September 28, 2004
Another Dallas game, another loss. At least last night I expected the outcome and it wasn't as hard to take as some of the others. But it's still frustrating.
There's a lot of talk about clock management today and that's certainly going to happen when you enter the late stages of a close game having burned all of your timeouts. Two were called to avoid delay of game penalties; once the play got in late and on the other the play got in a little late and there was still a chance to get the play off but it appeared that Mike Sellers was lined up in the wrong spot and Brunell had to burn the time out. The latter of the two was the more egregious and it's certain that there will be a discussion with Sellers about it. We'll see if the mistake will be corrected or, as was the case so often the past two seasons, repeated.
The worst waste of a time out, though, was the challenge of Terry Glenn's catch of Richie Anderson's halfback option pass for a touchdown to make it 21-10. Now my trusty Tivo was having some hard drive issues so I haven't seen it since it happened, but that did not appear to be close enough to burn a challenge on.
Now, some are saying that if the Redskins had saved any of the three time outs, they would have been able to use it to stop the clock after Gardner's long reception with four seconds left and attempt a tying field goal. While that's true, they wouldn't have had the time out even if they had not burned it. They almost certainly would have used it on defense to stop the clock during Dallas' last possession.
Bold Statement: Analysis
In this spot each week, I'll examine some of the bold statements I made the week leading up to the game and see if they've held water. The statements will be rated with a number of buckets of water from zero to five. No buckets means that I couldn't have been more wrong had I said that the sky is green. Five buckets means that I either had a crystal ball or I was extremely lucky.
-- Eddie George will not gain much more than about 50 yards. (9/27)
George carried the ball 11 times for just 19 yards. In fact, Dallas as a team rushed for a mere 50.
--Testaverde will throw for close to 300. (9/27)
Vinny pitched for just 219 and being off by that much might be grounds for one fewer bucket, but he controlled the game from start to finish and was just as effective as if he had thrown for more yards.
-- Brunell won't be significantly better this week than the last two. Well, probably a little better than against the Giants, but I don't see him having 250 yards passing up his sleeve. (9/27)
Again, I was off on the yards but without that 49-yard desperation heave to Gardner on the last play, he winds up with 275 throwing. Yes, I know that all the yards count but Brunell was just about as effective as I thought he'd be—not terrible, but not terribly effective either.
-- So, in an incredible oversimplification, it comes down to Vinny vs. Ports. Whichever one is more productive will be playing on the winning team. (9/27)
Portis rushed for a very quiet 94 yards and Testaverde, as noted, controlled the game. Slam dunk.
September 27, 2004
I'm not real big on making predictions, but in this space it's one of those things that's called for, so here goes:
--. The Dallas O-line has been protecting well and there's no reason to think that the Redskins will generate much pressure. With time, Vinny will burn you. I don't see a lot of long completions, but he'll dump off to Meshawn and to Witten.
--Brunell won't be significantly better this week than the last two. Well, probably a little better than against the Giants, but I don't see him having 250 yards passing up his sleeve. The Dallas D may be sort of weak in the backfield, but they're not going to get lit up by a quarterback who doesn't have a great arm and is still learning the offensive system.
--Clinton Portis is one key. It's not simply the "if he gains 100+ the Redskins win" thing, because that often confuses cause and effect. A team protecting a lead will hand off to its prime back frequently in the fourth quarter to move the chains and kill the clock. If Portis can get it going consistently in the early going, that will open up the rest of the offense. If he doesn't, well, as noted above Brunell's arm isn't likely to win the game for Washington.
--So, in an incredible oversimplification, it comes down to Vinny vs. Ports. Whichever one is more productive will be playing on the winning team.
Given the Redskins' current 1-12 skid vs. Dallas, with that one win coming in a meaningless season finale in 2002, it's hard for me to envision anything but a Dallas win. Sorry, and this is one of the reasons I hate to make predictions, but I think that Vinny will have the better game and Dallas will win 24-17. Hope I'm wrong.
Tandler's Redskins Blog 9/27
Tandler's Redskins Blog 9/25
Tandler's Redskins Blog 9/23-24
Tandler's Redskins Blog 9/22
Tandler's Redskins Blog 9/21
Monday, 9/27 A bold and hopefully wrong prediction…