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Bold Predictions: The Rest of the Way

Oct 31, 2006, 12:59 AM EST

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vs. Dallas (4-3)—Mark Brunell seems to have his best games just when the criticism is the most intense. Gregg Williams and company will have had two weeks to figure out Tony Romo. Win 3-5

at Philadelphia (4-4)—The Eagles had an embarrassing offensive performance at home against Jacksonville and they will have had two weeks to try to figure out how to fix it. Loss 3-6

at Tampa Bay (2-5)—This could be one of the ugliest games ever—or at least since the Redskins’ last trip there for last year’s playoff game. Win 4-6

vs. Carolina (4-4)—This just in—the Panthers aren’t that good. They could be considered the second-biggest bust in the NFC after the Redskins. Look for a game at FedEx like the one against the Jaguars with the team that has the ball last pulling out a win. The Skins get it last again. Win 5-6

vs. Atlanta (5-2)Donovan McNabb has always given the Redskins fits and Mike Vick is turning into McNabb only he’s faster, more elusive, and he has a better arm. And, unlike McNabb’s, his team can run the ball. Loss 5-7

vs. Philadelphia (4-4)—After facing Vick, McNabb will be a cinch to deal with. The Eagles’ unwillingness and/or inability to run the ball will kill them in December. Win 6-7

at New Orleans (5-2)—The early wave of emotion that carried the Saints early in the season has been slowed considerably by the fact that they just don’t have very many good football players. Win 7-7.

at St. Louis (4-3)—The Rams still should be in contention in the mediocre NFC West at this point and that dome is a very tough place to win. Still, the Redskins find a way to get it done. Win 8-7

vs. New York Giants (5-2)—The Redskins don’t match up well with the New York and, assuming that the Giants remain reasonably healthy between now and then, the season will end with the Redskins at .500. Loss 8-8.

  1. Anonymous - Oct 31, 2006 at 2:41 PM

    I don’t see a win in St Louis because Steven Jackson + Tory Holt will create big problems for the Skins. Teams with legitimate threats at both RB and WR will create problems for the Redskins leaky defense. On the road, in the dome, with the current tactics feels more like an L than a W to me. Let’s hope I am wrong.

  2. Joe - Oct 31, 2006 at 5:22 PM

    It’s hard to put any of these firmly in the W column if Brunell continues to start.

    Seriously, the Titans. We lost to the Titans. Seriously.

  3. Anonymous - Nov 1, 2006 at 7:42 PM

    Wow, It’s great to see such dedication for your team. I’ve been a Bengals fan for close to two decades now and I understand your desperate optimism. I gotta say though, finishing 8-8 for the Skins seems a bit like a pipe dream. I’m not sure if I can agree with a couple of thos wins. I think 7-9 is more likely, and wouldn’t be surprised by a 6-10 finish.
    I expect the wheels to start falling off the Joe Gibbs bandwagon any day now. Al Saunders (Supported by ownership) will likely start making more decisions.

    That’s not going to be a comfortable tranisition for anyone, especially the players.

    God luck though!

  4. Anonymous - Nov 2, 2006 at 5:00 PM

    Last year, our losses(like the ones to the Chiefs, Broncos, Bucs, and Chargers) were close competitive games that we could have won. The Redskins were close all season long and towards the end they started putting things together and winning. This year has a completely different feel. We’re not even competitive in many of our losses. We’re not close – we look terrible out there for significant stretches. This is why I find it very difficult to have any hope that things will improve much. I will be very surprised if we end up 8-8. Our off-season personnel decisions have been a disaster. Example: we spent 10 million dollars for Adam Archuletta. Instead of that brilliant move, we could have spent 3 million on Adam Vinateri, 3 million on Ryan Clark and still have 4 million left over to sign a good 3rd cornerback (which would have made a huge difference). I love Gibbs, but he has not proven himself to be the best personnel guy. Remember Desmond Howard? Gibbs exact words “No holes.” I heard an interview with Darrel Green who said he knew on the first day of practice that Howard wouldn’t make in the NFL as a receiver. Gibbs probably spent months researching that draft pick. All he had to do was have Darrell go against him in a work out and 30 minutes later, he’d have his answer. Another bust (so far) Andre Carter. He is not good against the run and has been average as a pass rusher. Nobody can be perfect with personnel moves, but when you bungle enough of the big dollar moves, its going to catch up with you. I would be very surprised if we ended up 8-8, but you never know, miracles do happen every once in a while.

  5. Kounter Trey - Nov 2, 2006 at 5:48 PM

    It’s hard to argue with my man anonymous.

    Three DC-area pro sports teams have recently figured out that the way to build a team is by *building* it, not buying it. The Wizards FINALLY got a real GM and now they’ve been in the playoffs two years in a row. The Capitals FINALLY stopped trying to win by bringing in big free agents and so far they’re on the upswing led by Ovechkin and Semin, among others. The Nationals–well, time will tell, but they’re now owned by a group that has a history of building carefully and for the long haul.

    Look for those three teams to be competitive for the long haul. I can only hope the Skins will learn from their example.

  6. Anonymous - Nov 2, 2006 at 6:47 PM

    Some people never learn. I think Dan Snyder is the second coming of Al Davis, except without the Super Bowl victory. I read that since Snyder bought the team, the Redskins have signed 23 all-pro players. Of those all-pro players, a total of ZERO made all-pro while playing with the skins. That’s classic Dan Snyder. Building a team? Not Snyder. We gave up a 3rd round pick for Duckett who hasn’t been used and will be a free agent at the end of the year. A 3rd rounder is usually an inexpensive player who, depending on position, often contributes or starts for 3 or 4 years. Way to build a team Danny.

  7. Kounter Trey - Nov 2, 2006 at 8:03 PM

    If Abe Pollin, who’s 117 years old, can figure it out, so can Danny. Eventually.

    Look, I’m no Snyder fan. But he’s made incremental improvements. He’s made himself less of the story each year. He’s receded into the background, a bit. His next step is to hire a competent GM and let that GM do what he needs to do.

    No guarantee Snyder will reach this point. I’m just saying he seems to be learning–slowly. Yeah, he soaks the fans for every dollar he can but he has _tried_ to put a good team together by bringing in numerous former All Pros. Hopefully the next thing he’ll try is the smarter thing–i.e., getting football people to make football decisions.

  8. Anonymous - Nov 4, 2006 at 6:30 AM

    It is not just a coincidence that the year we had our quietest off-season (last season) was the most successful regular season of the Dan Snyder era (2 games from the Super Bowl). Granted, the team’s salary cap was so maxed out that the Skins had no choice other than have a quiet off-season. But it fostered team chemistry which clearly was critical down the stretch. Did Snyder learn from that? Not in the least. The very next year, when more cap room opened up, its back to the old Snyder ways of making off-season headlines by over-paying for free-agents and wreaking havoc on team chemistry. The Ryan Clark thing is a great example. Apparently, Clark and Sean Taylor were very close. Taylor, who is a bit of an introvert, really clicked on and off the field with Clark. Clark performed well and had fantastic on-field communication with Taylor. Clark could have been had for around 3 million bucks. Instead, Snyder and company let Clark go and signed Archuletta for a record $10 million. Archuletta has been an unmitigated bust, and Taylor does not look like the same player of last year. Great job Snyder. I admire the optimism of people who think Snyder can learn from his experiences. I haven’t seen any evidence of that over the 8 seasons that Snyder has been the owner. At some point (8 seasons is that point), the painful pattern that Snyder has repeated year in and year out of burning draft picks like paper and focusing the offseason on splashy headline-inducing free agent over-spending, that has always lead to disastrous results, cannot be chalked up to inexperience. We’re getting close to a point where Snyder’s fool-hardy mistakes can no longer be chaulked up to the folly of a new, inexperienced owner. 8 Seasons is not enough to learn these things that the other teams in the NFL seem to magically know already? How many seasons will it take? 16 seasons? 25 seasons? 40 seasons? Because Snyder is young enough that he’ll have that long to prove just how stupid he is at NFL ownership.

  9. Anonymous - Nov 6, 2006 at 7:15 AM

    This team is worse than mediocre, and that’s just what the Cowboys are. We weren’t as good as them, and if someone hadn’t pad the ref to give them over 130 yards worth of penalties then we would have lost. We will finish 3-13 and shouldn’t be a franchise.

  10. Anonymous - Nov 6, 2006 at 7:22 AM

    kounter trey

    yeah snyder’s been invisible this year. That’s why he’s making out with Tom Cruise during national televised games, and signing every overrated FA he can get his hands on in the offseason. Good thing we now have two safeties who hit big but can’t cover.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to sign TO, but another owner who didn’t know what he was doing beat him to it.

  11. Joe - Nov 6, 2006 at 4:15 PM

    This team is worse than mediocre, and that’s just what the Cowboys are.

    This is for the closet cowboy fan who won’t put a name with his anonymous post. The Skins out-coached and out-played your sorry team.

    The Cowboys got every call, every non-call, and every spot to go their way. And they couldn’t make good on it because of undisciplined play. Unsportmanlike penalties, false starts, and obvious pass interference calls are not the sign of bad officiating, it’s the symptom of a poorly coached team.

    The Skins just punched the sorry Cowboys in the face in what was quite possibly the final meeting between Gibbs and Parcells. Game, set, match. Go back to Dallas, chump, and in the words of my main man Tom Petty, “don’t come around here no more.”

  12. Anonymous - Nov 6, 2006 at 4:52 PM

    Some of those Cowboys penalties would have been long completions, if not for the defensive pass interference calls, and I think one would have been a TD. In other words, the penalties in some cases helped Dallas, in keeping us out of the endzone or making big plays. TO is the one who lost the game for Dallas, not the refs. TO dropped what would have been the game winning TD.

  13. Anonymous - Nov 6, 2006 at 7:08 PM

    IMO, three things lost the game for the Cowboys:

    1) TO’s bonheaded penalty after his TD. I don’t really understand players getting these penalties. The rules may suck, but they know the rules. Just spike the ball and be done with it. Of course, if you are going to spike it, just be sure you don’t smack the ref in the face like Marvin Harrison did in the Pats/Colts game.

    2) TO missed 2 catches. One would have extended a drive and the other scored a TD.

    3) What on earth was Parcells thinking when he opted to go for the 2 point conversion? If he hadn’t done that, the end of the game would have been a lot different. Hindsight is 20-20, but you don’t go for 2 when 1 will do early in a game.

    Having said all this, I am glad the Skins won the game. They needed a boost. This will at least bolster their confidence.

    One last thing. If I see Archuleta out in pass coverage again like he was against Witten in the final minute of the Cowboys game, I am going to pull my hair out. The guy cannot cover even the TE. Please put Vincent or Wright out there and not Archuleta. If he is going to cover someone, he will need help. Yeesh!

  14. Anonymous - Nov 7, 2006 at 3:24 PM

    The media keep referring to Archuletta is the highest paid safety in the NFL. Is this true? If so, how could Gibbs have made such a huge personnel error? I saw a post-game interview with Greg Williams where he said Vincent would be the starting safety from now on. This is a disaster. If Archuletta cannot provide pass coverage, then he is not a viable safety, since that is one of the critical functions of a safety. So then what is he? Too small to be a linebacker, not a corner or safety. What a disaster.

  15. Kounter Trey - Nov 7, 2006 at 3:50 PM

    I never said Snyder was invisible. He’s going to be in the owner’s box for games. I’m not sure he can avoid being shown on TV when he’s in the box.

    But he’s not chewing his coaches out after games. He’s not on the sidelines. He’s not making himself the story.

    He’s got a lot to learn. But if George Steinbrenner can learn to stop messing with his franchise, Danny can learn to stop messing with his. Whether he will, who knows?

    As for the penalties, many calls and non-calls went the Cowboys’ way. I’m sure the play clock hit zero on two separate plays where the Cowboys weren’t called for delay of game. They also had a couple of non-calls on extremely flagrant holds, especially one that happened right in front of Romo (and therefore in front of the ref).

  16. Joe - Nov 7, 2006 at 3:54 PM

    Rich may know more about who is the highest paid. I saw some info about his contract that suggests that it’s the richest CONTRACT for safety. There’s a distinction because it is back-loaded so that the bulk of the money due comes in the final years and is not guaranteed.

    He was paid $5M to sign with $1M roster bonuses every season that he’s on the roster. His base salary is pretty low the first 2-3 years. Hence, after 2 years he could be cut and only would have made $7-$8M total. That’s not bad money, but I bet guys like Ed Reed are making more.

    Coincidentally, the Redskins use this technique a lot because it allows the player’s agent to brag about the size of the contract. If the player works out, it’s worth it. I he doesn’t then he can be released after a couple seasons without taking a huge cap hit. It’s one of those things that the media doesn’t mention when they print headlines like, “Highest Paid Safety Ever!!!”

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