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49ers Game Is Our First "Big Game" of 2011


kleese

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For the first time in my decade of membership at ES, I feel I am by far in the minority on most topics on the board thesedays. I am just not seeing eye to eye with many of you on the general state of the team, the season, or how to fairly judge this regime.

I thought before the year we would be 7-9. MAYBE 8 or 9 wins if things went perfectly.

After our 3-1 start, I thought we would be 7-9. Sure I suddenly felt the 8 or 9 wins seemed more possible at that point, but overall, I did not change my tone on the season much at all.

After the the last three games, I think we are a 7-9 team. Sure, now I see 5 or 6 wins as more likely than 8 or 9, but overal my tone hasn't changed.

I did not think the Cowboys or Eagles games were nearly as monumental as many around here did. I figured we were a slightly below average team at best and putting a random tag on a game was silly under those circumstances.

The Eagles game especially was one where I felt our fans expectations were vastly over-inflated. Our fanbase only saw their 1-4 record and not the circumstances surrounding it or the dreadful matchup problems they posed. That game at the most God awful time for the Redskins.

We have played seven games this year and we have the exact record I thought we would after seven games.

So why do I think the game this week is so important? Several reasons:

--Shanny and Allen are charged with rebuilding two things here. A) The Roster and B) The Culture. Honestly, I'm not sure which one is harder, but they are both daunting to say the least.

I know we can't fix the roster in one and a half off-seasons. I knew there would be some painful steps along the way.

But part of fixing the culture is convincing everyone surrounding the team (players, fans, media, etc) that things are different. And when you get dusted 23-0 in game #7 it's hard to turn around and say "see, it's working!"

No matter what happens on Sunday, I understand the 2011 Redskins are not a contender. In that regard winning the game isn't particulalrly important. But from an emotional standpoint I do believe it is important the team bounces back this week.

I believe the game on Sunday will have a huge say in determing if this season was a success or failure... And it's the first time I have felt that way about a game all year.

For me, defining "success" or "failure" in 2011 is less about record and more about progress. But considering the circumstances, this is a game we need to way (or at least stay very close) to consider it progression.

If we win Sunday, we are 4-4 and on track for my 7 or 8 prediction. If we lose, I could see a spiral back into the 4-5 territory. I know some prefer the 4-5 model because of the draft slot... I am not one of those people. I believe the harm outweighs the advantages there.

As expected, many on ES have been very reactionary following the Bills throttling and most are projecting a 20+ point loss on Sunday.

I disagree and here is why:

-- The transitive property has almost no place in the NFL. What happens in one week seems to matter very little in the results of the next week. Yes, Beck got sacked 9 (now 10) times last week. Last year Jay Cutler was also sacked 9 times.....IN THE FIRST HALF of game innNew York. That team played in the NFC title game. And we all saw what the Rams did to the Saints last week or how the Cardinals and Dolphins (also huge underdogs) nearly won outright. Sometimes, teams just get their tails kicked and that's it.

--The offense is not good, no doubt. Under talented AND banged up is not a good combo. And Beck certainly had the deer in headlights look last week. But I also believe that putrid of a performance is an anomaly. I think we will see production closer to what we saw in Carolina.... Nothing special by any means, but instead an offense that will generate around 16-20 points per game on average depending on the circumstance. When Trent comes back, we should see a calming effect on the OL.

--Our defense simply can't hang with stellar athletes and top speed. We do better against more plodding attacks... That is what the Niners do. I don't think we will "shut down" Gore by any means, but I also don't see the Niners quick-striking us to death like Philly or Carolina did. I don't see the big plays. I think we do a better job of containment this week, even is SF ultimately kills us slowly.

--Also a huge believer in the general law of averages. Niners are on pace for a 13 or 14 win season and haven't lost a road game yet. I like SF and believe they are going to cruise to their division this year, but I think they are closer to a 10-6 team. I think they might be due a bit of a clunker.

-- I think our team cares. That we generally have proud guys and hard workers and I believe they are embarrassed at their effort last week. I believe we will come out focused and with some wrinkles try and prevent the bad starts that have plagued us the past three weeks.

I will be very surprised and very disappointed if SF blows is away. It may be really ugly, but I think we keep it close.

This is a big game for Shanny and it's the game so far this year that most intrigues and interests me as a fan.

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The 49ers overachieving in general is a point I agree on. They are a team playing solid fundamental football, but at the same time once the dust of the NFL settles, I believe they will be a one and done playoff team once the other elite teams settle in.

However, at the same time this is a completely separate point from whether or not they will run our team over. I am afraid they will.

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Problem is that based on the Buffalo game you could argue that any team in the NFL would run us over and the cumulative score of our remaining nine games will be 427-21.

Just doesn't work that way. Of all the games on our schedule, I like our chances this week about as much as any other game including Miami.

Match ups and timing are VERY important and this week I think those things are in our favor.

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If we win it will be the first team that runs the ball effectively we've beaten all year. Bills didn't have a mobile QB and even the cowboys managed to run in this defense. If the defense tires out because the offense can't move the ball this game is a blow out.

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-- I think our team cares. That we generally have proud guys and hard workers and I believe they are embarrassed at their effort last week. I believe we will come out focused and with some wrinkles try and prevent the bad starts that have plagued us the past three weeks.

Maybe that's what it takes to turn these guys around, but man... I hope they don't make a habit of it.

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Well, I thought the same thing about the Bills game and we got smoked. At this point I don't believe this game even matters. We are going to win 6 games max, and thats probably only if some players come back and Grossman is put back in. Personally I'd like to see 3-13 and a top 5 pick.

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Personally I'd like to see 3-13 and a top 5 pick.

I knew you'd come around bro eventually. :pfft:

I doubt we see as lame an effort on Sunday as we did in Canada. That was TOTALLY unacceptable. But ultimately it won't make much difference to the final result. And if FreddieD, our ONLY serious weapon on offense is out, I dread to think just how much more shambolic we'll look on that side of the ball.

Trent back or not, I think your giving the offense far more props/ hopes than it deserves Kleese man. If a team scores 17 points on the Redskins, the games as good as done. If they put up 20 or more, start looking to the following week.

Hail.

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Biggest game? No.

All the NFCE games are big games and should be bigger then the rest. Right now we have two. Ery important games still ahead of us the first to come will be Dallas then the Eagles. Why are they so important? Cause we already have lost to them so in order to split the division the team has to, must, whatever win the next go around.

But I will say winning the 49ers game could be a good spring board to winning the next 3 games which we really have to do

49ers

Miami

Dallas

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Problem is that based on the Buffalo game you could argue that any team in the NFL would run us over and the cumulative score of our remaining nine games will be 427-21.

Just doesn't work that way. Of all the games on our schedule, I like our chances this week about as much as any other game including Miami.

Match ups and timing are VERY important and this week I think those things are in our favor.

You know, normally I don't post here but I do read a lot, Kleese, I agree with this post. I have been telling every1 i know that we will win this week (or at least keep it very close) and everyone keeps saying I am crazy. We matchup well vs SF because, like you said, they don't have the speed and explosiveness of a philly/carolina/buffalo. We win this game 16-13, this board gets super hype, and the media paints a picture of us possibly contending for hte playoffs again. But just like you, I stay with the mindset that this team is 6-7 win team.

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I hope you guys are right about a win, but I just don't see it.

Our offensive line allowed ten sacks against a poor Buffalo defense last week. That not only set a Redskin record, but it was only two sacks short of tying the NFL record.

It was an awful performance. Beck shares some blame as well, but with that many injuries on our OL we're in a ton of trouble. Right now I'm not even sure we have a single starting caliber player at the position they're currently playing on the line (Montgomery is a serviceable center... but not as good of a guard, although, he's probably still the best lineman we have in there right now). Lichtensteiger and Montgomery are free agents after this season.

We're not in great shape. The only hopeful piece I see is that our OL did better against Carolina than they did against Buffalo, so perhaps they'll surprise. But the combo of Bowman and Willis scares me.

I hope for the best but I don't expect it.

We need to address the OL this offseason.

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Biggest game? No.

All the NFCE games are big games and should be bigger then the rest. Right now we have two. Ery important games still ahead of us the first to come will be Dallas then the Eagles. Why are they so important? Cause we already have lost to them so in order to split the division the team has to, must, whatever win the next go around.

But I will say winning the 49ers game could be a good spring board to winning the next 3 games which we really have to do

49ers

Miami

Dallas

You missed my point I believe. Even if we win 31-3 on Sunday I don't think this team is contending for anything this year.

But you could then say that because we were never a contender to begin with that none of our games in 2011 matter and I don't buy that either.

I'm looking for things on Sunday that go much deeper than being 4-4 or 3-5.

And GHH, you know my feelings on the top five pick thing.... Unless we are #1, I don't think it matters much

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Honest opinion I've been consistent with: I don't see us winning a single game with Beck as QB

I supported him and gave him the benefit of the doubt. I based my opinion of him solely on the draft profiles written of him because I've never seen him play prior. After watching him in the preseason, I did not feel he was starting caliber at all. Rex's game against the Eagles pissed me off as I'm sure it did us all and wanted Beck to get a chance. I've seen enough. I'd rather roll with Rex for the remainder of the season personally. Beck is not an adept passer IMO at all. Rex is IMO. Mobility is great and all, but I'd rather have a QB that can go vertical. That to me is more of an asset.

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Eagles game felt like a make or break type of game to me, but every game does seem to get more important.

Not to me... Under no realistic scenerio should we have expected to compete record-wise with the Eagles in 2011. Their bad start was a wild mixture of sloppy play and bad luck, but they were bound to right the ship. Bad timing for us and a horrid match up. They are more talented and/or experienced at almost every spot on the field. Weapons galore. We were nuts as fans to even have a tiny belief that that game really meant something for us.

The Niners are more manageable and it is more reasonable to mr to expect us to hang with them... Especially considering out putrid peftormance last week.

I thought the fan expectation that we needed to beat the Eagles was unreasonable. I did not think it is unreasonable for the fans to expect a solid effort/close game on Sunday and if we don't get that, then for the first time this year I will voice displeasure/concern.

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I have to agree with the OP on most of his points but one thing that is missing the recipe of a good team and that is unwavering faith and the desire to kick, scratch, claw, and trust each guy that comes into the game as equally strong as the guy next to him. Look at teams like the Patriots and the Steelers. They lose a guy and they plug in another guy without too much drop off. If their backup is just as good as their starter then they are lucky to have that. The question I have is, "Are there backups better than our starters?" If you answer yes then why aren't we trying to get them? Why do we keep scrubs as our starters or backups? The point I am making is that we have just as much talent as the other teams do but maybe, just maybe they are not being taught correctly. You have to have team unity and belief in all of your teammates otherwise you fail. I think that lack of communication is the problem. If that is the case then find out what makes the other teams successful and copy that. It seems to me that when you have O-Line problems then you need to address them. Why not experiment a little with your lines to put them in some unusual circumstances that takes them out of their comfort zones so when it actually happens they know what to do. Put a backup in the lineup during practice for that one practice to see how the offense runs. You need to have guys ready to play and if they aren't ready then they are useless.

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Not to me... Under no realistic scenerio should we have expected to compete record-wise with the Eagles in 2011. Their bad start was a wild mixture of sloppy play and bad luck, but they were bound to right the ship. Bad timing for us and a horrid match up. They are more talented and/or experienced at almost every spot on the field. Weapons galore. We were nuts as fans to even have a tiny belief that that game really meant something for us.

The Niners are more manageable and it is more reasonable to mr to expect us to hang with them... Especially considering out putrid peftormance last week.

I thought the fan expectation that we needed to beat the Eagles was unreasonable. I did not think it is unreasonable for the fans to expect a solid effort/close game on Sunday and if we don't get that, then for the first time this year I will voice displeasure/concern.

I agree with your main point in that the 49ers game will be a lot closer than many people think. I still don't think we are going to win, but at least we will be somewhat competitive. The Bills game was a perfect storm of bad luck. I don't think they are as bad as how they played on Sunday, but they aren't that much better either.

I do however disagree that the Eagles game was not big for this team. Coming in to that game, I also thought we had very little chance to win the game. Like you said, the circumstances and matchups were a huge disadvantage for us. In previous years, that was the exact type of game the Redskins would lose. However, we had one major motivating factor going for us. We had a golden opportunity to step on the neck of a reeling Eagles team and we could not do it. Going 1-5 would have essentially knocked the Eagles out of playoff contention. Even if we would have won that game to go to 4-1, I still don't think the Redskins would have been a playoff team. However, I would have felt a lot better about the mental fortitude of this team going forward because you need to have a killer instinct to be consistently good in this league. After losing that game, I knew this team was not ready to shed its losing way and be a consistent winner at the moment.

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While I agree most heartedly with what you said, the BIG PICTURE is that the Redskins cannot afford to lose their fan base..and again that is starting to erode. Most of us 'lifers' will hang around and grumble, but we won't leave...it's the up and coming fans that the Redskins need. Yes, this team still has a dearth of talent, and needs two more SOLID years of drafts, but as I saw last year, I saw some last week. Some players looked as though they began to give up...They gave the effort, but the emotion and will to fight had been spent... And when a team gets that "we ain't got a chance" mentality in how they play, it's OVER. That's why, as you say, this game means so much. It is CRITICAL, and I repeat C-R-I-T-I-C-A-L, that the Redskins start strong and stay in the game all through the first half. If they do, then that helps the newbies who are playing in their confidence, and it will help to affirm the coaching and schemes as being 'professional'. If they get down early, and continue to flounder.. the fans and the players will eventually erode to that BAD PLACE: "WE STINK". I too think their record is where I thought they would be, and a win on Sunday puts them right on my pace of also suggestng 7-9. There WILL be ugly losses ahead this year (any of Jets, Pats, GiNats, BEagles, Cowpatties), but they must show some sense of "Hey, this CAN work". Coach Shanny has remained calm and measured with the media and critics.. he knows this is a long term effort...and to date Danny has stayed out of the fray (but JJones has to talk every week to defend his team, No?)... I have to be willing to gauge my disappointment knowing that in two more years things hopefully will turn...and if they don't? Then it's time for yet another move I guess...

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The Redskins are going to be slaughtered by the 49ers.

I don't see this as a "big game" at all. The last "Big Game" was the Eagles game - that was when we were going to see if the Skins were for real as contenders, or if this in fact was a pure rebuilding year that wasn't going to bear some surprise run. I think we got a pretty clear answer on that one.

The last couple of games have just been brutal reminders.

This season is over as far as that goes, there are no more "big games." We are just watching to see what we can build on, and how the young guys play.

---------- Post added November-3rd-2011 at 11:18 AM ----------

Honest opinion I've been consistent with: I don't see us winning a single game with Beck as QB

I supported him and gave him the benefit of the doubt. I based my opinion of him solely on the draft profiles written of him because I've never seen him play prior. After watching him in the preseason, I did not feel he was starting caliber at all. Rex's game against the Eagles pissed me off as I'm sure it did us all and wanted Beck to get a chance. I've seen enough. I'd rather roll with Rex for the remainder of the season personally. Beck is not an adept passer IMO at all. Rex is IMO. Mobility is great and all, but I'd rather have a QB that can go vertical. That to me is more of an asset.

I agree. Win or lose, Rex is at least going to be entertaining.

Beckball is simply agonizing to watch. And we are gonna lose, so we might as well enjoy it. Rex at least gives us a chance to score a few points.

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Disgree totally..our 1st big game was the Eagles game hands down...reasons:

1. For respect and the Divison lead

2. coming off a BYE (extra time to prepare)

3. Eagles were at a very low LOW, could have delivered the Knockout Punch to them)

but as normal this team/franchise is unable to take the next step going forward.....

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The mistake made in the OP with the whole "law of averages," etc., is that it doesn't take into account the sheer anomaly that this team is right now in context of the rest of the league.

You can't say, "Well, look what the Rams did to the Saints" as if that game has any outcome on this one. The Rams are a bad team. But they are a team that is not in total and complete disarray. Their starting QB was down, yes, but their offense is firmly in place, they have a good back, they are running their system.

You can't compare this Redskins team really to ANYTHING out there right now. All the injuries, the abysmal QB play, the look of disillusionment mixed with disinterest ... this could be the absolute worst team in the league right now, honestly.

As for "big games," I agree with another poster. The first "big game" was in Dallas against a severely depleted Cowboys team we could've stolen one from. We failed. The next was an Eagles team that we could've sent into complete and utter dysfunction. We failed. Now look at 'em.

This game is "big," too, but from a much different standpoint (which I think the OP gets): Is the team going to completely splinter and just totally collapse, taking Shanny with them, or will they show that they have something still in the thank, and, more importantly, that Shanny has something as a head coach that we can look to and learn to rely on?

I'm hoping for a win, but, with what we have on the field, I can't figure out at all how that's going to happen. I'm prepared (more than prepared) for another shutout.

What I realistically want to see is a team that plays like they know what's going on around them. We all want to see a team play with more passion, but on offense, it's hard to do that until you're confident with your role and confident with those around you. The defense has no excuse.

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Diss-- The Rams WERE in complete and utter disarray after the Cowboys game. Some even thought Spags would get the axe and fans were screaming at a team that quit and allowed the greatest rushing day in the history of the Dallas franchise.

I agree that what the Rams did the past two weeks of course does not have an affect on what the Redskins or Niners will do on Sunday, but I do think it illustrates something we see quite a bit in the league.... The lack of predictability from week to week.

If our match up was different this week... If we were playing an explosive Patriots team coming off a tough loss, the yeah, I'd think we might get pounded. But I think this is a good storm for us in terms of competing on Sunday.

Gun to my head, I lean the Niners way of course because our offense is so stagnant, but I see it in the 17-15 range, not the 27-0 range, etc

An Boss... I know you said in another thread you aren't a betting man, but what about something other than money? Say a signature bet or something like that?

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Diss-- The Rams WERE in complete and utter disarray after the Cowboys game. Some even thought Spags would get the axe and fans were screaming at a team that quit and allowed the greatest rushing day in the history of the Dallas franchise.

True, but their "disarray" was more on the level of performance. That's what it came down to for them: Guys who KNOW what they're supposed to do but just didn't or couldn't do it.

I see the Redskins on offense as a team full of guys that just don't know what they're supposed to do, coupled with a coordinator who doesn't even know what his team as it now stands CAN do, hence his playcalling is more in experimental mode than it is anything he can be confident about. So it's lack of talent and performance PLUS lack of understanding, lack of focus, lack of a concept they can rally behind. I can't see that changing drastically in a week.

I sure hope it does, but I just can't see how. Would be happy to eat my words, believe me.

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I'm sorry, but big games have already happened.

The Eagles game would have gotten a 2nd win in the Division, pretty much put the Eagles away (they would have been 2-5 right now, only 2 more losses probably allowed for them to get into the playoffs), and would have the Redskins in a head to head battle with the Giants up top.

The wonders this could have done for the team mentally. But instead, Grossman played bad, and now the QB who is the WORST starter in the NFL by far (IMHO) is playing, Grossman who gives the team a chance is on the bench.

That game was the biggest, they lost, now I will be lucky for a 5 win season.

Winning this game will only give false hope to people, San Fran is a good team, and may embarrass the Skins at home.

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