Friday, September 05, 2008

What we learned from opening night

1. Eli Manning still throws a lot of interceptions. The guy isn't a bad quarterback. He's a good quarterback and will enjoy a long, successful career. But one solid stretch at the end of last season did not cure him of all his ills, chief among them being his unfortunate tendency, at least two or three times a game, to put a pass right between the numbers of a guy in a different-color shirt. He did it at least four times on opening night -- including once in the end zone -- but you're not going to hear about it because the Redskins caught only one of those passes. Great quarterbacks don't just rack up yards and TDs. They protect the ball.

2. Are they sure that's the West Coast offense? John Madden remarked on it at least once, and I've heard it elsewhere: The Redskins under Jim Zorn have installed a West Coast passing offense but are leaving intact the power running game from the second Joe Gibbs era. Wha ... ? This is the football equivalent of wearing brown shoes with a blue suit. There's nothing inherently wrong with either, but you don't put them together and call it anything but ugly. In the West Coast, short passes are essentially part of the running game. The passing and the rushing have to be integrated seamlessly. You can't separate them. Well, you can, but don't expect it to work. I'm not saying that this is the reason that the Redskins receivers kept running 8-yard curls on 3rd-and-10, but ... well, maybe I am saying that.

3. The Redskins have Joe Gibbs' running game, Jim Zorn's passing game and Herm Edwards' clock management. Because of their atrocious use of the clock and non-use of timeouts, Washington nearly ran out of time at the end of the first half, just when they were putting together their first sustained drive of the game. Then they did run out of time in the fourth quarter, when, with less than 4 minutes left and needing two scores, they ran more than a minute off the clock with two plays that gained a total of 6 yards. In the waning moments, in their own end of the field, they were still calling designed runs up the middle and 6-yard hitch passes to the numbers.

4. South Carolina's quarterback is named "Smelley." I had to watch something after the game, and I sure as hell wasn't going to hang around on NBC and watch a bunch of politicians sniff their own fumes.

1 comment:

Rich Lanthier said...

OMG was that not the 5th preseason game???? Crimony...You know I can say a lot worse... 6 wins for the skins is optimistic... YUCK!!!!!