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Let's All Get Behind Alex Smith! Or Not!! (M.E.T.) NO kirk talk---that goes in ATN forum

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52 minutes ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

Smith's QB rating now is his worst since 2013.

Smith's Completion Percentage is his worst since 2013.

Smith's average yards per completion is his worst since 2013.

 

Not only is that a pattern, but the significance of 2013 is that was his first year in KC.

And after that 1st year, he continued to progress each year in KC, up until last year.

 

What all of that strongly indicates, is that it's a matter of taking time to get comfortable in a new offense.

 

 

I get and agree with the logic, am sure he will improve with more familiarity and better weapons but unlike KC where the peak of his powers was his 5th year in KC -- he was playing then what typically are the peak years of many QBs.  Not sure we have Alex at the peak of his powers between 34 and 39.

 

I get Brees, Brady are making 39 look like the new 29 but they are abnormal beasts.  Not ruling it out with Alex but I disagree with those who see this as the new norm aside from the point that its easier than the past to play in your late 30s.

 

My only strong current position on Alex is that he hasn't played well.  And yeah while just about everyone has admitted such some have buried the point in the idea they they are winning in large part because of him -- no turnovers, enough said.  To me the two positions don't work hand in hand unless there is a new thing where you can both play mediocre or poorly and also be largely responsible for wins. 

 

I sort of get the mediocre QB = wins argument if framed this way:  You can win with a mediocre QB who doesn't throw picks if the rest of your roster is really good but a mediocre QB who throws picks, now that you are going to lose games with and they can spoil the party for a team that has a good defense/running game, etc. 

 

This is part of the reason why I'd prefer Alex over Colt.  To me Colt is a mediocre QB who throws picks.  Alex to me has played so far as a mediocre to less than that QB who doesn't throw picks. 

 

I just watched Cooley on Redskins Overtime who said he ran into Alex and complemented Alex about the game and Alex responded that his play was just "fair".  I love that.  The thing that concerns me and hits my buttons on the Alex threads are people who are trying to sell that hey it might look ugly but what we are seeing is exactly why Alex is a winner.  To me, that's yuck.  I don't think its that hard to find a Qb who checks downs, doesn't take chances and lets the run game and defense win the game.  I am not picking on Alex -- am just not in love with that style of QB, period.  It's why I don't think much of Dak.   He plays in that style.  

 

However, I can live with that style if he can also complete some big passes in that mix.  For example if he actually hit Vernon Davis yesterday, I'd feel better about his play -- much better.    And i love that he himself isn't in love with how he played.  And I put more stock in a private comment to Cooley that Cooley shared than the standard QB speak that you get when QBs speak publicly.   So if Alex isn't satisfied with his play, I like that.  I just hate the idea that this is more or less what we will get from him.  And clearly he doesn't think he's playing at his best -- that for me was good to hear. 

Edited by Skinsinparadise
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For those of you who didn't listen to Jay's postgame presser yesterday, he had a soundbite that was comical but true.

 

"Them holding the ball and us staying fresh on offense wasn't a bad formula this week because we didn't have that many opportunities to screw it up"

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2 hours ago, Skinsinparadise said:

I just watched Cooley on Redskins Overtime who said he ran into Alex and complemented Alex about the game and Alex responded that his play was just "fair".  I love that.  The thing that concerns me and hits my buttons on the Alex threads are people who are trying to sell that hey it might look ugly but what we are seeing is exactly why Alex is a winner.  To me, that's yuck.  I don't think its that hard to find a Qb who checks downs, doesn't take chances and lets the run game and defense win the game.  I am not picking on Alex -- am just not in love with that style of QB, period.  It's why I don't think much of Dak.   He plays in that style.  

 

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. 

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13 minutes ago, Thinking Skins said:

 

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. 

 

 

Yeah I got no problem at all with the argument that he's not the finished product -- stay patient and he will improve.  I can go on that ride.  I get some are skeptical of that and I am not saying they are wrong.  I don't know.  But for me, that argument has some logic to it. 

 

13 minutes ago, Thinking Skins said:

 

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 agree he's gradually improved in the last 2 games in particular.  But if we are going to harp on context as to players being out -- I'd also factor that he played the last two weeks against perhaps the two worst pass defenses in the NFL.  Tampa was giving up an historic number of points a game.  Our offense looked mediocre at best against that group.   Being at that game watching it in the heat, the first half in particular was painful to watch.  

 

But if we are sticking to the point that Jay isn't happy (which some beat guys have said) with Alex and the offense's play.  And, Alex himself isn't pleased.  I'll give them some leeway that they can figure it out and will improve. And bringing back some weapons should help like whenever Thompson returns.  As I've said many times for a QB that relies on short passes and YAC, we don't really have the right weapons for that.  I guess Bibbs.  But Thompson on that front is special.  Quinn might have that knack too we will see.   

Edited by Skinsinparadise

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33 minutes ago, Thinking Skins said:

 

@Morneblade

 

 

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. 

 

I think you really have to give the Defense most the credit here. They caused 2 turnovers on our goal line. 4 turnovers overall. That and the Bucs missed 2 FG's as well. If the Bucs don't shoot themselves in the foot with a automatic weapon, this is a very different ballgame.

 

That being said, Smith looked better than he has in over a month. Still, it was a not so good performance. You still go after the team the same way. The fact that we created 4 turnovers and only scored 16 points with less than 300 yards total offense? Yeah, you still stop AP and make Alex win the game.

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3 minutes ago, Morneblade said:

 

I think you really have to give the Defense most the credit here. They caused 2 turnovers on our goal line. 4 turnovers overall. That and the Bucs missed 2 FG's as well. If the Bucs don't shoot themselves in the foot with a automatic weapon, this is a very different ballgame.

 

That being said, Smith looked better than he has in over a month. Still, it was a not so good performance. You still go after the team the same way. The fact that we created 4 turnovers and only scored 16 points with less than 300 yards total offense? Yeah, you still stop AP and make Alex win the game.

 

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. 

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1 hour ago, Jumbo said:

some animals were harmed in the making

 

Can't make a football without skinning some pigs...

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4 minutes ago, Thinking Skins said:

 

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. 

 

I need to see more. Right now, he still, in my eyes is not playing like a average NFL QB. I don't need him to be Tom Brady, but I'd like to see a "competent" looking passing game.

 

I don't think anything changes if Tampa scores on that first drive, as far as Smiths approach. And honestly, there is no reason to. It's early. It's not the 4th quarter with 4 minutes left and they just went up by 7. Smith didn't push the field early in any or our losses, so no reason to think he would do so here.

 

As to the rest, it's baby steps. And to be blunt a 13 year Vet should be a lot further along than he is. But he does seem to be taking a few more risks, and making a few typical NFL timing throws. So, that is positive. It's something that he has to be able to do consistently on a regular basis. The fact that he is starting to throw them a bit more is good.

 

The fact that we're at this point with a 13 year Vet however, is horrific. This is the kind of  conversation you have about a rookie that came from a 1 read system  like RGIII did.

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16 hours ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

What all of that strongly indicates, is that it's a matter of taking time to get comfortable in a new offense.

 

Is it really that much of a difference from this year to his other years in KC (in the first 9 games)?

2014: 182/275, 66.18%, 11 TD, 4 INT, 92.8 Rating, 6.94 AY/A, 1 Rushing TD

2015: 187/299, 62.54%. 10 TD, 3 INT, 91.5 Rating, 7.48 AY/A, 1 Rushing TD

2016: 203/302, 67.22%, 9 TD, 4 INT, 91.2 Rating, 6.88 AY/A, 2 Rushing TD

 

2017 was his breakout career year.  Now compare what he's done this year:

 

2018: 193/301, 64.12%, 10 TD, 3 INT, 90.7 Rating, 7.01 AY/A, 1 Rushing TD

 

So either he takes 4 years to get comfortable in a new offense, or it's just simply the reality (based on his entire career) that 2017 was the outlier and that this is who he is and who he will always be.  It ain't getting any better. 

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I'm willing to believe he wont get much better. But I'm also willing to bet the players around him will, and because of that we/he will be able to put more points on the board. 

 

That's really the best we can hope for, I think. 

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14 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

Is it really that much of a difference from this year to his other years in KC (in the first 9 games)?

2014: 182/275, 66.18%, 11 TD, 4 INT, 92.8 Rating, 6.94 AY/A, 1 Rushing TD

2015: 187/299, 62.54%. 10 TD, 3 INT, 91.5 Rating, 7.48 AY/A, 1 Rushing TD

2016: 203/302, 67.22%, 9 TD, 4 INT, 91.2 Rating, 6.88 AY/A, 2 Rushing TD

 

2017 was his breakout career year.  Now compare what he's done this year:

 

2018: 193/301, 64.12%, 10 TD, 3 INT, 90.7 Rating, 7.01 AY/A, 1 Rushing TD

 

So either he takes 4 years to get comfortable in a new offense, or it's just simply the reality (based on his entire career) that 2017 was the outlier and that this is who he is and who he will always be.  It ain't getting any better. 

And how many times did his team make the playoffs thru those years you documented?

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3 hours ago, Llevron said:

I'm willing to believe he wont get much better. But I'm also willing to bet the players around him will, and because of that we/he will be able to put more points on the board. 

 

That's really the best we can hope for, I think. 

 

I don't know why you think the players around him will improve, but he won't. For most, since they are more familiar with the system, they are closer to their ceiling in it.

 

But, I don't think Smith will get much better overall. I do expect a couple of things to get better for him. Ball placement, and overall completion % should get better, he's generally been more accurate in the past than he has this year. So I do expect a little more YAC, many of his completions have not been good throws and not allowed guys to keep running. I think this gets better.

 

But how he plays is Alex Smith. That is not going to change, no matter what Gruden wants out of him.

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3 hours ago, Bigmuss1 said:

And how many times did his team make the playoffs thru those years you documented?

 

1 and done in every one of those years except for 2.  One of which they did not make the playoffs.  

Edited by DJHJR86

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13 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

1 and done in every one of those years except for 2.  One of which they did not make the playoffs.  

So 2015, 2016 and 2017 the Chiefs made the playoffs.......I would be happy if that was the Redskins success rate.  

 

And I’ll guess we will all wait and see for this years result.  But, possibly 4 years in a row Alex Smith will have led the team he is Qbing for into the NFL playoffs.  (Not bad)

 

 

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I think a lot of this boils down to Alex still being new to Skins fans.  We haven’t yet experienced the next stages of Alex.  Being a team that’s been crap pretty regularly for 25 years, making the playoffs feels like a Super Bowl.  So folks just want to enjoy the ride, until they don’t enjoy it anymore.  Like what happened in his other two stints.  The obnoxious KC fans that came here provided a glimpse into this months back before any bullets flew.

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2 minutes ago, BatteredFanSyndrome said:

I think a lot of this boils down to Alex still being new to Skins fans.  We haven’t yet experienced the next stages of Alex.  Being a team that’s been crap pretty regularly for 25 years, making the playoffs feels like a Super Bowl.  So folks just want to enjoy the ride, until they don’t enjoy it anymore.  Like what happened in his other two stints.  The obnoxious KC fans that came here provided a glimpse into this months back before any bullets flew.

I will happily be sick of making the playoffs!!!!!  Sign me up!!!

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You understand that Gruden is running a handful of the same exact plays that Smith used in Kansas City, right?

 

You understand that in the very 1st tape session that Gruden had with Smith, Gruden got those play calls, verbatim, from Smith and added it into the playbook?

 

You recognize the college offense scheme stuff, right? The mesh fake and option stuff and the RPO's, right?

 

I've lost count the number of times they've run (quite literally) option PITCH with Smith. What is this, Army football? 

So what if it's from the shotgun, option is option.  

 

This is a college offense and a carbon copy of plays Smith used in KC.

 

There ain't no learning curve here. This is one and the same WCO derivative under Gruden, as it was a WCO foundational derivative under Reid. The concepts are the same. Gruden added a bunch of college option **** for Smith ... to make him more comfortable, to simplify things.

 

They quite literally took pages from the KC playbook, from Reid, from Pederson. 

 

To think that the first question out of Gruden's mouth to Smith was anything other than: "what 5 or 6 plays were your favorite, your bread and butter, in KC?" And doubly to think that Smith himself would not have had total verbatim recall of the play: "Blue-Left, Slot, Jag, 224 Belly - Bootleg, Shallow-Zoom ... on three," then you ain't thinking clearly. 

 

 

 

There are only so many ways to call shallow cross something else other than shallow cross, or for that matter a RB screen. But it's still shallow cross at the end of the day. Don't care if you call it "transcendental photon epicurean dissonance."

 

Y'all, this is not learning new stuff. 

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Just now, Bigmuss1 said:

I will happily be sick of making the playoffs!!!!!  Sign me up!!!

I’m sure 49ers and KC fans probably said the same thing.  Then they showed up here to laugh at us taking the guy they once thought that about off of their hands.

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22 minutes ago, Bigmuss1 said:

So 2015, 2016 and 2017 the Chiefs made the playoffs.......I would be happy if that was the Redskins success rate.  

 

And I’ll guess we will all wait and see for this years result.  But, possibly 4 years in a row Alex Smith will have led the team he is Qbing for into the NFL playoffs.  (Not bad)

 

I want to win the Super Bowl.

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3 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

I want to win the Super Bowl.

I’m sure this statement will get tons of traction about how only one team wins it every year, plenty of good teams don’t win it every year and so on.  All that stuff is true.  But I’d atleast like to have the belief that we have the necessary parts given things shake out in a good way to be able go on a run and win it.

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33 minutes ago, BatteredFanSyndrome said:

I’m sure 49ers and KC fans probably said the same thing.  Then they showed up here to laugh at us taking the guy they once thought that about off of their hands.

Guess we will see how KC does in playoffs this year.....maybe it’s an Andy Reid issue????

19 minutes ago, DJHJR86 said:

 

I want to win the Super Bowl.

Can’t win a super bowl without making playoffs......

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1 minute ago, OVCChairman said:

 

 

You mean like Caps fans?  

Haha!  U bet, and we all know what persistent playoff appearances may lead to!!  Ovi and his cup celebrations!!!

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50 minutes ago, BatteredFanSyndrome said:

I’m sure 49ers and KC fans probably said the same thing.  Then they showed up here to laugh at us taking the guy they once thought that about off of their hands.

 

It's all relative. Sometimes guys don't change and sometimes they do. Will Reid win in the playoffs now? Will Cousins come up big in the clutch for his new team? Can Smith win late in December or in January now? Every new dynamic gives the new guys a chance to thrive or break a pattern. 

 

Manning was a stats collector who lost in the playoffs until he finally won in the playoffs (with great defensive support both times, mind you). Brady and the Patriots run through everyone...well except NFC East teams apparently. The Eagles never lived up to the hype, until they did and rattled off the most unlikeliest of Super Bowl runs.

 

These narratives don't HAVE to stay set in stone...so it'll be fascinating to watch the impact of the QB musical chairs that happened this past off-season.  

Edited by TD_washingtonredskins
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Just now, Bigmuss1 said:

Haha!  U bet, and we all know what persistent playoff appearances may lead to!!  Ovi and his cup celebrations!!!

 

 

Honestly, for the longest time was always looking for domination.  We had to be the best in the world and steamroll our opponents.  Then the cup run happened.  This past season was the year the Caps were supposed to take a step back.  Barry Trotz was going into his final season as HC.  Ovi was a year older.  We lost Alzner to free agency.... Then during the season we were in trouble.  After the embarrassing loss to a couple western conference teams, there was talk about Trotz getting fired early on.  Quite a few people didnt expect us to make the playoffs, let alone be a factor.  Holtby even got benched at one point.  Guess what happened.  We clicked at the right time.  We got into the tournament and we played our game.  Now we have a Cup.  

 

Very quickly I learned not to take prosperity for granted.  For years Nats and Caps fans (myself obviously included) have become very complacent with the expectation of success... it ain't that easy to win in professional sports, and as long as you make the postseason, anything can happen.  Except the Giants will never beat an undefeated Pats team in the.... oh... well no, the mighty Pats can't lose to the Eagles after all those injuries.... oh.... 

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