Sunday, September 30, 2012

Skins vs. Buccaneers: The Great, The Good, and the Not-So-Good

The Great
  • Alfred Morris.  He seems to get better each week.  This week he breaks 100 yards, including an impressive TD run.
The Good
  • RGIII.  His accuracy is jaw-dropping.  It's not just that he completes more than 70% of his passes, but that he hits his receivers in stride, right in between the numbers, allowing them to add yards after the catch.  And several of his incomplete passes could have been caught.  But we can't call him Great given so many failed drives late in the game.  
  • Ryan Kerrigan.  Not a dominant game, but a sack and a huge read and tackle to stop Tampa on 3rd down with 5 minutes remaining in the game.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

More Defensive Troubles Under Haslett

Another year under Jim Haslett, another year of an underperforming defense.  I'm tired of other teams' offensive coaches outsmarting our defensive coordinator.  And it happened again last week, as explained by Bengals coach Jay Gruden:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Skins vs. Bengals: The Great, The Good, and The Not-So-Good

The Great
  • Rob Jackson.  With Orakpo out, Jackson gets the start and makes a positive impact with an interception for a TD and several aggressive hits.  

The Good
  • RGIII. He had 1st half struggles, sometimes stayed in the pocket too long, and was credited with 3 fumbles.  Yet, once again RGIII showed amazing throwing accuracy, athleticism, and will to win, avoided INTs, and nearly brought the Skins back.  If his body can withstand the numerous hard hits, he'll eventually be great.
  • Rushing yards.  213 rushing yards, a total that would normally be considered Great; but the way the Skins got these yards involved RGIII being hit hard numerous times as a runner or decoy.
  • Fred Davis.  Some of the catches came while the Bengals played prevent defense late in the game, but nonetheless it's nice to see Davis get involved in the offense after a couple quiet games.  He logged 7 receptions for 90 yards.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Redskins vs. Rams: The Great, The Good, and The Not-So-Good

The Great
- Not much this week.
- London Fletcher. Last week London had a sub-par game. This week he not only had six tackles, but a huge INT in the endzone and a huge strip to get the Skins the ball late in the 4th quarter with a chance to tie or win.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

RGIII: Forecasting the Rest of the Season

RGIII was phenomenal in his NFL debut. And I have every expectation that RGIII will become a superstar and not a bust. But in this post I want to focus on just this season -- what can we expect from RGIII the rest of the year?

The short answer is that I would expect similar good production for the next 5 games or so, and then a drop-off for the second half of the season for a simple reason: Film study.

Starting around game 5 or 6, teams will have enough film on RGIII to identify his tendencies and favorite plays, and to game-plan accordingly. Two recent examples illustrate this.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Skins vs. Saints: The Great, The Good, and the Not-So-Good

The Great
- RGIII.  Wow.  The poise, the decision-making, the athleticism.  Completions to 8 different receivers.  One of three QBs to pass for 300+ yards in his first NFL game (along with Peyton Manning and Cam Newton).  I've been high on RGIII since the beginning, but wow.
- Pierre Garcon before his injury provided exactly the run-after-the-catch play making Shanahan hoped for.

Skins vs. Saints: 1st Half

Wow. RGIII elicited many "wow"s in the first half. His TD pass under pressure to Garcon, his throw across his body from the left to right side of the field for a first down, his beautiful slant pass for a TD to Robinson.

Saints are now sniffing out the QB hand-off/run options play, and we haven't seen many of the vintage Shanahan stretch-run plays. It will be interesting to see if the Skins change up the running strategy for the second half, especially since Alfred Morris (who I now call Forward Morris) shined on these plays in pre-season.

Defense has been mostly impressive too. Too bad special teams has continued the tradition of allowing blocked kicks. 20-14 Skins at the half.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saints vs. Skins: Prediction

This will be short and sweet. I love my Skins, but you can't run from the truth.

The Saints haven't lost at home since the 2010 season. The Saints will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after an off-season of BountyGate. The Skins' safety position is a mess this week and Drew Brees will notice. The Saints are a better team, with teammates who have played together awhile and have chemistry on the field.

In contrast, the Skins' offense features young players and new players who have not yet had a chance to develop on-the-field chemistry. And the Skins defense might struggle to stop the pass because of injuries in the secondary. Fast forward two years and I give the Skins an edge in this match-up. But tomorrow: Saints 35 Skins 17.

Happy Anniversary!!

Skins Analysis is 1 year old! A nice little Skins Analysis community has developed since the site's inception in September 2011. The site has been viewed 4,985 times by readers from 10 countries spanning 5 continents -- no one yet from Africa or Antarctica. Interestingly, 5 of the top 7 most-viewed pages were about the QB position.

Thanks to those of you who make Skins Analysis part of your Redskins internet routine. Feel free to keep dropping by, and comments sections are open from the start of the season this year.

New Season, New Predictions

We were a little too optimistic last year, forecasting an 8-8 record for what turned out to be a 5-11 Skins team. However we got some things right, such as:

- Landry not being able to return to form,
- The Skins beating good teams (twice against the Super Bowl champion Giants) while losing to bad teams (3-13 Vikings and the 6-10 Bills and Dolphins),
- Injuries hampering the O-Line (which everyone saw coming),
- Chris Neild getting significant playing time despite being a rookie 7th-round pick (he played in all 16 games), and
- John Beck getting his chance to start (although we also predicted he would finish the season as starter ... ouch).

On to this year!!

1) Quarterback -- No one has gotten more coverage than RGIII, and my take has been made clear (he's got it all mentally as well as physically). So there's not much to add except the obvious: in large part the season will go as RGIII goes. My two main concerns for RGIII are: 1) staying healthy, and 2) learning to avoid the rush, reset, and throw without leaving the pocket.

2) Running Back -- Running back is intriguing. I've been extremely impressed with Alfred Morris since the first pre-season game. His vision and decision-making are exactly what you need to run behind the Shanahan zone-blocking scheme.