Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Redskins Report Card: Week 14 vs. Oakland Raiders

Redskins 34, Raiders 13

Well, crap. Now none of us knows what to think. While Jim Zorn might not be pleased with having relinquished his play-calling responsibilities, I think he's probably the only one. Back-to-back 30+ point outbursts and suddenly the Redskins are a team people don't want to play. I'm interested to see how the rest of this season goes.

However, it was the Raiders, so let's temper our excitement just a little.

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

First things first, Graham Gano was a solid replacement for the ousted Shaun Suisham. I'm still not 100% sold on the idea that Suisham had to go, but Gano at least looks like he won't be a liability.

The point total makes the offense look better than it actually was, but they did have a nice day. Perhaps the most encouraging part of the offense's day is that, despite gaining only 295 total yards, they were able to post a season-best 34 points. In the second half, when their defense (or rather, Jamarcus Russell) was consistently giving them good field position, the Redskins were able to capitalize, posting 17 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

After watching Quinton Ganther, Rock Cartwright, and Ladell Betts in the past few weeks, I'm convinced that the Redskins will do their best to find a way to divest themselves from Clinton Portis. I know Portis has been a solid performer for years for the Redskins, but when you're running a team in a salary capped league, the per-dollar performance of players becomes the most important factor, and Portis just isn't good enough to warrant his massive contract.

Brian Orakpo looks legit, his performance plus the noticeable turnaround by the hodge-podge offensive line has me thinking less and less that Washington should've drafted Michael Oher instead of Orakpo, despite the cinematic quality of Oher's life.

Around the League
  • While it's still awesome, I'm now a little scared. What will Pittsburgh fans do if the Steelers miss the playoffs? Loot? Murder? Get jobs???
  • I think the failures of the Cowboys late in the season are overblown, but it's amazing how the Chargers just refuse to lose after Thanksgiving.
  • The Eagles' win over the Giants was just an awesome game to watch. And it was the occasional game that had no fantasy significance for me, which meant I could just watch it...
  • ...and not lament the fact that Aaron Rodgers let Ryan Grant do the heavy lifting on Sunday in the Packers' win against the Bears.
  • The Titans and Ravens dropped Macho Man elbows from the top rope against the Rams and Lions, respectively, showing that the difference between an average team and a bad team in this year's NFL is considerable.
  • The Falcons nearly beat the Saints without Matt Ryan and Michael Turner. And people still think New Orleans is better than the Vikings?
  • Speaking of, the Vikings simply manhandled the still impressive Bengals on Sunday, holding Carson Palmer to 94 yards passing. Maybe you're skeptical of Favre being able to continue his torrid pace, but the pudding is...just look at the pudding.
  • Inexplicably, Kurt Warner's three turnovers were one too few for me to win my fantasy game this weekend. You couldn't have dropped the ball on the turf one more time, guy?

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