I'm not sure I'm going to be able to complete the 3rd quarter review tonight, so I want to at least offer you some reading material to tide you over.
- First, don't expect to see Clinton Portis back any time soon. I recommend reading the Black and Blue Report in full - it's a great column - but given all the recent attention on the long-term effects of concussions on football players I found this detail distressing:
"Portis is still having blurry vision and other post-concussion syndromes, so
there's almost no chance that he'll be back this week. Sources tell me that
Portis' symptoms get worse with activity, so playing football and inevitably taking hits are well down the line."
No question it is necessary to err on the side of keeping him out longer.
- Another one from FO - in this week's Walkthrough column Mike Tanier gave himself the task of finding something nice to say about every NFL team, which was understandably a challenge. Unsurprisingly, the Redskins item related to the defense:
Team: Washington Redskins
Something Nice: Redskins opponents complete just 58.7 percent of their passes.
Analysis: Broncos quarterbacks combined to go 14-of-31 last week, though the Redskins defense fared much better against Chris Simms (3-of-13) than Kyle Orton (11-of-18, two long touchdowns). Matt Ryan was 17-of-24, and Eagles quarterbacks
were 16-of-26, so there's a lot of Rams and Chiefs noise in the data. The
Redskins pass defense DVOA isn't very good (21st through Week 9) due to the
quality of opposition and the fact that they have just five interceptions, but
many of their per-play defensive numbers are surprisingly good.
I think we all were aware that the Redskins' defensive performance was at least partly enhanced by consistently weak opponents, but I'm surprised the opponent adjustments would drop their DVOA ranking to all the way below average. Although to be fair, the last two time the Redskins have faced decent offenses (Philadelphia and Denver) they have shown a disconcerting tendency to give up big plays. More on this in the wrap-up thoughts when I finish the game review.
- Going back to more traditional stats, Post Game Heroes makes a convincing case that Brian Orakpo deserves Rookie of the Year consideration. Based on observation rather than numbers, I would agree. If you didn't know Orakpo was a rookie, I don't think you'd ever know it from watching him play. Even his early problems in pass coverage seem less frequent - although that could be because the coaches are doing a better job of keeping him out of bad situations.
- I don't know anyone who was rooting for the Jay Cutler trade to come off last spring, but if you do send them this link. In short, Cutler has been placed in a situation where he has no protection behind a weak offensive line and no good receivers. Sound familiar? The lesson appears to be that with multiple more pressing flaws on your team, it doesn't make sense to invest major resources into upgrading at quarterback. Even given the extenuating circumstances this year, I have generally been disappointed in Campbell's performance. That said, I doubt that Cutler (and definitely not Mark Sanchez) would have racked up more wins to this point with Stephon Heyer and Mike Williams as his tackles.
- Dallas Week is great, but it used to be even better. We have a dart board at the office; I'm considering printing this out for use. I know its dated, but real hatred is timeless anyway.
- And finally, one non-Redskins-related link to one of the most fantastic passes I've ever seen thrown. Brilliant.