Dec 14, 2004, 6:51 PM EDT
Every week, I look back at the predictions I made for the upcoming game and rate them according to how much water they held. One bucket means that it didn’t hold enough water to drown a housefly; a Five-Bucket prediction holds enough for several suburban swimming pools.
Patrick Ramsey is playing better and better in Gibbs’ offense every week. His stats won’t be as good as they were last Sunday, but he’ll complete at least half of his passes for better than 7.5 yards per attempt. He might throw an interception, but he’ll throw for a pair of TD’s.
Rating: Three Buckets
Analysis: Ramsey did complete half of his passes, going 30 of 46, but he averaged just a shade under six yards per attempt and threw for just one TD and did, of course, toss the INT. He didn’t play poorly by any stretch, but he wasn’t quite as good as I thought he’d be.
Gibbs will open up the offense more. Last time, in Ramsey’s first start, the game plan was so tight, if you’d stuck a lump of coal in it during the week, you would have had a diamond by game time. (If Ramsey had thrown one more of those quick outs or wide receiver screens or whatever those were, the only reason that it wouldn’t have been intercepted would have been that all 11 Eagle defenders were fighting over the ball.) Gibbs won’t be doing any flea-flickers or triple reverses or anything; look for something like what was run against the Giants with perhaps a couple of longer passes thrown in there.
Rating: Four Buckets
Analysis: Certainly, a more aggressively-called game then the last time around. There was even a Portis pass attempt (which turned out worse than Jerome Bettis’ but better than Randy Moss’ attempts from earlier in the day).
Portis will run the ball until his tongue hangs out. Ramsey will hand him the ball thirty times, give or take. How many yards he gets will go a long way towards determining the result of the game. If he gets closer to 60 or 75 yards, that means a lot of three and outs and lots of chances for the Philly offense to do its thing, which is to put points on the board. Production in the 125-yard range will mean that there were some time-consuming drives for the home team. His production will be somewhere in the middle of those two; put him down for a buck or so
Rating: Two Buckets
Analysis: Portis carried 23 times, a good workload, but not a “tongue-hanging-out” workout. He got 80 yards, closer to the low end of the range. Like Ramsey, he was not quite as good as I expected
The Redskins defense is one of the top half dozen in the league. Cornelius Griffin, who missed the game in Philadelphia with a hip injury, is back and that should make it even more difficult for Brian Westbrook to find running room. And, certainly, they’ll be keying on what really killed them last time, Westbrook catching passes out of the backfield. The Eagle running back could get right around the 105 combined yards he got last time, but he won’t score two TD’s.
Rating: Four Buckets
Analysis: I nailed Westbrook’s yardage pretty well as he got 59 rushing and an indentical 59 receiving for a total of 118. He didn’t score.
Redskins 24, Eagles 21
Rating: Three Buckets
Analysis: I’m hesitant to give myself more than two buckets if I get the winner wrong, but I think I had the type of game it would be pegged pretty well. I was much closer than some folks who emailed me bragging of a coming Eagle rout.
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