Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Redskins Defense Of Your Fantasy Dreams

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 24: Matt Forte  of the Chicago Bears is dropped by London Fletcher  of the Washington Redskins at Soldier Field on October 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Redskins defeated the Bears 17-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Repeat after me: The NFL's lowest ranked defense does not mean the NFL's worst defense. The Washington Redskins defense is suddenly the hot fantasy football play.
The Redskins are the fifth-best fantasy defense according to ESPN.com's fantasy scoring rank. Washington's D has 71 fantasy points after seven weeks. Washington was the second-best fantasy defense for week seven, thanks toDeAngelo Hall's heroics in Chicago. The Redskins scored 23 fantasy points, trailing the top ranked Cleveland Browns by a single point.
Only Chris Cooley approaches that achievement for the offense. Cooley is the seventh best scoring tight end on ESPN's fantasy ranking.
Read the rest of this story at Redskins Hog Heaven....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Root For Dallas?

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 8:  Host Nicole Richie and Napoleon Dynamite speak on stage at The 2004 Teen Choice Awards held at Universal Amphitheater on August 8, 2004 in Universal City, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

I've never been able to watch more than 15 minutes of the movie Napoleon Dynamite so I never got as far as the Vote for Pedro scenes in the movie. Napoleon Dynamite has some sort of cult following and those who enjoy it strike me as odd.
The Dallas Cowboys have some sort of cult following and fans of the team strike me as, um, heathen savages. It's so odd that I will be cheering for the Cowboys (1-4) against the New York Giants (4-2) tonight.
The Redskins intercepted their way in Chicago to a 4-3 record. If the Giants lose to the Cowboys, the Beast will be knotted in a three-way tie for first place, with the 'Boys a game and a-half behind.
The Giants are playing as if they are serious about winning the conference. They sacked Jay Cutler nine times in the first half of the Chicago game, a 17-3 win, but have yet to face a Beast team.
The Giants are ranked seventh in the Bloguin.com NFL Week 6 Power Poll. The talented but inept Cowboys are ranked 26th in the same poll.
In the idealized world of sports competition, the better teams win out. The Redskins need work, so any back door help is appreciated. I don't want the 'Skins to chase the Giants before they face them on December 5. New York plays Dallas twice and Philadelphia once before then.
Washington already has wins against Dallas and Philadelphia. A division loss by New York helps the cause. It won't hurt the Eagles or Cowboys, either. The best chance for a Giants division loss is tonight in Dallas, or November 21 at The Linc in Philly.
So just for tonight, I'm for Dallas even though it will feel as odd as watching Napoleon Dynamite. I'm going to do it alone, in the dark, very quietly with beer.
If the Cowboys win, I'll vote for Pedro. I promise.

Washington Less Sloppy Than Chicago, Beat Bears 17-14

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 24: DeAngelo Hall  returns an interception 92 yards for a touchdown against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on October 24, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Redskins defeated the Bears 17-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Every win is a good win, even the ugly ones. The Washington Redskins 17-14, um, beatdown of the Chicago Bears is as butt-ugly good as any win we'll see this season. The worst that can be said is that neither team played well enough to win a playoff game.
Lets save those thoughts for another post.
The thinking around here is that the defense is the stronger part of the team and that the defense would carry the offense until McNabb and company jells. Thus, Washington's last placed defense through six games is asked to cover for a top-ten offense.
If you are a regular reader of Redskins Hog Heaven, you know that last place defense doesn't mean the worst defense. The NFL ranks teams by yards. Yardage doesn't tell you enough about a team.
The Redskins had the 10th best defense in yards last season, yet they were hardly the 10th best defense. Washington snagged 11 interceptions in 16 games, scored no defensive points, and finished with 12 losses in 2009.
This year, the 'Skins have eight interceptions in seven games, five by DeAngelo Hall, four of those Sunday against the Bears. Washington has scored defensive touchdowns on an interception return and a fumble recovery, both by Hall.
So stop the hand wringing about last place in yardage and bask in the disruption of opponent's scoring drives. With that, I tip my hat to Hall. At last, his performance is worth the money.
To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grief and Albert Haynesworth

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 02: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth  of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The writers at Redskins Hog Heaven figured the Washington Redskins for seven or eight wins this season. The Redskins are on that pace. The only surprise is the three teams they actually beat
The scenario  we envisioned for the Redskins to break out to nine or more wins involved Albert Haynesworth and tonight's opponent, the Indianapolis Colts.
This is the last round of weekend games before the NFL trading deadline on October 19. What better time for Big Al and Mike Shanahan to work together on the outcome they both seem to want--Albert elsewhere. Both have been saying all the right things lately. That can be interpreted as talking up Haynesworth's trade value.
A great showing tonight might brand Haynesworth enough as a "must have" player that some GM might kick in the draft picks Washington needs to restock the team. GMs will just sit on their hands otherwise and wait out the Redskins who may release Haynesworth next season.
Haynesworth suffered a death in his family. He took bereavement leave from the team and did not return until Thursday. People deal with death in ways unique to themselves. We don't know how Big Al is coping. Whether he plays or not is a game time decision and it's likely his decision.
Working your craft while dealing with death is incredibly difficult. If you are my age, you've been through it. If you have, then you know what must be going through Big Al's head today. If you are under 40, just sit tight. Your day is coming.
To over-simplify the point, one can cope by withdrawing from work, or throwing oneself into it. If Haynesworth's head is not in tonight's game, he should remove himself without any comment or finger pointing from the peanut gallery.
Sports teams are entertainers and losses suffered by NFL players are very public. Its affect can take strange turns in the locker room. Look no further than what happened at FedEx Field December 2, 2007.

to see the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

No Fear Of Payton Manning and the Colts by the Redskins

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 03: Head coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins looks on against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 3, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Redskins Hog Heaven's preseason guess at the Washington Redskins final record was seven or eight wins. As gratifying as is Washington's 3-2 start, neither that record nor the Redskins middle-of-the-pack performance should cause visions of sugarplums this Christmas. The Redskins will be closer to 4-4 by midpoint of the season than to six or seven wins.
But hey, an eight win season is the benchmark of success for new coaches. Check the list of head coaches who finished 8-8 in their first year:

Joe Gibbs, Washington, 1981
Mike Ditka, Chicago, 1983 (First full season)
Marty Schottenheimer, Cleveland (4-4), 1984
Marty Schottenheimer, Cleveland, 1985
Marty Schottenheimer, Kansas City, 1989
Mike Shanahan, Denver, 1995
Marty Schottenheimer, Washington, 2001
Marty Schottenheimer, San Diego, 2002
Jim Zorn, Washington, 2008
The list is not exhaustive, and yes, you could call it the Marty and those other guys list. An eight-win season would be an accomplishment for Mike Shanahan. A win over defending conference champion Indianapolis Colts would cause everybody to rewrite their season projections to nine-plus wins for Shanny and the 'Skins.
To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven....

Biggest Contest Between Donovan McNabb and Peyton Manning Is On Paper, Not On The Field

INDIANAPOLIS - OCTOBER 22:  Quarterback Payton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts points at the line of scrimmage during the NFL game against the Washington Redskins on October 22, 2006 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 26-22. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

When I was very young, back in the last century, I had a contest with my friend. We were about to make our first jump into the deep end of the swimming pool. The pre-jump dialog was something like "you go first." "No, you go first." "No,you go first."
The most interesting contest between Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb won't be on the field when the Indianapolis Colts visit the Washington Redskins. The contest is who is first to sign a contract extension. Both McNabb and Manning are in the last year of their current NFL deals.
I can envision the text exchange between Manning and McNabb. You first. No, you first.

To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven....

NFL May Throw Brett Favre For A Loss Before The Redskins Do

New York Jets Brett Favre remains on the ground after a play in the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on December 28, 2008. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 24-17 and win the AFC East. (UPI Photo/John Angelillo) Photo via Newscom Photo via Newscom

The Minnesota Vikings play the Redskins at FedEx Field on November 28. The Washington Redskins never beat Brett Favre when he was with the Green Bay Packers. Should they be worried now that he is with the Vikings?

They may not need to. The NFL may sack Favre before he gets here.

In what may be another case of jocks behaving badly, sports-comedy web site Deadspin.com broke the story that good ol' boy Brett may have sexted hottie Jenn Sterger when both were employed by the New York Jets, Favre as the team's savior-quarterback and Sterger as the team's "GAMEDAY Host."

Favre supposedly texted suggestive invitations to Sterger that might have included revealing images of Favre's masculinity. Deadspin makes clear that Sterger was not the source of the stories, or of the voice recordings and images in their possession.

Typical twenty-something male readers of sports blogs will laugh at all this. We at Redskins Hog Heaven sometimes focus on the business of sports. From that angle, this story is more serious than you might guess.

Lawsuit serious.

To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jason Campbell, Todd Collins Named Ex-Redskins Of The Week

Sep 19, 2010; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterbacks Kyle Boller (7), Jason Campbell (8), center Jared Veldheer (69) and receiver Louis Murphy (18) watch on the sidelines during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Rams 16-14. Photo via Newscom

Ex-Redskins Of The Week: Jason Campbell, Quarterback, Oakland Raiders
Jason Campbell came off the bench in the second half to lead touchdown drives of 93 and 73 yards for the Raiders in the win against the San Diego Chargers. Campbell was benched in the second game of the season in favor of back-up Bruce Gradkowski. Gradkowski suffered a shoulder injury mid-way in the game. Campbell in relief competed 13 of 18 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. Oakland's win snapped a 13 game losing streak to the Chargers.
Ex-Redskins Of The Weak: Todd Collins, Quarterback, Chicago Bears
To see the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Whoda Thunk It? Redskins Over Packers 16-13

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is hit by Washington Redskins Brian Orakpo after throwing the ball in the second half of their NFL game in Landover, Maryland, October 10, 2010.   REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Woop! The Washington Redskins beat the Green Bay Packers. This is no time to nitpick. It's time to celebrate.
We'll have more of our Redskins Hog Heaven thoughtful analysis early this week. For now, here are a few first impressions.
There are real concerns about the offensive line once you get past the starters. You knew that already. The line held up, um, ok, in the few plays when both Trent Williams and Jammal Brown were out. It worked for today, but could have been worse. Please don't make me watch that again.
The Redskins offense looked a lot better with Packers linebacker Clay Matthews out of the game. One "gets" the 3-4 defense by watching the Packers. The Packers defensive linemen pushed the Redskins linemen around far too much, giving Matthews shots at McNabb and the backfield. The Redskins' 3-4 did pretty much the same to the Packers; four sacks.
Is there anything Lorenzo Alexander can't do? Next time I buy a Redskins jersey, it's going to be an Alexander.
Read the rest of this story at Redskins Hog Heaven.

Friday, October 08, 2010

How Donovan McNabb Is Like Barack Obama

The South Portico of the White House in Washington, D.C. is seen from the motorcade on Friday, October 1, 2010.  UPI/Ron Sachs/POOL Photo via Newscom

Both Donovan McNabb's and Barack Obama's arrived in Washington amidst high hopes, great fanfare, greater expectations and enormous curiosity in the rest of the country about how their stories would play out.
No matter the success of either man in DC, they are bound to disappoint. It would take magic for McNabb or Obama to do all the things their fans expect of them.
To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven.

Monday, October 04, 2010

McNabb vs. Vick Missed The Point. Sunday's Game Was About Snyder vs. Reid.

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 03: Donovan McNabb  of the Washington Redskins meets with head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles after their game on October 3, 2010 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Redskins defeated the Eagles 17-12. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

All that hype about McNabb vs. Vick when the Washington Redskins visited the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday was just to sell tickets. Quarterbacks don't face against each other. They face defenses.

Sunday's more cogent contest was Daniel Snyder vs. Andy Reid. Snyder and Reid follow opposite paths to build a football roster. Both made significant changes to their rosters this year. Both followed their unique approach. The finished products were both on display at Lincoln Financial Field Sunday.

Andy Reid: Cycle players, conserve the cap, and build for today and tomorrow

The Eagles' approach under Reid couldn't be more different from Snyder's. They trade players for draft picks, and then use those picks to restock the team. Philadelphia had 13 picks in the 2010 NFL Draft, including the second round pick acquired from Washington for Donovan McNabb. The Redskins had six picks and are looking at four in the 2011 Draft.

Why on Earth would the Eagles trade Donovan McNabb?

To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven.

Brandon Lloyd, Todd Collins Named Ex-Redskins of the Week

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 03: Brandon Lloyd  of the Denver Broncos dives for extra yardage against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on October 3, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. Denver won 26-20. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Without fanfare, Lloyd emerged as the NFL's No. 2 wide receiver after four games with 454 yards on 25 receptions.

To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven.

Hi. We're From Washington and We're here To Beat You. Redskins Surprise Eagles 17-12

Philadelphia Eagles quarter back Kevin Kolb dodges Washington Redskins cornerback Phillip Buchanon during third quarter Philadelphia Eagles-Washington Redskins game action in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field October 3, 2010. Kolb replaced Michael Vick who was injured in the first quarter. Washington defeated Philadelphia 17-12.   UPI/John Anderson Photo via Newscom

It turns out that the best defense against Michael Vick is to knock him out of the game. Vick left in the first quarter of the Washington Redskins-Philadelphia Eagles contest after being crunched by CB DeAngelo Hall and Kareem Moore.
Vick's injury came after a 23-yard scamper to the Redskins one-yard line. It was vintage Vick. His elusiveness still strikes fear whenever he plays. But this time, a holding call wiped out a game changing play. The penalty reset the Eagles down and distance to third down-16 yards on Washington's 34 with the birds down by 14.
The Eagles could do no better than a David Akers field goal. It was not enough to change the course of the game.
To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Redskins Re-sign Banks, Waive K. Williams

The Washington Redskins re-signed wide receiver Brandon Banks to the roster this afternoon. The team released running back Keiland Williams to make room.
Mike Shanahan continues to tinker with the roster. It's interesting that he added a wide receiver, the shakiest group on offense. Banks, 5-7 and 150 pounds, caught eight passes for 129 yards during preseason. He averaged 15.4 yards per punt return.
Williams appeared in three games this season and seemed to be a receiving option out of the backfield. He caught six passes for 29 yards.
Also posted to Redskins Hog Heaven.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Matt Mosley: Michael Vick to Struggle Against Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid (L) talks with quarterback Michael Vick during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Jacksonville, Florida September 26, 2010. REUTERS/Daron Dean (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Matt Moseley, the NFC East blogger for ESPN.com has a hunch that Michael Vick will struggle against the Washington Redskins this Sunday. Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles fans might have a hard time buying that after watching the Skins stumble against Sam Bradford and the Rams last Sunday.
Moseley says the Redskins will force Vick to scramble. That sounds like a bad idea to me. Vick is at his most dangerous when he's running. Here's how Moseley described in his Final Word post Washington's approach to defending Vick:
"I think [Jim Haslett] will have a defensive back spying on Vick at all times. He has told his players to get their hands up earlier than usual in an attempt to disrupt Vick's rhythm. The Eagles' quarterback looked brilliant against the Lions and Jaguars, but those teams did a poor job containing him. The Redskins will try to lure Vick into throwing the ball across his body...."
To read the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven.

Redskins Plunge in Bloguin Power Poll

ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 26: Clinton Portis  of the Washington Redskins is tackled against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on September 26, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Redskins 30-16. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The Washington Redskins dropped to 22nd place on the Bloguin NFL Power Poll following their 30-16 loss to the St. Louis Rams. The Skins were ranked 15th last week.
Washington's loss to St. Louis, the second in their last three games with the Rams, was unsettling if only because of defensive breakdowns. Defense has been a Redskins strength. The players are still adapting to Jim Haslett's schemes as shown by individual breakdowns. The Rams two touchdown runs were the result of whiffs by safety Kareem Moore who played his first game of the season following an injury.

To see the rest of this story, go to Redskins Hog Heaven.