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Good Morning (Afternoon?) News 9/26

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-- The Washington Times notes the myriad of ways a Portis team is improved over one without him. Namely, the defense is forced to actually respect the backfield. We'l see how he does against one of the better rushing defenses in the league next week.

-- In case you missed it, Mark Brunell set an NFL record with 22 straight completions against the Texans. It should be noted (and was witnessed by anyone watching the game) that Brunell didn't actually complete 22 straight passes. He missed a few that were called back because of penalties. But still, I'd be thrilled if Brunell continues to complete 88% of his passes (though I ain't holding my breath).

-- Joe Gibbs takes the blame for Sunday's penalties (must click link for story).

That [126 yards on 12 penalties] is reflected by the head coach," Gibbs said. "Normally, teams that are very disciplined don't have penalties, to be truthful about it.

Let's hope the penalties are taken care of by next Sunday.

-- Why was former Redskins CB Fred Smoot starting the Min/Chi game on the sideline this week?

-- Obligatory congratulations to both the New Orleans Saints and their beleagured fans on the Saints 23-3 win over the Falcons. My man-crush on Drew Brees continues unabated.

-- The Jaguars are not the Houston Texans, which explains why The Sporting News has them beating the Washington Redskins 23-13. Various betting lines have the Jags favored by a slightly lower margin, at 2 and a half to 3 points.

-- Newest Inside Slant piece is up at USA Today, Fox Sports, and CBS Sportsline. Nothing new here, as it is the usual high praise for Portis' preformance against the Texans. 'When he plays we win, when he doesn't we lose' kind of thing. The opponents were markedly different as well, if anyone cared to notice. My favorite part of Inside Slant is always the player notes, though. Two intriguing points:

As practice ended last Thursday, veteran right guard Randy Thomas gathered the winless Redskins around and delivered one of his usual impassioned speeches. Three days later, the Redskins, who had opened with losses to Minnesota and Dallas, beat Houston 31-15.

Downplaying any part he played in the victory, Thomas said, "We were going to play hard anyway."

That is exactly what I want to hear. Also:
"I was definitely surprised," said Duckett, who was scratched because coach Joe Gibbs wanted to keep three tight ends active. "Of course, (not playing) eats at me. You want to play. But it's a team sport. You have to be a team player. Everything off the field would give me a headache if I thought about it every day."

Duckett did not dress on Sunday, which is strange as we expended so much to get him. Hopefully he can earn his keep down the road.

-- Check out postgame interviews, game highlights, and Redskins Cheerleaders "Beauty on the Beach II" at the Official Website of the Washington Redskins.

-- La Canfora at the Post notes that the team is being cautious towards Brunell's cut arm. I'm not concerned about it... yet, but will keep you posted as more news comes in.

-- Lee Gibbons over at The Redskin Report was kind enough to break down the Redskins penalty problems. Jon Jansen, we're looking your way.

Let me know what I missed in the comments section.