Thinking Skins

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  1. True, but I feel much better about Smith today than I did on Saturday. Now at least he can put a few drives on his back and move the ball. Can he do it for 21? 28? 35? I don't know. And hopefully we won't have to find out. I really think that a part of this team's identity is limiting the opponent's opportunities. But if Tampa had scored on that first drive do we throw it further on that 3rd and 15 that went for 11? Do we chug it deep sooner? Its hard to say. But I feel more comfortable with Smith's development and ability to lead this team down the stretch, and in particular to 11 wins now than I did before. And I really think that he's beginning to trust Doctson and Harris. Both has catches that we've only seen him make to Davis so far this year, where he anticipated where they'd be and threw it to that spot before they even broke.
  2. Thinking Skins

    Press Release: #REDSKINS Quotes - Gruden

    I'm thankful for that Marshall quote. He's a guy I thought should have been cut because I feel like Bibbs is a better back in the first place. Even before we signed AP I wanted Bibbs as the feature back Now we're seeing him make plays and work with this team. I hope he doesn't lose his spot to a numbers game and a man-crush
  3. I definitely do not see the 178 yard Smith as the finished product. I definitely see the missed pass to Davis and the missed pass to Quick as opportunities missed (Quick less so, but definitely Davis). In the first half there was a third and 15 or so where we threw it for 8 yards and wound up getting 11 and punting. That, to me, wasn't the best plan of action. There was also the 2 minute drive to end the first half. I thought that was a good plan, up until the last few plays where we didn't even try to put it into the end zone and settled for the FG. Going into the game, I was having a discussion with @Morneblade about how much this team relies on AP. Here's what he said, "Offensively, we're a very easy team to stop now. 8 in the box, and make Alex throw. You'll likely give up less than 13 points if you're D is average. Then, attack our Secondary."My reply was kinda twofold. (1) AP is a HOF running back in part because its not easy to stop him. (2) When teams stack the box to stop AP, will Smith/Doctson/Reed/Harris/Davis/Bibbs be able to move the chains? Basically teams are going to play us the same way we're playing teams. We're going to attempt to take away their best offensive weapon and challenge them to beat us otherwise. Yesterday we kinda did that. Other teams try to take away our weapon - AP. When they do that what do we do? And this is what has me "excited" or at least more than meh on Alex. He showed that he can get things done when AP is taken out of the game. Until yesterday it's been that we folded. And lets be real, 178 yards and 16 points isn't going to win most games. But it did win yesterday. I could probably see Smith getting even less yards than he got yesterday had AP been able to run, or if we'd have hit Bibbs more. But what we realized is that after the first quarter they were keying on AP and we weren't getting many drives. That 2 min drive saw some beautiful passes from Alex. Harris-Doctson-Doctson-Floyd-Reed, and whats not included in there was a missed pass to Floyd. That was a drive all on Alex and the playmakers/cast-offs. And while in the grand scheme of things it only put us up 6-3, it was a reply to their game tie-ing FG earlier in the quarter, and it wound up being the game winning drive, all things considered. We can say similar things about the only TD drive we had. They were stopping AP and so we had to continuously throw for first downs 3rd and 9, 2nd and 7, 2nd and 14 (beautiful run by Smith), 3rd and 5, TD. There was also the first drive in the third quarter where Smith hit Doctson on third and 14 and they got 13. That was a bad drive because there were so many mistakes (the early TO, the holding call on APs only good run of that drive, the other bad runs by AP, and ultimately the route/pass by Doctson and Smith). But still, this second half Smith didn't have any real noticeable mistakes And to put this into a larger picture, I'm seeing a continuous growth from Alex Smith. I'm seeing more comfort with Doctson and Harris - both of whom caught all of their targets yesterday. We're seeing an increased completion percentage again, he's moving the pocket and when he needs to he's scrambling, and he's not making critical mistakes. And you don't have to look at Fitz yesterday just look at all the losses from yesterday: Carolina: -2 in turnovers Arizona: -2 in turnovers Detroit: -3 in turnovers Cincinatti: -2 in turnovers Altanta: -1 in turnovers Jacksonville: 0 in turnovers Miami: -1 in turnovers Jets: -2 in turnovers Patriots: 0 in turnovers Eagles: -1 in turnovers Oakland: 0 in turnovers Seattle: -1 in turnovers Tampa: -4 in turnovers Its not rocket science, but its also not an easy thing to do. Smith said so earlier this week when he talked about our own offense's need to get more big plays, saying "Yeah, I mean I think you'd love to… I think you look at percentages; this is across the NFL, I think historically to march it… without chunks your scoring probably goes down. I think any time you add a chunk play into a drive; your chances of scoring greatly increase. It's tough against any defense in this league to march it. I mean I think we had some great examples of that in the last few weeks. I think anytime we've gotten off schedule with a penalty, with a sack, with a negative play, those are things that are hard to overcome. I think chunk plays allow you to sometimes bypass that a little bit. All the sudden you add a chunk play and depending on where you started, all the sudden you're on the edge of field goal, you're in the red zone – you're in striking distance. That mentality definitely changes. So, you'd love to have that. They come in a lot of different ways. Like you said, sometimes you actually have to chunk it down field, sometimes they are catch and runs, sometimes it's a blocking on the second level in run plays breaking open, so, a lot of ways to get those. " I think what separates Smith from a lot of other QBs in the league is that he can drive teams down the field on those long, slow drives and not force it and live to play another play. Sometimes we punt, sometimes we attempt a FG, but rarely do we turn it over and that's kept us in more games than we've lost. I'll just add another statement I made about Smith to @Morneblade, "Add to that the fact that Smith hasn't been this unable to complete an NFL pass type QB, he's just been inconsistent and not making big plays. But he's been able to put some good drives together. Question is can he do it more often, especially if AP gets stopped. " That's what I was looking for Sunday and without much help from AP until the 4th quarter, I thought Smith was able to keep the offense moving enough to win the game.
  4. Thinking Skins

    Can we stop pretending now?

  5. Thinking Skins

    2018 Season Injury News

    I have a feeling that this is more of a Gibbs type move to hide a player than anything else. It's probably something that's a few weeks but given our situation, we can't reserve a roster spot for a guy who isn't ready to contribute especially with Howard now. I really think they have high hopes for him and want to get him into the weight room more than anything.
  6. Thinking Skins

    Redskins Lead NFC East

    Yeah, but even a 20 yard fg and the other miss wouldn't have made the game that much closer. Both misses would have tied the game, so we're taking about simply having to get the lead again. But we had stopped them on both those drives and one was a 48 yarder which is not a gimmie.
  7. Thinking Skins

    Is this the best Defensive Front we've had in years?

    Not just Fitz, their RB had a big play off an Allen tackle behind the line. And it has been this way all season. Minus the Giants game. But as I've said in other threads I think it's part strategy. I think they're afraid of putting more resources towards pass rush because they want to take away their opponents top weapon be it running or passing. I think it's partially about big plays but also about those over the top plays. So to them it's not as bad to stay on the field and give up the third down conversion if it forces them to do 3 more hard plays. Atl did a good job of beating us and making those plays into TDs and not making the critical mistakes. But most teams and most QBs (or OL or WRs or RBd) are likely to make mistakes on long drives.
  8. Thinking Skins

    Redskins receiving corp is beginning to shape up

    How fast was the WR core in Cincy? I figure Green is fast but maybe I'm wrong. I'll say that today is the first time all year I've felt like we could be a wr led offense, not TE first, nor RBs first, but looking at Harris and Doctson first. They had 9 receptions on 9 targets with almost 100 yards
  9. @Voice_of_Reason, All true and I'm not making excuses for him. But at some point this becomes like the Doctson discussion or the insert player X that we spent money on. It becomes less about what we gave up for them and more about how they're playing. - Heath Shuler wasn't playing like a #3 overall pick, but he also wasn't playing like he belonged in this league. - The Gus Bus came in and at least wasn't making the same mistakes so we could ride Terry Allen to a almost playoff record. - Brad Johnson was making plays and playing well but we didn't want him back. - Tony Banks was playing Martyball and we were winning the second half of the season but we wanted something splashy - Wurfell/Matthews/etc didn't belong in this league - Ramsey wasn't ready and we put him behind a non-existant OL and he got brutalized - Brunell could barely throw past the line of scrimmage but we were able to ride him to a playoff win - Campbell was a guy that got me into a lot of arguments here because he played it safe but with even less of a ceiling than Smith These are all QBs that we had. Its not easy to find a guy who can even do what Smith is doing. I mean, we can talk about who we can't beat but we've lost to Luck, Ryan and Brees this year. Those are three all pro level QBs. Everybody else we're challenging to a game of chicken and Smith doesn't blink.
  10. See, I feel like its easy to say that but what about the screen pass to Bibbs for 40 yards that was called back because of a hold against Cooper? What about the drop by Floyd after a 15 yard completion? What about the Completion to Doctson for 20 yards that was called back? Yeah he would have a better day if not for his mistakes, but he's not the only one making mistakes. Everybody's going to have bad plays, thats why they tell CBs not to have a memory. The thing is that a bad play for Smith is an incompletion where as somebody said in the gameday thread "he throws it so bad that even the other guy can't catch it". But for other QBs (look at Carson on that last drive) a bad throw for him is a missed read and an easy INT for the LB. That's exactly what happened with the INT by Stroman today. It was beautiful but it was a CB reading the QB and making a play. We don't see those kind of mistakes from Smith. Maybe this is simply a case of a higher floor than other QBs. Not top 10 QB in the league material, but its mistake free football that helps this team to continue to fight for something.
  11. 'That's kinda true but as the game was going on, I was thinking about the Alex Smith press conference from this week and had a sense of calm come upon me. I think the question was something like "how does it feel to not have any plays above 25 yards as an offense" and he gave an answer talking about how difficult it is for a team to march down the field on 10 play drives of each play being 3 or 4 yards. Eventually most teams make mistakes. From the first quarter when people in the game thread were wondering why our DBs were playing so far off, and somebody else said we're afraid of being beat deep, it seemed like we were playing that exact strategy. We're a team of "whoever makes the fewest mistakes wins". Fitz has been Magic this year but as a guy who used to not pick a QB in Fantasy until later rounds, I'd often live and die with Fitz because he'd get you a 300 yard game with no TDs and an INT. Its why he was available this offseason for practically nothing (as a backup QB). Alex Smith is the opposite of that and while 178 yards is not sexy, that TD pass to Doctson was sexy, and that 2 minute drive to close out the first half was sexy (would have been sexier if he got a TD but still...). And the sexiest thing about it is that TB played a game of "if we can stop AP we win this game". Its the same game that GB played and the same game that Atl played. And we lost both those games. So the fact that we were able to still move the ball at all, let alone put up 16 points shows that he's getting better in this offense. And I want to bring up a string of numbers just for reference: (161L, 182W, 88L, 127W, 51L, 34L, 50W, 37L, 209W): 4-5 (2L, 1W, 3L, 1W, 2L, 2L, 1W, 2L, 0W): 4-5 That's Kirk's W/L record through his first 9 games of 2014, but with the rushing stats. We didn't have AP, but we had similar questions at QB. The second line is the (team) turnovers and we're seeing a similar thing: games with 0 or 1 turnover we won, games with 2 or more we lost. The second half of the season is kinda the same thing, with us unable to win games where they stopped the run. (Here you can say that the bechmark is 50 yards because less than 50 is a loss according to the recordbooks). There's also a ugly loss in there where we had 5 turnovers against Carolina and lost it 44-16. Alex Smith's formula isn't unique to him. He just executes it well. Do I wish he had more 300+ yard games, or heck even 225 yard games. Sure do. But I think its important to realize that mistake free football (turnovers) and running the ball are two important stats towards winning.
  12. Thinking Skins

    The Offensive Line Thread

    And that first play was OK, His man kinda got driven into Alex, but he was doing OK. Davis (or was it Sprinkle) gave up the sack or pressure on the opposite side
  13. Thinking Skins

    Game Day Thread - Redskins at Schiltz Magic

    Nah I think a no name running back running for 200 yards had something to do with it as well
  14. Thinking Skins

    Redskins Lead NFC East