I want to enjoy today’s game, but this week has been brutal. I saw a sports segment promotional tag on TV fly by as I was watching some college football last night. It read ‘Fail to the Redskins’. I didn’t see the segment. Steve Wyche of the NFL network picked the Redskins to lose today. Today’s USAToday.com sports section shows a picture of Jason Campbell dropping a ball. The article’s title reads ‘Week 4: Five Players Under Fire’.
Wyche must have had one of those ubiquitous gut feels. Or, maybe he’s tapped into the Redskins’ and Buccaneers’ teams so well he knows the Bucs’ game-day playbook is superior to the Skins’. After all, there must be some reason he thinks a second-year QB getting his first start and a defense which is porous against the run will win on the road. Hmmm. No matter – that’s why they play the game. As for USAToday, they astutely pointed out that the Redskins tried to trade for Jay Cutler. Wow – what a news flash!
Look – no matter what you think of Dan Snyder, and I do think media opinions are tainted by the Danno’s image – judge the Redskins after this game. I say that primarily because it’s the 4th game of the season. The Redskins are reasonably healthy, they’re playing at home (not sure that helps lately unless they score first) , and they surely have some sense of urgency. Back to my primary reason – it’s the 4th game. The second training camp so many teams go through in September is over, at least for those teams which will be competitive. Any lingering issues which needed to be addressed after the final roster cut-down (being in sync, installing more of the playbook, etc.) have been addressed. If you’re so inclined, spew venom if the Skins lose. If you’re a really young fan, have a good cry. Either way, today’s the day to let it fly if the Skins don’t win. No excuses.
I hate thinking this, but here goes sports fans. We’ll see more of the same, by and large. By that I mean it will be a relatively low scoring game. Sure, Campbell should hold onto the ball, moist or not. (He said last week’s balls were wet. Well now JC, you have played in the rain before, right?) And yea, the Skins’ defense should wake up from its funk. But, the smart thing to do against the Bucs is to run. And apparently, if Jim Zorn thinks the Skins should be able to do something, he’s going to call plays accordingly come h*ll or high water. For my money, I hope he’s prepared to switch things up and use short passes as run plays if the offensive line isn’t run blocking well enough to consistently get over 3 yards on first and second downs.
Jason Campbell played at Auburn. This year’s edition of his alma mater deploys the shotgun often, and pretty much runs a hurry-up offense all game. Doing the latter isn’t feasible for the Skins, given all of the offense personnel packages Zorn deploys. But, what about deploying the shotgun for more than half of the offensive plays? Make it the rule. And, what about using the hurry-up offense a couple more times during the game, like after every pair of successive 3-and-outs? The Skins can move the ball when they’re in a hurry, even against really good defenses. The Buccaneer’s defense isn’t particularly good, especially their defensive backs. What the hey – abuse Tampa Bay. Let Campbell have the extra second the shotgun affords a QB, and wear the Bucs out. I must be typing in my sleep, because I’m dreaming.
Stay tuned on Twitter during the game. I’ll tweet my in-game updates today. My twitter account name is jhowardgiddings. Keep it clean y’all, please. I’ll blog here after the game. I look forward to reading your comments. As for my prediction, oh boy. You are what you show yourself to be, until you prove otherwise consistently. I’ve been lousy at handicapping this season, and the Skins have been lousy at scoring.
Redskins 17 – Bucs 16. Go Skins!