Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Redskins - Broncos Draft Bowl

Hmmm, the Broncos get a first round draft choice next year as part of the deal that enabled the Redskins to draft Jason Campbell. The value of that pick goes down as the Skins' record go up. Beating Washington is the one chance for Denver to preserve the worth of their pick! You could call this the Draft Bowl.

The pun would be that the Redskins have a real "uphill battle" playing in Mile High/Invesco Field. The Broncs are tough at home and this is one of the games I figured Washington would lose. I would not be surprised to see them win. This team is dramatically better than last year and not just because of Mark Brunell. They do make fewer mistakes with him and are less likely to beat themselves. That's big. They get the ball downfield successfully and more often. Defenses will begin to respect that sooner or later. I don't think they they do just yet.

To win today, the Redskins defense must stop that running game; keep Anderson and company under 100 yards and no touchdowns. That puts the game in Jake Plummer's hands. Keep Plummer in the pocket -- no scrambles. They pass less effectively than they run and you want to make them win with their weakest weapon. That means more coverage and less blitzing. A 3 - 4 defensive set could be a nice surprise. This brings LaVar Arrington in the defense and they could cover better, relieving pressure on rookie CB Carlos Rogers. Actually, I'm not sure about Arrington. He's supposed to be the fifth linebacker on the depth chart. Wha?

I think Denver's defense will continue to stack the line. Teams are still more afraid of Clinton Portis than Santana Moss. You just know Portis want to burn it up today. Teams are still in a "prove it to me" mode when it comes to the Redskins passing game. Champ Bailey, if he plays, will be trouble for Santana Moss. So the middle and short passing routes could be critical. The Skins showed more of it last week against Seattle. That was a pleasant surprise, but the Broncos were watching, too. If the Redskins can be effective with Chris Cooley, David Patten or James Thrash early, maybe Portis or Moss can bust a big one.

"The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet." Daymon Runyon. Today, Daymon would put his money on the Broncos. And yet, . . . .

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