December 22, 2008

Plenty Of Positives Today

Although the Skins season has been quite a disappointment today's victory over the Eagles really shone a light on how dominating this defense really is.

They can hit, cover, and downright pound opposing offenses into submission.

If only the offense could get some life.

The Skins defense is once again top ten in the NFL. They boast a great secondary consisting of Laron Landry, Chris Horton, DeAngelo Hall, Shawn Springs, Carlos Rogers, and Fred Smoot. These guys have really held their own throughout the year. They have to bring them all back.

Springs will most likely retire and Hall will be a free agent. If Springs does quit, resigning Hall will be the top offseason priority.

Hall is a playmaker. That is something the Redskins have very little of. He does take risks, but often the risk reaps a reward. He is lightening-fast and is a top flight man corner when he is on top of his game. Smoot and Rogers are solid, but Hall is spectacular. He will be needed next year on defense that fails to generate a lot of turnovers.

Secondly, today's game showed that Jason Taylor still has something left in the tank. He had a burst and enthusiasm that I haven't seen since the calf injury in week 3. Perhaps the injury took more out of him than we anticipated.

We gave up two draft picks for him, and I think we should give him another year to pan out should he decide to return. Besides what else do we have that is better?

Andre Carter has struggled and Demetric Evans is far from a force (although he has overachieved this season). Bring Taylor back. I have a feeling he'll pay off next year.

The defensive line might not rush the passer well, but they have stopped the run for the majority of the season. They rank fifth against the run and this week they shut down longtime nemesis, Brian Westbrook.

Adding a little depth in there should help the line stay strong. Cornelius Griffin is aging so he'll need a replacement. The draft is the place to look.

The defense has some holes, but the offense is where there are some problems. Primarily I see a lack of rhythm as the key problem.

The offensive line played well considering the two starting tackles were missing. The pass blocking was solid against the blitz happy Eagles. Run blocking needs more chemistry and that was clearly lacking today.

However, Clinton ran hard to make up for it, which paid off inside the red zone. He was running with a full head of steam and that enabled him to get that crucial score.

Jason Campbell threw the ball well, but Jim Zorn seems determined to stay conservative. Screens on every third down do not work. Zorn has to get that intermediate passing game working because it's Campbell's strong suit and it allows the Skins to get first downs on second down rather than have to convert on third down every drive.

Converting on first and second really puts a defense back on it's heels an let's the offense get some confidence. An offense needs that confidence to convert third downs when they have to. The Skins just seem to be resigned to being faced with third and longs all day. That is a terrible mentality and a lot of that has to do with the conservative play calling.

Zorn should improve. The addition of a consistently viable threat opposite Santana Moss can only help matters An early observation suggests taking a look at Anquan Boldin. Granted Devin Thomas will be good next year, but I don't think of Antwaan Randle El as a quality player. The offense is still missing that possession receiver to help free up Moss.

Overall, we saw the Skins play well tonight. Some continuity throughout the offseason should only help matters. Let's regroup and gear up for another year with Zorn in 2009.

No comments: