Okay, so it may have been more than a few hundred, but at one point on the national feed I could hear individual people clapping. Before the game you knew it was two teams playing for nothing. By the end of the game it was clear one team was acting like a group playing for nothing and the other was playing the part of a group trying to keep the party going. This Redskins team has found something to be sure. When I watch these guys I think, "Wow...this looks like an actual NFL team...this looks like teams around the league that know what they're doing."
We can spend all day kicking each other in the nuts wondering where this level of play has been all year. It is an exercise in futility, though. Here are a few thoughts on that subject:
1) We were still employing this new offensive system with players Zorn inherited from an old regime with a different philosophy.Is there really anything to this? I spent some time yesterday at Comcast Studios and kicked the idea around with those folks and one thing we talked about specifically was the fact that we are getting it done now with guys who were brought in since Zorn arrived and not prior to his arrival. (FYI--this means Vinny gets some credit which kills me.) This is not to suggest that Clinton Portis, Mike Sellers, Chris Cooley, Chris Samuels, Randy Thomas, Ladell Betts, or even Jon Jansen are or were guys incapable of thriving in Zorn's offense. I think what it means is that all these guys coming on and contributing now have been brought up in this new system over the last two years--Devin Thomas, Fred Davis, Malcolm Kelly....well, it would be hard/unfair to put guys like Mike Williams, Quinton Ganther, Levi Jones, and even Derrick Dockery in here, but the idea is that our lineup now is full of guys brought in to support the new ideology. Time for all of us to put on our cups, because Cerrato is most likely sticking around to work our nuts like a collective group of heavy bags.
2) Sherman Lewis is having a very positive impact.I am done with trying to read into what his level of involvement during the week means and whether or not he can be effective as a coach if he only speaks to Jason Campbell via candy-gram. The numbers tell us that since Sherman Lewis came on board, we have done better. Period. I still think you don't assume Zorn is useless in all of this. He is the quarterbacks guru and our quarterback is playing great, so he deserves credit. I don't believe for a second that he isn't partly responsible for this turn-around.
3) Hiring Zorn, implementing his offense and drafting players to fit it was sold to us as a 2-3 year investment. We are right in the meat of that investment and it appears we are getting some returns. I find it troubling to think that things are going according to (their) plan and they are considering starting over.
The game yesterday to me came down to two players. If you saw me on Comcast's Post Game Live (video to come), you would have seen me:
A) give it to Chick Hernandez a little about his earring; and
B) talk about Brian Orakpo and Jason Campbell.
Ganther, Davis, Carter, Landry...they all contributed, but I thought that it was fitting to highlight our best offensive player and our best defensive player and then underline the lunacy regarding the potential for JC to be somewhere else next season.
Orakpo was a beast. He personally accounted for somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-75 negative yards for the Raiders. Four sacks did not even tell the story of his day...how crazy is that?
Campbell was once again on fire. He threw the ball so accurately on the run yesterday (for the most part), I wondered aloud why they didn't purposely move him around more often (picture Mark Rypien rolling and throwing bombs.)
In the comments today, I thought we would try something a little different. I will start a few comment threads with some questions and everyone is encouraged to ask their own questions raising separate issues. Let's all pull together to gain some "public" opinion on these topics so we can determine the direction of the posts this week.
|Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs