Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 1: Giants 23 - Redskins 17: Knee Jerk Reactions

Football season is finally upon us! The hair pulling, TV-screaming, remote control throwing and furious cigarette smoking has finally commenced. Before I let rationality cloud my judgment, here are my knee-jerk reactions from the first game of the season:

-DeAngelo Hall is garbage. Not just overrated, but noticeably bad at football. He got schooled all day by the likes of the other Steve Smith and he tackles like a fourth grader. You can't tell me the 'Skins aren't better off with 47-year-old Shawn Springs for 10 games a season.

-Smoot is losing it. This makes me sad. The Manningham TD was unacceptable.

-I've been on the fence about Laron Landry for the past year now, what with his knuckleheaded off the field behavior (snubbing signings and fans) and often on-the-field knuckleheaded behavior. Today did not help sway me to the positive side. Missed tackles, idiotic penalties...he needs to rein it in and soon.

-The Giants are built from their lines out. Their O-Line gives Eli all day to throw, and it's why a QB with his marginal abilities can get it done with marginal RBs and WRs. The three times the 'Skins actually hurried him? Sack, fumble, interception, and one 15 yard completion. Meanwhile the Giants D-line is a handful. Besides the opening run, Portis had nothing all day. Vinny Cerrato, please take notes.

-When your starting wideouts combine for 3 catches and 12 yards, you're not going to win.

-Campbell had an awful game. The forward-pass interception was bone-headed, the fumble was careless, and he missed some guys. Was Malcolm Kelly really NEVER open?

-The much-maligned O-line held their own against the Giants for the most part.

-ARE, who I thought I hated after his poor decision making on the end-around option, turned it around and was our best offensive player all day. He belongs in the slot.

-Zorn made some gutsy calls (the end around option, the fake FG), but mostly timid ones. What ever happened to throwing down the field?

-If the 'Skins want to do anything this year, the D needs to be better with the game on the line in the 4th.

-The offense is, overall, exactly the same as it was in the second half of last year: limited. Run left, dink and dunk, Cooley over the middle, one deep bomb attempt a game. It's a formula for, I don't know, 17-ish points per game.

-CAMPBELL. SHOTGUN. CAMPBELL. SHOTGUN. CAMPBELL. SHOTGUN. CAMPBELL. SHOTGUN. If I don't hear those two words at least 20 times a game from the announcers, I will be an angry man.

-While we're at it, let's try the hurry up earlier in the game, no? Yes, the Giants were in the prevent, but Campbell looks comfortable when he is in a rhythm like that. I like what JC does when he is comfortable, don't you?

-Orakpo was quiet.

-Fletcher is a tackling machine. 11 solo, 7 assists, a pass defended. If he gets hurt, call it a season.

-Big Al did what he got paid to do.

Mostly bad things happened today. But it's just one game, against a Super Bowl contender, in their house, on opening day. It could have been worse. Some might say it should have been, and the score doesn't really reflect how easily the Giants dominated this game.

More analysis to follow from the rest of the DCLS crew.


  1. This game was almost a carbon copy of last year's opener.

  2. Is it too late to place Orakpo back at Defensive End? Can we be the team that starts a gimmick? Can we play the 5-2? It's pretty apparent that London Fletcher is by far the best player on our team and can almost man all three line backer positions himself. Rocky can successfully play the other linebacker, but we have NO fucking pass rush. With Orakpo lost, why have him at linebacker when he could be a great rusher? We really would rather play Phillip Daniels? I can't believe he has held a starting job for such a long time, when he never should have been a starter EVER. Our D-line could be great on paper. Haynesworth is the best in the game or one of the, Carter can easily rack-up double digit sacks, Orakpo could too and Griffin is a very good DT. Why then are we not taking advantage of this talent?

    In defense of Landry, he looked boneheaded early on, but actually did make some plays later in the game. Rogers also looked solid. I also think that Hall was going to have a bad game and will get better. He played out of his mind last year when he joined our team and forgot that he had something to prove after being cut from the lowly Raiders. I would not be surprised if he played with more discipline and stepped up his game again. I also wouldn't be surprised if he continued to suck at his job, get lucky picks that someone else forced and made the pro-bowl because of stats.

    I couldn't agree more about the offense. Randle El is a slot man and one of the best in football when placed in that position. Why not take Moss out of the line-up a couple of plays and throw in Marko Mitchell, toss it high up in the air and pray. I am just really confused. Our best plays were tricks or luck. It's sad.

    One good run by Portis. Since week 8 of last year, he has forgotten that it's important to look for the holes, not the wall of players in front of him. The best our team has looked at running in the past 5 years is not the first half of last year was when Betts played full time for Portis 3 years ago and racked up 1,100 yards in about 1/2 the season.

    Oh, and are Rock Cartwright and Betts really the best kick returners we have? DeAngelo can't do that?

    It was painful to watch. Like really, really painful.

    Back to Orakpo. In the past 10 years we could possibly ruin the careers of 2 of our most athletic defensive players. First, trying to make Lavar a position guy then move him to D-Line occasionally. Now, the reverse for Orakpo. Fuck.

  3. Let's understand something, too. Portis had 16 carries for 62 yards, which is just under the four yards-per-carry threshold. One of those carries was for 34 yards.

    Take that away: 15 carries, 28 yards.

    Yes, the Giants D-line is tough to run against, but 1.8 yards per carry is simply unacceptable.

    //cue 'Portis is washed up' rant

  4. I feel like that was the point I was trying to make, without all the mathy shit. I believe if you looked at his second half of last year stats, something similar would show up.

    Also, the O-Line, including the consistently overrated Samuels is not productive. Maybe, just maybe, they played a tenacious Giants defense that is unblockable. But, both running and passing seem to be major o-line issues.

  5. Regarding Samuels: It sure seems that way, however Football Outsiders made a fairly compelling argument the other way on Homer McFanboy last week:

    What happened to the time-tested, Gibbs-favored strategy of running behind Big Randy Thomas?

  6. What happened is Randy Thomas got old and slow, and Heyer is an average run blocker at best. The 'Skins run to the left, or not at all.

    As for the Portis average...He averaged 3.5 ypc in the second half of last season, and it wasn't completely the O-line's fault, though perhaps a bit. Is it just me, or is he barrelling head first into a dog pile every time instead of looking to bounce it outside once in a while?

  7. It's not just you. It's almost like Portis is blind, or at least runs with his eyes closed. Even when he does break free and find the hole, he simply does not have the speed or elusiveness he once had. He doesn't make anyone miss.

    I am a big believer that there are only a few great running backs, most are good and then some just don't have it. When I say a few great, I mean all time. Maybe there is one in the league at a time, max two or three. Portis is not and never has been one of those great guys. In Denver, they had a running scheme where anyone can be successful, Portis was just better than average at the time. When he has set Redskins rushing records which all average the RB at less than 100 yards a game for a season, it's because he has also broken records for carries in a season. In the process, he has obliterated records for most times where he closes his eyes, runs and prays that he makes it into the end zone. Oh, and did I mention. He's not funny.

  8. Easy on the Portis bashing, that's my boy.


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