Tom Boswell doesn't have a chat scheduled this week so I wonder if I can ask you to pass along to him my appreciation for his Sunday column about the outcome of the Lincecum/Halladay pitching matchup in Philadelphia Saturday night. I mean, that first paragraph alone...somewhere Shirley Povich is reading what Boz wrote, and Shirley is smiling and applauding.
Boz is a stud. Phillies-Giants Saturday night, Skins Sunday night and Yankees tonight. I am exhausted just sitting next to him for a night. Stay tuned; I think he may chat this week but perhaps it isn't on the schedule yet. They might have been waiting to see how many other places he could turn up in before picking a time.
And good morning, everyone! Mr. Svrluga will join us and we'll talk Skins Skins Skins. Let's go...
What did you guys think of McNabb's decisons during the 2 minute drill? Taking a sack, throwing a terrible pass to a slow back and then a wild hail mary into double coverage were the worst possible plays in that situation. Isn't more expected from a veteran QB with the game on the line and the potential for a season altering win on the horizon?
This is an interesting question. I'd say that during the drive that got them within 27-24, there, at times, seemed to be a lack of urgency to get the team to the line of scrimmage. They took nearly six minutes on that drive, a drive that started with just under nine minutes remaining. That's not acceptable.
I also thought there were a couple of poor decisions. On one ball he threw underneath, he appeared to have Armstrong breaking open downfield. He also missed a wide-open Fred Davis.
Do you expect more from a veteran QB? Absolutely. Are you always going to get it? Apparently not.
Hey Tracee, what is the status of Cooley's injury? Any other injuries you are aware of besides the usual bumps and cuts?
Too soon to tell. I mean literally; the locker room doesn't open for 90 minutes and Shanahan doesn't talk till 3, and even then it's hard to say if he'll tell. The boys will be working on it this morning but it's early yet. Keep an eye on Redskins Insider.
You can't win games when the D gives up all those yards and points every week. 3 takeaways and 0 points.
Should have been more takeaways, frankly, and the defensive players were lamenting that afterward. (The 0 points stat you refer to isn't exactly true, given that the Skins scored one TD on a 13-yard drive after one turnover.)
What was AH's contribution yesterday, besides stealing oxygen.
Well, in fairness he was inactive, so that's about all he was required to do.
Did we win?
Yes, and clinched the NFC East and are Super Bowl bound.
I didn't have the heart to tell you the truth.
The Redskins constantly play to the level of their opponents. Will they take next week off and barely lose to the Bears, or will they go after Cutler and win by 21? If they want to make the playoffs, you have to beat struggling teams like the Bears.
I'm not sure they could beat anyone by 21. I'm also not sure they could lose to anyone by 21. And there may not be a team in the league that could more accurately say it could beat anyone AND lose to anyone. Think that Lions game in two weeks is an easy win? No way. It's possible this team could never be more than a game above or below .500.
the Cowgirls with a $1B stadium and $2 team!
Pretty amazing that they're 1-4. I don't think the biggest Cowboys hater would have predicted that.
This is interesting, isn't it? Ryan Torain simply made runs last night that Clinton Portis isn't capable of making any more. He can take that stretch play -- a Shanahan staple -- make a guy miss and then cut it upfield. He is also much, much tougher than I would've guessed. Now, the question: Can he stay healthy. He's a punishing runner if he can.
OK, now that Rogers is actually costing the Skins games, what is to be done?
I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that if Rogers could catch the ball -- shoot, if he could catch just half the interceptions he should have had over the past few years -- he would be a Pro Bowler multiple times over. I would add, though, that Kareem Moore's dropped interception was just as (or even more) costly, because it came on a drive that ended in the Colts' second touchdown.
You mean officially, or as a general condition?
Officially, this time. ;)
... but, come on, a guy's half-brother is killed earlier in the week and he can't play Sunday night? And said guy is making a gazillion dollars?! It appears to me that said guy just likes to use any excuse at his disposal to not play for the franchise that is paying him said gazillion dollars. Why can't the Redskins, the said franchise in this case, require this player to actually earn his enormous pay?
It is cold, but I think there are some within the Redskins organization that felt like a truly committed professional would have shown up for work on Wednesday, the beginning of the NFL's work week. No one blames Haynesworth for missing last week's game, and no one dismisses the difficulty of his personal situation after his half-brother was killed. But I think some of the decision-makers at Redskins Park believe he took advantage of the situation. Very dicey thing to say publicly, of course, because you'd sound callous. But with the character in question, the question of commitment is always there as a backdrop even in very difficult situations.
Ms. H and Mr. S: Let's not get too carried away about how we don't need Portis. If he was blocking on some of those destroyed pass plays, McNabb would have had an easier time. That said, good to have a young, strong running back.
This is an excellent reminder, and it's worth noting that the Redskins' best pass blocker probably isn't T. Williams or C. Rabach, but C. Portis. They definitely need improvement in that area both from Torain and Keiland Williams.
No, I couldn't have predicted 1-4, but I am sure loving it. Nothing wrong with a little schadenfreude is there?
Nope, when used in moderation, it's an excellent pick-me-up.
How many times did he bite at the fake and get burned last night?
DeAngelo Hall said something interesting afterward last night. He said on the Colts' first touchdown -- the 57-yarder to Garcon -- he got caught playing Manning instead of his man. To your point: He bit on that slight shoulder fake that Manning does, and Garcon sailed by. Hall totally pointed the finger at himself.
Not sure he had a terrible game otherwise, though.
Barry--thoughts on how the Nats have botched the Adam Dunn negotiations?
The Nats botched the Adam Dunn negotiations. Period.
Okay, 3-3 after a pretty difficult opening schule (though four of those six were at home). No one will tell you they thought this team would be .500 or better at this point in the season. Personally I am happy that they are competitive. But winnable games don't come around much and these losses could hurt this team in December. I attend conferences for work but the NFC has to be the weakest one I have ever witnessed!
I think almost anyone -- given Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Green Bay and Indianapolis in the first five weeks -- would have taken 3-3 at this point. But look at the remaining 10 games (six of which are on the road). Is there one you'd point to as a definite win? At Detroit? At Jacksonville? Maybe Tampa Bay here, I suppose. But other than that, this has the feel of a team that's going to play every game down to the last play -- which makes for appointment television.
Sports Master T, Do you think the Redskins defense is basically choosing to give up large chunks of yardage as a price they're willing to pay to smack other teams in the mouth? On the face of the yards they give up is disturbing but if it isn't translating into but so many points maybe it shouldn't be THAT big of a deal. On the other hand, their takeaways killed several promising drives last night and we can't count on that happening every week.
If you look at their yards allowed, you'd never think they were 3-3. I still think the NFL should come up with a defensive rating, like the QB rating, a mathematical formula that takes into account a variety of categories, not just yardage. I wish I were smart enough to do it myself.
The frittering away of the turnover opportunities last night was particularly egregious. They stunk in creating TOs last year and have improved but the offense has to capitalize.
Obviously we can't see into the mind of Head Coach Shanahan. But given the general disruptive potential of Haynesworth regardless of whether or not he has the complete game plan, what do you think about him being inactive for the game? It's a hypothetical "what if" now, but I felt like we might have been closer to sacking Manning more often if he was there, especially with added motivation from his recent personal tragedy.
The thing I'm unsure of is how Haynesworth would have been used in the Redskins' bizarre six-DB, four-LB, one-DL alignment they employed for much of the game last night. Would he have been the big body in the middle? If he was, would he have been able to generate much push? We don't get to talk to Jim Haslett after the games (we'll get him later in the week), but I'd be curious about his thinking in drawing up that scheme.
Good morning Tracee, If say you average 30 questions by yourself and then you have a guest helper say Barry how come you two are not able to get to more questions say 45 or more?
Well, say I average 30 questions in 30 minutes. That's one minute a question. I do have to actually type the answers, you know! Or are you implying Barry is dragging us down?
Given the level of talent on this team, the fact that they have played against 4 of the top 12 offenses in the league, and the confusion sometimes on defense, that we had a chance to win a game in the last 2 minutes against a Peyton Manning team is remarkable. Does anyone think we would have even been in this game last year? We are a well coached 8-8 team, maybe 2 good drafts away from being good, but this Redskin team is fun to watch.
This, I think, should be (and perhaps is) the overwhelming sentiment among Redskins fans. Is there any doubt that last year's team, following Gano's missed field goal before halftime, would have lost this game by three TDs? Seems to me this team is incapable of losing by three TDs. Doesn't mean they're a playoff team. Just means they're entertaining, worthy of the prime-time slot last night -- and again Nov. 15, the next home game, when the Eagles are here on a Monday night.
It sort of says something about how a lot of Washington fans are not happy that the team is only 3-3, despite the fact that if we were given this W-L total after 6 games at the start of the season, we'd have taken it. Do you feel like we as Redskins fans go with the flow a bit too much (though I feel like we stick with out team more than most other fans in the league)? And how do you feel about where we are at 3-3 compared to what was predicted at the start?
Continuing on this theme, the only definite I think Skins fans would have pointed to in the first six weeks would have been a win at St. Louis. That didn't happen. But I don't think anyone would have said Dallas, at Philly AND Green Bay at home would have been wins. To be honest, 3-3 feels about right -- as does 7-9, 8-8 or 9-7 when it's all said and done. This team, I believe, will be in some sort of playoff race come December.
Chris Collinsworth had a great line last night, saying that if Carlos Rogers were able to catch the football he'd be in the Pro Bowl every year. I'm glad we have him because he prevents a lot of receptions, but his inability to hang on to the ball is bewildering. I'm serious when I ask this: was he ever able to catch a football? Or is this a new malady, kind of like a baseball player getting the yips? Again, I think we're a better football team with than without him but the lost turnover opportunities is awfully frustrating (no more so than to him, I'm quite sure).
Carlos Rogers has never been able to catch a football. Period.
T-Ham and B-Svrl: if chatters could join you in person this very moment, and then confer immediately afterword, whose hair would we deem to be the most lustrous and flaxen?
Barry wouldn't touch this with a 10-foot pole but my hair is clean and shiny this morning. I can't speak for Barry.
He's got to quit at 10, by the way, or risk missing open locker room at the Park. But I'll stick with you guys a little longer.
Is throwing a bomb into double coverage on 4th and 10 really the best decision McNabb could come up with when the game was on the line?
The fourth-and-10 bomb doesn't bother me, because you have to get yardage on that play. As we said earlier, you could definitely point to some other decisions on the final few drives as poor ones. I'd be curious about McNabb's self-evaluation after he watches the film. He left some throws on the table, no doubt.
I know Peyton Manning takes no-huddle to new extremes, but it's been around awhile and many teams use it. Why don't they all use it, given how well offenses tend to do in their two-minute drills and how it seems to confuse and tire the defenses? Is it just a matter of being able to pull it off?
A fascinating question. I think -- and this is something of a guess -- most teams don't use it because most teams don't trust their quarterback as much as the Colts trust Manning. The Colts' no-huddle, as London Fletcher pointed out last night, isn't like a typical two-minute drill because they're not getting to the line of scrimmage and snapping immediately. They get to the line of scrimmage as a way to put Manning in a position to survey the defense and dial up the right play. It's a strategic advantage other teams don't have, a quarterback with the smarts and skill to be able to mentally pick apart a defense and not just run the play that's given to him. A beautiful thing to watch, really.
somewhat overlooked in last night's madness - that one drive where the Colts just ran the length of the field in about 4 plays - you don't expect them to do that, but they (for one series) found some huge holes in the Skins run defense.
I think this was the key to the game. The Redskins fought to get within 17-14 in the third quarter, and on the very next play -- against that odd 1-4-6 alignment -- Joseph Addai jaunts 46 yards. The table turned back to Indy at that point, and three plays later, Addai was bowling over both LaRon Landry and Kareem Moore on a 13-yard touchdown run. Turned the game, really. Could they have gashed the Redskins had they been in their normal 3-4? Uncertain.
Ok, I see we are in another weekly loss=fire shanahan, win=make McNabb President mode. However, through 6 games, the team is 3-3, has been in every game, and has not quit. The bottom line to me is that this is significant improvement over 2009, and will be something to build on for next year. No, this is not a playoff team, but 7-9, 8-8, would be a huge improvement over last year. Do you agree with this? Also, the Skins already traded a second for McNabb...once Manning is re-signed, and the market is therefore set for QBs, shouldn't the Skins give McNabb a multi-year deal?
I agree with the improvement assessment. The McNabb question is more interesting. His camp is likely to look at the Brady-Manning extensions and want something similar/reasonably close. The Redskins likely won't put his value at age 34 that high. Interesting we've heard little about negotiations since training camp. Has either side cooled?
Hey, Barry, you could rearrange the letters in your last name to read Barry S. Vulgar, and it would be easier to pronounce. I'm not sure if you would want to, though.
I am looking into getting the paperwork to do this legally as we speak. Thanks so much.
With that, I have to jaunt off to Ashburn to talk to some football players. I'll let Tracee handle it solo from here. Thanks for stopping by. See you next week.
Tracee, If I may resurrect an old topic (or a variation thereof)... I notice a generational gap between my son and me in terms of jersey preference. He wants the latest jersey with the newest free agent signing whereas I want to wear an old jersey with a long-retired player. Unfortunately, the white 'Skins jersey I had customized twenty years ago is getting threadbare - I guess even sew-on letters don't last forever - so I went to NFLShop.com to buy a replacement but I cannot. The No Fun League won't let me get an authentic Riggins jersey (how original, I know) because their customization rules stipulate "Retired player names cannot be printed on the team's jersey from which they retired." They charge $340 for and it I fail to see how having a retired player's jersey is bad for the NFL. Do you have any insight into why they don't allow it? Thanks.
No, I don't get it, and I don't know the answer. I had the same trouble a few weeks ago when I tried to get a Chiefs throwback jersey. Just not a lot available. Maybe there was no licensing agreement back in the day and if the league used the player's name they'd have to pay? That makes no sense but you know money has something to do with it. And the prices are unreal.
We could easily be 0-6, so 3-3 looks pretty good to me. Also, saw at least -4 plays that JC17 would've been sacked & fumbled on last year. Did you?
Oh, yes, every week.
Ms. H: Bad indeed for AHG - NU loses to Texas, getting outplayed while dropping at least two sure TD passes. Mack Brown is good enough without having two weeks to prepare for a game. The Skins lose, and my son's JMU Dukes lose. The good side? Well, my other son's W&M didn't lose, but then they had a bye week, AND, (this weak) the Cowboy's lost. It's a rotten weekend when that's the only highlight. Yech! Hey, KU didn't lose on Saturday (well, KU didn't play either).
Yes, and my Chiefs lost on a questionable call. Not a good weekend at all. Onward and upward, I say!
Buchanon had a great defensive series at the end of the game. Why can't he and the rest of the secondary play like that more often?
I was thinking the same thing. He made two great plays in about 20 seconds. He did it without drawing an interference call. Rinse, repeat.
I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable fan, and I never heard of that one. Sigh. But good job overall.
At least it wasn't a block in the back penalty.
I agree with Barry about Manning. The only time I'll ever root against him - him, not the Colts - is when he plays the 'Skins. I am a football fan and just enjoy the hell out of watching so skilled a quarterback at work. The fact that he is so enjoyable off the field helps, too, of course. Even if he doesn't feel like he's lucky to get paid millions of dollars to play a game, he's smart enough to act like it.
He's earned my respect with the SNL appearance. That United Way skit ...Plus the precision with which he runs that offense is a thing of beauty.
Excuse me, but it was a wonderful week. Ben is back, & we beat the Browns 28-10. The Pitt Panthers beat Syracuse 45-14. Well, Sherwood High is no longer undefeated, having lost to undefeated Damascus by a touchdown. . .but still, life is good.
We actually have a pro football team here in Washington. And next week, we have a week seven game with playoff implications since the Bears are a team the Skins may be competing against for a wild card. Not bad.
Very excited to see my first game at Soldier Field. Very very excited.
I just want to say I have never tired of an advertsing campaign as quickly as I have tired of the new Nike Boom campaign. Please take it off the air now!
The Boom campaign? How can I not have seen this?
So no one answered that poster's trivia question on Friday. Is the answer "time zones"? The question was the U.S. has 6, China has 1, and Russia has 9 after they've dropped 2. I attest, on my honour, that I did no googling or other reference-consulting to verify my answer; this is merely a reasonably educated guess. Oh, you probably want a sports-related question, too. I'm in grad school at UNC-Chapel Hill and I'm extremely embarrassed that I have to send out resumes which include my job as an academic tutor for the football program (no, not THAT tutor). How unethical would it be to leave that off?
If our trivia-posing chatter is out there, let us know.
You could leave that off for a year or so until all this dies down. I don't think it's unethical if you had nothing to do with the scandal.
Tracee, there are two guys on the sidelines at Redskin games with a huge "K" on their jersey. They're not the ball guys. I watched them a bit and couldn't tell what their job was. Do you know?
I have no idea and confess I've never seen this. The "K" would imply kicker, to me, so maybe they are in charge of balls and tees? Honestly have no idea but someone on here will know, because someone on here always knows.
Tracee, admit it - when the Rangers went up 5-0 in game 2, you still thought the Yankees would come back.
Do you really think armstrong and galloway are going to help the team to the playoffs??? I know armstrong had that TD pass with Green Bay but I dont think him or galloway are going to be much help for the rest of the season.
Do I think they'll help the Skins make the playoffs? No. But I'll tell you what impressed me about Armstrong this week. He had two catches early in the game, both bad throws, I mean really bad, and he managed to rope them both in. With McNabb playing hi-lo a good portion of the time, you need receivers who can work with that. Now, Armstrong may not be able to handle hi, but he was all over lo.
Just gotta say; here we have the former Washington Senators (v. 2.0 but still) battling the New York Yankees for a trip to the World Serious and nobody on the sports staff has unleashed a single reference from the Broadway musical "Damn Yankees" which is about exactly that scenario and set in DC. Or am I just old and none of you youngsters know musical theater of the 1950's?
It'll happen. Remember, the series has switched to New York, increasing the odds exponentially. Boz will remember the musical well, and Sheinin is a total music maven (opera singer, for starters, and a voice like an angel). It'll just depend on who gets there first.
Hey guys, I mean, I love my wife and all, but when I watch the Skins games with her, she giggles at their mistakes, and gets a kick out of my momentary sullenness. She roots for them, but I think she secretly finds it funny when they do poorly. Should I "go all Shanny" on her (ie, responding to all forms of communication with either "I can't answer that for obvious reasons," or "again, we're not good enough to have all those missed opportunities," or the like)? Of course, for maximum effect, I'll need to install a podium in our house. Thanks!
"Going all Shanny" on a spouse is grounds for divorce and loss of all assets in most states. You could look it up.
The podium would be awesome, though. And don't forget, if she blasts you for not replacing the toilet paper roll, say, "I won't know more about that until I see the film."
Do you really want to start spelling like a teenager?
No, I was thinking of pitch, actually.
You're Andy Reid. Who do you start, assuming Vick's healthy now?
Tough one. I think the start Kolb one more week, because then they have the bye. Then if Kolb gets them another win, they've got a decision to make. My guess is, if that happens, they'll stick with Kolb.
Could you believe Akers missed three FGs yesterday? I was stunned.
Tracee, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats have made the CFL playoffs. Does this give you any kind of vicarious thrill?
Not me, but the two Hamilton Tiger-Cats I live with are very excited.
As someone who iss old enough to have watched John Unitas, YA Tittle and Bart Starr in their prime, it seems to me that if teams learned to trust their QBs more--ceded more playcalling to them than to the all powerful Offensive Coordinator--then maybe they would be more effective at keeping defenses off balance. Brady certainly did that against the Ravens in the 4th quarter yesterday.
But doesn't that have to be a special kind of quarterback? Those guys you mentioned, that's one thing, but it takes awhile for them to get to the place where they don't need supervision. I would argue there are some quarterbacks who will never get there.
Am I imagining things, or did it look like the Redskins showed up for nearly the whole game? I'm so used to watching them only make an appearance for a quarter, or even part of a quarter, that last night it appeared as if they had shown up for the whole game. Yes, there were flashes of the old team (see: McNabb's underthrown ball, Rogers) but we seemed to keep rallying back to being contenders.
Yes, they didn't quit and they didn't start slow. Now they need to solve the problem of failing to capitalize on opportunities. Because that game was there for the taking. And they know it.
Yes, we're disappointed this morning. But if you had told me back in August that we would be 3-3 and only 1 game back in the NFC East race ... I would have said you were crazy.
That's the attitude!
No, no, no, the references are all wrong. Especially since the Senators of the musical are actually the Twins, not the Rangers, and Boz officially forgave the Rangers last week. (I'll bet he's saving the references for the first Nats-Yankees World Series.) This isn't a mismatch; the Rangers are pretty good, and the Yankees aren't invincible anymore. Besides, who's the Joe Hardy figure? Hamilton? More importantly, who's the Lola figure?
Whoever A-Rod or Jeter is dating? Beats me.
Jason Campbell's line this week: 8-21, 43 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, loss to previously 0-5 team. Would you rather have this?
But my point really was that, in the NFL, all QBs used to call their own plays, whether they were Bobby Douglass of Bears or one of the greats. I reckon now the Offensive Coordinator system reaches down into the Pop Warner Leagues, so QBs just don't learn how to do this.
Yes, true, I don't think it's happening at the college level, certainly. Bobby Douglass... ah... love him.
Third and 1 and little Shanny calls a pitch left instead of a plunge up the middle. I find this kid's play calling suspect at best. He seems to always be looking for something that isn't there. This isn't the first time he a I disagree on play calls where a first down would keep a drive alive. Also, whatever happened to a little misdirection and reverses?.
I don't want to see the Swinging Gate any time soon, but I agree that they are pretty vanilla. It would have caught the Colts off-guard if they'd tried something off-beat last night. Whether they could have executed it is another matter.
You aren't the only one criticizing the play calling, that's for sure.
He is dating & possibly engaged to Minka Kelly from Friday Night Lights.
Ah, yes. She's gorgeous. And now on "Parenthood."
The rest of the Redskins will be ready for a deep playoff run and their quarterback will be over the hill.
Well, maybe, but a) they haven't signed him yet and b) it seems more than likely they'll draft someone to bring in for the transition.
Tracee, you lovable young scamp, we've got to get you to watch the movie version of "Damn Yankees" (You should, really: it's a fun movie for Hot Stove League time). The real-life Lola wouldn't be dating Derek Jeter or A-Rod. She was sent by Mr. Applegate (the guy from the Hot Place) to seduce Joe Hardy and distract him from beating the Yankees. Although, if you're implying a Satanic role in the Yankees' success.....
Ah, yes. I have seen it but long, long ago. Well, I don't have any Lola ideas. The dating habits of the Rangers are not tabloid fodder (thank god!).
The Redskins can give up the most yards in the league as long as they win some games. Stats don't matter in non-fantasy football. Look at the Cowboys -- with their stats they should be at least 4-1, but boneheaded play has cost them 3 games, possibly 4.
Absolutely true. I think I already said that. I still think a defensive rating system would be fun, but hey, I'm strange that way. It would be as meaningful as the QB rating system, as in, not at all meaningful. McNabb's QB ratings in their wins were awful, as I recall. I'm not suggesting stats take the place of the standings.
If Ryan Zimmerman would be Joe Hardy, I would happily be Lola (especially as she was actually old & Applegate made her young again!)
Easy, there, Zimm fan. It's the offseason; rest up now!
Is it just me or is anyone else getting sick n tired of watching Carlos Rogers drop easy interceptions over and over and over again? I think Rogers is a great cover guy, but this is becoming a joke! Come on Carlos! Catch the damn ball!!!
Can you imagine the ovation if he ever were to catch one and return it? Oh my stars and garters, that would be something. Sadly, we may never see it happen.
Hi, there, Tracee! The game ended far too late for me - did the offensive line make it through intact? Any injuries or other problems? I hate the late night start time.
Trent Williams is banged up a little but nothing that would sit him down. I thought the line had a decent game last night.
(The game ended far too late for me, too. Walked in the door at 2:30. Sleepy.)