Redskins Hog Heaven's world headquarters is in the Washington, DC Metro area. If you follow the news, you already know that the east coast is under a hurricane-tropical storm warning. (Earthquake and hurricane in the same week. What are the odds?) The power company warns of long-term power loss.
I have decided to dump my strategy of denial for one of preparation. One of those steps is to alert readers that this could be my last post for awhile.
Here are stories on other sites that I intend to use in some future posts. They make for good understanding of why teams win games...and titles.
The first is a post by staff at NFL.com: Very important common thread among champs.
Actually, I get two threads from this story. The first is the importance of the defensive pass rush. The second is the differential in QB passer ratings of opposing quarterbacks, but give that a little twist.
NFL.com sees those two as one and the same. The Packers, for example, had a 31-point differential between Aaron Rodgers' QB rating and opposing quarterbacks' QB rating. NFL.com sees that as a measure of defensive pass rush. I see that too, but wonder if, as we roll through the season, a straight up comparison of ratings of opposing quarterbacks would be predictive.
During this preseason, Washington's top two quarterbacks, Rex Grossman and John Beck, combined for a 94.5 passer rating. Philadelphia's top two quarterbacks, Mike Kafka and Michael Vick, combined for a 73.6 passer rating. Does the head-to-head comparison alone point to a Redskins win over the Iggles in a game. Well, yes—if we are talking preseason games. I don't expect those stats to hold in real games. Tracking it and comparing it to regular season game results will be a season-long project.
Before you ask, Vince Young ranks third in preseason stats for the Eagles. With a rating of 64.9, Young performed below the average of Kafka and Vick. That's the caution about preseason. Kafka-Vick-Young will not be the order of the depth chart in the regular season.
Young's poor performance is because he is new to Philadelphia's offense. That highlights something we harp on a lot here at Redskins Hog Heaven. Transitions come at a price that must be paid.
All those people Philadelphia added to the roster have to learn to work with together. In a normal league year, that could take as long as eight regular season games. It could take much longer this year.
That's why buying talent never worked for the Redskins, especially when an impatient owner swapped people in and out before they had a chance to jell. The Eagles added some impressive pieces. Getting all those new people in-synch takes more than a notion.
Redskins vs. Eagles, Preseason version
My approach differs from how NFL.com's staff uses the metric. They look at a team's QB rating and the rating of that team's opponents and looked at the difference. In preseason games against the Ravens, Steelers and Browns, the Eagles had a negative eight (-8) differential in QB rating performed (69.9) and QB rating allowed (77.9).
The Redskins had a positive differential (+12.8) in QB rating performed (81.9) compared to QB rating allowed (69.1). NFL.com says the 'Skins should win a preseason game against Iggles based on that differential. Why? Because the Redskins have the better pass rush as shown by the positive difference in QB rating. Philadelphia's pass rush is very effective as shown by their opposing QB rating of 77.9. Michael Vick's and Vince Young's atrocious performance are anchors on Philly's ability to win.
Washington's pass rush took a hit with the loss for the season of second round 2011 Draft pick Jarvis Jenkins.
No love for Washington
Do not expect that to hold up in the regular season. Philadelphia is better than they have shown. The world hasn't bought into the Redskins yet. Dan Graziano, NFC East blogger for ESPN, just posted a summary of Scout inc.'s rating of the top 200 NFL players. Graziano focused on players in The Beast. Chris Cooley is the highest ranked Redskins player on the list. Capt. Chaos comes in at 119 of the 200.
LaRon Landry, O.J. Atogwe and Brian Orakpo show up in position rankings, but not as best in class.
Quarterbacks are overratted
You last bit of homework is an April 2011 post in the Pro-Football-Reference.com blog. No "passing leader" has won the Super Bowl. I want to work that into some future post on the over-hyped Beck vs. Grossman storyline and the over-weight placed on that whole "franchise quarterback" thing.
Teams don't need superman under center to win titles. They need competent quarterbacks who are in-synch with the vision of the coach who calls the plays. That is the main reason that Donovan McNabb is gone and that John Beck may start in his place. McNabb, Beck and Grossman are all going to be bunched in the bottom half of quarterback ranking this season. Yet, their teams may still be at or over .500.
It worked for Mark Sanchez, didn't it?
There's your homework for the next few days, students. As the world's most interesting man might say, "Stay dry, my friends."