Monday, November 29, 2010

Redskins vs. Vikings, 1st quarter review

Hi everyone. Sorry about royally screwing up last week. Did you know they will let just any moron sign up for a Blogspot account? Now you do.

Anyway, the bold text below represents the offical play by play as cut and pasted from the NFL Gamebook, and my commentary is added below in it's own font.


R.Longwell kicks 59 yards from MIN 30 to WAS 11. B.Banks to WAS 17 for 6 yards (Erin.Henderson).

We avoid drawing the penalty on the formation of a blatant four man wedge. Not that is does us much good, as Rocky fails to angle off a coverage guy who shoots right up the middle and past the wedge to take down Banks.

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:56)

1-10-WAS 17 (14:56) K.Williams left tackle to WAS 17 for no gain (R.Edwards).

Davis, Trent Williams, Lichtensteiger (LG) and Rabach form an absolute wall to the offensive left. If only Keiland had somewhere to cut back to. Unfortunately Hicks (who did start at RG despite the official PBP stating the contrary) allows the backside DT to drive right through his inside shoulder and Cooley is unable to cut off the multiple defenders who close in.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Well this is a problem

So despite (during) the requisite holiday travel I managed to get the first two quarters of the Titans game done (here and here). I got back into town this afternoon with the inention of finishing up and have discovered a) the game is inexplicably not on my TiVo and b) NFL Game Rewind doesn't feel like loading properly this afternoon. So we have a bit of an issue. Anyay I'm going to keep trying with Rewind and if I can get it running I intend to cover more of the last game, but for now I'm not sure I'll be able.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Redskins @ Titans, 2nd quarter game review


1-10-TEN 40 (15:00) D.McNabb pass incomplete short middle to K.Williams [S.Marks].
2-10-TEN 40 (14:55) K.Williams right guard to TEN 34 for 6 yards (C.Hope, M.Griffin).
The DLs are successfully pinned to the offensive right with the counter action, and Keiland cuts back inside as Cooley slows a safety who tries to close the gap. Keiland then lowers his shoulder and drives for a few extra yards.
3-4-TEN 34 (14:14) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short right to S.Moss pushed ob at TEN 16 for 18 yards (C.Finnegan). WAS D.Dockery was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.
The protection adjusts nicely as the Titans blitz both LBs out of their nickel package. The LDT attacks the right A gap drawing Lichtensteiger (at RG, for the moment) to the inside to open a lane for the MLB, but Keiland reads it well and puts a very solid block on him. Then the rest of the line adjust so that Montgomery picks up the other LB and Dockery and Trent have the other two DLs. Trent almost gets beat to the outside, but the lack of pressure up the middle lets McNabb throw freely.
Dockery goes down, so from here on out your offensive line, left to right, is: Trent, Lichtensteiger, Montgomery, Heyer (!), Brown.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Redskins @ Titans 1st quarter review


R.Bironas kicks 75 yards from TEN 30 to WAS -5. B.Banks to WAS 16 for 21 yards (R.Mouton).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:56)

1-10-WAS 16 (14:56) D.McNabb sacked at WAS 9 for -7 yards (J.Babin).

Never could get a clear view on whether McNabb got stepped on by Rabach (again) or just slipped on the turf.

2-17-WAS 9 (14:25) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to C.Portis.

The pocket holds after the initial play action, but no routes are immediately open. Cooley initially holds his own against the LDE but the clock runs out and he spins past him, so McNabb has a man in his face as he tries to dump it off to Portis.

3-17-WAS 9 (14:18) C.Portis left end to WAS 12 for 3 yards (D.Ball).

Trent gets pushed back a little, but Portis makes it to the corner. But Cooley misses a cut block on the OLB.

4-14-WAS 12 (13:47) (Punt formation) H.Smith punts 22 yards to WAS 34, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS-M.Sellers.

I’m surprised people aren’t talking about how consistently awful Hunter Smith has been since he’s come back. At this rate I can’t imagine he’ll be around much longer (although to be fair in this case he had to adjust to a low snap from Sundberg).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Redskins vs. Eagles 3rd quarter game review

I think we'll be calling it after three quarter this week, partly due to time and partly due to the rather obvious fact that we don't exactly have a highly competitve game on our hands.

First quarter review is here, 2nd quarter is here.


D.Akers kicks 64 yards from PHI 30 to WAS 6. B.Banks to WAS 44 for 38 yards (J.Chaney, D.Akers).

Good blocks by Sellers and Darrel Young to create a seam for Banks.

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:52)

1-10-WAS 44 (14:52) D.McNabb pass short middle to C.Cooley to PHI 49 for 7 yards (M.Fokou).

2-3-PHI 49 (14:16) D.McNabb pass deep left to M.Sellers pushed ob at PHI 21 for 28 yards (M.Fokou).

A risky throw – the LB had Sellers blanketed on the sideline but McNabb placed the ball perfectly by underthrowing just a bit where Sellers has an easier time adjusting to it.

1-10-PHI 21 (13:49) (Shotgun) K.Williams right guard to PHI 12 for 9 yards (T.Cole, Q.Mikell).

Trent and Rabach are the first level blocks on the zone run, while Lichtensteiger and Hicks seek out the LBs. Rabach holds his block well, while Trent nearly loses his but gets away with just enough holding to keep a narrow lane open for Keiland.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Redskins vs. Eagles 2nd quarter game review

1st quarter review


1-10-WAS 48 (15:00) (Shotgun) M.Vick pass deep right to J.Maclin for 48 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Washington challenged the runner broke the plane ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1 at 14:51.)

Fletcher crowds the offensive left A gap and attacks hard successfully drawing a double team from the center and LG, but when Rocky crosses behind him the RB picks him up well. Maake is able to drive through the RG but Vick already sees that he has his receiver and he has time to step into his throw. Hall’s coverage wasn’t bad, although he may slightly mistime his route. But Vick placed the ball just absolutely perfectly.

D.Akers extra point is GOOD, Center-J.Dorenbos, Holder-S.Rocca.

PHI 35 WAS 0, 3 plays, 58 yards, 0:57 drive, 0:09 elapsed

D.Akers kicks 66 yards from PHI 30 to WAS 4. B.Banks to WAS 26 for 22 yards (C.Anderson).

Washington Redskins at 14:51, (1st play from scrimmage 14:46)

1-10-WAS 26 (14:46) D.McNabb pass deep left to F.Davis pushed ob at PHI 3 for 71 yards (K.Coleman; E.Sims).

Sellers, from the RTE position as part of twins with Fred Davis, cuts the LDE and doesn’t take him down but trips him up enough that McNabb has plenty of time to get into his bootleg and set for his throw (Sellers is hurt while going down though). Davis looks like he’s blocking LBs as part of the run action (in fact he puts one on the ground) and no one think to account for him as a receiver so he is wide open when he releases into a wheel route. He has to slow up slightly to make the catch, and in the process loses his balance a bit. He never really regains his footing; otherwise he easily would have outrun the defenders for a touchdown.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Redskins vs. Eagles 1st quarter game review

You may not be ready to relive this.  I get that. But you may find going over this disastrous quarter in detail actually lessens the shock value somewhat and lets you  move on with your life. At least that's what reviewing the game tape does for me.

The offical play by play is in bold and taken from the official NFL Gamebook.  My commentary is added below most plays in a different font.

Be strong.


G.Gano kicks 70 yards from WAS 30 to PHI 0. J.Calvin MUFFS catch, and recovers at PHI 3. J.Calvin pushed ob at PHI 12 for 9 yards (R.Doughty).

Philadelphia Eagles at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:56)

1-10-PHI 12 (14:56) M.Vick pass deep middle to D.Jackson for 88 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Let’s see here. Orakpo is at ROLB – he initially bites on the play action and this allows the TE to seal him to the inside as Vick rolls out to his left. Meanwhile Hall completely fails to get any sort of jam on Jackson and he gets into his route far too easily, then he drives his route a bit to the outside to get Landry to turn his hips the wrong way before cutting in on the post having earned the inside leverage. The play is topped off, of course, by a pass that could not have been placed any more perfectly.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No, the Redskins are not making the playoffs

The Redskins are 4-4, and are probably lucky to be 4-4.  Remember, the Packers had an overtime field goal bounce off the crossbar and the Bears had a pick-6 called back because the Redskins pulled a Homer by getting called for delay of game before they could run their disastrously failed play.

My point is that the Redskins, while not quite terrible, are not all that good. And that people may as well stop reacting to events as if they expect the Redskins to be all that good.

Just how not-that-good are the Redskins? Let's ask some Math Guys. Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats has the Redskins ranked 18th overall based on his offensive and defensive efficiency metrics.  Meanwhile Football Outsiders' DVOA places the Redskins 22nd. So there's general agreement that the Redskins are a slightly below average team.

Now let's look at how these same metrics rank the Redskins' remaining opponents:

Week 10 - Eagles - Brian Burke: 6, Football Outsiders: 1
Week 11 - at Titans - BB 4, FO 3
Week 12 - Vikings - BB 15, FO 21
Week 13 - at Giants - BB 3, FO 2
Week 14 - Buccaneers - BB 23, FO 23
Week 15 - at Dallas - BB 21, FO 27
Week 16 - at Jaguars - BB 28, FO 24
Week 17 - Giants - BB 3, FO 2

So there are four games (Eagles, Titans, and Giants twice) where the Redskins are clearly outclassed by their opponent and pulling out a win would be a pretty huge upset. But its the NFL and such things happen, and we have a defense with the kind of big play ability that can steal a game, so let's say we eek out aone win out of these four.

Then there are four more games (Vikings, Tampa, Dallas, Jacksonville) where the Redskins are in roughly the same tier as their opponent and it would stand to reason they have about a 50-50 chance of winning each. So let's call those 2-2.

This would mean we are still on pace for my preseason prediction of 7-9. Obviously there are a lot of variables that will go into this tiny 8 game sample, so 3-5 over the second half is only a reasonable middle of the road scenario.

So with that in mind here are a few key points:

- Three wins out of the remaining 8 would not be a collapse but would be right in line with where I and most others think this teams stands quality-wise.

- Simple luck or other unanticipated variables could lead to fewer than 3 more wins.

- Obviously, for the Redskins to have even an outside shot at the playoffs a lot would have to go right. And since from looking at the standings it appears highly unlikely that both wildcards could come from the NFC East, that means a lot would also have to go very, very wrong for either New York or Philadelphia. While the unexpected can always happen, there is nothing we know now that should lead us to think of the Redskins as playoff contenders.

So again, 7 or even fewer wins for the season would be an expected outcome. Not a collapse, not evidence of a "culture of losing" or "lack of heart" or "not knowing how to win," just the expected performance of a team with many well-known flaws.  And right about where a majority of writers and fans thought the team would be back in August.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Redskins @ Detroit 4th quarter game review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter


3-4-WAS 30 (15:00) PENALTY on WAS-A.Hicks, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 30 - No Play.

3-9-WAS 25 (15:00) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to J.Galloway.

Hicks holds up pretty well against the rush from Suh, but once Suh sees he won’t get there he pushes off and makes a leaping tip at the line.

4-9-WAS 25 (14:57) H.Smith punts 45 yards to DET 30, Center-N.Sundberg, fair catch by S.Logan.

4.55 seconds – finally some decent punting from Hunter.

Detroit Lions at 14:48

1-10-DET 30 (14:48) M.Stafford pass short left to N.Burleson to DET 28 for -2 yards (L.Landry).

The Lions underestimate Landry again. Just because he’s 9 yards off the ball at the snap does not mean you have the kind of soft coverage that allows an easy hitch to your slot WR.

2-12-DET 28 (14:08) J.Best right tackle to DET 30 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh).

3-10-DET 30 (13:25) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass short right to J.Best to DET 32 for 2 yards (D.Hall).

Landry shoots through the offensive left B gap to pressure Stafford, and the fact that Haynesworth (at RDE) had driven back the LT give Stafford nowhere to step up and escape, so he is forced to dump off to the RB who is the immediately subjected to a very good wrap up tackle by Hall.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Redskins @ Detroit 3rd quarter game review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter review


G.Gano kicks 69 yards from WAS 30 to DET 1. S.Logan to DET 29 for 28 yards (G.Gano).

We just saw a perfect tackle from a placekicker. As if I wasn’t already in the tank for Graham Gano.

Detroit Lions at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:53)

1-10-DET 29 (14:53) (Shotgun) J.Best left tackle to DET 30 for 1 yard (R.McIntosh).

Golston controls the LT and and Rocky manages to run under the block of the pulling guard.

2-9-DET 30 (14:16) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass incomplete short middle to B.Pettigrew (L.Fletcher).

Four man front; Holliday and Haynesworth as the DTs. Haynesworth draws three blockers as Holliday stunts behind him, but he takes a very wide route and like many of Jim Haslett’s calls it takes far too long to develop and never gets close to the quarterback. Excellent coverage by Fletcher on the TE’s shallow cross.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Redskins @ Detroit 2nd quarter game review

You can find the first quarter review here.


4-5-WAS 25 (15:00) (Punt formation) H.Smith punts 54 yards to DET 21, Center-N.Sundberg. S.Logan to DET 27 for 6 yards (L.Alexander). PENALTY on DET-T.McBride, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DET 21.

Finally a punt with decent hangtime – 4.6 seconds.

Detroit Lions at 14:46

1-10-DET 11 (14:46) M.Stafford pass incomplete short left to J.Best.

Dropped screen pass.

2-10-DET 11 (14:41) (Shotgun) PENALTY on DET-S.Peterman, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at DET 11 - No Play.

2-15-DET 6 (14:41) M.Stafford pass short right to C.Johnson ran ob at DET 18 for 12 yards.

Hall is playing way off the flanker. There’s no one underneath to guard against the out. Landry creeps up to the line and starts to show blitz, but then tries to drop back at the last second but is way too late.

3-3-DET 18 (14:19) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass incomplete short left to N.Burleson (P.Buchanon).

Stafford stares down the receiver on the short route. Buchanon reads it, passes of his WR, and closes to knock the ball loose.

4-3-DET 18 (14:14) N.Harris punts 46 yards to WAS 36, Center-D.Muhlbach. B.Banks to WAS 32 for -4 yards (M.Morris).

For the first time that I have noticed, Banks runs backwards. It doesn’t go well. The Lions coverage team was coming hard up the middle and Roydell Williams and Byron Westbrook had failed to slow down the gunner to Banks’ left so he couldn’t make a break for the sideline.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Redskins @ Detroit 1st quarter game review

Yep told you I'd be back.

As always play by play is taken directly from the official NFL game book and presented in bold, with my commentary added under each play (or most plays) in its own font.

And we're off:


J.Hanson kicks 66 yards from DET 30 to WAS 4. B.Banks to WAS 27 for 23 yards (V.Ciurciu).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-WAS 27 (14:55) D.McNabb sacked at WAS 19 for -8 yards (C.Avril).

Rabach is trying to slide the protection to the left to set up McNabb’s bootleg to the right. But he turns parallel to the line by starting with moving his left foot back, and he plants it squarely on McNabb’s foot to trip him up.

2-18-WAS 19 (14:19) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to R.Torain [K.Vanden Bosch].

Lions line up with three down lineman and Kyle Vanden Bosch, usually a DE, lined up standing and about a yard off of Hicks at RG. Lichtensteiger thinks he is uncovered and helps Williams with the RDE, totally missing Vanden Bosch crossing behind the center and storming through the A gap to bear down on McNabb quickly enough that he couldn’t even get out a simple swing pass.