I am a 48-year-old football fan, who has ever only followed 2 football teams, 1st the Oakland Raiders and then in 1977 the Washington Redskins. I feel like I know a lot and that I have seen a lot… Just like anybody else my age.
Us “realists” have been banging the drum loudly for as long as anybody cares to remember. We have huddled in our little groups and snickered and pointed at those queuing up at the punch bowl for their cup full of Kool-Aid.
I think that those of you who have endured the cynicism and sharp points made by myself and perhaps others might enjoy a little something that the Redskins organization cooked up yesterday… A blue plate special with a large roasted crow for me to consume.
This particular dish does not have any bitter components to it… I am not going to ruin it's flavor with any “ifs” or “buts”.
To the offensive line–you guys played well as a unit. You kept your quarterback clean, and gave him time and passing lanes to make plays. You got positive running yards in obvious running situations and you pounded the ball in to the end zone. In a very loud, hostile dome, you acquitted yourself well and played almost mistake free. If anybody was playing injured, it sure did not look like it.
To the wide receivers (and particularly the 2 new free agents)–you've got good separation and gave your quarterback a good target; you got yards after the catch, you showed playmaking speed. If you didn't catch the ball, you were making blocks downfield for your ball carrier.
Fred Davis–you blocked well. At a critical point in the game, you lined up as a in-line tight end and ran a good curl route, came back to the ball and made the catch for a 1st down… You looked like an NFL tight end.
Brian Orakpo–you're a much better linebacker today. You may not have gotten a sack yesterday, but you pressured the quarterback well and batted down 3 balls.
To the defensive secondary–you gang of “misfits”. All you did was play man coverage on one of the NFL's best receiving corps. You communicated well and played well as a unit. Almost every Saints pass was contested, you played the ball well, and when you couldn't get to the ball, you made the tackle; you kept everything in front of you and didn't allow the Saints any easy big plays.
To Reed Doughty–you didn't get the start, but you got the finish.
And finally, to the coaching staff–Mike and Kyle Shanahan, you showed me that you know how to use the talents of your players on offense and to create a winning game plan around them. Kyle didn't abandon the run.
Jim Haslett, you showed me yesterday that you do know how to call a 34 defense against an elite NFL offense on its home turf.
Coach Slowick, your linebackers played the best game I have seen them play in recent memory.