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Saturday, September 08, 2007

September 8-- Here's my long winded prediction for the season

Final injury report : TE Cody Boyd (out) shoulder. All the rest of are probable, RB Clinton Portis (knee), LB Marcus Washington (elbow), T Chris Samuels (knee), G Todd Wade (shoulder), LB Kharty Campbell (hamstring)

Joe Gibbs praised the town for being so football crazy when asked about the season opener and 90+ thousand fans that will be at Fed Ex Field ..

OK, It's time to give a prediction.. So afer their off-season bringing in a middle linebacker, getting Smoot back and landing Laron Landry in the draft, I got the feeling they flat out didn't do enough to be back in the playoff race.. This didn't addres the age and injury issues of the defensive line.. The loss of Derrick Dockry and the failed experiment of Todd Wade now made me feel as if the offensive line was going to take a big step back form their performance from a season ago.. They didn't add another wide receiver meaning Brandon Lloyd and Antwaan Randle El would be depended upon to improve their production from a season ago.. Clinton Portis doesn't practice all summer resting a knee, which seemed od considering it was his shoulder and hand that he injured last season.. As of two months ago, I was essentially expcting the worst..
That was until I saw London Fletcher play, that was until I saw Landry who's a missile light Kerry Collins up. I have yet to see a deep pass get completed on their regulars (probably a number of reasons for that). I am positive they weren't trying to sell me a used car in terms of their affections for the all new Rocky McIntosh, he looks like a different player.. They still have question marks on the D-line, Can Golston be a true regular? Can Montgomery be a real contriubter? Can Griffin and Daniels body hold up through the season? Can they generate a pass rush with their front four if they had to?
But the back seven appears as sound as it's been in a few years.. They are fast and they have a couple of big time hitters back there.. So at this point, there is no way I could see a defensive performance like the one a year ago.. Can they stop the run? Not sure. But there is no way it will be as abad as it was? Can they stop the deep passes? Don't know but there is no way they'll give up as a many as a year ago..
Offensively, I like Jason Campbell, I just haven't seen him play in a situation where there is something to lose yet so until the seasons starts to play out, I just don't know.. Portis has to prove he can the 1500+ yard back of two years ago, but I am not among the group who thinks he can't.. Moss is a true #1, we'll see if ARE or Brandon are a true #2.. This remains to me to be a potential void.. I like ARE at tghe ##, Lloyd must step up for them to resurrect a downfield passing game, otherwise they'll continue to play an umbrella on the speedy Moss..
Cooley figures to have a big season, combine the team high 71 catchs he had two years ago with his near 13 yard per catch average of 2006 and he'd be threatening a 1000 yard season for a TE, that's huge numbers..
THe line frightens me, if there were a spot where the drop off might come, it's the offensive line.. Jon Jansen had a poor pre-season, pushed back into the backfield way too many times.. Randy Thomas is great, but he's a year older on banged up knees.. Rabach is fine.. Pete Kendall is a veteran who's been here a week, the short term expectations need to be tempered and the long term ones don't exist, he's 34.. Chris Samuels is a trooper but he's dealing with some form of leg injury every year and he just turned 30.. This is going to be a hotspot for this team over the next two off-seasons where it is reasonable to believe they will need to find 3 if not 4 new starters by 2009! And only Stephon Heyer is currently on the roster and perceived a possibility for that.. If there were to be a spot where a rop off might occur, I'd point to the O-line, but maybe they have just enough duct tape and (in the case of Kendall) learning curve to get through this one and be close to as effective as they were (only 19 sacks allowed last year and a dominant run average the last 6 games of the season)..

The special teams specialists have gotten better.. Shaun Suisham should be the best and most reliable kicker they have had since before John Hall got hurt.. Derrick Frost is becoming more consistent and when he gets a good one, he crushes it.. ARE should have an impact in punts, Rock turned into a nice kickoff returner and the coverage units were great last year.. Now Ade Jimoh is off of them, but they kept enough teamers around that I think they'll compensate.. Don't laugh at the Jimoh statement, he was way above average on punt coverage..

Then there is the schedule, 4 of the first 6 at home, those games all against teams who did not make the playoffs a year ago except the Giants who backed in at 8-8. One of the two road games, Green Bay, non playoff team, youngest team in the NFL.. I got them beating Miami in the opener in a tight one, not unlike last year's opener with Minnesota, but they get out with a win this time after spending the summer more focussed on readying themselves and the fact that they will take the Dolphins seriously.. Lets say 17-13..
At Philly, (I am curious to see how they play in their opener) but I'll say Loss.. They beat the Giants who I think will ultimately be the only non-threat in the NFC East at home.. Bye week, and return to face Detroit who hasn't and won't win here since the 50's. I'll chalk up a loss at GB only because the Packers rarely lose at home outside of divisional opponents. Arizona is here and in what may be a fun high scoring one, I'll take the Skins.. That's 4-2 and that's the dream scenario.. The schedule is too conducive for a good start, be 4-2 or even be a game better (and there is no reason they couldn't steal either the Eagles or Packers game) and it's game on..
I figure losses at NE and NYJ.. It makes the second Eagles Meeting critical, with back to back road games to follow.. Beat the Eagles everything will be all right, lose and then a big time tumble could be forthcoming.. Ill be positive and call for a split with Philly, Skins win.. They go to Dallas and lose.. Then comes a visit to TB.. I have no clue whether Tampa will be competiitive or if they'll suck.. The Skins have notoriously had problems with them, I'll call a dissapointing loss in a close game..
The Skins take out their frustrations and beat the Bills handily the following week.. They lose to Chicago although the short week and home field advantage probably make this a closer game then it might have been..
They complete a sweep of the NYG< at this point, they are dead and talking about their next head coach.. I don't like Minnesota's QB situation so I'll give the Skins a much needed win over the Vikings at Minn., all I know is this Travaris jackson won't be starting by the time the Skins play that one..
In the finale, I'll take the Skins over Dallas in a game that will determine whether at least one of these two gets to the post-season..

So, I got them at 9-7 with the hopes that they steal either the Packers or Buccaneers game to go 10-6 and that would probably mean playoffs!!

Here we go! 2007..


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