Let the record show while I don’t mind Thursday Night Football’s college matchups…I’m not exactly embracing Thursday Night Football in the pro game.  I don’t really like having the NFL shoved down my throat while I’m still kind of full from the previous weekend.  I recognize the pro football player needs more than three days to recover physically before throwing his body back into the meatgrinder of a collision game.  I see that teams need more than three days to effectively gameplan for their next opponent in today’s age of X and O chess.  And Thursday night still has a tacked on feel to the schedule– but I’d like it if they gave the games to teams coming off their bye week.  Think about it– 11 days to heal.  A full week to prepare a gameplan.  And a team’s fans would be hungry for football as opposed to just recently full.

The Redskins have a strange sense of deja vu…last year they were 3-6 and faced Philadelphia after having a Sunday off.  This year the team is 3-6…and plays the Eagles after being idle the previous Sunday.  The ingredients to a fantastic final lap are here!  Unfortunately, the Redskins are in position for a miracle run thanks to a 34-27 loss at Minnesota.  This come-from-ahead defeat was a nice microcosm of the good, bad and ugly that is 2013…

RG3VER– the face of the franchise completed 24 of 37 passes for 281 yards… three touchdowns and no interceptions while adding 7 carries for 44 yards.  But after staking the Skins to a 13-point lead early in the third quarter…#10 seemed to shrink.  In the three drives following the FG, the team ran 11 plays for a combined minus 5 yards while the Vikings jumped ahead.  Although no team should give up scoring drives on four straight second half possessions and expect their QB to bail them out.

Morris monopolizes the moves– Alfred the Magnificent notched 26 carries for 139 yards… reaching the century mark in consecutive games for the first time all season.  It would have been nice to have seen him get the ball more than just 9 times for 51 yards after intermission though.  Meanwhile, Slater (Roy Helu Jr) and Lisa Turtle (Darrel Young) assist in third down and short yardage scenes.   But much like the duck, goose or whatever bird that died because of the oil found under the football field…this episode met a sad end.

Pierre’s Peerless– Monsieur Garcon dazzled with 7 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown–with two of those grabs coming on third down (one incompletion to him in the first half resulted in a defensive pass interference).  It’s a shame there aren’t two other receivers with French sounding names so we can do a legitimate Three Musketeers riff.

Reed My Lips…No New Tight Ends– Jordan Reed added 6 receptions for 62 yards and a score…3 of those catches coming on third down (one for a TD)…and with Logan Paulsen producing another TD catch (on 3rd & 1) while Niles Paul becomes the kickoff returner du jour, there’s minimal room in the future–or even present–for Fred Davis.

Third and Conditional– the Skins moved the chains on 9 of 16 attempts (which is great!) but went 0-5 after taking a 27-14 lead.  Instead of keeping the suddenly awaking Vikings offense on the sidelines, the Skins went: incomplete to Garcon, sack and sack while the Vikes took the lead.  Yardage breakdown:  3-7 on short yardage (under 4 needed)…3-4 on midrange (4 to 6 yards) with a fifth converted on a defensive pass interference…3-5 on long yardage (7 yards+).  Play breakdown:  15 passes and 2 runs called.

Defensive Dissolve– instead of resolve.  Leading 27-14 the D allowed the Vikings offense that had averaged under 18 points over its last four games to drive 74 and 41 yards for touchdowns…and then move the ball 30 and 40 yards to get into field goal range.  So the unit with most everybody healthy (unlike last year) is now 18th against the run (actually up four spots this week), 26th against the pass, 27th in total yardage surrendered and 31st in points allowed.  At least they’re tied for 12th in takeaways.

Flying Flags– 8 penalties for 63 yards…with some more costly than others.  Three came on offense (false start, hold and delay of game), three came on defense (one unnecessary roughness plus two from NT Chris Baker [roughing the passer and a neutral zone infraction]) and two more came on the same punting sequence (false start and unnecessary roughness).  The punt penalties turned a Redskins 4th & 3 from their own 35 into a Vikings 1st and 10 from the Washington 41.  They’d score the go-ahead TD five plays later.  Both Viking touchdowns in the first half were assisted by Redskin defensive penalties.  The offensive penalties had minimal impact (Skins scored TD’s on both first half flags…and they were able to get a first down after a Paulsen hold created a 1st & 20).  The Vikings were penalized once.

Cobra Kai– Mr Forbath connected on field goals of 20 and 40 yards…a nice bounceback from last week’s block party.  The season log reads 7 of 11 and 19 of 19 on extra points.  As the Redskins fortunes fade…one wonders exactly when Johnny Lawrence moved on and gave up on Ali.  Or did he just switch sports and join a diving team when he reached college?

Dissecting the Division– Dallas remains atop the NFC East despite its 32 point loss to New Orleans…as they have the head-to-head tiebreaker with Philadelphia.  While the Cowboys get the 4th seed…the Eagles settle for 10th.  The NY Giants third straight win propels them to 3rd (thanks to a 1-2 division mark) and 12th in the NFC… while last place Skins rank 13th in the conference.

Which West is best?  for this week it’s the AFC…24-12 as opposed to the NFC West’s 24-14… with the NFC East now 6th at 16-22 (percentage points behind the NFC North).  A 4-0 week by the NFC locks up the intra-conference competition at 23 wins apiece…

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