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A Redskins-centric look around the NFL, Week 2

Sep 17, 2016, 1:00 PM EDT


Will Carson Wentz continue his march to Canton? Has the Giants’ defense improved enough to hold Drew Brees to, say, five touchdown passes this time around? Here is your Redskins-centric look around the NFL as Week 2 approaches.

—The Saints travel to play the Giants at 1:00. Last year in New Orleans the Giants-Saints game ended up being one of the highest scoring affairs in NFL history. Eli Manning threw for six touchdowns but Drew Brees threw for seven. The Saints won 52-49 on a 50-yard Kai Forbath field goal as time expired. That game was in a dome and Brees’ career passer rating is 12 points lower outdoors. We’ll see if that and the supposedly improved Giants defense makes the difference in this one. The Giants are 4.5-point favorites to take sole possession of the NFC East lead, pending the Monday night result.

—That Monday night game has the Eagles visiting the Bears. Hall of Fame quarterback Carson Wentz is certain to lead his—oh, wait, he’s only played one game? Against the Browns, one of the worst teams in football? Yeah, let’s tap the brakes on that hype train just a little bit. But the Bears do have a questionable secondary so perhaps Wentz can look good again. The big question will be if the vaunted Eagles defense can get it done against a team that has considerably more firepower than the Browns’ attack. The home team is favored by three.

—Looking ahead, the Redskins go to New Jersey next Sunday to take on the Giants while the Eagles host the Steelers. If the Redskins can win tomorrow their game against New York could be for at least a share of first place in the division.

—Over in the AFC, the Redskins’ Week 4 and Week 5 opponents face off as the Browns host the Ravens. Josh McCown takes over at quarterback in Cleveland for Robert Griffin III. Griffin’s quest for redemption is on hold for at least a couple of months as he recovers from a shoulder injury. The Ravens won an old-fashioned defensive battle at home against the Bills last week. We probably won’t know if the Ravens have bounced back from last year’s ugly 5-11 season after this game. But in between now and October 9, when they host the Redskins, they face a couple of sterner tests. Next week they got to Jacksonville to play the up and coming Jaguars and then they host the Raiders, who also are a team on the rise.

—Before the season even started there was talk of a disconnect between Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Kyle Shanahan, the Atlanta offensive coordinator. “I think a lot was made about a little,” said Ryan before the team opened the season with a 31-24 loss to the Bucs. Shanahan goes into his second season with the Falcons on less than solid ground. Ryan seemed to regress last year as the Falcons started 5-0 but faded to a 3-8 finish. They start a brutal stretch of four road games in five weeks with trips to Oakland, New Orleans, Denver, and Seattle. Their long home game is against the Panthers. With an 0-fer start staring them in the face the Falcons coaches are all on notice, especially Shanahan.

—Tomorrow I like three road underdogs. I’ll go with the Saints +4.5 over the Giants, the Packers +2.5 at the Vikings, and the Colts +6 over the Broncos.

  1. chimps000 - Sep 17, 2016 at 1:29 PM

    Listening to greg cosell on ross tucker’s NFL podcast talk about how dominant Leonard Williams was in week one both as a pass rusher and a run stuffer…

    Sure would be nice to have a guy like that.

    I’m also interested in Robert Nkemdiche who I wanted in the first round this draft- Bruce Arians called him out in week one for not having an impact, so I guess that’s a wash between him and Josh Doctson lol.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 17, 2016 at 2:59 PM

      As we’ve talked about before, I don’t think Nkemdiche was draftable for a team like Washington in the early rounds. We have too many needs to take a risk like that. But he is a very interesting guy to keep an eye on. Could be a big time player, or he could be a bust. But any hype about him is all based on potential. His college production was atrocious. Some of the lowest ever at his position.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 17, 2016 at 5:11 PM

      My impression is that McGlue passed on Williams because he didn’t think Williams had the necessary “love of football.”

      But hindsight is 20/20…we drafted a right guard with the 5th overall pick. But we needed a guy like Leonard Williams (who would have been the top defensive pick in the 2016 draft) more.

      • Trey Gregory - Sep 17, 2016 at 5:51 PM

        Yeah that one will sting for a while unless Scherfd morphs into an all-pro tackle.

      • chimps000 - Sep 17, 2016 at 9:02 PM

        Not hindsight- I wanted Williams at the time of the draft when he was available.

        Sherff was overdrafted, but at least he is an olineman, a position I would rather overdraft than DB, RB, or WR.

        Trey, talking about taking risks, how about the Fuller pick, the guy had microfracture surgery and didn’t look great in college after the surgery, 3rd round seems pretty high for that level of risk.

        • Trey Gregory - Sep 18, 2016 at 2:24 AM

          I was surprised they took Fuller. But, there’s a difference between taking a medical risk late in the 3rd on a guy who you viewed as a late first compared to taking a multiple red flag guy at the end of the first.

          Did you see the posts when I replied to you a few days ago about how Nkemdiche wasn’t just a guy who smoked pot one time? I don’t want to get into it all again if you read it but it was a lot more than that. Including him having literally historically low college production for any DT drafted in the past 20 years. I think he had 6 sacks his entire college career. It was more than him smoking pot one time. He’s a very physically gifted athlete but that’s it. He hasn’t proven anything on the field. Drafting a guy like that (including the behavior issues) in the first is a gigantic risk.

          And I get being balky about shoring up the O-line. But not every position on the O-line is equal. A right guard is arguably the least valuable position on the line (arguable only to left guard) and the #5 overall pick is WAY too high for a guard. DBs and WRs are significantly more valuable than a guard and should be drafted before a guard. RBs, not so much. Many argue that you should never take a first round RB, guard, or center. I don’t know about all that. But I tend to agree about the #5 overall pick. Especially when there’s elite pass rush potential sitting right there.

          I get McCloughan thought he was drafting a tackle. Tackles are more valuable than guards. But that’s still a whiff. I’m not upset about drafting Scherff at all. Glad to have him on the team. But if people want to get technical about it, yeah, it was a bad over reach. Especially with Williams sitting right there.

    • cmehustle - Sep 18, 2016 at 5:17 AM

      I listened to that podcast as well. Its still hard for me to listen to anything about him. Its not over yet, but after a year and a half, I would much rather have Williams then Scherff. I mean hes good and all but how much of a difference is he really making over say Long in that position? Whereas Williams is already a huge difference maker on that defense. We really, really need to start taking a look at that side of the ball, especially lineman. LBs too, if Spaight can show something here soon it would be a step in the right direction there. Maybe its going to take getting smashed on that side of the ball this year for them to realize we need some help. Through the draft.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 18, 2016 at 7:11 AM

        Williams would be a tremendous addition to our team, but at least Scherff has helped solidify the right side of the offensive line; I don’t take that for granted.

      • redskins12thman - Sep 18, 2016 at 7:12 AM

        Spaight is in a really scary situation right now with second concussion (not sure how it occurred).

        • Rich Tandler - Sep 18, 2016 at 7:22 AM

          The scarier scary part is that there wasn’t one big hit in practice that caused it. Started having symptoms after practice on Thursday. Not good for Spaight.

  2. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Sep 17, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Atlanta’s major problem is defense.

  3. Skulb - Sep 18, 2016 at 2:33 AM

    Saints Giants will be interesting. It should be a good test of the newfangled defense the Giants have bought this season.

    • Trey Gregory - Sep 18, 2016 at 3:04 AM

      I don’t wish bad things on anyone but I won’t be able to help but laugh if Breese torches them for 100 points and 1,000 yards again.

      It’s hard not to root against a team that spent THAT much money in free agency. Division foe or not. I don’t necessarily blame them. They’re a win now team. But still. Try drafting a few guys. Archives

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