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

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Torii Hunter Wants to Come to Washington

As reported on the Nationals Website, the man from Minnesota wants to join his friend Dmitri Young here in Washington. The 32-year-old Hunter would be a great fit for this team and our management has to aggressively pursue this free-agent. This team has struggled to find an adequate centerfielder since it was born and Hunter is a major improvement both defensively and offensively. He's such a stud, a veteran presence in the clubhouse, a winner and he would bring a marquee name and face to the team. Hunter has also said he wants to reach out to the community, be a leader in the area, which is the most important reason to bring him to the Nats. Finding and bringing a ballplayer to the team is one thing, but getting a charismatic individual who can reach out to those around him and make a difference in people's lives is what builds a franchise. GET TORII HUNTER!!!

- The Hokie

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Redskins: Here Are Some Stats for Your Ass

The Redskins have been utterly dominant on defense this year, and that's not an understatement, but their offensive woes in key areas have cost them dearly. Let's do a little stat breakdown of this year and past years to really see why they haven't been able to put everything together. Maybe, as a group, we can highlight what's really causing the skins to implode every other game.

I really encourage you to read today's article in the post by Jason La Canfora, but to sum it up; In the last four years under Gibbs, the Skins have been a miserable team at winning after halftime and winning back to back games. The Redskins have recorded 12 losses since 2004 despite leading at halftime. If you add these decisions to their 24-29 record it immediately becomes 36-17, and even if you cut that number in half, their record sits at 30 - 23.
What Canfora also gives as a telling statistic is "Since 2004, the Redskins have just two stretches of three wins or more - a three-game run to open the 2005 season and a five-game streak to close out 2005." Outside of those streaks, in the other 45 games, the Skins have won back to back games just twice. Basically,we fold. We just can't capture the consistency that good teams have, and while we can get up and play at a high level one week, the next week we get snake bit. Until we can master these swings, the Skins will be a middle of the pack team.

This year it certainly isn't the defense's fault. In the NFC the Redskins rank first in Points per Game (13.8), Yard per Game (259.4), Yards per Play (4.2), Third Down Efficiency (31%), Passing Yards per Game (179.4) and they rank third in Rushing Yards per Game (80.0). That's a show right there.
And our offense has been serviceable. They respectively rank 7th in Points per Game (20.2), 7th in Yards per Game (333.4), 6th in First Downs per Game (18.6), 3rd in average Time of Possession (32:15) and they are dead even in Turn Over ratio.

So it begs the question, where are we going wrong? Why aren't we able to put teams away? Why aren't we able to take it to that next level and become a reliable force not only in the NFC but in the NFL?
I looked at three different stats that I thought were particularly telling of our inability to move the ball and finish off opposing teams: Third Down Percentage, First Downs per Game, and Ratio of Field Goals to Touchdowns.


In 2004, the Skin's 3rd Pct was 32% (70/221) good for 28th in the league. In 2005, 42% (97/230), 7th in the league *that was our playoff year.* In 2006, 37% (79/211), 18th. 2007, 39% (28/71), 19th.

In 2004, the Skins average First Downs per Game was 16.8 (27th in the league). 2005, 18.8 (15). 2006, 18.4 (15). 2007, 18.6 (16).

In 2004, the Redskins kicked 27 field goals and scored 25 touchdowns. 2005 they kicked 21 FGs and scored 42 TDs. 2006, 30 FGs, 31 TDs. 2007, 9 FGs, 10 TDs.

Now, I'm not sure if these are stats indicative of their mediocrity, or if these stats dictate their failures, but an inability to covert on 3rd downs, a failure to consistently get first downs and a propensity to settle for three points instead of getting six highlights the root of their sporadic frustrating play. As individual players, they make plays in close games and put up some solid numbers, but it's just not enough. I hate to say this, but with year after year of these kinds of performances my blame is starting to fall on the three-headed coaching monster. Are too many Redskin cooks spoiling the broth? It's time to mix up the coaching staff.


- The Hokie
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Emotional Profile

This has very little to do with DC area sports, but I thought I'd pass on a fantastic story written by ESPN senior writer Wayne Drehs about former UNC student and mascot Jason Ray. Jason was struck by an SUV before the Tar Heels' second round match up with USC in the East Rutherford regional last March. He died three days later, but as you'll read, his spirit is very much still alive in several people to whom he gave the greatest gift of all. The story, which is one of the most compelling and moving pieces that I think I've ever read - it really pulls at your heart when you've met the man, seen him in action at sporting events, on stage as the front man of his band and on the screen in acting roles - is well worth your time, no matter your sports allegiance. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=rayofhope&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab1pos1Y

You can also watch the piece that ran on the premiere of E:60 on Tuesday night. Truly an amazing story.

- The Tar Heel
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Oh Lloydy


There's been a Brandon Lloyd citing! And no, I don't mean that long bomb thrown just too deep that slipped through his fingers on Sunday. It looks like B-Lloyd just couldn't stand not being talked about - I guess he doesn't read the Washington Post - so he had to say something...stupid. Apparently, the second-year Skins bust insinuated that former Cowboys QB and current FOX analyst Troy Aikman is gay. http://deadspin.com/sports/troy-aikman-is-all-man/brandon-lloyd-thinks-troy-aikman-listens-to-coldplay-311302.php (Note the photo of him from his college days at Illinois, scoring one more TD than he has in two seasons with the Skins.)

In a radio interview with the Sports Junkies, Llyod said the following:

B-Lloyd: "If you're listening to a guy like Troy Aikman, and you're a fan and you don't really know much about football, then I'd see why you're confused. ... There's no such thing as an easy catch in football. Theres no such thing. ... I don't believe Tory Aikman anyway. He wasn't man enough to admit his personal life situation as a player."

Junkies: "Do you know that that's true?"

B-Lloyd: "I'm speculating, just like he speculates."

Junkies: "I knew he was queer!"

Ummmm, yeah...So I've been sticking up for this guy for a while now in the heat of all hate spewed his way for his lack of productivity here in DC. Yeah he's got issues and he has yet to show anything more than the slightest hint of the big-play ability he displayed with the Niners. I maintain that if the Skins are going to keep paying him, they might as well put him to use. Throw him the ball a few times (he's been targeted, what, thrice all year?) and see what happens. Worst case scenario he drops it or tips it up for an int. - something none of Washington's other star receivers have ever done, right?

As far as this little ill-conceived outburst goes, the kid wants to be an R&B artist (ala Ron Artest?), plus he's a receiver, which automatically makes him diva eligible. Dumb comment. Sure, maybe Troy is gay, I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility, but calling someone out because you're frustrated with your own situation on the field (Aikman is an analyst, he's trained and paid to spew nonsensical opinion, much like me...minus the pay...and much of the training is just a waste of airtime).

You can listen to the full radio interview here and decide for yourself just how big of a knucklehead this character is. http://podcast.wjfk.com/wjfk2/716583.mp3\

- The Tar Heel
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I Cannot Tell a Lie: George Washington Basketball Deserves Respect

In light of the Midnight Madness festivities held this past Friday, the ceremonial start to the college basketball season, I would like to draw attention to DC's most underappreciated college basketball program, the George Washington Colonials.

Maryland and Georgetown annually dominate the coverage of the local college basketball season, and the build up to this season has been no different. Georgetown returns arguably the best center in the country, and will challenge for a national title; in that regard that I concede the Hoyas warrant the hype. Maryland grabbed national headlines this past week when the NCAA released graduation statistics for Division I basketball programs, in which Maryland ranked last, not graduating a single player who enrolled between 1997-2000 (not the kind of coverage I am really seeking for GW, but coverage none the less).

But what about GW? The colonials return a solid squad, headlined by Maurice Rice, who I predict will emerge as one of the best guards in the country this year. Rice is a true competitor, is tough, and can score (he broke Wilt Chamberlain's Philadelphia high school scoring record).

GW is poised to return to its 4th straight NCAA tournament. Neither Maryland nor Georgetown have experienced that kind of consistent success in recent years. And I can't help but point out, that in head to head action against Maryland, GW is 2-0 in recent years.

I challenge all college basketball fans to not only take note of the Colonials this season, but to get out to a game. The Charles E. Smith Center epitomizes what a college basketball venue is all about. The place is loud, crowded, and puts the students on the floor (which I can hardly say about the other Smith Center that I frequented games in... sorry Dean).

- The Colonial
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Monday, October 15, 2007

You're killing me Smalls

Jesus Mary and Joseph. This NLCS is so frustrating. It's as if both teams have forgotten how to hit, and don't tell me they’ve had stellar pitching, because they haven’t. There have been a myriad of opportunities for both teams to take advantage of and they haven’t answered the call.

Both squads look indecisive at the plate. I don't care if you strikeout, but striking out looking is inappropriate, especially with runners in scoring position; I’m looking at you Chris Young and Mark Reynolds. The Rockies, who are supposedly winning this series are hitting .231 as a team and the Dbacks aren't much better at .248. Don't regurgitate that small ball propaganda to me about "all you need is timely hitting.” If you get runs in the first place, then you don’t need clutch hitting when the game is in dire straits. In the next round, the Rockies will need to strike early and strike often to win and even then I don’t guarantee it. I don’t think they can do it.

Seriously, these games are offensive futility at it's best. Every single hitter is fooled on every pitch. Even the pitch that Holliday hit out of the park was a bat flick that he barely managed to reach on the outside corner. The at-bat from Torrealba that won Game 3 was hideous. During the AB he flailed at a pair of 60-mph curveballs before he guessed correctly to hit the fastball. The only reason he hit the homerun was because he had decided to swing before Livan had come set; he guessed correctly, but that won't work again.

On the other side of the diamond, the Dbacks are getting worse and worse. Where they looked rusty and timid in the first two games, they now look unprepared and baffled. They have no approach at the plate, or any general idea of what the opposing pitcher is trying to do to them. What makes their floundering worse is the inability to change or adapt to their previous at-bats. Their mindset stays stagnant making the same mistakes and taking the same swings over and over again. You can't win this way. You have to change your approach as the situation dictates. A batter has to get smarter every single time they come to the plate.

Let me make this clear before the bandwagon gets out of control; If the Rockies play like this against the Indians or the Red Sox they will lose. The NLCS has exposed their offensive weaknesses. Mediocre pitching has, in essence, shut down both teams. What do you think will happen when they go up against guys that actually have a dominant pitch? Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez, Brandon Webb, Josh Fogg, Jeff Francis - these guys use trickery in the form of sinkers and cutters to induce contact and keep batters off-balance, and while they are good at it, it's nothing compared to truly overpowering pitches. If they have the same approach and the same at-bats against Carmona's splitter or Beckett's gas, they will look utterly lost and fail. And don’t think the Indians' or Red Sox's batters are going to take pitches, miss opportunities and let them hang around. The Rockies have to find some offense.

I'm bitter. The Rocks will sweep my boys tonight. I don't care what the score will be because neither team has played like they deserve it. All I have to say is the Rockies better start watching some film or start popping steroids because it's gonna be a show if they walk into Cleveland playing the same hodgepodge clown ball they’ve been throwing together thus far. I don’t see a confident strong ball club, I see a scared weak fa├žade of a real champion. Welcome to Varsity Rockies, you better find an A-game.

- The Hokie
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Notes on a Debacle

Turns out Captain Chaos was a key factor, but only in the first half. The story of this game was dropped passes - far too many from Redskins wideouts - especially Moss and Randle El. Blame it on the rain or them not practicing this week, but they left at least six first downs on the field. The fumble by Moss was the killer, but his drop on that go route down the right sideline really, really hurt.

Campbell's numbers were solid (21-37-217, TD, INT), but they should have been much better.Also, the Redskins never really established the run, which hurt them in the second half. They couldn't put together drives to run time off the clock and keep their defense off the field. It was an ugly game but one that Washington still should have won.

Note: Joe Gibbs still can't figure out how to manage the clock and his timeouts late in games. Wasting those two on consecutive plays with 3+ minutes remaining left the Skins with too little time when they finally got the ball back. Also, if Wade and Heyer's injuries cause them to miss anytime, Washington will have to go fishing for another free agent just to get a body in there. But that won't help the running came or Soup's protection a lick.

- The Tar Heel
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Game 3 is a Must-Win Game for the Dbacks

So I went back and checked my Nostradamus record, and after last game I am officially 5-3. Just wanted to throw that out for all you nay-sayers. Quit your Nay-Saying!

That brings us to the match-up between Livan Hernandez and Josh Fogg tonight, at Coors. For all the Washingtonians, you remember Hernandez very well from his two years here with the Nats. We know that he is a work horse that understands pitching, but he can also lose his concentration at the drop of a hat putting himself in trouble and forcing him to pitch out of dangerous situations.
The rest of the world saw him do this against the Cubs in the NLDS when he put 11 runners on base in 6 innings. That kind of lapse in intensity could really hurt against this Rockies team, who are a much better hitting team from top to bottom than the Cubs are. There is some reassurance for Livan looking at the .211 team average the Rocks have posted thus far in the series. His recent success at Coors (1-0, 1.93 ERA) is also a ray of hope, as Colorado's efforts to minimize the Mile High effect with humidors has worked in his favor.

I've highly ignored important statistics during this series and will probably do so again, but it's important to notice Fogg's record against the Backs is 6-1 with a 3.71 era. You really can't mess with that and with so many starts to base his success off of, these numbers aren't a fluke.
Fogg was nicknamed the Dragon Slayer by his teammates after he raised his game to a whole new level during this streak, earning wins against Brandon Webb, Derek Lowe and Chris Young and pitching close games against Jake Peavy, Dontrelle Willis and Brad Penny. But while he did go 3-0 in those starts his ERA was a very hittable 3.82. And come on people, this is the clown from Pittsburgh! He has a lifetime 4.90 ERA and hasn't broken 100 strikeouts only once in his seven year career. That’s just not good pitching.

With all that said, Game 3 is going to boil down to which hitting team takes advantage of the opportunities they are given. Both pitchers are going to put runners on base and there will be chances to hit their very hittable pitches. In the first two games I've seen the Diamondbacks struggle at covering all sides of the plate. Their approached has seemed hesitant and timid. Francis and Jimenez were able to dominate the outside corner and force the young hitters to hit weak flyball and groundball outs. The Rockies have also been a part of this power outage with only one extra base hit. Also neither team has hit a homerun yet in this series, which will be rectified tonight at Coors.

With both pitchers sporting recent success against the opposing team, their impact will have to stem from experience and desire. While I take nothing away from Josh Fogg, this is a must win game for the Dbacks with a pitcher who thrives in these situations. Whenever Hernandez’s number is called to be the savior, he raises his game to the next level.
In addition to Hernandez going to that next level you will also see the emergence of a playoff hero on the offensive side of the ball tonight. My bet is on Chris Young, that kid can flat out rake the ball, but it could easily be Stephen Drew who steps up with the big hit to win the game.

Dbacks 7, Rocks 4

- The Hokie

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Capitals Musings

In the midst of being embarrassed last night the Washington Capitals made an interesting personnel move, taking 23-year-old Czech winner Tomas Fleischmann off the first line, which consists of Viktor Kozlov and Alexander Ovechkin, and replacing him with Chris 'Captain America' Clark, Ovechkin's line-mate from a year ago. This should be a permanent move in my opinion, at least for now. Through the Caps first four games Fleischmann has no points and only three shots on goal. On the ice he looks like he's timid and lacking confidence - maybe he is intimidated playing with Ovechkin. There's no question Fleischmann has talent - he has put up better than a point per game in the American Hockey League each of the last two season (for those of you who don't follow hockey the AHL is analogous to AAA baseball) - but he isn't going to do anything productive if he's scared to touch the puck. Fleischmann's got too much talent to give up on at his age, but he would also be out of place on a checking line. The best solution for now is to move Clark back up to the first line and pair Fleischmann with Michael Mylander and Niklas Backstrom on the second line. This would allow Clark to play with Ovechkin, hopefully continuing their chemistry from last season, provide the second line with an offensively-minded player while 38-goal-scorer Alexander Semin rests his sprained ankle and drop utility man Brooks Laich to the checking line, a role he is better suited to. This also allows the Capitals to keep Brian Sutherby's toughness in the lineup, something you can never have too little of when the team looks out of place. So what to do with Fleischmann when Semin comes back? That depends on how he responds to playing on the second line. If he finds his groove there he could be promoted back to Ovechkin's line or, if the coaching staff thinks Nylander, Fleischmann and Backstrom mesh well, the Caps could even move Semin up to Ovechkin's line, giving them a lethal scoring line but hurting their scoring depth a little. Under this scenario Clark would move back to the checking line restoring the combination of shutdown defense, speed and skill the coaching staff thought they had out of camp.

If Fleischmann doesn't look productive on the second line the Caps could also consider moving him to the fourth line and hoping to get some production out of him on the powerplay, although this seems somewhat unlikely given the type of player Fleischmann is. If can't pull it together before Semin comes back from injury don't be surprised if Fleischmann finds himself sitting in the press box until another top six forward goes down for the Caps.

If Fleischmann doesn't look productive on the second line the Caps could also consider moving him to the fourth line and hoping to get some production out of him on the powerplay, although this seems somewhat unlikely given the type of player Fleischmann is. If can't pull it together before Semin comes back from injury don't be surprised if Fleischmann finds himself sitting in the press box until another top six forward goes down for the Caps.

- DMG

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Redskins vs. The Pack

Redskins:

What They Want to Do and How to Stop Them: Offensively the Redskins need to rely on their solid rushing attack ( 130.3 YPG), which will allow them to control the ball and let them throw when they want to. Jason Campbell had a great game last week against Detroit but the Lions' pass defense is terrible. This is not to say that Green Bay's pass defense has been great by any means (they are ranked 23rd in the league) but it is certainly better than the Lions. Campbell is still a developing quarterback and still needs to take what the defense gives him and if the Redskins can run the ball effectively and have success in the short yardage passing game they should be able to move the ball against the Packer defense. The short yardage game becomes even more important this week than usual, given that Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El may not play this week and that they will be limited if they do. The keys on defense for the Redskins will be getting ahead early, controlling the red zone, and forcing turnovers, particularly out of Brett Favre. For all the praise Favre had received this year for reigning in his gunslinger tendencies the man still turned 38 this week, has been a gunslinger for life, and has thrown 51 interceptions in his last 37 games. If the Skins can open up a double-digit lead early in the game, there's a good chance Favre will fall back into his gunslinger ways which could be advantageous for Washington with the talent in their secondary. Just as important will be holding tough in the Red Zone. The Redskins have good coverage guys in the secondary and fast linebackers; the Packers have a questionable running game and no great Red Zone threats at receiver. If Washington can hold Green Bay to field goals in the Red Zone their offense should be able to pull this one out.

Wildcard: Washington's receiving corps.
Santana Moss is probable with groin injury; Antwaan Randle El is questionable with a hamstring injury. My bet would be that both will play, but having anything less than both at full strength has negative ramifications throughout the Redskins offense.

Truths and Damned Lies: What the stats can (and can't) tell us.

Telling Statistic: Chris Cooley's three touchdown receptions out of four touchdown passes thrown by Jason Campbell. Cooley established himself as a Red Zone touchdown threat in his rookie year (2004). Given that Moss and Randle El are vertical passing game receivers (and that each is well under six feet tall), Cooley is the security blanket for Campbell inside the opponents

Packers:

What They Want to Do and How to Stop Them:
The Packers have made it to 4-1 this season relying on Brett Favre and a solid, if unspectacular defense. The Packers are averaging only 67 YPG on the ground and their top rushing is averaging an astonishingly low 33.0 YPG. For the Packers offense to be effective at all Favre is going to have to be productive and for Favre to be productive the Packers offensive line is going to have to contain the Redskins on the pass rush. Favre is about as immobile as any quarterback in the NFL and is still be a bit slow to check down to his second and third options. The Redskins have good corners and shouldn't have to worry about the running game too much, so getting good pressure on Favre with the front four and a few strategically timed blitzes could make this a very long day for the Packers offense. The book on stopping the Redskins offense the last couple years has been to contain the running game and make them pass. This may be changing with Jason Campbell starting to look like a bona fide solid NFL starting quarterback with his game last week. But last weeks game showed that Campbell could perform when he wasn't under much pressure - the Redskins dominated the Lions pretty much from the outset and Campbell wasn't sacked the entire game. It may not be quite as foolproof a plan as it has been the last couple season, but the Packers still need to concentrate on stopping Portis and Betts first and the passing game second.

Wildcard: DeShawn Wynn.
On one hand Wynn has averaged 4.6 yard per carry and has three touchdowns in five games. On the other hand he hasn't carried the ball more than ten times in a game yet this season. If Wynn can match the production and carries of a number one back, the Redskins will have to divert attention away from the passing game to stop him. And don't tell me it couldn't happen just because Wynn was a 7th round pick - Terrell Davis was drafted in the 6th round and rushed for over 1,100 yards his rookie season.

Truths and Damned Lies: What the stats can (and can't) tell us.

Telling Statistic: Brett Favre's 65 turnovers (51 interceptions; 14 lost fumbles) in his last 37 games, dating back to the start of the 2005 season. Sure, Favre is Hall of Fame quarterback and hasn't turned the ball over as much lately but there's no way a guy can turn the ball over 1.76 times a game for two-plus years and not be considered a threat to give the other team great field position, if not points.

Misleading Statistic: Brett Favre's 94.7 QB rating this season. Favre has torn it up against the Giants (20th in pass defense; 23rd in points allowed), San Diego (27th and 19th) and Minnesota (30th and 5th, due to the best run defense in the league) and has been mediocre against the Philly (21st and 11th) and Chicago (26th and 21st). For comparison the Redskins are ranked 8th in passing yards allowed per game 3rd in points allowed (which is somewhat skewed because they've already had their bye week); allowing only thirteen points per game. Oh yeah, and they've only given up two passing touchdowns so far.

Prediction: 20-13, Redskins. Favre manages to sneak in a TD through the air, but the Lambeau faithful go home disappointed courtesy of a TD pass from Campbell to Sellers and a score on the ground from Portis.

- DMG, with the Tar Heel and The Phoenix
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