn’t do much else.  I frankly blame Haslett for not dialing more exotic blitz packages after halftime and forcing the Vikings’ rookie running back to pick up some heavy duty pressure by our linebackers.

Similarly, Shanny did not adjust the offense at halftime and we went from attack mode to conservative mode after halftime.  1st down runs were not working, but are we sure that 2nd down and 3rd down runs would have been totally ineffective as well.  As imaginative as our 1st drive was, the rest of our drives looked as vanilla as could be after the couple of drops took the wind out of our sails.

And with a “quietly into the night” kind of performance, the competitive part to the Redskins season came to a wimpering end yesterday.  Frankly, my old man was pissed and frustrated.  So was I.

Then today Carlos Rogers seems to imply like there is no home-field advantage.  1st of all, I don’t know what it’s like to sit next to the field within ear shot of the players, but in section 449, we are yelling and cheering on defense, getting up in our seats for big hits (all of section 449 gave Anthony Armstrong a standing ovation after his amazing catch in the 1st quarter on which he almost was decapitated).  Sure, I yelled at Moss when he made his drops, but come on Rogers, that’s what fans do.

For fans like me and my old man who have only missed three games in nine years, one when I got married, one when my 1st born child entered our world and one when my wife was sick  in eight years of having season tickets, I don’t want to hear about fan support.  There are many fans like us who never miss a game including last year which has to rank as one of the most miserable in Redskins history.

So yes Rogers, we get pissed when you drop interceptions like you did against Seattle in the 2005 playoffs and against Pittsburgh on Monday night in 2008 and like against Philly this year in October, but we also cheer when you hold down the edge or make a pick like you did this year against Houston or like you did to seal the game against Arizona in 2008.  In fact, if your head doesn’t get too big, I even think the Redskins should re-sign you Rogers.  But please, from someone like you who recently said that he didn’t want to play against Tennessee because he didn’t want to put a bad game on tape, don’t complain about the fans who have supported this team for over 30 years like myself and who actually sat past halftime when you were losing 45-14 to one of our most bitter enemies on national television when we all have to wake up the next morning and fight through the grind of another work week knowing that our beloved Redskins embarrassed us, themselves, our city and everyone who has proudly worn burgundy and gold for the last eighty years.

When the Redskins were playing well in 2005 and 2007, FedEx field was packed and as loud as any stadium I have ever been in including RFK.  Yesterday the stadium got very loud too.

If the Redskins miraculously beat the Giants this week, we will be there louder than ever against Tampa in two weeks.  If we lose to the Giants, we will still be there, maybe a little sadder, but still cheering on #22 and the rest of the team.  I don’t know where you would rather go Carlos, but I know from having seen the Redskins play in Philly, NY, Chicago and Carolina that when the home team is winning, there is nothing like the home crowd, but when it is losing, all good fans with reasonably high expectations are going to get pissed.

Now that I got that off my chest, I can go back to pondering a season long worth of “what ifs” and try to balance those out with the balls that did bounce our way and close my eyes and hope for a miracle this Sunday in the Meadowlands.

Double vision: The Caps played a solid game last night against Carolina and probably deserved a regulation win.  But two costly

Varly saves the Caps in OT against Carolina as Washington holds on to beat the 'Canes 3-2 in a shootout Sunday night in D.C.

mistakes hurt us.  On the ‘Canes 1st goal, Backstrom, who played great defense all night, was a little too relaxed in his back check of a ‘Canes player approaching the net and allowed himself to get muscled out of the way right before the Carolina player received a pass and put it into the net.  On the last goal, Tom Poti, who like Backstrom also played well all night, needed to find a way to prevent Staal from getting his stick on the puck.  Lift his stick, trip him, take a major penalty, I don’t care, there was less than 5 seconds left in the game.

Instead the Caps had to sweat it out in OT and had Varly not saved our hides, we would be talking about an OT loss instead of a somewhat unfulfilling shootout win.

However, it should be noted that the Caps once again held an opponent to two games or less and  once again come out victorious.  We are now 11-1 in games like this.   Tough two-game road trip ahead.  Let’s see if we can keep our excellent PK and overall solid defensive play going in hostile environments.

Triple vision: The Wiz lost to Letravel and his cronies tonight, but we did not get punked.  Hinrich stood up for himself and the Wizards pushed back enough to let Miami know that we are not going to lie down for them.  The final score was more lopsided than the game was.  Of course we still lost, but I personally stood up and clapped when Nick Young took Letravel on consecutive trips down the floor and scored over him while drawing a charge on Letravel in between.

Memo to John Wall:  toughen up dude, we need you be out there.   Our next game against Toronto is a must win.



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Filled with hope

The Wizards lost a tough one tonight.  If not for an incredible play by Dwight Howard and a near miss by Arenas, the tone of this post might have been quite different.  1st of all, John Wall has got to get healthy.  We are playing well without him, but he is such a difference maker and he has got to get on the court to get this experience so that when we are ready to be a very good team, he will have the necessary experience to lead us effectively.

Despite the loss, there are a lot of things to be encouraged about.  Javale McGee played a lot better against Dwight Howard tonight.  Howard’s stats may say differently, but if you watched the game, you could see that McGee began playing better and better positional defense against Howard.  I think it’s safe to say that McGee is a solid building block for this team.  I expect his to continue to get better as he continues to play within himself and learns how to be a consistent positional defender and gets better at cleaning up the glass – something which has already begun to happen.

Blatche has been very uneven to this point in the year, but he has a smooth offensive game and he is hustling more these days and is becoming a player who can effect the game without scoring as was evidenced tonight when he kept a lot of balls alive on the offensive glass and created 2nd chance opportunities for his teammates.

Nick Young is really learning how to play the professional game.  He is no longer a liability on the defensive end of the floor and he is learning how to move without the ball.  The one thing he needs to do is to figure out how to get open when teams key on stopping him.  Tonight, after torching the Magic for the better part of the 2nd half, Orlando made a concerted effort to stop him and they did.  He didn’t score again.  He is going to have to learn how to take it to the next level and beat good defenders like Michael Peitrus instead of defensive stiffs like J.J. Reddick.

I know I have been criticized for being an Arenas apologist or Agent Zero lover, but the old man is playing well these days.  He had it going on tonight and almost led us to an improbable victory.  He consistently took Magic defenders off the dribble and, unlike last year, was able to draw the kind of contact necessary for him to rack up points at the foul line on a night when his jumper was not consistent.

Everybody else on the team is still a mystery.  Hinrich should be coming off the bench, not starting and Alonzo Gee is a nice energy player who should be like 3rd or 4th off the bench since he has no offensive game.  However, if this team can have a starting five of Wall, Arenas, Howard, Blatche and McGee with Young, Hinrich, Thornton, Yi, Gee and then everyone else coming off the bench, it would not surprise me if we made a run at the playoffs.  Tonight was a strong effort, filled with energy and promise  that could have turned into something great.  Let’s see what we get on Monday against LeTravel and his cronies.

Double vision: The Redskins made the long overdue move of cutting Joey Galloway in favor of a younger player – a.k.a BBR Terence Austin.  You have to give Shanny credit for one thing, he is not as stubborn as everyone would like to make him out to be.  Sure he made Haynsie run sprints for 6 months before he could take a snap in a game, but he has not stuck with veterans just for the sake of sticking with veterans.  He started the season with Phillip Buchanan returning punts and then made the switch to Brandon Banks.  He started with Andre Carter playing OL and then switched to Lorenzo Alexander.  He started with Galloway ahead of everyone not named Santana Moss on the wide-receiver depth chart and now Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin and Brandon Banks are all going to get playing time tomorrow in a big, big game.

It will be nice to see what Austin can do under pressure as opposed to playing him in the last game of the year when we might be eliminated from the playoffs.  Give the kid an honest look so we can see if he can be someone we can build on next year.

Ok, time to go to sleep and bundle up the covers and dream of Redskin TDs on a bright, brisk Sunday afternoon in November.

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All Natural

Nature boy Alex Semin celebrates his uninterrupted hat trick in the Caps' 6-0 victory over Tampa Bay last night in downtown D.C.

There’s not much to say about last night’s Caps 6-0 victory over the Lightning. Those guys were coming in here red-hot on a 5 game winning streak, probably thinking to themselves that the Caps were ready to be taken.  Not so fast Steven Stamkos and friends.

Our blue-liners played their best game of the year.  It’s impressive that Carlson and Alzner are now playing against our opponent’s top line and that’s what happened again last night.  The Caps totally congested the neutral zone against the Lightning.  Just about the only time Tampa had extended zone time was when they were on the PP and our PK more often than not, created more chances than Tampa had.

Varly was good, but certainly did not need to be great in a game where he had to make less than 20 saves.

Then of course there was Semin.  His 1st and 3rd goals were as amazing as anyone will see watching hockey.   On his 1st goal, Johannson led the breakaway with Semin 2-on-1 and he held the puck long enough to create a seam between the Tampa defender and goalie.  He whipped it cross-ice and Semin rifled the shot into the net at full speed.  The 3rd goal came on a PP when Ovie sent a crisp pass to Backstrom who, according to reports from the T.V. broadcast, sent a bullet of a pass through the seam after apparently not having looked at Semin the whole time.  Semin completed the hat trick by shooting the puck into the thinnest sliver of open net.

Pretty awesome!

The Caps have responded to the awful slump we had last week.  The question is how the play moving forward. The focus last night was obviously on defense and as Tampa got frustrated with not getting any good chances, they took penalties and we burned them.  Our PK, which has been good to very good all season, was great last night.  If the Caps keep up with the defense-first mentality, they will win a lot more games 4-0 or 4-1 than 5-4.  And really that’s what we all should be rooting for as Caps fans: defense and lots of it.

The Caps are now 10-1 when we hold an opponent to 2 goals or less.  If that’s enough reason for all of us to root for defense, I don’t know what it.

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Fred Smoot returns an interception deep into Minnesota territory in a December, 2007 Redskins 32-21 victory which was part of a late-season charge that got us into the playoffs.

Like I said before, the worst thing that could have happened to Redskins was Brad Childress being fired.  The Minnesota Vikings are a talented team that have been playing poorly because they hated their coach.  People have been making fun of Brett Favre, calling out Jared Allen, remarking about how the Williams brothers are no longer drawing double teams like they used to.  (People seem to forget that maybe the Williams boys are not playing up to par because they’re no longer on the juice).

Anyway, the point is that all these players are going to want to show everyone that they were not the problem, their coach was.  Now they have a new coach who has his first shot to show what he can do.  Leslie Frazier seems like a good man who had been passed up for a bunch of different jobs.  Some people say he is a Rooney rule casualty and some say he never got his job because he’s not a good interview.  Whatever the reason, he now has a job and wants to do everything he can to hold on to it.

The Redskins come here the talk of the town after an inspired effort last Sunday that has given our season life. Some people are talking playoffs, some aren’t, but everyone is thinking that with a victory on Sunday, we would vault ourselves right into the thick of the wild card race.

The big problem with all of that is that while we have the expectations that come with hope on our shoulders, the Vikings will come in a loose bunch.  Add to that we are very banged up while the Vikings had only one guy who was limited in practice.

Last week, the Redskins played very responsible in their gaps on defense which held Chris Johnson in check.  Kemoeatu had his best game of the year as he got some push from nose guard and did not fall down instantly as he had done more often that not.  Honestly, the Redskins got caught out of position on only two runs, the old 49er draw play which Tennessee burned us on twice.  I imagine that Chris Wilson and H.B. Blades will get a lot play.  These guys have been around for a while and are looking for their opportunity to play regular minutes so I’m not very worried about them even though McIntosh and Alexander will be missed.

The bigger defensive issue will be in the secondary where we are one injury away from having Macho Harris playing full-time.  And even though he started 8 games for Philly last year, he hasn’t played all season and I can just see him getting eaten up by Favre and Peterson.  The one thing he has going for him is that he grew up a Redskins fan which should inspire him in his 1st game at FedEx field.  Our corners will continue to get tested as Kevin Banks will get more time if Rogers can’t go.  He did okay in the slot last week, but the Vikings have more to offer than the Titans did at the receiver position.

On offense, the key to victory lies with McNabb.  He played well, not great, last week.   I’m not sure I agree with everyone that the Redskins have not talent at wide receiver.  Anthony Armstrong gets open a lot and is a deep threat.  Santana Moss is obviously playing at a high level and Cooley and Davis are of course very good options in the passing game.  The question lies with the o-line and I for one would welcome Will Montgomery playing at center.  I don’t know if Derrick Dockery can go, but if he can, that will help a lot.  He is a big dude and I think he will be able to provide the push in the running game that all of a sudden lies squarely on a classic BBR – Keiland Williams.  He is joined by James Davis and Andre Brown, neither of whom I had ever heard of before this week.

Let’s face it though, this year’s crop of BBRs has been pretty good:  Trent Williams, Brandon Banks, Anthony Armstrong and Keiland Williams.  Perry Riley will be starting for us next year as I wonder whether the Redskins will offer McIntosh the kind of  long term deal he desires.  Anyway, that’s a conversation for another day.

Can our BBRs carry us again?  Cooley, Davis, Banks, Williams (Keiland and Trent) will all be front and center.

The real question is whether the Redskins, in front of what will be a live home crowd, with a lots to play for, be able to overcome a talented Vikings team that is out to prove it will be around next year back as a contender under a new head coach that wants to lead them in 2011?

It’s a very tough call to make and since I am now 2-8 in predicting ‘Skins games this year, what does it really matter what I think?  In this case though, my hope for a season filled with promise is overcome by my lack of faith in our team’s ability to play two good games in a row, something which has only happened once this year.  On the other hand, the Redskins have a lot of veterans on this team which realize that we have a chance to still do something with this season.  McNabb, Moss, Fletcher and our one -time hero Portis, may be able to inspire the team to a victory even though we will be under-manned.  On top of that, is it not also possible that Shanny could out-coach a coach making his debut.

This game is truly a coin flip. I think we are going to win a tight one: 17-16.

Double vision for the holiday: The Caps got back to playing good hockey on Wednesday night.  Boudreau shows why he is a good

Varly makes one of his 30 saves in his return to the ice as he led the Caps to a 3-2 victory on Wedensday night.

coach in moving Ovie to the right wing and putting him on a line with Laich who can do the dirty work necessary to compliment Backstrom and Ovie.  The results showed right away in that the top line accounted for all the goals and Ovie had all three primary assists.

Varly looked great with his cat-like reflexes.  The Caps are going to benefit from the fact that both Varly and Neuvy have a legitimate shot at being the #1 goalie here come playoff time and both will consistently put out their best effort.  We did not miss Mike Green in the defensive end, (I know that sounds strange, but he has played well this year in our own end), mostly because Alzner and Carlson have become an excellent defensive tandem and are logging big time minutes.

For about 50 of the 60 minutes on Wednesday, the Caps were able to stifle the ‘Canes in the neutral zone and it showed. In fact, all the defense pairings were strong and Poti’s return to the lineup was felt.  Brian Fahey played well too in call-up duty.

By the way, the ‘Canes have imitated our “Let’s Go Caps” chant which follows three blasts from a bull horn.  The big problem is that the horn in Charlotte sounds like a recorder and the crowd is not as into it.  We got the market cornered on three syllable chants here in D.C.

The Caps are now 9-1-1 when we hold our opponent to only 2 goals.  We are 6-5-1 when our opponents score more than two.  I think the message should be clear for the boys for the big game tonight for the Caps tonight against the Lightening.

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I called into the Sports Reporters show yesterday to talk about Brandon Banks and how the Redskins are using him and I made a comment that made “The Czab” laugh.  I said something to the effect that I think Banks should remain on both kick-offs and returns because we should try to get him as many touches as possible, but that the catch he made in the win against Tennessee impressed me enough to think that he should play more receiver as well.  I also pointed out that Shanny had used some good sense in having Banks try to block field goals as he did successfully against the Colts and that he should be doing more of that as well.  I also said something to the effect that Shanny displayed poor judgment that a mere mortal like myself could not understand by not playing Banks until the 4th game of the season.  The words “mere mortal” made Czaban laugh and he used those words to make some more jokes at Shanny’s expense.

The whole thing made me feel pretty good about myself.


Javale McGee dunks on the 76ers in the 116-114 OT Wizards victory last night in which he had a huge game totaling 24 points, 18 rebound and 4 blocked shots.

Then I felt even better when I came home and watched the Wizards beat the Sixers again in rather unbelievable fashion.  A few things stand out to me about the win:

Javale McGee is playing at a really high level right now.  There have been many critics of him and I have been one, but right now, there is no way anyone could say he is playing anything less than awesome.  He is dominating the glass, leading the NBA in blocked shots, affecting shots constantly and playing within himself offensively, using his athleticism to overpower people.

John Wall is seriously clutch.  Not only did his shooting bring us back last night, but his clutch free throws at the end of the game were huge.  While he didn’t have his running legs last night, he still had a great impact on the game scoring 25 points in less than 40 minutes of game action.

Gilbert Arenas is fitting into this team and is not dominating the ball.  For the 2nd time in a row, Arenas passed up on the winning shot and got the ball to an open teammate for an open shot.  This time Nick Young, who also had an excellent game on both ends of the floor, hit it.  Great players have to trust their teammates and while Arenas is not the great player he once was, he is playing like a leader.

Andray Blatche is a consistent double figure scorer in this league.  I didn’t love his game last night only because he shot too many outside shots, but he is also developing into a guy we can depend on to hit big free-throws and make big baskets.

Our overall team defense was not awesome last night, but it was not horrible and we used our defense to spark runs which ultimately got us back in the game.

This team is growing up into something and right now, it is fun to watch.

Double vision: Note to Ovie, best player in the world and most importantly TEAM CAPTAIN:  if you are going to muck it up with your countrymen after the Caps get slaughtered 5-0 for the 2nd time in 3 games, do it in the secrecy of some Russian mafia bar.  Right when you were joking around with Kovalchuck and Semin, I was pulling my hair out about what the hell is the matter with you and this city’s best hope to bring us a championship.  So, let’s lose some of the chuckles and come out tonight and play like you care.

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Anyone getting worried about the Caps?

I am.

There is a lot wrong with the Caps right now.  Holtby, after a strong initial showing, has become jittery and is giving up too many rebounds.   And while he made some amazing saves, he left too many juicy rebounds in front of the net tonight, three of which turned into goals.

Our defense has been playing poorly for a while, but recently it has been downright awful, giving up 14 goals in 3 games.  That absolutely stinks.   We are beginning to miss Tom Poti and with Tyler Sloan only playing about 4 minutes tonight, we may be calling up someone from Hershey in advance of our game in Carolina.  Too many times tonight, Caps were just looking at the puck when it was in our defensive zone.   The Devils had at least 6 odd-man rushes against us tonight and two clean break aways, one of which of course turned into a converted penalty shot.

The offense is terribly out of sync.   All the lines looked like garbage tonight especially the top line with Ovie carrying the puck way too much, Semin shooting off target and Backstrom unable, except for once which led to a Jersey penalty, to carry the puck through the New Jersey zone to draw defenders and set up our wingers.

I don’t know if Ovie is hurt, uninterested, tired, something else or all of the above, but something is not right.  Maybe he needs to sit for a game to clear his mind.  Our 4th line which has been our best of late has not played well against Atlanta and New Jersey either.

Now we did play well against the Flyers and maybe the Caps have just gotten a little bored of playing these inferior opponents like New Jersey or Atlanta.  But in games like this, in the middle of the season with nothing big on the line and no rivalry, the Caps just need to focus on playing defense, dumping the puck and capitalizing on a few opportunities and leave with a 3-1 or 3-2 win.  Save your firepower for when you really need it.  But when you play a team like New Jersey who had only scored 5 goals once all year, just play defense and get the hell out of town with an easy victory.

Last year the Caps dominated the 1st period.  It’s like they had something to prove to everyone after we lost to the Penguins, like we wanted to show everyone that we were really the better team.  This year, it’s almost like the Caps are winning despite themselves.  They know they want to play their best hockey in the spring, but they’re showing that by not giving a shit in any of these games.

I am disappointed that Eric Fehr has not decided to become a power player.  I really thought the Caps would not re-sign Knuble at the end of this year and make Fehr our muscle guy on the top line, but right now he seems content to play on the outside and fire slap shots every once in a while on net.

Boudreau needs to get the team’s mentality turned around or he could be out of a job soon if things continue this way.

Double vision: Brad Childress getting fired was the worst thing that could have happened to the Redskins.  Everybody in Minnesota hated him and now the players have a new coach who may be able to fire them up because you know he will be fired up to get his 1st win as a head coach.  When I was watching Minnesota play a few weeks ago with my old man, I told him that I wanted Minnesota to win a couple of more games before they played us because I didn’t want their coach to get fired or for them to play Tavares Jackson against us.  And now of course, my powers of foresight are becoming more and more evident.

We all saw what happened when Dallas fired their head coach.  Sure, they’re not going to go to the playoffs, but they may take some folks down with them and we don’t want Minnesota to have any hope this Sunday even though I am sure the odds makers have us a 2 point favorite at the most.

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A Titanic Effort

Gano and Redskins celebrate his game winning, 48 yard field goal in the Redskins 19-16 OT victory on November 21, 2010

This was perhaps the most ridiculously suspenseful Redskins game of the whole year. Every time I thought we were going to lose, we bounced back and every time we seemed like we were going to take control, we screwed things up.  There was a lot that was not pretty about this one, but let’s give credit where it was due.  The Sorcerer and his apprentice called a good game on offense and our defense made the plays we needed to.

In particular, I was pleased to see the Redskins stick to the run throughout the game.  When I saw that McNabb threw the ball 50 times, I was surprised because it didn’t seem like that while I was watching the game.  Then again, both Cooley and Moss were around 100 yards each and there weren’t that many long balls completed in the game.

While the Redskins were unlucky that Graham Gano’s kick at the end of the game did not go in, we had a very good break when Anthony Armstrong made a reception that looked dubious at best and could have been overturned had Tennessee had any timeouts.  But they didn’t and we tied the game and now celebrate a victory.

Enough can’t be said about the patchwork offensive line who filled in admirably for the injured Dockery and Rabach.  Heyer is a better run blocker than pass blocker and he looked pretty good at tackle.  Will Montgomery looked like a significant upgrade over Casey Rabach.  Whether Montgomery can call protections as well as Rabach is something we will have to wait to see, but for the first time in several games, the center of the pocket was not being blown up.  Hell, the fact that we even had a pocket was progress.  Is it possible that the team stumbled on a combination of o-linemen that could do an admirable job going forward?  That would be too lucky.  That would be like Philadelphia lucky.

Clinton Portis made his presence felt right away and it is really too bad that he re-injured himself.  We just have to have him or Torain back if we are going to have a chance to build off of this win.  Keiland Williams runs hard and for the most part made good reads today, but he has very, VERY little speed and cannot be our only option at back aside from Lendy Holmes who played safety and linebacker throughout college.

Our receivers played a good game and the much maligned Joey Galloway came up with a big 3rd down catch.  Armstrong made some plays and Fred Davis had two huge plays which came as the result of running hard and horrible tackling on the part of the Titans.

Brandon Banks made a huge 3rd down catch on the last drive of the 2nd half and it would be great to see him develop as a receiver since he is so fast, but on his returns he definitely seemed to not have the same sick speed he has displayed recently.  He looked like he was laboring a little.  Hopefully he can take it easy and get back to where he was before the bye by next week.

McNabb did an excellent job on both of his two-minute drill opportunities and if either of the field goals he set up had gone through the uprights, the game may not have gone to OT.  He made one really late throw late in the 1st half that was picked and had another bad one to Galloway in the 4th quarter.  But for the most part, he played well and showed more of what he can do if he has the time to do it.

The Redskins have 5 victories this year and in all 5 wins, we have scored less than 20 points.  In 4 out of our 5 losses, we have scored over 20 points.  How weird is that?

What’s equally weird is that what was lacking from this team last year was an offense that could make big plays, a defense that could create turnovers and a dynamic return man.  We have all those things this year and we are 5-5.  I guess it’s better than being 3-7 which is where we were a year ago.   Oddly enough, lie in years past, we are still only winning when we score under 20 points and obviously our opponent scores less than us.

DeAngelo Hall had a pretty good game today covering Randy Moss and he was a sure tackler throughout.  As a Redskins fan, you have to love seeing him, Moss and Orakpo tough out injuries to stay on the field.  Same goes with Keiland Williams.  This team showed a lot of character and I really thought that the short week helped us rather than hurt us  since it gave the team less time to think about the humiliation of Monday Night. Add to the fact that we were without Landry and Rogers and there’s no disputing that the ‘Skins willed themselves to victory.

What happens with injuries will play a big part in where we go from here.  Initial word is that McIntosh, Landry and Rogers could all be out next week. Who knows about Portis and the dudes on the o-line looked  pretty hurt. An awful looking, but talented Minnesota team is coming into D.C. this upcoming week and the Redskins should have a chance to pick up another win, but with this team, you never know, you really never, ever know.

But that’s for another day.  Today is to revel in a victory and at least in some small way, we get begin to wash out the awful taste we have had in our mouths since Halloween.

Double vision: Hoyas looked great in throttling N.C. State.  Maybe I under-estimated them a little.  Our front court is getting better and has more of a presence.

Triple vision: I could get more into the Wizards tough loss tonight against Detroit, but I’m too tired.  It was there to be had, but we let it slip away.  Too bad. I thought we had a chance to pull off a few games in a row.

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