November 21, 2010

Redskins Roundup: Play-Off Race Heats Up After Win In Tennessee

-Huge statement win today for the Redskins in Tennessee. The Titans are a rough and tumble team with a defensive line that could have dominated. They did have three sacks, but for the most part Donovan McNabb had as much time as he's had all year. Given that it was coming from a patchwork offensive line, Mike Shanahan might want to rework his lineup.

-Today, the Redskins had success with Will Montgomery filling in for Artis Hicks at right guard and then at center for Casey Rabach. I didn't realize how bad Rabach was until Montgomery came in and held down the middle. It made a huge difference and Stephon Heyer did an adequate job at right guard. Keep this combination together, please.

-Chris Cooley had a monster game despite having no catches in the first half. Seven second half grabs. He moved the chains in several huge situations and played perhaps one of his best games of the year.

-Ditto for Fred Davis. Freddie Delight had two catches and he made plenty happen after the catch. His role will expand if he keeps on making plays.

-The running game is on its last legs despite a strong day. Clinton Portis, Keiland Williams, Chad Simpson, and Ryan Torain are all banged up and Darrel Young is a former linebacker converted to fullback. Shanahan will have to find another back this week.

-The secondary held Randy Moss to zero catches. Oh yeah that isn't impressive anymore. Still, the secondary had a decent day, giving up 222 yards. Granted, Rusty Smith isn't Elway, but how embarrassing would it have been to lose the game to Rusty Smith?

-Kareem Moore has to learn to tackle. He isn't the ballhawk we thought he'd be, making his inability to bring down ballcarriers even more apparent. The guy was tracking down everything in camp, but he has been shaky this season.

-You can't say enough about the resiliency of this team. A legion of players go down on a complete joke of a field (seriously the players can't be happy about how poor the condition of the turf was) and yet they gut it out against a mentally strong Titans team. Maybe Jeff Fischer went to Chris Johnson too late, but the Redskins dominated the clock and the game and came away with a hard-fought win just six days after a devastating loss. Good to see the team has a short memory because a focused effort next week should be enough to beat a faltering Vikings squad.

-The NFC East has a key matchup tonight between the Giants and Eagles. The Redskins will move a game behind the loser.

Overall, a key win for the Redskins because Tampa Bay and New Orleans won to stay two games ahead in the wild-card hunt. A loss would have pretty much ended postseason dreams for the 'Skins. They have to worry about Green Bay and Chicago as well. The Redskins may be a mediocre team, but they are in the thick of the race and another win next week will make it interesting down the stretch.

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