Archives for posts with tag: Joe Theismann

Sometimes an NFL season can turn on a dime.  In the span of four days last week, the Redskins lost their starting quarterback for the season and fell out of sole possession of first place of the NFC East.  Instead of 8-3 with a three game lead in the division, the Burgundy and Gold are fighting for their playoff lives with a backup quarterback that hasn’t seen regular action in four years.  The 23-21 loss to Houston and 31-23 defeat at Dallas don’t have this team on the ropes, but they’re not in great shape for 2018–or beyond.

Broken Leg, Busted Dreams- the season-ending injury of Alex Smith came on the 33rd anniversary of Joe Theismann’s career-ending compound fracture against the New York Giants.  Before the injury, Smith had thrown interceptions on back to back first half possessions.  He also had his lowest completion percentage and yards per attempt of the season and was sacked three times for the third straight week.  Now the veteran stares into the face of an 8 to 10 month rehabilitation.  Will he be able to come back after this?  And if not, how does this team handle the salary cap albatross?

Colt at the Controls- while McCoy threw a touchdown pass on his first drive off the bench, he tossed three interceptions against the Cowboys.  The new starter has a 73.9 passer rating, but now has a full week of practice reps with the first string for the first time since 2014.  So there’s that.  And didn’t he have his best moment in a Monday night on the road that year?

Third and New- under McCoy, the Skins converted 5 of 15 third downs.  The lone running play saw Adrian Peterson gain four yards on third and one.  Colt completed 3 of 9 passes with each of his completions resulting in a conversion while getting sacked twice and scrambling twice (moving the chains once).  His top target:  Jordan Reed (two catches/conversions in four passes thrown to).

Flying Flags- six penalties for 43 yards against Houston and four infractions for 25 yards at Dallas, giving the team 64 penalties (14th most in the league) for 692 yards (5th highest).  Four on offense (three false starts and a hold), five on defense (three holds, an illegal use of the hands, and a roughing the passer) and a hold on special teams.  For the season, offensive holding (23) and false starts (17) are the biggest offenders.  Morgan Moses has the most accepted penalties (8) while Fabian Moreau (6) is gaining ground; the safety’s hold in the fourth quarter against Dallas allowed the Cowboys to hold the ball for three more minutes and help kill the clock.

Dissecting the Division- the loss drops the Skins to second place in the NFC East, as Dallas owns the division record tiebreaker.  While the Cowboys own the fourth seed in the NFC, the Redskins are sixth-taking the second wildcard thanks to a conference  record tiebreaker against Seattle and a head-to-head tiebreaker against Carolina.  Philadelphia’s rally past the New York Giants keeps the Eagles’ season from hitting the skids…the third place team is ninth overall in the conference.  The New York Giants had a chance to escape the cellar but instead stay in the basement and are 14th in the NFC.

If the playoffs began today- the NFC matchups would have the Redskins visiting Chicago and Dallas hosting Minnesota; with top seed New Orleans playing the Cowboys, Vikings or Skins and the Los Angeles Rams meeting the Bears, Dallas or the Vikes.  The AFC would have Pittsburgh hosting the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore at Houston, with top seed Kansas City drawing the Steelers, Chargers or Ravens and New England preparing for the Texans, Pittsburgh or LA.

Competing Quartets, and the Conference Contest- the NFC East is 20-24…tied for sixth best (or worst, depending on your perspective) with the AFC East and NFC West.  The NFC South and AFC West are the tied for first at 24-20.  The AFC currently owns a 24-23 edge over the NFC.

 

 

 

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Does going 4-0 in the preseason get you anything from the NFL Office? Will there be a parade? Is there a banner to be hanged at Fed Ex Field? Bring on the regular season, already…

Precarious Precedent– The first unbeaten August since 1985 makes one look at what happened in the aftermath of that powerhouse preseason. Opening night saw the Skins come apart against Dallas… Joe Theismann throwing 5 interceptions on his 36th birthday in a 44-14 loss to the Cowboys. Theismann’s leg would come into play twice later in the season: his 1-yard punt the lowlight of a 45-10 loss at Chicago…and Lawrence Taylor breaking ending his career on Monday Night Football with the break. Jay Schroeder would wind up leading the Skins to a 10-6 finish but miss the playoffs thanks to tiebreakers with Dallas, the NY Giants and San Francisco. So we’ll shelve the August Advantage…

RGFree– #10 has been cleared to play the regular season opener against Philadelphia by Dr. James Andrews…although coach Mike Shanahan says he has a few concerns he’ll address with his #1 quarterback this weekend. Whatever that means.

Standing Pat with the Postmaster– last in the quarterback line of succession, first in our preseason hearts. Mr. White completed 13 of 22 passes for 181 yards while running for a touchdown…while tossing an interception (perhaps to honor an idle Turnoveraurus Rex). White’s ineligible for the practice squad…so it’ll be interesting to see where he’ll land after Saturday.

Reshuffling the Running Game with Royster– Alfred Morris and Roy Helu Jr. had the night off in Tampa Bay…and Evan Royster goes a long way to wrapping up a roster spot with 59 yards and a touchdown rushing.

Many Happy Returns– Chris Thompson went a long way to locking up the 4th runningback spot…returning a punt 69 yards for a touchdown while handling the kickoff duties as well. Just as important–no fumbles.

Third and Irrelevant– Pat White probably won’t be around…as is the case with more than a few players involved on these “pivotal” preseason plays. The Skins converted 3 of 11 chances to move the chains… going 0-1 on 3rd and short (1-3 yards), 2-6 on midrange (3rd & 4-6) and 1-4 on 3rd on long. White completed 5 of 7 third down passes…the good was a 66 yard strike to Dezmon Briscoe, the bad/ugly a pick six to Najee Goode that resulted in the Buccaneers only touchdown. Play-calling breakdown: seven passes, three runs and a scramble.

Flags Flying– wrapping up the preseason with 8 penalties for 99 yards just isn’t an ideal way to wrap up August. But made by a big chunk of players who won’t be on the Fed Ex Field this fall.

Dominating Defense– 12 points and no offensive touchdowns allowed. Just 146 yards surrendered (2.8 yards per play). Two takeaways and a sack. Getting off the field on third down (Buccaneers were 3-11). One thinks even if this won’t turn out to be a top ten defense this fall…at least it won’t be a bottom five unit like last year.

Tracking the Triumvirate– David Amerson’s interception was impressive…Bacarri Rambo’s 4 tackles was solid…and Chase Minnifield’s 3 tackles were nice while his pass interference penalty will be educational. This trio’s ready to go.

Cobra Kai– Mr. Forbath waved goodbye to training camp competition John Potter like Johnny Lawrence dancing with Ali at the country club for Daniel LaRusso’s benefit (seriously, who wears a red jacket with white pants?). Then the star pupil took a victory lap by connecting on 30, 37 and 47 yard field goal attempts…while making all three extra point attempts. Bring on the Valley Tournament.