Sunday, October 08, 2006

UGH! Giants 19 Redskins 3

Some of you noticed that I predicted a Redskins win in a post written today, but in the season-long preview written a few weeks ago, I had predicted a loss for the Skins in the meadowlands.

In fact, two weeks ago I had predicted that the Redskins would lose today but that prediction was made before the Redskins first win. The prediction of a win today was made after the Redskins figured out Saunders playbook (or so I thought) and racked up almost 500-yards against an excellent Jaguars defense, the same defense that shut out a pretty good Jets team today.

So here we are, and the Redskins offense is Jekyll and Hyde. One week the Redskins O-line shuts down one of the best D-lines in football, and the next they give up three sacks to an average D-line. One week Mark Brunell has all day to throw, and the next he barely has time to set his feet.

Notice I place all of the blame for today's loss on the Redskins offense. The Giants have a very good offense and any time a team's defense holds them to nineteen points, they should win the game. The fact that the Redskins O could not get any points today is the reason for the loss. (Update: After reading the box score this morning I realized that the failures of the Redskins offense forced their defense to stay on the field for almost 35 minutes in the game including over 20 minutes in the second half. It is a miracle that the Redskins D held the Giants to only 19 points.)

Next week the Redskins offense gets to "get healthy" against the Titans. Their next real test will come in Indianapolis in two weeks. Which Redskins offense will show up, Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde's? But, whichever O shows up over the next few weeks, one thing is sure: The season has a long way to go and this Redskins team is very good. They are still on the path that leads to the NFC East title.

More thoughts 10/9/06: Michael Wilbon had this to say in Today's Washington Post, and I completely agree:

Sometimes a loss isn't a window to a bigger picture. Sometimes there's no greater meaning to draw from an athletic event than the result of the day. And the Washington Redskins' 19-3 loss to the Giants on Sunday is probably such a case in point.

The Redskins' offense, which had averaged 488 yards and 33.5 points per game the last two weeks, ran into a talented and stout defense that had been soul-searching for two weeks. The New York Giants, a team with legitimate Super Bowl ambitions, desperately needed to beat the Redskins and did. The Giants, if they wanted to avoid having their season start slip-sliding away one month in, had to win. The Redskins, much as they wanted to, did not. And the result was rather predictable, actually.

As Joe Gibbs said in his press conference, (I paraphrase) you strive to steal a road win against an NFC East opponent and win all of the home games against them. It is tough to win any NFC East road game.

Yet, despite the loss, the Skins are still on the road to the NFC East title and have won and lost the games that I predicted they would in the season preview. The Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles will beat each other up. The Redskins need to sweep the Eagles to get the title, but that can be done.


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