Saturday, October 20, 2007

Redskins vs. Cardinals

To start with, most of the dcsportsclowns will be going to the game this Sunday, which is going to be an amazing day of food, fun, football and beer. Gonna wake up early, get decked out, hit the metro and roll on over to cheer for our boys in burgundy and gold! So be prepared for a couple of kick ass reviews come next week.

The Cardinals are a dangerous team, especially if Kurt Warner comes back from his elbow injury and can play the majority of the game. The Skins O-line is the biggest question mark coming into this game and if they contribute to an overall offensive struggle, the Cardinals will be able to wear down the overworked Skins D with their solid running game. This is a very winnable game for the Redskins, but if all these minor annoyances add up it could be a very long day. Not to mention the Skins have dropped winnable games twice this year already.

This week’s game will be won and lost at the line of scrimmage. Now, normally that's the case for any winning team, but with injuries devastating our offensive line there have been drastic changes for a team that is still only averaging 3.7 yards per carry on the ground. For all the good Portis and Betts have done pounding the rock, eating up clock and giving Campbell space to throw, they have yet to break out with big plays or game changing performances. Some of this can be attributed to losing Randy Thomas and Jon Jansen so early on, taking the right side of the line to the felt, but it's not going to get any easier and those two guys need to find ways of creating big plays by themselves.

The starting line on Sunday will consist of Chris Samuels, Pete Kendell, Casey Rabach, Rick DeMulling and Jason Fabini. It's good to still have the veteran Samuels anchoring the line, as he will continue to play a vital role protecting Campbell against the Cardinals blitz (16 sacks) and being the lead man on the Skins’ left side rushing attack. Kendell is an 11-year veteran who knows how to play through injuries (hamstring) and should be a formidable LG. Rabach went down with a groin injury against Green Bay, but most coaches foresee minimal troubles as the center can dig himself in and drive vertically, which doesn't rely heavily on the groin. Demulling will split time with newly signed Kevin Sampson out of the Kansas City system and current defensive tackle Lorenzo Alexander. All three are merely adequate RGs but the rotation should keep them fresh and if one of them steps up and shows he can get the job done, so much the better. Todd Wade is also a possibility at RG, but his groin injury seems worse than other's injuries and would see limited minutes if he suits up. Fabini (RT) was supposed to sit out of practice Wednesday to rest his injuries and stay sharp, but did practice and will start on Sunday.

So that's the rag tag army of Redskins' O-linemen. Only time will tell if they are able to get the job done, but if they start to open up holes we might get to see Campbell's explosive evasive ability, much like the plays he was forced to make against Detroit. He can and will have to scramble in order to buy time to find an open receiver. This puts increased pressure on Cooley, Sellers, Moss and Randle El to keep plays alive, come back to the football and get open for Campbell as he attempts to make something out of nothing. The Cardinals defensive backs can hit, but have given up big plays thus far and the Skins can go deep against CB Rod Hood with either Moss or Randle El. The offense will be able to look past the dropped passes of last week and despite injuries should come out on top of the less talented Cardinals defense.

On the other side of the ball the Skins’ defense is primed to continue their defensive dominance. This year, not only are we limiting opponents yardage (259.0 yds/g), but we are getting picks (6 INT) forcing fumbles (7) and getting after the quarterback (15 Sacks). These are all areas that suffered last year and this year's simplified defensive scheme is taking advantage of our playmakers’ athletic abilities. They will put on another show against either Warner (questionable) or Tim Rattay and while the Cards do see the return of big play threat Anquan Boldin, this carousel of quarterbacks won't be able to stand up against the Skins overwhelming defense.

Redskins 23, Cardinals 10

- The Hokie

1 comment:

Yard Yoder said...

That was an ugly 4rth quarter