"DC" Skins PREgame #12 - vs Minnesota - Purple and Horned

First I want to get some more apologies out of the way for not blogging a lot more during this holiday break. I was spending some quality time with my family, mostly my nephew and niece. I hope you have had as nice and interesting of a few days as I have this holiday. Let's just say I am probably one of the most experienced single, child-rearing adults out there who has never actually sired a seed of his own, nor babysits for a living (that's a blog for another time). But, win or lose, since I've been consistent with doing my Redskins predictions week in and week out, I figured I should keep with it. I will make this short though.

The Vikings fired their coach this week. Does it mean that the organization and team will be inspired with new leadership and possibly play harder? Maybe. Take a look at the Cowboys.

With that being said, the Vikings still have been a mess as a team, and in the center of all that (literally and figuratively) has been their QB Brett Favre. His turnover numbers and passer rating are just plain atrocious, he's been playing hurt, and he's definitely had one of his worst years he's had in recent memory. And I didn't even get into his off-the field issues. (Let's just say that he's appropriate that he is a Viking, because his situation with Jen Sterger shows that he is one "horny" dude.) Favre is slated to start, but I do think the Vikings have a better chance if he gets out of the game (which, in my opinion, he may).

As far as the Redskins are concerned, even though the win against the Titans have gave them some renewed hope for the season, they are still a mess as an organization too. Not to mention, that win last week came with a huge price, as most of the players ended up banged up, or hurt considerably (as in the case of Clinton Portis and others, hurt for the whole year).

I think the Redskins will win this game. Though the Redskins are banged up (most especially on the offensive line), the offense should do enough, while their defense will probably carry the team by causing the Viking offense (mainly Favre) to make mistakes and put them in decent field position. However, I do think the Vikings will keep this game close. As I said, the Redskins are a dysfunctional organization as well, and some of that is going to show on the field somehow. Not to mention, though Favre will probably be expected to make mistakes, Adrian Peterson can ease him off a little bit on offense, as that Viking O-line is a lot more solid than the Redskins'. Furthermore, I did say earlier that the Vikes may have more of a chance if Bret Favre comes out sometime during the game. And with the history of the Redskins defense hurting people this year, there might be a chance he comes out... which may actually help them.

Final Prediction Redskins 21 Vikings 17

I just have a feeling this will be an ugly game, on both ends. And I think the Vikings the "ugliness" can hurt the Vikings more. As of now, it doesn't look like any serious championship contenders will be playing in this game, and it will probably show in the scoreboard.

The Redskins also have proven to play down to their competition, which is why I picked such a close score. But, I do think the Redskins need this game. They need all the wins they can get though, and they must pick up the games that they are expected to win down the stretch. Since they are at home, this could be one of those wins.

If the Redskins win, they will go 6-5. They simply can't go in a key matchup next week against the Giants at 5-6. Therefore, the sense of urgency should be up (despite what we've seen this season), and it should help make a difference. 

But, we'll see come roughly quarter after 4 PM EST.



"DC" Skins Postgame #11 - Titanic Effort Returns Hope

Yes... another late blog. I do realize this should have been posted about two days ago, but who's keeping track?

Anyway, after being left for dead after the massacre against the Eagles last Monday night on national television, the Redskins have gotten some hope back with this 19-16 overtime win against the Titans. This was a game that the Redskins had to win, and going into the game, it didn't look good because the Titans won all the games against the NFC East, and they were very banged up with a lot of key injuries. Not to mention, the Titans are just plainly a lot more talented than them.

As the game was played, it didn't look to good for the Skins initially as well. They allowed the ball deep into their own territory for the first Titans possession, then allowed a touchdown punt return during the next. But fortunately for them, they were only down 7-0. They responded a possession later and tied it at 7, but they could have easily been down by a lot.

Then, the injuries started coming. Special teams players started to go down, then some offensive linemen, then Clinton Portis (again), then more offensive linemen. They were banged up already to start off the game, and they started to lose even more players? It looked bad. Very bad. The coaches were moving people around the line, putting tackles as guards, players who played normally played on the left on the right side, and so on. That offensive line was a patchwork job, and it didn't look like it was going to hold up, especially against a defense that sacked the quarterback the most in the NFL.

But the Redskins offensive line really surprised me. Despite this line being banged up and abnormal, it still probably put up the best effort it has all season. McNabb was only sacked three times, and in most cases, they gave him time to throw the ball. The mistakes that McNabb made and the interceptions he threw were more on him than on his offensive line. There was even one interception he threw where he had forever to throw the ball. Along with the fact that Vince Young was replaced by a rookie quarterback in the 4th quarter, this gritty play of this offensive line, as well as key stops on defense kept the Redskins in it in the end, and the game came down to a Redskins field goal in the end of regulation, which wasn't made. Therefore, it went to overtime.

Overtime was more of the same. The Titans moved the ball a little bit, and depended on Chris Johnson to do so, but apparently the Redskins play made it clear that they would make Rusty Smith (Vince Young's replacement) try to beat them. And of course, he wasn't able to. And after they punted, and when the Titans gave the ball back to the Redskins, offense did it's thing and allowed McNabb to make a few plays. But at the same time, Titans also committed a lot of stupid penalties in this period, including a few unnecessary roughness and holding penalties. So, in the end, the Redskins moved the ball far enough so they had a chance at a field goal. Ironically, that field goal was a yard longer than the field goal that was missed to end regulation. However, Gano (the Redskins kicker) was able to boot it in for the win.

As I said, this is a good win for the Redskins, and it restored some hope in this town and showed that the season is not lost (yet). They beat a team that they weren't supposed to beat and are clearly more talented than them on paper with a very bad offensive line, after a demoralizing loss a week before. Therefore, people in DC have started to rejoice for the week, because the smiles are more apparent after the win. Not to mention, the "P" word could be back in the conversation if there happens to be a couple more key wins. And that starts next week, with a very winnable game against the Vikings (who has a geriatric quarterback with some off-the-field camera phone "issues" and also just fired their head coach).

But, with this win, people here in the DMV should feel good, for now. If they play with that same heart, as they get healthy, they will definitely get back into the postseason conversation. But, it's still very hard to say whether this win determines if this team will be playoff bound. It may be doubtful that the line will perform the way it did that day, and how well (or if) everyone heels up as the season goes on. 

For now, just take it for what it's worth... a win against a more talented Titans team. Whether it gives momentum throughout the upcoming games, we'll just have to wait and see. It does restore hope though. I always believed that hope is the rope of the faithful and loyal. And from living here all of these years, the fans of this team are one of the most faithful in the country. 

That being said, Redskins fans can have something to hang on to for now. Let's just see how long it hangs out there.



"DC" Skins PREgame #11 - at Tennessee - Remember the Titans

The Redskins are coming off one of the most disappointing losses in recent memory against the Eagles. In my opinion they simply have to get a win here to get back in the conversation as far as "playoff contenders". Most people aren't picking the Redskins to do a lot in this game, and that's understandable, considering that they stunk it up on National TV last week, and the Titans have some weapons on offense, and are pretty solid in defense. If they win a game that they are supposedly not to win, that will at least get a little of that bad taste out of their mouth, and get them confident for the next week.

But, as far as if it's actually gonna happen, that may be a whole different story. After this past week, most of the fans have been dejected and disappointed, and even the most loyal ones realistically believe they can't win this game, and to expect disappointment again. As it was said, Tennessee has way too many offensive weapons, with Chris Johnson, Vince Young, and Randy Moss (who was acquired not too long ago). And with the way the Redskins offense has been playing lately (mainly, the offensive line getting McNabb destroyed), the Titans D can shut them down.

I consider myself a pretty loyal Redskins fan. But realistically, like a lot of other Redskins fans out there, if you look at the situation realistically, it's just hard to pick them in anything right now. They're offensive line is terrible, they're missing a few key players on defense, and right now, they're just not a good team.

Prediction: Redskins 21 Titans 37

I will say, that Clinton Portis finally coming back should help the Redskins out a lot, and can possibly get McNabb that pass protection he needs, as a solid blocking running back. Ironically, Albert Haynesworth can be an ex-factor in this game too. He's coming back to his original team, and might be motivated to play, since that is where his brother died. Conversely, the way Shanahan and the defensive coaches play Haynesworth could have a huge say on this game as well.

As I always do whenever I picked the Skins to lose... I hope I'm wrong. But right now, all signs point to the Titans winning, and I just can't avoid those signs (especially if they're too obvious). Fortunately, realistically picking a team to win, and hoping for a win are two different things. So, although I'm doing the former, there's no reason that I can't believe in the latter.

But like I said, we'll see what happens.


PS: If there are a lot of mistakes in this blog, I did most of it when I was only half awake. (Just so you know).


My thoughts on Pacquiao vs Margarito - A Story of Playground Supremacy

I realize I am a week late for this blog. I meant to do this blog sooner, but I was out and about working for the community. Not to mention, I had a lot of things on my mind that I am not really at a liberty to discuss here.

But about this fight... if you are a Manny Pacquiao fan and/or you are a Filipino (which, in both cases, I am), then you loved this fight. From the introductions when he came out to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" and Joe Esposito's "You're the Best" (from the Karate Kid Soundtrack), all the way to the Larry Merchant post-match interview, you were entertained if you were a Pacquiao fan.

Since I am clearly not a boxing analyst or expert, instead of telling you my specific thoughts of what took place during the match, I am going to summarize my thoughts through a story that some people may relate to when they were kids...

Imagine if you knew a kid who was probably one of the smallest in the playground. He was always short, and initially was grouped with all the small kids. Since this kid is a small kid, he had to continuously prove himself. So in time, when kids his size pushed him back, he continued to hold his own and knock them down, until they were no longer a challenge for them. He then became the toughest little kid in that group.

As time went along, bigger kids started to notice him. These kids are part of 7 different groups, with each group having bigger kids than the previous group. Many of these kids tried to get a piece of this kid, but, as time went along, he got stronger. When each of the top kids in each of these groups tried to push him, he kept knocking them down.

After beating some of the best kids from the last 6 groups, out comes a very big kid from that last 7th group. Now the kid has some doubters that he might not do so well. He already went a tough road beating up kids from the last 6 groups. To add on, this big kid towered over the little kid. As big as this kid is, he could have easily been part of the 8th group. Not to mention, because the little kid got so popular standing up to the bigger kids, his classmates elected him class president. He was taking a lot more responsibilities, and probably cannot focus on standing up to the bigger kids as much. Therefore, there were a few people saying that he might not win if he fought this bigger kid, who was naturally much bigger than him.

However, the time came when the little kid had to confront the biggest kid he's ever seen. When the big kid tried to push the little kid around, not only did the little kid push back, but he hit him a lot... and I mean a lot. He hit the big kid so much, that his face was messed up really bad. And to add on, when it was obvious the big kid was already beaten, the small kid decided to show mercy and not "make a statement" by knocking him down.

In my opinion, this story of playground supremacy may somewhat mirror Pacquiao's journey through boxing. He started his career as a flyweight, then he kept moving up, beating guys and winning world championships in 7 different weight classes. This all then culminated into an 8th world championship in his fight against Margarito, who was a pretty big super welter-weight (Margarito had to cut weight to get this fight, while Pacquiao had to bulk up). And despite being elected to the Philippine Congress and taking a lot more responsibilities and having a lot more distractions, he managed to do his job and easily win his fight against Margarito, so much so, that he didn't need to send a message by going for a knockout at the end of the fight.

However, if I could add something else to the story, to make it even more accurate... a kid who's arguably as good as this kid (Mayweather), needs to get a confrontation with this kid to settle who really is the best in the playground. Every kid in this playground wants to see this confrontation, and kids from other playgrounds all over the world do as well. However, there's always an excuse being made (mostly from the other kid) to prevent this from confrontation from happening.

I doubt Pacquiao will move up another weight class and go for a world title in a 9th weight class. That would be unprecedented if that happened. But right now, the only fight that the boxing world wants to see, and the only fight that matters, is Pacquiao vs Mayweather. Hopefully, they would find a way to make it happen, but as it looks right now, with Mayweather's legal problems, it's highly unlikely that it will anytime soon.

But before I end this entry, I just thought I'd throw out one more factoid out there (which I posted after the fight). Manny Pacquiao has more wins all year in Cowboys Stadium than the Dallas Cowboys (with Pacquiao having two wins in 2010, while the Cowboys are still winless in their home stadium in the 2010 season). And as a Redskins fan, that gives me a comfort. LOL



"DC" Skins Postgame #10 - Shocked and Embarassed

I'm not going to say too much about this game. Simply put, it was tough to watch if you're a Redskins fan. The team got embarrassed, humiliated, degraded, or any other negative verb you can throw out there that summarizes pure disappointment.

I am not going to blog about it, not only because it may be a little tough to do so as a fan, but also, the local, as well as the national reaction to the overall Redskins performance (as well as the overall Eagles performance) is practically mutual... the game was not even close. (And that's an understatement).

Instead of talking about it, I'll post a rant from one of the more respected sports radio shows out here in this area, because of the unbiased commentary. This was from Chad Dukes and Lavar Arrington from 106.7-FM "The Fan". Chad Dukes was mad, and really exhibited the passion, and frustration the fans from this area have been going through in years, and just shows how loyal the fans are in this town.

If anybody from the organization heard this rant, I hope they took some notes. People are really disappointed in major failure and expect the best from what they pour their heart out to, as it is in real life.

With that being said, for this team as it relates to this season... this is "Rock Bottom". And when you're at your very worse, you can only get better, which is the way I see it. Although I am probably as disappointed as Chad Dukes with this performance, I always try to find the positive that may come out of a bad situation.

We'll see how they play against another solid team in the Tennessee Titans next week, to see if that pain can actually serve as a motivator to turn the season around. But with this performance, even though I am cautiously optimistic, I still remain more skeptical that this team can turn it around for this season.

So until then, we'll see how it goes. But I will say right now, since I put a lot of faith in my team in that last prediction and lost a lot of it, it may be hard to pick them for the rest of the season.

I will say, that I was right about one thing though. I was right in titling the pregame entry "Redemption". That game yesterday was indeed "Redemption", but it was just more appropriate for the other team.

That's all I gotta say about that.



"DC" Skins PREgame #10 - vs Philadelphia - Redemption Part 2

This is only going to be a quick thoughts blog, just because it a bit after 8:15 PM kickoff is in more or less 15 minutes. I'm just going to get a few quick thoughts in, and then my predictions.

First thought... the Redskins had a very long bye week to sit on their loss. They played the early game in Week 8, and play the final Monday Night game in Week 10. Unless they have huge injuries (like Clinton Portis) there should be no excuses that they aren't prepared or refreshed for this match.

In the two weeks leading into this matchup, all that the DC sports media can talk about is benchgate... did Shanahan do the right thing benching McNabb?, how would this affect McNabb and contract negotiations?, the long-term future of the Redskins?. But whatever happened two weeks ago, is the past. The Redskins have a chance to forget what happened two weeks ago with a huge victory tonight and right the ship (so to speak).

Some breaking news took place today as well. McNabb finally signed his contract extension. This is important because he doesn't have to worry about a contract anymore, and he can just focus mainly on football.

I do think the Redskins are going to win this game, but it's gonna be far from easy. The Eagles are coming off one of their biggest wins of the season against Peyton Manning and the Colts, a team that the Redskins lost to. The Eagles defense were able to contain Peyton Manning and the offense, and Mike Vick and their running back were able to capitalize on the suspect running defense of Indy. 

With that being said, the Redskins should be prepared with their two weeks off. McNabb and his team needs to redeem themselves after letting an opportunity slip two weeks ago. And given it's the Eagles and it's McNabb's former team and it's Monday Night football, they should be giving a bit more effort.

Prediction Eagles 24 Redskins 27

Whether I'm right and wrong in this prediction, we can all agree that this game is a crossroads of destiny for this Redskins team. In my opinion, whatever the results will be will be a huge indicator of how they will finish the season.



These videos take me back... Way Back

Most people know that I was born in the Philippines. I don't really remember a lot from my very early years in the Philippines, from when I was born to when my family moves to the United States when I was 6, but I found a couple of videos in YouTube that really took me back.

The first is one of my favorite action series when I was growing up. I remembered it as "Bioman". Take a look...

Basically, it's an early version of the Power Rangers (although, not the earliest). I had fond memories of this show, as my brothers and I watched this with some of our friends in our neighborhood, right before "Muppet Babies". A key plot in this show, was when Yellow-4, one of the team members, died because she got killed by the bad guys. I remembered having dreams about that when I was a little kid, and crying. Looking back at some of the clips, I'm surprised how violent this series was, and had a lot of adult situations, considering that this was a kids' show.

Another show I ran into in YouTube that I remembered watching in the Philippines was Batibot. Basically, it's a Filipino Tagalog version of "Sesame Street"...

I remembered a lot about this show, most especially the big goofy turtle. This show would come on right before a real English and American version of Sesame Street. In fact, I learned that this show was actually sponsored and produced by Children's Television Workshop. Kind of makes me wonder though, that from all the Tagalog on this show, that my brother and I was able to "unlearn" Tagalog when we moved here to the US.

I also remembered a lot of other shows. Of course, I do remember watching Voltron, Transformers, and Thundercats, like many normal kids around the world. But as far as Filipino specific shows, I do remember watching a variety show called Eat Bulaga with "Tito, Vic, and Joey" that aired during lunch time. I also remembered watching Filipino soap operas too (which names I couldn't remember), which haunted me for a long time, because of so many "adult situations" like people drowning, and getting run over by cars. I couldn't find YouTube footage of those shows as I remembered them though.

Anyway, it was great to re-live a lot of my early Filipino memories through YouTube. It's always great to see where you came from, even when you were probably way too young to remember anything.

On an unrelated note, I hope Manny Pacquiao wins tonight.



People are Awesome

I know I have been dropping the ball as far as posting blogs, therefore, I thought I'd do a very quick, yet very productive and upbeat post with this entry.

Saw this video the other day on my phone, because it's title caught my eye when I saw it on the YouTube widget. Check it out...

Enough said!



"DC" Skins PREgame #9 - What Game?

The Redskins aren't playing this week, so I don't have anything specific to write about when it comes to "pregame" thoughts this week. During bye weeks, most sports blogs covering the Redskins would evaluate what the team has done so far, and what it can do to move on or get better. Frankly, I'm tired of reading about the McNabb-Shanahan controversy, bench gate, how our best cover cornerback can't catch, and how our best catching cornerback can't cover, so I'll refrain talking about the Redskins. They don't have a game until Monday the 15th, so there's definitely a long gap in between games. I will say though, that as far as recovery, this bye week came at a perfect time for the Redskins... right in the middle of the season, since you won't get burned out by having a bye week too late, nor do you lose your rhythm by having your bye too early.

But instead of talking about the Redskins, I'll just talk about Week 9 in general, and some short general thoughts...

I don't think there are really intriguing matchups this week that really jump out at you. The most, I guess would be Tampa Bay and Atlanta, since both teams are in the same division, and both locked in at 5-2 fighting for the top spot. I will say, that I am still not sold on Tampa, and I am pretty sure that the Falcons should win this game handily, and make the Bucs look like pretenders, while making themselves serious contenders in the NFC with the Giants.

Indy and Philly kind of looks interesting, considering that it is rumored that Michael Vick will be back. But, of course, I'm rooting for Peyton Manning and the Colts, because any loss by division rivals is a good one for the Redskins. If Manning looks as good as he did against the Redskins and pick apart that Philly defense, then Indy should have a win.

Kansas City and Oakland is an interesting game, because it's a NFC West rivalry game. We don't care too much about here in the East Coast, but the fans of these teams really value this rivalry. They're both not too far off of each other in the standings, but both are in the top-2 spots of this division, so this should be an interesting game.

I guess Pittsburgh and Cincinnati is an intriguing game as well, since they are also both on the same division, both with a lot of talent. Not to mention, they both love to talk trash to one another, which should make the matchup even more entertaining. But, since the Bengals are having a disappointing year, and the Steelers have managed to keep the ship together when their quarterback didn't play, the edge will go to Pittsburgh. But, don't be surprised if this game is close, or if Cincinnati happens to pull it off.

I will probably end up watching the Ravens and Dolphins game though. I could care less about this matchup, but since the Ravens are the team that I pay attention to whenever the Redskins aren't playing, I will probably see this game. There's nothing intriguing to me about this match though. However, I have bought in to the fact that the Ravens will go pretty far. Their offense can still use a good amount of work, but they are still one of the most balanced teams around.

I do have a meeting in my church that I have to attend after church, so I will be missing a good amount of the early games. I probably might not be watching too much of the late games either, considering that the Capitals play the Flyers later that afternoon.

But with that, it should still be an interesting week to watch football... so if you have nothing else better to do, go ahead and watch.


PS: Don't forget to set your clock back before bed.


Another Reason Why I Love the Japanese...

The Japanese brought us innovative electronics, efficient automobiles, crazy game shows, and animation such as Akira and the Dragon Ball franchise. and Sasuke/Ninja Warrior. Now they have brought it's natives an outrageous way to learn English...

Go to YouTube and type in "Zuukin". There's a bunch of these videos. It makes me smile. :-)




Normally, I'm all for acknowledgment. When someone does something notable (hoping that it's great) it deserves to be recognized. However, this blog post will discuss the other end of the spectrum (sort of).

A couple of nights ago, I attended the Washington Wizards home season opener. Before the game, the Wizards' star rookie, John Wall does the Dougie.

When I saw it, I viewed it as a kid trying to have fun and giving the home crowd something to be excited about in his first home game in the city that he represents, all the while, trying to zap some energy into a franchise that has been in need of it for years.

However, one national radio personality (who will remain nameless on this blog), decided to criticize this, and tried to spin this in the most elitist way possible. He compared Wall doing this dance to low-IQ street thuggery and robbing a bank, and that the "elite" point guards who play and have played in the league will never do something like this.

When I heard this, I just shook my head because it's completely asinine. Many times, I have respect for this guy and his opinions, as I think he usually has educated and well thought out opinions, but it's just obvious that he was just saying this to try to get a reaction... so people will call his radio show, waste some ink and pixels on him in paper or in the blogosphere, or take up bandwidth in YouTube. And believe me... it worked. There's tons of reactions all over the world wide web.

So the lesson to be learned from all this, is that whenever people say asinine things to try to get a reaction, the best thing to do is to ignore them. To give them any kind of reaction or publicity at all just plays into what they want you to do. So the best way to do not do that, is to not give them the light of day, and not do anything relating to them at all.

Look at it from a professional wrestling standpoint... whether you're a good guy and get heavily cheered, or your a bad guy and get severely booed, they are the ones getting paid and the ones with the most job security. If you're someone whom fans aren't sure to cheer or boo and practically gets little or no reaction, then you're gonna have trouble getting booked and getting paid. So the best way to try to make these people to go away is to ignore them.

But if you think about it, by giving John Wall some air time in his show, he probably had the reverse effect of what he intended, and more people probably respected John Wall even more after his rant, considering some well-researched bloggers refuted a lot of his points. Here's an example of such a blog that did a great job in doing so.

So, in case someone is trying to get under your skin... the best thing to do is to just ignore. Don't play into their hands by giving them the time of day.



"DC" Skins Postgame #8 - Haunting Loss

Being that yesterday was Halloween, it is fitting that this loss against the Lions is haunting for the Redskins. As I said, they had all the momentum and the opportunity to go into their bye-week at 5-3, with a winning record, on the thick of things on the race for the division, or maybe in the conference. Yet, they blew a game they had a great chance to win down the stretch... and now more uncertain about the future than any point in the season. And I didn't even mention the "Bench-gate" scandal that took place in the end of the game.

As expected, the Lions were a tougher out than their 1-5 record indicated. Matthew Stafford is a decent young quarterback, he came back from an injury, they have a talented defensive line, and they were well rested, playing at home, coming straight out of their bye week. 

Stafford looked rusty to start off the game, but luckily for them, the Redskins offense couldn't capitalize with their opportunities. It was a defensive battle to start off, with the Lions defense getting pressure on McNabb, and the Redskins making a few plays. If I can recall, the first points weren't scored until the 2nd quarter.

But, as when the scores started to come, it was a see-saw battle. When the Lions scored, the Skins countered with another score. The Redskins were able to get two quick field goals in the end of the half to lead by 6 at break.

Come the 3rd and 4th quarter, the battle continued. It was a pretty good battle. Score after conter-score, with nice drives, as well as defensive and special teams plays. It continued up until down the stretch, up until the end of the game. When McNabb got intercepted, and the Lions scored that field goal, even though they were down by 6, the chances weren't that good.

But, what really sealed it was when McNabb got benched for Rex Grossman with under 2-minutes to play still only down for 6-points. And in the first play, "Sexy Rexy" got sacked, fumbled the ball, and gave up the go-ahead score to seal it.

Before I give my opinions on that particular "bench-gate" incident, I want to talk about what I generally saw in the game. The Lions defensive line dominated the front line, as they totally destroyed that shaky Redskins offensive line. And honestly, the way it looked, it could have been A LOT worse. With the pressure they got on McNabb, it's a surprise he didn't get hit more, or leave the game injured. Not to mention, the Skins couldn't get the run going, and most of their plays that they made in offense were on the air. And, a lot of the scores they got were from good special teams or defensive plays getting them good field position.

So now... the issue with Shanahan benching McNabb. Like many people who saw it... I'm not buying his reasons. Yesterday, he said he benched them because McNabb didn't know the two-minute terminology as well as Grossman did, since he's been in the system a lot longer. After the press conference today, he said that he wasn't well-conditioned and that his "cardio" wasn't good enough.

As much as I don't like to say it, that last statement is kind of making Albert Hayneswoth look more credible with his issues with Shanahan earlier in the year, and makes him look like he uses "conditioning" as a trump card to give him an excuse not to play people. And, the fact that Haynesworth actually had another solid game yesterday, shows that he isn't as bad as Shanahan made him out to be earlier in the year.

Regardless, no matter what shape you think your player is in... if he's clearly the best player you got, you put him in down the stretch. And clearly, McNabb is better than Rex Grossman. He's more mobile, can allude the rush, and has been and thrived more in pressure situations than "Sexy Rexy". Even if he knew the terminology more, the fact that you put an immobile quarterback against a shaky offensive line that has been killed all-day long by that Lions frontline was a very questionable move.

As far as the reason that it was said that McNabb wouldn't have been capable of running the two minute offense because of his "cardio" or his capability... I don't buy that at all. He says that the Skins have never been in a two minute situation all year. Apparently, Shanny couldn't turn the clock back a couple of hours, because McNabb got some much needed 3-points in a two-minute situation before halftime. Sure, it was only a field goal, and it was earlier in the game when he is supposedly not as "tired", but still... he showed he's capable of doing what he needed to do, when he needed to do it.

Looking forward to the rest of the season, this loss, and the "bench-gate" situation can lead to two different results, both on the opposite sides of the spectrum...

  • One is (which is the one that most people I have heard in the airwaves are predicting), that this is a crippling loss, which will take the Redskins out of contention, and they will fall apart as the year goes on (adding all that to the fact that the McNabb negotiations have all been killed and this organization has to go back to square one, and be uncertain about the future again). 
  • OR... this loss can fire up this team, like how the loss to the Rams ealier in the year fired them up to win against teams that they are supposed to lose to. And just like that Rams loss, who do they play in their next game? Donovan McNabb's Eagles. Rewind back into last year, when Andy Reid benched McNabb in favor or Kevin Kolb. When McNabb got his spot back, he played his best football of the year and almost closed the year with a division championship (until the Eagles pooped it out against the Cowboys in the last week of the season, then in the opening round of the playoffs).

As someone who is normally an optimist, I'm inclined to think that the latter option is more than probable for the Skins. And realistically, I do think they can come back from this loss and do better. I hate sounding like an apologist... considering that they haven't really done anything mind-blowing so far in the first half of the season, but from looking at the schedule, it looks like they might've gotten the tougher games out of the way. IMO, the toughest games they have left are against the Giants twice, and the Titans. If they can steal a couple of those games, and beat the teams that they're supposed to beat (and yes, I predict the Buccaneers to slowly as the year goes on), they can get back in the conversation.

But, as we all know, the NFL is a week-by-week, "what have you done for me lately?" league. You're only as good as your last performance... and if the Redskins happen to bounce back after this loss and convincingly win against the Eagles, people will start talking about them again.

It's a shame though that they will not get that chance in another 2 weeks. Their next game won't be until Monday the 15th, so they have A LOT of time to think about this win... and the local media has a lot of time to stew on this loss and fill the airwaves with a lot of chatter. That's why I said that it was important that they get this win... not only for their psychological outset in these two weeks, but also, because of what I previously said, that this area is so linked to this football team, that when the team loses, the mood in this area is terrible. Therefore, most people will feel terrible during the first half of November. (I say "most", because this statement won't apply to me.)

As I last year, the President isn't dead... so all is not lost in DC in these next two weeks. But, if this city's football team can bounce back from their latest setback (which I can see that they are more than capable of)... then all will be much better again.