Archives for posts with tag: Heather Locklear

The Redskins began 2017 hoping to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1991-92, needing a win on New Year’s Day over the New York Giants to make the postseason.  Flash-forward 364 days and the Burgundy and Gold wrapped up a second straight non-playoff year by losing to the Giants on New Year’s Eve.  Instead of a 19-10 loss with thoughts of what could have been, it’s an 18-10 defeat with the grim realization of what isn’t.  Momentum in the NFL is a fickle beast…and the Skins have gone from 9-7 to 8-7-1 to 7-9.  While the 24-23-1 mark over the last three seasons is their best since 1999-2001’s 26-22 (the new glory years), one wonders what’s next.  As in another three months of the Kirk Cousins saga sucking all of the energy and optimism out of the room.  Meanwhile, there’s a team with needs that need to be addressed…but we won’t be watching because the dance with #8 will likely be played out as it has been the last two springs.

Here We Go Again- was anyone shocked that the Skins laid an egg against the Giants in week 17?  Last year’s loss is still with many…but 2013 gave us another clunker that set the NFL back 30 years.  Perhaps they should schedule the Cowboys or the Eagles to wrap up the season…

Captain Kirk- the Franchise Tagged One did not save his best for last in 2017, throwing for 158 yards and no touchdowns.  He also threw three interceptions and was sacked three times.  A rough end to a third straight 4,000-yard season, despite losing his top two receivers to free agency and then his top target Jordan Reed to injury mid-season.  His new #1 Terrelle Pryor was as bad a signing as one thought it would be.  There’s been no running game of note to keep defenses honest.  And in some circles the 2017 season will be a referendum on Cousins.  Good luck and godspeed, my boy.  Star Trek Episode Equivalent:  “The Squire of Gothos”, where the crew meet a strange being and we’re marking time until the episode ends.  The original series lasted three seasons- will we get a fourth installment of Captain Kirk commanding the USS Burgundy and Gold?  Or will we be forced to watch Kirk on a different show with Adrian Zmed and Heather Locklear?

Running In Place- the Skins were held to 61 yards rushing…or 14 fewer yards than Orleans Darkwa gained for the Giants on the second play from scrimmage.  Kapri Bibbs had a 16-yard run to highlight his 47-yard outburst.  The absence of a ground game counterpunch once again undercuts a team that plays meaningful games in the northeast where it’s cold.

Receiving Corps- Bibbs led the team in receiving as well with 8 catches for 53 yards…so he reached the century mark in a roundabout way.  Josh Doctson ended his first full season with 4 grabs for 37 yards.  His season totals are comparable to Pierre Garcon, until you realize the veteran missed half of the season.  Jamison Crowder had 3 more receptions to finish atop the team with 66 catches, or one fewer than last year.  If you’re Kirk, do you want to stay and throw to these guys again next fall?

Third and Unlucky- the Skins converted just 1-of-13 money downs.  Cousins completed 4 of 11 passes for 2 conversions while getting sacked once.  Bibbs was stuffed for no gain on a 3rd and 1 in the team’s lone running play on third down.  The top option?  Crowder nets the lone conversion while making two receptions on four targets.  Yardage breakdown:  0-for-1 on third and short, 1-for-3 on third and manageable, 0-for-9 on third and long.  As has been the case for most of the season, the majority of third down plays were needing 7+ yards to convert.  Beyond not ideal.

Zach Attack II- Zach Vigil led the team with 16 tackles…giving the team confidence for 2018.  I’m hoping for a 3-4 defense that features the two Zachs next fall, just to be able to empty all of my “Saved by the Bell” observations (who’s ready to hum a couple of bas of “Friends Forever”?).  Meanwhile, Preston Smith’s interception clinches the best finishing haul by a Preston since my Uncle Chris’ last fishing trip to Colombia.

Flying Flags- only four infractions on the final day, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the officials were swallowing their whistles to get out of the cold in a draft-order game.  Two on the offense (delay of game and a clip) and two on the defense (illegal hands and a trip).  The clip and delay were the two costly ones–turning what would have been a 2nd & 9 form the Giants 42 into a 1st & 30 on the Skins 36.  Not a ton of 1st & 30 plays in the book.

Special Situations- Jamison Crowder’s 29-yard punt return led to the final points of the season for the Skins…unfortunately that spark doesn’t make up for the fumbles this fall.  Dustin Hopkins made a 49-yard field goal while missing from 47 (his only miss inside 50 this season) to finish 14-of-17 in 2017.  Tress Way?  A 47.3 yard average on nine punts…allowing him to finish 13th in gross punting average.  Unfortunately the punt coverage team was less than awesome, so Hopkins ranks 28th in the NFL in net yardage.  Where’s Danny Smith when you need him?

Dissecting the Division- the Eagles despite losing to Dallas have home field advantage in the NFC thanks to boasting a better common opponents mark than #2 seed Minnesota.  Dallas (9-7) takes ninth in the conference after losing NFC record and head-to-head tiebreakers to Detroit and Seattle.  The Redskins (7-9) finish 12th in the conference because Green Bay boasted a better record against common foes.  The Giants (3-13) despite winning lock down the #2 draft pick in 2018.  Lawrence Taylor isn’t available.

Elimination Island- the Ravens’ defeat to Cincinnati blew the purple and black out of the water.  It also allowed Buffalo in the back door for the first time this century.  Despite the Los Angeles Chargers’ win over the Bills in the regular season, Tennessee’s victory over Jacksonville keeps LA from having two playoff teams for the first time since 1985.  Seattle was locked out of the NFC Playoffs when Atlanta beat Carolina.

In a season where each week has basically been “Status Quo Saturdays”…it was nice to see the top 25 get shaken up a little bit. Two top ten teams and six schools in the top 20 went down on a “market correction day”. You see, with extra games against “cannon-fodder”–aka FCS/lower tier FBS teams–a team with top ten expectations isn’t often exposed in Show Me Month. Moving Month brings conference play, where you can’t hide. And there a plenty of one or two loss teams that are better than their record suggests. #5 Stanford slipping at Utah? The Utes are 10 points away from an unbeaten season. #7 Georgia falling to Missouri? the unbeaten #25 Tigers rank 8th nationally in scoring. #12 Oklahoma getting pounded in Dallas by Texas? The previously unbeaten Sooners have looked shaky (close wins over West Virginia and TCU) all season. #18 Michigan getting outscored by Penn State? The Wolverines could have lost to UConn…and should have lost to Akron. #19 Northwestern getting woodshedded by Wisconsin? Much like Heather Locklear dumping David Spade when she realized she was Heather Locklear and he was David Spade…the Badgers came within a bad call at Arizona State from entering their game with Ohio State unbeaten, and the Wildcats allowed 30 points to a 1-5 Cal team and coughed up 21 to Maine. The Big winner? An SEC that boasts a record EIGHT schools in the top 25. The Big loser? A Pac-12 that no longer has a potential battle of unbeatens between Stanford and Oregon (which means the Cardinal bump the Ducks out of the BCS and don’t advance despite a 13-1 record…setting up one last all-SEC BCS game. Damnit.).

Alma Mater Update– somehow the Orange won despite themselves in Raleigh…topping North Carolina State 24-10. While I likened last year’s team to the 1984 bunch that upset an unbeaten (Louisville in ’12, Nebraska in ’84) and appeared to turn the corner in the fourth year of a program-cleansing regime (Marone subbing in for MacPherson), this year’s edition feels like the 1989 unit that looked bad against decent competition while winning ugly against all other opposition (I remember SU getting roasted in the Dome by Penn State and Florida State while scraping to victories over East Carolina and Boston College). Bring on the ACC’s underbelly and a Georgia Tech team that’s dropped three straight. And a fun weekend in Atlanta as the College Football Corner makes its annual road trip to an Orange game. Last year we were lucky with a victory over South Florida…

Maryland holds on for dear life in a 27-26 victory over Virginia…a huge bounceback win for a team that lost by 63 the previous weekend. Last fall the Terps were 4-2 before losing multiple quarterbacks and suffering last-minute defeats that sent them on a 6-game descent…not so this year. Terrapin Triumphs– 332 yards passing and NO interceptions for fill-in Caleb Rowe at quarterback…a defense that held UVa to four field goals in the red zone…and a big-play day that saw 7 plays of 30+ yards jumpstarted by a 77-yard screen pass to Brandon Ross. Terrapin Troubles– three fumbles and six penalties kept the game closer than it should have been…and the defense made David Watford actually look competent (263 yds passing). Next up: Saturday at Wake Forest.

Virginia came oh so close to pulling off an upset; instead, it’s a three game losing streak facing Mike London’s team and the slow realization that of their two wins–one was against VMI, and the other was in the middle of a lightning-delayed game with BYU. It also means that in order to become bowl-eligble, UVa has to beat either Clemson, Miami or Virginia Tech in addition to sweeping Duke, UNC and Ga Tech (a combined 2-6 in the ACC). Cavalier Congrats– the running game gave Watford a fantastic base to work from, as Kevin Parks (112 yards) and Khalek Shepherd (81 yards on 110 carries) were able to find room…Jake McGee (8-114) was able to find spots in the secondary for key catches…and UVa didn’t turn the ball over ONCE. Cavalier Concerns– the inability to score touchdowns in the redzone provided the margin of defeat…and despite a decent day Watford still couldn’t average 10 yards per completion. Next: Saturday vs Duke.

Virgnia Tech becomes bowl eligible with a 19-9 victory over Pitt. While postseason play isn’t a new thing in and around Blacksburg, just remember that last year VT needed an overtime triumph over a 2-8 Boston College plus a three-point win over a 4-7 Virginia to reach six wins…and a Russell Athletic Bowl date with Rutgers. Hokie Highlights– EIGHT SACKS!–including three from Dadi Nicholas…239 yards passing and no interceptions from Logan Thomas…and a no-turnover day. Hokie Humblings– no running game of note: even adjusting for sacks the team gained 99 yards on 35 carries. Where have you gone, Trey Edmunds? Next: October 26th vs Duke.