Thanksgiving dinner included turkey with stuffing, ham, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, wine, pies and a Redskins can of whupass on the Dallas Cowboys. Heavenly.
Here are 10 Redskins Hog Heaven observations about the team on the day after dinner.
1. The Redskins confirmed their identity as a big play, turnover team. They are a strong rushing team, but running is not the formula for success in the modern NFL. The 'Skins survive on Griffin-fueled big plays and defensive scores off turnovers.
We are holding our view that Washington is a .500 club. The difference between games before the bye and the two games after is that they've made the most of their opportunities off big plays and turnovers. No titles predicted here, but scoring is fun to watch.
2. Are you prepared for next week's Rookie of the Week vote?
So, Robert Griffin III, this week's Rookie of the Week, is the leading candidate for next week's Rookie of the Week. #Redskins— Anthony Brown (@SkinsHogHeaven) November 23, 2012
3. It's not all about RGIII. It just seems that way. Of course, when the opposing secondary leaves our receivers spectacularly open as the Eagles and Cowboys have, RGIII looks good just by finding the open man. The rest of the team feeds off him. In the back of the minds of the secondary, is the thought that a turnover means putting the ball back in Griffin's hands.
Proudly driving my RG32DC plates through Charleston this morning. A new dawn as RG3 blew up the Death Star! #HTTR— Burgess N Goldman (@burgngoldman) November 23, 2012
That said, lets tip the hat to RB Alfred Morris for his one TD, 113 yard day. What a horse. RGIII isn't the only reason why Washington has a bright future.
4. D.Hall, D.Hall. Just when you hate DeAngelo Hall, the man lives up to his role as designated interceptor. He snagged one yesterday, his fourth of the season. Unlike 2010, when he scored four INTs on one game against Chicago, his performance is spread across multiple games. That means more opportunities to beat more opponents.
Vinny Cerrato overreacted to Hall's performance against the Bears and signed him to an incredibly stupid contract that had to be undone by Bruce Allen. I do not blame Hall for the deal. Sometimes your boss just pays you stupid money. Nobody says "no" to that. But, Cerrato and DC Greg Blache disregarded the leadership intangibles that Hall lacks in their effort to build a defense around him. They undervalued Carlos Rogers' superior (to Hall's) coverage skills and overvalued what Albert Haynesworth would bring to the pass rush to force more turnovers. The Redskins incurred the wrath of the NFL Management Council to fix the Hall and Haynesworth contracts. That will always taint D.Hall's reputation around here.
As we said, the deal was not his fault.
5. D.Hall, Part II, The Goal line Slide. Hog Heaven has never seen an onside kick recovered so cleanly and with an express lane to a touchdown as Hall had last night. Hall's slide at the two-yard line triggered quite the discussion at Thanksgiving dinner where Redskins partisans believe one never passes a chance to score on the Cowboys.
Hog Heaven found himself the voice of reason explaining the logic of the move. Defending a controversial move by Hall was an odd sensation. I hope never to repeat it. In narrow situations, it would have been a brilliant move. It was unnecessary, however. Hall's touchdown would have padded the Redskins' lead by two scores.
But, Hall said he was thinking of the team when he slid. "I was always told that the offense closes the game." He wanted the offense to take the victory formation when the Cowboys could do nothing to stop the clock. (See Point No. 2 above) Hall didn't think logically. For once, he reverted to coaching. I'm not going to criticize Hall for listening to coaching.
6. Playoffs? Playoffs? Nothing ignites the playoff what-if game like two-straight wins over division rivals. Every fan of every team plays that game. It's the joy of sports. Here's a quote from an Eagles writer for the Philadelphia Examiner written before the Redskins-Cowboys game.
"On the other hand, if the Redskins pull the upset, the Eagles will maintain sole possession of last place for one more week. Washington would then be 5-6 and move into second place over Dallas via another tiebreaker. In addition, if the 6-4 New York Giants lose to the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 25, then New York, Washington and Dallas would be in a legitimate three-team hunt for the NFC East title – with Philadelphia the only team left out of it."
Pro players, the smart ones anyway, don't give in to that thinking. They don't want to win every game. They want to win the next game. The next game is at home against division rival New York. Win that game, and then go win the next one.
If (hey, I can't resist either.) Washington takes two of its remaining three division games, they can be favored to win the division...provided they do not allow the Giants to sweep them.
This would be possible because the Beast isn't very good this year. 8-8 might take the division. It's as if the Earth reversed rotation so that the sun is rising on the NFC West and setting on the NFC East.
7. The Cleveland Browns are on the schedule. Until the Redskins prove they can beat downtrodden teams like the Browns, Panthers and Rams, lets not size them up for a deep playoff run. Strong teams might beat another strong team, but they always beat the beatable teams.
Don't be fooled by Cleveland's record. The Browns have a rugged defense, on par with the AFC North. The Redskins play the Browns in Cleveland on a cold December Sunday by the lake. RGIII has never felt the cold he is going to feel that day.
Washington should win that game. When did that mean anything? Cleveland is the most dangerous team on the schedule.
8. Kai Forbath made another field goal. He's 10 for 10 on career field goals. If the front office was so smart, why wasn't Forbath in training camp in August?
The Redskins kicked Graham Gano to the curb to for Billy Cundiff's supposed ability to kick touchbacks. That's something for Forbath to work on. He kicked two against Dallas, one helped by a Cowboys penalty that allowed a kick-off from the 50-yard line.
Danny Smith & company made a huge issue of kicking touchbacks while assuming Cundiff's field goal reliability. Forbath's shortcoming on touchbacks beats the alternative. Hog Heaven can live with that.
9. The Redskins did well on the three stats worth watching.
· Quarterback Rating Differential : Griffin's QBR 132.6, Romo's QBR 84.1. Differential +48.5
· Forced Turnovers: Redskins 3, Cowboys 1
· Third Downs Allowed: Redskins 47%, Cowboys 50%
10. Redskins mini-Bye. The coaching staff made the most of the Bye week taking the extra time to game plan the Cowboys as well as the Eagles. It balanced the short week before playing on Thanksgiving Day. Now they get 11 days to heal up and get ready for the Monday Night contest against the Super Bowl Giants. Demand for Redskins tickets will get a bump.
The Giants are the first team to get a second look at the Griffin-fueled offense, and they have both the coaching and the defense to cope with it better than they did in game one. The Redskins blew the lead in that one.
The whole league will watch to see what New York does. The Ravens will copy it if it works. The Ravens defense can do anything the Giants can do. Not every team can.
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