Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Redskins Report Card: Week 10 vs. Denver Broncos

Redskins 27, Broncos 17

It looks like the best way to stop your downward spiral is to meet up with a team going in the same direction, but faster. After starting out 6-0, Denver seems lost, and their offense looked abysmal in the second half on Sunday, to my delight.

I'm going to go with a different tactic for the rest of the season, and we'll see how it plays out. It'll be a quick report card, followed by some analysis (shorter than it's historically been). Then, I'll do a little "Around The League" section that goes over anything I think is discussion-worthy (along with built-in links to each game's box score on my favorite football website, Pro-Football-Reference.com). Overall, the Report Card posts may be a little longer, but will feature a more diverse set of topics.

Report Card

Early on, it looked like it was going to be the same old song and dance for the Redskins. Two quick strikes on completely blown coverages to a wide open Brandon Marshall, and Washington was down 14-7 in a hurry. But once again, Hunter Smith proved himself to be among the most valuable special teamers in football, throwing a 35-yard TD pass to Mike Sellers from a double-fake (field goal formation into punt formation).

From that point on, even though Denver took a 17-14 lead into halftime, I felt a great confidence in Washington, and for the first time since the loss to the Lions, I expected the Redskins to win. Ladell Betts looked very good, and while I'm not ready to toss the injured Clinton Portis to the side yet (at least for this season), it's certainly going to put some pressure on Portis when next he plays. Which is good. Portis could use some extra motivation.

Overall, it's nice to come off of a win again, particularly one in which the Redskins set a season-high in scoring. And it's great to have some confidence going into Dallas next week.

Offense: B+
Defense: B
Special Teams: A
Overall: A-

Around The League
  • Jay Cutler may have thrown five interceptions, but I still wish the Redskins had found a way to acquire him. He's got franchise quarterback ability, something that's just very difficult to find.
  • Did the Steelers get out-Steelered by the Bengals?
  • Say what you will about the leniency of bowl eligibility in college football, at least they don't make anyone watch Chiefs/Raiders. Congrats to Kansas City on winning the Stride Rite Bowl.
  • The reality about the much-ballyhooed 4th down decision by Bill Belichick is that had they made it, he'd have been lauded for his confidence in his offense. But we're a results-oriented culture, and the results dictate that we bash his lack of confidence in his defense. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, though. :)
  • Full disclosure: I have Maurice Jones-Drew on a fantasy team. But even if I didn't, how does Jack Del Rio tell MJD to take a knee at the one when they're down? I get that you want to guarantee a victory by killing some clock, which they did, but you never know what's going to happen on a field goal attempt, no matter how short. Anytime you can take a lead in the 4th quarter, you take it.
  • Let's hope some of the Cowboys' dismal performance against the Packers on Sunday carries over into next week.
  • It took me until his disastrous Monday night to realize it, but Brady Quinn is just terrible. Thank goodness I was wrong when I predicted the Vikings to draft him in 2007.

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