You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net
Do the Redskins have their swagger back?
We thought that they did following their thrilling overtime
That was the first of three straight losses. The string was
broken with another exciting victory when the Skins snatched victory from the
jaws of defeat by blocking Mike Vanderjagt's last-second field goal attempt and
getting the game-winning three points from Nick Novak. Sometimes a win like
that can get a team on a roll. But, no, the offense couldn't generate anything
After last Sunday they have another chance. The Redskins played well on both sides of the ball, something that they didn't do in those other games mentioned above, and pulled out a hard-earned 17-13 win over the Carolina Panthers, who thought that they were about to get on a serious roll.
Now some of you may scoff at the notion that last Sunday's
game represented anything that a team could build any momentum off of.
But nine out of every ten games in the NFL are ugly wins for one of the participants. The formula that the Redskins used on Sunday was tried and true. The defense kept them in the game while the offense moved the ball enough so that the D could stay off the field for a while after they stopped the Panthers. Because of the effectiveness of the defense the offense didn't have to press. They knew that they didn't have to score every time they got their hands on the ball. Because Jason Campbell was playing well enough to move the chains, the defense didn't get tired and desperate.
Eventually, good things happened for the Redskins. A blocked
punt, a deadly accurate pass from
In winning the Redskins found their formula for success.
They couldn't bottle up what they did against the Jaguars because you're not
going to score 36 points every game. Their takeaway from the
Moderation is a virtue
The Redskins had one of the easiest training camps of any NFL team this summer. Joe Gibbs scheduled very few two a days, minimal sessions in full pads and they had a day off less than a week after camp started.
On the other end of the scale was the camp conducted by
Early in the season it sure did look like Mora had it right and that Gibbs needed to go to school on the younger coach. At the end of October the Falcons were 5-2 and looking like they were on their way to the playoffs.
But then the leaves started to fall and so did the Falcons. The are 0 for November, losing four straight this month.. Has the brutal regimen in August contributed to their collapse in the fall?
Of course, we can only guess. But one eye-popping stat suggests that they may well be running out of gas. In the second half of the four games of their current skid they have been outscored by a staggering aggregate of 67-20.
When the first of January rolls around it's likely that the
Redskins and Falcons will wind up in the same spot, around .500 and on the
outside of the playoffs looking in. The Redskins can blame part of their woes
on their light camp workload not having them ready to go when the season
started. They will be fresh in December but they will be playing golf in
Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book has an account of every game the Redskins played from when they moved to Washington for the 1937 season through 2001. It makes the perfect stocking stuffer for the Redskins fans on your shopping list. For details and ordering information go to http://www.RedskinsGames.com