Hello BGN. In the spirit of our game this Sunday, your host Jason and I have decided to swap info on our respective teams. Check out Jason's detailed assessment of the Eagles over at Hogs Haven. He knows your Philadelphia Eagles.
For now I'll try and shed as much light as I can on your opponent this week; My Washington Redskins.
Will's must read analysis is after the jump
Offense -- Inconsistency but mostly ineffectiveness has been the name of the game for the Redskins. Besides a forgettably great game against the Houston Texans and a Santana Moss inspired shootout win over the Jaguars, the Redskins offense has been anemic. The main problem is an inability to throw the ball down field and an overabundance of short, low risk/low reward passes to running backs and receivers on or near the line of scrimmage.
We did show some creativity against Dallas (without Santana Moss) by throwing the ball towards the soft middle of the field, though this is an entirely new tendency and there's no way to tell if that will continue.
Our running game has been great when it gets a chance; the Redskins are 6th in yards per rush at 4.5. Too often this team has abandoned the run early in games, though I see us coming out early and often against Philadelphia; if only to deter a shoot out. Clinton Portis will play, though we also use Ladell Betts a good amount, though mostly on passing downs. He's distinguished himself as a receiving threat out of the backfield and is currently 2nd on the team in receptions.
The big story is Santana Moss this week as he is still questionable for the game while nursing a hammy injury. Moss is our only real deep threat and his absence severely limits this team offensively. I don't have an answer for whether he will play this week though that information should be posted at Hogs Haven as soon as his condition improves this week. He did practice yesterday but was limited.
Defense -- Our secondary has finally returned and the defense is improved as a result. Still, there's a long ways to go. Against Dallas we played better than we had in the secondary but "caught" a breaks when Philly's beloved T.O. failed to catch (essentially) the game winning touchdown after he got behind our secondary. The achilles heal of our pass defense has been the big play this year, though we're starting to adjust. Hopefully that will continue, though against a big-play team like Philly there might be a step backwards.
We've replaced overpaid Adam Archuleta with former Eagle Troy Vincent as the starter at safety. Sean Taylor is still patrolling back there and should give your receivers a headache if they meet.
That doesn't mean Archuleta is a non-factor. DC Gregg Williams is still trying to find the best fit for Archuleta who plays a hybrid Safety/Linebacker type game. He's good at stopping the run and getting to the quarterback; in coverage not so much.
Our front four will be healthy but have not gotten nearly as much push as they've needed to. Newcomer Andre Carter is beginning to impress but has a long way to go in earning his salary. The Redskins have sacked opposing quarterbacks less than everyone besides Indiannapolis this year, and need to do a better job disrupting Donovan McNabb if they plan on winning @ Philly this weekend.
Against the run the Redskins have been inconsistent. Especially towards the end of the game (duh) teams have been able to get big, first yard accumulating runs particularly while running to the left. Our right outside linebacker, Warrick Holdman, is easy to block and not a reliable starting LB. 2nd round pick rookie Rocky McIntosh has not yet earned that starting job yet. Despite having two very talented and hard working LBers in Marcus Washington and Lemar Marshall, we can't stop the run when teams target the one side we struggle at. The downside to Troy Vincent over Archuleta is that he isn't as good in run support, but perhaps having a more reliable cover-safety in Vincent (with a healthy Shawn Springs) will allow us to use Taylor in run support. Time will tell.
Philly is favored by a touchdown, so the Redskins will approach this game honestly. Only a smart, mistake free football game will result in a win. If the game is close, look for a big play on special teams to be the deciding factor in a Redskins win. Rock Cartwright (kickoffs) and Antwaan Randle-El (punts) are both dangerous return guys capable of taking it to the house. And we all know that Troy Vincent has a nose for blocked field goals.
Hope that helps. Best of luck, but not really.
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