Monday Morning H-Back
Sorry about the late posting; took me darn near 90 minutes to get to Redskins Park this morning. The joys of 495. Even at 9:30 a.m. it's ripe to come to a complete standstill.
That was a pretty manly performance. The Skins overpowered the Jags at the line on both sides of the ball. They actually pushed the Jags around more than they did a weak Houston team the week before. It was hard not to be impressed. The combo of Brunell to Moss is looking like it did this time a year ago. Al Saunders is back to full-blown guru status with his offense topping 480 yards two straight weeks. Coach Gibbs can exhale and take his knuckles out of his mouth (some of the television shots of the pure anguish on Joe's face during that back-and-forth game said more than he ever would at a post-game press conference).
Rock Cartwright was a beast on kick returns. John Hall got the job done again. Frosty, was, well, Frosty, with that one shank, but still came out alright. Even Adam Archuleta (who got picked up on the blitz too regularly) and Andre Carter got off the schnide.
Have to give the biggest props to the O Line, Sellers and the tight ends. They ran those power sweeps to perfection - the outside running game was the truth, as it had to be - forced Jacksonville's tackles to repeatedly run side-to-side, and you could see the fatigue set in late as Saunders called run after run in the fourth quarter. By that time the interior of the Jags' defense sagged a bit, too, and the Redskins plundered between the tackles, too.
It's pretty apparent now that the identity of this offense is the same as last year, and those plays are still the bread and butter. The swagger and confidence of that offense when Portis is being Portis is palpable. Keeping that shoulder healthy is paramount. His presence lifts everyone else and makes the passing game so much more threatening.
After a win that gutsy, it's hard to list the negatives, but, hey, it's also my job. B.Lloyd had that big 30-yard, third-down reception, but he still has yet to seemingly find his way, he cost the team 15 yards and big field position by lifting Moss after that touchdown (the NFL needs to get a grip with some of the celebration penalties) and that fumble was awful. It could have cost them the game. He has to hold on to the ball there. It did not even look like that big of a hit.
The biggest issues however, rest with the defense. Who would have thought the Skins would reach a point where the offense is holding up the defense? The secondary is in shambles. Even when teams are totally one dimension and it's obvious they have to pass, the yards keep piling up. That same area of the field that Tom Brady skewered in the preseason - 30-50 yards downfield right over the middle - is as fertile for opponents as it's ever been.
They can't keep allowing those kinds of big plays and get where they want to get. Like we've been saying all season, getting Springs back would be huge. But even when he does make his first appearance, you'd think Shawn might need a game or two to round into form and be the kind of shutdown corner he has been since signing here. You have to think Baby Brother Manning is going to be trying to light the secondary up Sunday.
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