Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Redskins 17 – Bucs 10: It Wasn’t a Blow Out; So Sue Me

But you thought it was going to be a blowout after the Bucs’ first three possessions, didn’t you? Of course you did. Everyone did.

In the Bucs’ first possession, the Redskins’ Demetric Evans sacked Simms on third-and-long and forced a punt. In the Bucs’ second drive, LaVar Arrington intercepted Simms and returned the ball to the six-yard line. Clinton Portis pounded over the goal line from there on the next play. In the Bucs’ third possession, Sean Taylor made a great athletic play picking up Carnell "Hyundai" Williams’ fumble, which was forced by Marcus Washington, and Taylor took it to the house: Redskins 14-Bucs 0; the game was over before the first quarter was over.

So, why didn’t it end in a blowout? Simple: both of the guys who scored in that first quarter missed most of the second half. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have been close.

There Must Have Been a Second Spitter
Is it me, or has everything that can happen in life been portrayed in Seinfeld? Was Roger McDowell in Tampa?

Sean Taylor, the Redskins’ safety whom Gregg Williams said was the best athlete he has ever coached—and he’s coached some great ones in Kearse, Arrington, etc.—missed the second half of the game for allegedly spitting at Michael Pittman. I didn’t see any spit, and Taylor denies doing it, but it is hard to believe that the Ref would throw Taylor out of the game unless he was sure. On the other hand, Taylor was fined $17,000 for the spit, but earlier in the year he was fined $20,000 for wearing different colored socks from the rest of the team. If the league was sure, wouldn’t they levy a bigger fine than one for a uniform violation? There must have been a second spitter.

NEWMAN: June 14, 1987.... Mets Phillies. We're enjoying a beautiful afternoon in the right field stands when a crucial Hernandez error (leads) to a five run Phillies ninth. Cost the Mets the game.

KRAMER: Our day was ruined. There was a lot of people, you know, they were waiting by the player's parking lot. Now we're coming down the ramp ... [cut to film of the day - like the Zabruter (sic) film - with the Umbrella man and everything]... Newman was in front of me. Keith was coming toward us, as he passes Newman turns and says, "Nice game pretty boy." Keith continued past us up the ramp.

NEWMAN: A second later, something happened that changed us in a deep and profound way that day forward.

ELAINE: What was it?

KRAMER: He spit on us.... and I screamed out, "I'm hit!"

NEWMAN: Then I turned and the spit ricochet of him and it hit me.

ELAINE: Wow! What a story.

JERRY: Unfortunately the immutable laws of physics contradict the whole premise of your account. Allow me to reconstruct this if I may for Miss Benes as I've heard this story a number of times.

JERRY: Newman, Kramer, if you'll indulge me. According to your story Keith passes you and starts walking up the ramp then you say you were struck on the right temple. The spit then proceeds to ricochet off the temple striking Newman between the third and forth rib. The spit then cam off the rib turned and hit Newman in the right wrist causing him to drop his baseball cap. The spit then splashed off the wrist, Pauses In mid air mind you- makes a left turn and lands on Newman's left thigh. That is one magic luggie…

NEWMAN: Well that's the way it happened.

JERRY: What happened to your head when you got hit?

KRAMER: Well. Uh, well my head went back and to the left

JERRY: Again

KRAMER: Back and to the left

JERRY: Back and to the left Back and to the left

ELAINE: So, what are you saying?

JERRY: I am saying that the spit could not have come from behind ... that there had to have been a second spitter behind the bushes on the gravelly road. If the spitter was behind you as you claimed that would have caused your head to pitch forward.

ELAINE: So the spit could have only come from the front and to the right.

JERRY: But that is not what they would have you believe.

NEWMAN: I'm leavin'. Jerry's a nut. [Exits]

KRAMER: Wait, wait, [Exits]

JERRY: The sad thing is we may never know the real truth.

In the second half, all of the Bucs’ receivers who had alligator arms in the first half suddenly were extending for receptions. Simms suddenly began throwing the ball deep. And the Bucs gave a few Redskins fans heart attacks. Of course, none of that would have happened had Taylor been in there in the second half because none of it happened when he was in there in the first half.

Sack Simms to Win
Chris Simms is now 0 – 5 in games when he is sacked three or more times.

It’s Griffin, Taylor and Salave’a...
Cornelius Griffin and a healthy Taylor and Joe Salave’a were the main difference between this game and the last one on November 13. Griffin and Salave’a deflected both passes that were intercepted—one by Arrington and the clincher by Marcus Washington.

...and Portis
Clinton Portis couldn’t put up another hundred on the Bucs as he did in the last two games against them because he hurt his shoulder knocking out—that’s right knocking out—a blitzing Bucs’ linebacker and sat out most of the second half. For a superstar runner, Portis goes above and beyond the call to help his team win. Only Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell gained more rushing yards in their first four seasons than Portis. Can you picture Dickerson blocking anyone, let alone crushing anyone with a block? Guys with those kinds of numbers rarely block.

This is an example of the reason why I think this team has a chance to do something special. I haven’t seen this kind of unity and self sacrifice on the Redskins since Joe Gibbs’ last term. The deck is definitely stacked against them, but as I said, they are the best team in the NFC.

Enough About the Lack of Offense
Did anyone notice that when the Redskins’ offense lined up the Buccaneers had the gall to put eleven of their players on the field? Who did they think they were? Oh, yeah. Statistically, they were the number one defense in the NFL this year. They get paychecks too.

The Redskins get FOURTEEN points in the first quarter because their defense played even better than the Bucs’ and you expect them to open up the offense with a 14 – 0 lead? If Gibbs had done that, I would have thought he was crazy. He didn’t, and he won his 17th playoff game. So, once again Gibbs confirmed that he knows more about football than Chris Berman, Steve Young, Tom (we Shoulda’ won SB XXII) Jackson, Woody (how bout dem Cowboys) Paige, and a whole host of people ragging on the Redskins offense right now.

By the way, Tampa only gave up 278 yards per game this year versus 319 for the Seahawks and the Bucs didn’t get to play six games against the Rams, Cards, and 49ers. A fifteen-percent difference is not small in the NFL. But, there will be more on the Seahawks later. Remember the old adage about defense and special teams in the playoffs? Hail to the Redskins.


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