Oh my. It's after weeks like this one--a discouraging loss to the Cleveland Browns--that makes me wonder if we'll ever have a winner in Washington, or even suburban Maryland, again. I marked this date on my calendar long ago: "Today: LaVar beats some experience into K. Winslow's punk-ass head." Of course, LaVar and Winslow both sat out this game with injuries, but I'd say it was the wrong guy feeling uplifted at the zeroes.
The Redskins sit at 1-3, and they still haven't played anyone that I would consider good. They've hung in games, but, again, not against the league's best. The future is coming, and it's coming with some ballclubs that are a damned sight better than the Browns of Cleveland. The Iggles, for one. McNabb and his new vertical toys. You think about Terry Glenn burning us, but TO is another thing entirely.
I'd say there are three nagging questions:
1. Gibbs. Too late for a return? Has the game passed him by? The end-of-game clock management issues have me deeply troubled. In Cleveland, he fell back to his early days of sitting on a small lead. The counter-trey has been thus far counter-productive. BUT: As far as personnel goes, he has few people that currently match his game or his standard, beginning on the front lines of offense and defense.
2. Portis. One big run to start the season and then nothing much to write home about, and I live at my home. I could just leave a fucking post-it on the wall. A lot has been said about the simplicity of the Denver running game--cut blocks up front, one cut from the runner, and then BAM! Dowhill all the way. In the Washington offense, I see a lot of dancing and stepping and picking and choosing from Portis. Not the Denver way. BUT: Let's face it, Portis is a stud in any system, and it's not like our O-line are marketed for Honolulu.
3. Defense. Everyone says that our defense is good enough to keep us in games. They were number one against the run before the Cleveland game, and are likely highly ranked even after--and this is missing LaVar for half the season so far. Tough against the run? Hmmmm, sounds like a critical element of the Gibsb machine. BUT: We're still doing a lot of big-blitzing, and we're giving up some big plays because of it. If that's our plan for the future, a) McNabb's gonna hot-route us to death and b) we may be seeing why Gregg Williams' Bills always started white-hot before going gimpy in the latter half of the season.