Browsing all articles tagged with Drew Brees
Dec
5

Five Reasons why the Redskins can't Win against the Saints

Matt may be a little too optimistic about the Skins chances with his latest article, but back here on Planet Earth the Skins have about as much chance of beating the Saints as the Detroit Lions did. Not to say I wouldn’t love an upset, I’ll be cheering for one, but I’m not delusional.

5. Injuries On Friday’s injury report both teams listed a number of players. The Saints outweigh the Skins in quantity, but not impact. A healthy Skins team would have trouble against the much better Saints; without playmakers on offense (Portis, Sellers) and defense (Hall, Haynesworth), the Skins will barely be able to hang on.

4. The Big Play The Redskins D has been susceptible to the Big Play all year. Last week it seemed like every Eagles receiver was able to get open at least once 20 yards downfield.  In the Redskins most recent win against the Broncos on November 15th, star Denver receiver Brandon Marshall was left wide open twice for Touchdown catches- one for 75 yards and one for 40 yards.  The Saints  wideout Marques Colston is tied for first for the most catches of 20+ yards with fifteen. The Saints 2nd WR Devery Henderson has eleven. Even if the Skins can keep Drew Brees off the field for the majority of the game, the quick-strike ability of the Saints is too much.

3. Too many weapons The Saints simply have too many offensive weapons. With a secondary depleted by injuries it is unlikely that there is going to be much man coverage in the Skins defensive gameplan. The problem is that their have been breakdowns in the Skins zone coverage often in the past few games. The Skins defensive players either do not know their assignments or are not recognizing when players enter their coverage area quickly enough. Either way opposing teams are getting more wide open pass catching opportunities than should be seen in a professional game.

2. The Saints blitzes will overwhelm the O-Line The Redskins have had no consistency on the offensive line this year. This week Mike Williams is back in at Right Guard after Edwin Williams disappointed last week. Not that it matters, neither is a starting caliber Guard, and to be frank, neither is most of the present offensive line. Stephon Heyer is especially suspect. If he is beat  on a few blitz packages, he is likely to get jumpy and start committing false start penalties. The Saints D is going to be in Campbell’s face all day, and he is not going to be able to establish his rhythm.

1. The Two-Minute Drill Even if the Redskins can keep this game close by some miracle, they will find a way to lose. For two weeks straight the Redskins have squandered away slim leads. If the Redskins offense is put on the field to win the game late, it won’t. Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell have perfected the art of failing at a two minute drills. I think this is a combination of the fact that Zorn gets to call the plays for the two-minute drill and the Redskins offense has no audibles. The more I see Zorn coach the more I’m convinced he couldn’t call plays for PeeWee football. Campbell is then stuck with Zorn’s idiotic calls because he has no audibles. Campbell also has to stay more collected during high pressure situations, he too often does something stupid with too little time left.

It does not look great for the Redskins tomorrow, but like all Skins fans I’ll be hoping for a Miracle.

Dec
3

Five Reasons the Redskins can Win against the Saints

The Washington Redskins lost another heartbreaker on Sunday to the Philadelphia Eagles, 27-24.  For the second straight week, the Redskins were unable to win with the lead going into the 4th quarter.  As a Skins fan, when the Redskins were held to a field goal late in the 4th, you knew it wasn’t going to end well.  That’s when Washington’s defense faltered again late in the game.  Last week it was Dallas, this week it was Philadelphia.

Could it get any worse for the Redskins right now; with starters on offense falling like flies and losing to divisional rivals in painful fashion for two straight weeks?

Why, yes.  Yes it could, the undefeated New Orleans Saints are coming to town.

Even though the situation seems bleak right now, the Redskins actually could pull out a win against New Orleans this weekend at FedEx Field.  Here are five reasons to stay hopeful on Sunday:

5. The Redskins won against a very good Saints team last year, 29-24. Mind you, our offensive line wasn’t so patchwork then as it is now, but our defense actually matched up pretty well against them.  This year, the Saints have come close to losing to the Miami Dolphins and the St. Louis Rams (oh don’t we know the feeling…) but have absolutely obliterated NFC East Opponents 96-49 (the Giants and Eagles).  Looking back at the Rams game, the Saints are beatable and the Skins may be able to finish what St. Louis couldn’t.

4.  The Skins should know what Gregg Williams, Defensive Coordinator of the New Orleans Saints will be doing against them. Besides the fact that Gregg Williams will be attempting to crush his former team, Washington should know what his plan will be: to blitz.  It will happen early, often, and probably always.  The Skins defense knows how much Williams loves to bring the pressure, especially with a lead and Washington should know the types of blitzes that Williams will employ better than anyone.  Hopefully that turns into good preparation for the Skins.

3. The Skins defense is #7 in the league right now, and #1 against the pass (but an atrocious 25th against the run).  Everyone knows that the Saints offense flows through Drew Brees (27 touchdowns, only 9 interceptions).  The Skins’ pass rush may be able to hurt  Brees’ rhythm and timing.  Obviously, this theory only holds if Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall play.

2. Jason Campbell and the offensive line seem to be improving and are now working well together. The last two weeks the Skins rotating offensive line has only given up 2 sacks (1 against Dallas and 1 against Philadelphia).  Campbell last week was releasing his passes much quicker than he had earlier this year.  Whether this is because he’s got his rhythm now or because he’s paranoid his head will get knocked off (like it almost did on the last play of the game against Philly last week), the results have been positive.  This would seem to be just in time for Gregg Williams and his blitz-happy schemes coming to town.

Also, worth noting is that the “young three”: Fred Davis, Devin Thomas, and Malcolm Kelly are getting more action and have started contributing on offense.  Against Dallas they combined for 6 catches for 93 yards and against Philly, 10 catches for 139 yards.

1. The weather could get ugly, which would favor an NFC East team. The Eagles and Giants would have had a much better chance if it had been on their turf at this time of the year, rather than in a dome or before the elements come into play.  The forecast for this weekend has the game at the low 40′s and it could get dirty out there on the field.  If it is windy, cold, rainy, it will slow down the high-powered, built for indoors scoring machine offense of the Saints.  If Rock Cartwright and Quinton Ganther get their game going early, it will help the Skins keep Brees off the field as well.

Later, I will post five reasons why the Skins won’t win against the Saints.

Other Local Links & Happenings:

Jarrett Carter writes about something that will cross every Washington fan while the game is being played on Sunday, “Why wasn’t it Gregg Williams?!”.  What Would Gibbs Do?  Williams would have been the hire, we don’t know what would have happened but I’m pretty sure it would be better than what’s going on now.

Earl Boykins helped the Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks, 102-104 last night.  How exciting is this guy?!  His final move to win the game and beat Brandon Jennings was incredibly savvy.  The Wizards have won 4 of their last 5, by the way.  Here are some highlights (Also, Brandon Jennings is the real deal.)

Sep
10

NFC Predictions part 2, Matt's Picks

Mark, that post… one word… DYNAMIC. But I don’t think you’re what you used to be… just kidding.

I would disagree with some of your picks, let’s start with the most important and most competitive division, the NFC EAST.

NFC EAST

1. Philadelphia Eagles

2. Washington Redskins

3. New York Giants

4. Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles are coming off a successful season and playoff performance. They went 9 and 6 last year and will have new options on offense with Michael Vick involved and DeSean Jackson in his second year. The Defense definitely will have a difficult time adjusting to the losses of Brian Dawkins at free safety and the late Jim Johnson as their defensive coordinator. But, they still have playmakers and by mid-season I think the defense will be the third best in the NFC East.

The ‘Skins have made a big investment into Haynesworth and with the drafting of Orakpo they have two players that get to the quarterback like me trying to get to a pizza hut buffet (love those). In theory, the addition of Haynesworth will draw double teams and allow other lineman such as Andre Carter and Philip Daniels to make more plays on the quarterback, which in turn will create more turnover opportunities for the secondary and linebackers. We’ll see if that’s what happens (I think it will).

The ‘Skins offense was the primary problem last year, but with Derrick Dockery coming back after his time in Buffalo and  along with the development of Malcolm Kelly and Campbell’s second year in the offense, we’re going to see more big plays. The Redskins and Jim Zorn are more committed to throwing the ball downfield this year which should free up more lanes for Clinton Portis with less men stacked up on the line.

While the Giants lost Plaxico Burress and Derrick Ward they picked up Chris Canty on defense and have a healthy Osi Umenyora this year. Remember in the NFC East, defenses can and often do carry the day. The Giants’ defensive line is deep and will keep the Giants in games, even though Eli Manning doesn’t have Plax to throw to. Also, the Giants have 7 WR’s on their 53 man roster. I can’t imagine them not being able to find someone to contribute. Whether it’s Hakeem Nicks the rookie, or Sinorice Moss, someone will step up and make plays for Manning and Coughlin.

The Cowboys are the ones that should be at the bottom of this list. T.O. was definitely a locker room problem but he also was a problem for opposing defenses. Had he lost a step last year? Probably. Drops? Lots. But losing a big, strong, still fast, physical receiver like Owens without having a replacement hurts Romo more than I think it hurts Eli Manning. Romo and the Cowboys running game is a bit more spotty than the Giants, with Barber providing some occasional big games but overall not really consistent. Wade Phillips is still one of the most incompetent coaches in the NFL with Jerry Jones as the most meddlesome and detrimental outside the city limits of Oakland. That means Cowboys struggle this year and questions about Tony Romo will be a major theme throughout the last half of the season.

NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers

2. Minnesota Vikings

3.Chicago Bears

4. Detroit Lions

Aaron Rodgers is supposedly the next big thing as long as Ryan Grant stays healthy. I’ll buy that. Honestly, it’s a toss up for me between Minny and GB. Favre has the most amazing running back the league has seen in years and will have less pressure to win games by himself, but I still think they’ll have some problems this year with some untimely picks late in games (such as in NY when his shoulder was bothering him. Who knows if it will even hold up the whole year?).

Cutler is overrated and doesn’t have anyone to really throw to. Hester? There are only so many WR screens and quick slants that you can do in a game, right? I think Spurrier showed us that. I kind of just take joy out of putting Cutler and the Bears down here since it will be fun to see him blame everyone else this year.

Detroit is going to be better than last year (I know it’s tough to improve on perfection) but with a rookie qb, it’ll be difficult to take out their division opponents. I hope Jansen has a stellar year there though, their O-line will surely benefit from that pickup at least.

NFC West

1.San Francisco 49ers

2. Arizona Cardinals

3. Seattle Seahawks

4. St. Louis Rams

This is a shocker pick, I know. But San Fran is going to squeak out some wins this year and even though they are a young team, they have guts because of their coach. Singletary will be able to get Vernon Davis this year to play like he’s supposed to and if the qb situation can stay stable with Hill, his development begins. Frank Gore is still a force, and the ability to run the ball is what puts them over Arizona in my book.

As for Arizona, I love them but I don’t know if Kurt Warner will be able to go the whole year healthy. Who knows if Boldin can keep it together, too. If he can’t, you’ll see doubles on the human highlight machine that is Larry Fitzgerald. I’m not saying he can’t beat them, but it’ll be tougher unless Arizona develops a running game with either Hightower or their rookie back Wells (I know the hype on him is huge, but I’m not convinced till I see it in the regular season against the pro’s).

I don’t have much different to add to Mark’s comments on St. Louis and Seattle. Seattle added Edgerrin James this offseason so, we’ll see if that helps their running game but the only thing it shows me is that it’s a bit crowded and they must not have much confidence in Julius Jones to add him.

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Carolina Panthers

3. Atlanta Falcons

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Drew Brees is one of the most accurate quarterbacks of the league and overall one its most consistent players also. I’m a huge fan of  his. Players like Colston and Bush coming back from injury will clearly help and I think Shockey will finally have a breakout year again. I think the main difference with the Saints this year though is going to be their hiring of Gregg “double G” Williams for the defensive coordinator position. The Saints have been held back by pathetic D while Brees has been in town, and this year it should START to turn around.

Carolina, if healthy will beat Atlanta in this spot. Now, what’s the chance Carolina stays healthy? Not very good. If Donovan McNabb were a team, he’d be the Panthers probably.  But, Mark and I have to have some different picks right? I know Atlanta has Tony Gonzalez this year, an excellent running option with Turner but Carolina’s D > Atlanta’s D. Tampa is rebuilding, has a new coach and a lot of work to do till it gets back to when Dungy formed it as a super bowl contender (when Gruden took over).

Playoffs?!

1. Philadelphia Eagles

2. New Orleans Saints

3. San Francisco (or Arizona)

4. Green Bay

5. Washington 

6. Minnesota

What are your thoughts?  Who do you think will be a surprise in the NFC?  Who do you think wins the NFC [B]EAST?