Browsing all articles tagged with New Orleans Saints
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
12

NFL 2009 Season Predicitons – Playoffs and Super Bowl (Mark)

Alright. Matt and I have both given our regular season picks.  Now, time to look even further into the future and predict the playoffs!

NFC

Wild Card-Round (Seeds in parentheses winner bolded)

Packers (6) at Cardinals (3)

Playing warm weather will allow Arizona’s offense to keep rolling.

Redskins (5) at Saints (4)

The ‘Skins great D will be able to slow Drew Brees and the Saints down enough for a win.

Divisional Round

Redskins at Cowboys (1)

This will be an upset, but it should not be surprising. The ‘Boys just never get it done in the playoffs.

Cardinals at Vikings (2)

Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson will be able to put up some big numbers at home against a weak D. Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald will try to keep the Cards in the game, but it won’t be enough.

Championship Game

Redskins at Vikings

Right now the Vikings look like a more complete team than the Redskins. And Favre is going to want win. Badly. He’ll make it happen.

AFC

Wild-Card Round

Ravens (6) at Titans (3)

The Ravens have a great team but the Titans team is a beast and has the talent to go all the way. The Ravens are not quite at that level yet.

Colts (5) at Broncos (4)

The Broncos will be the weakest division winner this year. Peyton Manning will get it done on the road against a defense that is still rebuilding.

Divisional Round

Colts at Steelers (1)

Without Tony Dungy to coach him anymore I predict that Manning will find Pittsburgh D too much to take.

Titans at Patriots (2)

This  could be the most competitive game of the playoffs. Both teams have a chance of winning, but homefield advantage and a week to rest their players will give the Pats the upper hand.

Championship Game

Patriots at Steelers

This will be a close, close game.  Mike Tomlin is a great coach with a Super Bowl win but Belichick is a great coach with three.  The Pats squeak a win out here.

Super Bowl

Patriots vs. Vikings

Brett Favre will finally get another Super Bowl win and retire for keeps (okay I admit part of this pick is simply me wanting that retire for keep thing to happen).  He has all the pieces he needs with the Vikes D and all day Adrian Peterson.  The Giants proved that Brady and the Pats can be beat in the big game. I think the Vikings are just going to want it more.

Sep
9

2009 NFL Season Predictions – The NFC (Mark)

Before each NFL season all the big sports publications and websites predict how they think the season will go. I almost always find at least one of their predictions crazy. So, I thought I would throw my hat in the ring this year and give my own predictions for the NFC.

I am not going to predict every game and I am not going to guess win-loss records.  I think that is where a lot of the crazier predictions stem from; trying to account for each game of the season.  Instead, I am simply going to present what I think the final NFC division standings will be and what teams will make it to the playoffs.

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys

2. Washington Redskins

3. New York Giants

4. Philadelphia Eagles

On paper, the Cowboys have the most talent in the division. With the Giants likely declining this season, they are in prime position to take the division. Even though they lost Terrell Owens this offseason, the offense can still be a top-15 unit.  They also made a few moves to improve their already impressive defense.

In Washington, the number 4 defense just got a whole lot better with the addition of Albert Haynesworth at defensive tackle and Brian Orakpo at outside linebacker.  Second year wideouts Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas started to show their potential this preseason. If they can prove they are not  draft busts and the offensive line can stay healthy this could be the year the ‘Skins offense finally clicks.

This season the Giants began their decline.  Without Plaxico Burress to throw to, Eli Manning will not be as successful.  The Giants also lost Derrick Ward to the Buccaneers.  That makes their running game weaker as well.  With the improvements in D.C. and Dallas, the Giants have been surpassed talent-wise.

The Eagles will not be able to compete with the rest of the NFC East. The other teams in the division are simply more talented.  For the Eagles to be successful, both Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook must stay healthy. Giving both players’ history, that is unlikely.

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Atlanta Falcons

3. Carolina Panthers

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Drew Brees led the best offense in the league last year. This year he gets running back Reggie Bush and wide receiver Marques Colston back from injury.  Even though the Saints have a tough schedule, their offense will be too much to take. Defense may win championships but a prolific offense will get you to the playoffs.

The Falcons exceeded expectations last year but this year they play a tougher schedule. Their inexperience is likely to show more.

The Panthers have all the potential with Jake Delhomme at QB, Steve Smith at wideout, and the dynamic running back tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.  Julius Peppers and Chris Gamble are both top performers who could lead the defense to a strong season performance. However, Carolina can never seem to put it all together.

Tampa is in a rebuilding year with a new coach and new quarterback.  Their defense is aging and not as fearsome as it once was.

NFC North

1. Minnesota Vikings

2. Green Bay Packers

3. Chicago Bears

4. Detroit Lions

The reasoning for this is simple.  Minnesota won this division last year.  This year Minnesota has the second easiest schedule in the league and Brett Favre has been added at QB.  Favre makes the Vikings receivers better instantly. Adrian Petersen is the best  running back in the league and Favre’s presence takes a lot of pressure off of him.

The Packers will finish behind the Vikings this year and be in the playoff hunt.  Aaron Rodgers is proving to quite a capable quarterback,  throwing for over 4,000 yards last year. He has two dangerous threats in Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.  If Rodgers continues to progress so will the Packers.

There has been a lot of noise about Jay Cutler coming to quarterback the Bears, but that ultimately does not solve the team’s problems.  They did nearly nothing to improve their below average defense and there are no true receiving threats on the team.

The Lions had the worst season in NFL history last season.  This year they have rookie QB and number of new defensive players. They almost have to improve this year, it would hard for them to get any worse. But they will not have improved enough to compete in this division.

NFC West

1. Arizona Cardinals

2. San Francisco 49ers

3. Seattle Seahawks

4. St. Louis Rams

The Arizona  Cardinals had a quite a playoff run last year and proved that they are one of the best teams in the league.  The defense may not be great but Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin will win the games for them. No one other team in the division is very good at all.

The 49ers will improve again this season. They still have an average defense , but the offense has some more potential this year. Shaun Hill finished out the season at QB last year and surprised everyone with his performance. This year Michael Crabtree joins Isaac Bruce and Josh Morgan at wideout. If the trio of receivers  can develop a nice chemistry with Hill they could have a surprisingly adept passing game. Frank Gore is a beast when healthy, if he can stay injury-free the Niners will have a formidable running game as well.

Many are predicting a drastic turnaround from the Seattle Seahawks but I do not see that happening. Matt Hasselback is not the quarterback he used to be healthy receivers or not.  Julius Jones may be improvement over last year’s running game but he does not compare to Shaun Alexander in his heyday. T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a nice pickup but now he is paired with Nate Burleson not Chad Ochocinco. It remains to be seen what he can do as the number one receiving threat.  They did make a few big moves to improve their awful defense but it is not going to make a significant jump.  In short, this team is not as good as the Seahawks that used to dominate NFC West and the rest of the division has gotten better.

The St. Louis Rams are in a bit of rebuilding year with new Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo.  They will not be improving much on  last year’s dismal record however. Quarterback Marc Bulger and Running Back Steven Jackson are not as dynamic as they once were. The Rams did not do enough in the offseason to immediately improve their terrible defense.

Playoff Seeds

1. Dallas Cowboys

2.  Minnesota Vikings

3. Arizona Cardinals

4. New Orleans Saints

5.  Washington Redskins

6.  Green Bay Packers