Sunday KneeJerk

Alohas all!

I'm one of the new front page posters that SP has been organizing. I'll try to post my kneejerk thoughts on the game right after it's done. At the very least it will help validate my purchase of the NFL ticket, but I'm hoping it may be interesting to our faithful readership. Let me know how you like it in the comments. If it's lame, I'll stop. I just saw mmmford already posted his thoughts. I haven't read them and warn that mine may be redundant.

For a long time I've seen the Skins play down to the level of their opponent. For the last three weeks the Skins' opponents seem to have been playing up to the bar the Skins set, and this game was a prime example. The Lions played this game with some fire. I did not feel like the close nature of the game was reflective of the Skins' poor play, rather I attribute it to the intensity with which the Lions played.

Player Notes:

Mike Green brings a load at SS. He made some mistakes, but his hitting and ability to stone blockers will be an asset as he gets more comfortable in this defense. I like him at the vaunted "cobra" position when Horton heals. It's likely his role will be similar to that of Godfry's from last year. He's an old, salty vet who knows his stuff and plays physically.

Moss has superhuman speed. I was against him returning kicks because of the potential for injury, but he can change games as a returner, and I'm on board now. He won this game.

Campbell is very careful this year. His accuracy is a testament to his decision making, and he showed it today. There were only a few plays were the defender had a chance to get the ball.

Not having Samuels highlighted his importance to this team. The ground attack wasn't nearly as consistent as it was the past few week. Portis got his yards, but most of them came from longer runs. I saw lots of stops for no gain, which helps explain the lack of third down production.

Jansen was underwhelming in this game, drawing a number of penalties and getting burnt a few times. To his credit, the key third down facemask was a classic "phantom call" and he did anchor the running game in Samuels' absence. Having Samuels on the left looks like it takes a lot of pressure off of the right side.

Coaching:

What was up between Portis and Zorny? Fortunately they got it worked out down the line, but it really took the emotion out of the team. I could tell because it took some emotion out of me, and I'm thousands of miles across an ocean. The announcers made it seem like Portis wasn't happy about being out for a full series. I kind of agree, since it was an important series (aren't they all?) and Alexander was in for three downs without much effect. Zorn better be careful of managing his running backs. Alexander has been nothing but classy and his running has been acceptable, but I'm looking forward to the steadying presence Betts has on this offense.

Zorn's commitment to a balanced attack was stoic. Talk about keeping medium. Campbell was extremely accurate throughout the game and Santana was on fire, the run game was stale during the 2nd/3rd quarter and yet we still saw an even run/pass ratio. Zorn did not bite, and by the 4th the o line had the d line on their heels, and most of the quarter manifested itself in handoffs to Portis for solid, consistent gains. That was ball control football and was a product of Zorn's commitment to grinding the d down from the beginning of the game.

Injuries:

I really feel for the Lions. For a while it seemed like they had an injury every few plays. The one where the fullback and lineman came off at the same time was an especially sad sight. Good luck to the two who were carted off with knee injuries.

While there weren't any major new injuries for the Redskins, they are banged up in a lot of critical places. This team needs rest. The extra day this week is a good thing, especially since the following short week is nullified with the bye.

HTTR!

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