Thursday, December 28, 2006

Skins v Giants: 2006's Last Hurrah (for Both Teams?)

Well, this is it for the Redskins. Their playoff hopes ended a few weeks ago. But, Giants fans are still dreaming.

And, I mean dreaming.

Today, Jay Greenberg of the NY Post writes that the Giants should win this weekend because the Redskins are a bad team. Hey, Rumplesgreenberg, did you take a nap on November 11 and just wake up? This is your wake up call. Read this out loud to hear how it sounds:

Sunday, 11/12 BEARS L 38-20

Monday, 11/20 at Jaguars L 26-10

Sunday, 11/26 at Titans L 24-21

Sunday, 12/3 COWBOYS L 23-20

Sunday, 12/10 at Panthers W 27-13

Sunday, 12/17 EAGLES L 36-22

Sunday, 12/24 SAINTS L 30-7

The Giants have lost six out of their last seven games and Greenberg calls the Redskins a bad team. Bwaa Ha Ha.

Let’s see: The Giants last seven games include losses to the Jaguars, Cowboys, and Saints. The Redskins played those same teams recently, but the Redskins won. And, the Redskins also beat the Panthers and should have beaten the Eagles. So, in games against recent common opponents the Redskins are 4 – 2 and the Giants are 1 – 5.

This is not an argument that the Redskins are good or even that the Redskins will beat the Giants. No, the point is to show just how delusional Giants fans like writers Greenberg, Magaraci, and Needell have become. Even if the Giants beat the Redskins, they will be demolished by their first-round opponent. Just don’t tell that to any writers at the NY Post or Newark Star Ledger.

Here’s my take on the game: Two weeks ago, after the Redskins played their best game on defense and shut down the Saints’ NFL-leading offense, I said that the Redskins could win out. All eleven starters on the defense played in that game and played well. Then, Marcus Washington, their best linebacker, hurt his knee in practice the following week and was put on IR. Then, Shawn Springs, their best DB, broke his shoulder on the first play of the next game and was put on IR. Then, Philip Daniels, their best DE, developed a heart-rhythm problem and missed most of the next game (our prayers are with him). That’s one very important player from each of their three units.

In a nutshell, that is how this Redskins season has been from the start. I should have known on opening night against the Vikings when Pierson Prioleau, a very good safety and excellent special teams player, sprained a knee on the opening kickoff without even being touched. And, of course, he missed the entire season.

With all of the Redskins injuries this year, their coaches spent most of the season evaluating young talent at important positions for next year. Jason Campbell has shown he is the real deal. First rounder Rocky MacIntosh got his first strart last week taking Marcus Washington's place and looked great. They signed kicker Shaun Suisham, who has been a perfect eight-for-eight on FGs since missing his first one, a fifty yarder. Suisham could take the team lead in scoring with a good week, which is pretty pathetic given it will only be his fifth game as a Redskin.

And, Ladell Betts took over for the injured Clinton Portis and has shown he is the prototypical Gibbsian running back who can gain huge chunks of yards running between the tackles. He’ll break the team record if he rushes for his sixth straight 100-yard game against the Giants. Betts gives the Redskins tremendous options. What NFL team wouldn't want a talented young running back like Clinton Portis? How many would pass up the chance to get Portis fo a couple of high draft picks?

The Giants have everything to gain from playing hard and playing to win. The Redskins have nothing to gain but pride and experience. If the Giants do not win this game with all of the Redskins injuries, it will only be because the Giants are a really bad team that has no business even thinking about the playoffs. It will only be because the Giants are a worse team than the Redskins. At least the Redskins have hope for next year. For the Giants, this is the best it is going to be for a long, long time; enjoy it while you can Jay Greenberg, but don't bet the ranch this weekend.

The Counter Trey family will be screaming from our seats in 118 on Saturday, spending a little time at the Library of Congress, and we hope to get a chance to pay our respects to President Ford. Happy New Year!


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