ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws a pass against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 9, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo won 31-24. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
The Washington Redskins can pull a Tony Soprano on their division rivals from Philadelphia if they can commit to ground and pound. Plus, who would have guessed the Terps, and not the Redskins, would deal with a QB controversy.
The Washington Redskins had the best Week 5 of anyone in the NFC East, as two of the division's top contenders in the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants melted down in crunch time. The NFC East is wide open as we head into the second quarter of the season. How wide open is it? NFL Network's Deion Sanders (former Redskins bank robber) now thinks Rex Grossman is the best quarterback in the NFC East!
However, if the 3-1 Redskins are who Deion thinks they are, they must show it Sunday afternoon at FedEx Field against the Eagles. They need to go Tony Soprano on the Eagles. (Unrelated: remember the scene when Tony whacks Christopher and suffocated him well? I replay that scene in my mind every time I see those stupid tequila commercials he is in. "What does your tequila do?" Shut up Christopher!)
Sorry where was I? Oh yeah, in this edition of Chain Reactions, we look at the extra motivation the Redskins may be channeling Sunday, another example of how the Eagles are this year's Redskins, Maryland's quarterback controversy, and how the NBA lockout doesn't hurt that bad according to some
Remembering the Monday Night Massacre
Sure, the Eagles are a mess right now at 1-4. The Redskins to a man though say there is no way they are overlooking the Eagles high-powered offense. Philly still has a high-powered offense. The only thing that has stopped Philly has been their own mistakes, or as they call them in the stats world, turnovers. They are third in total offense but dead last in turnover differential.
Another reason the Redskins are not about to overlook the Eagles is last year's 59-28 beatdown at Fed Ex Field on Monday Night Football. The two teams split the season series, but if you put up 59 points on a team in their stadium, that is like a win in dog years. It is a game Redskins players have not forgotten.
"We know they're going to be motivated," linebacker Brian Orakpo said. "They have a bye after our game and we know what type of team they are. We remember the Monday night game from last year and they have some weapons."
The Redskins are a better team this year, especially defensively. However, they can't keep up with Philly when it comes to putting points on the board. Washington's best offensive game was the opener when the offense scored a grand total of three touchdowns against a banged-up Giants defense. Keep Michael Vick, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy on the sideline, and you have a chance.
So the formula for the Redskins is simple. They will need to play the game of keep away. Ground and pound as the coach with the foot fetish likes to call it. The Eagles have the 30th-ranked run defense, which begs the question: will Kyle Shanahan commit to the run? If he does, it could mean the nightmare continues for the Eagles.
A Redskins Win Could Send Philly to Bingo Parlors
It has pointed out by many NFL pundits this offseason that the Eagles have appeared to step out of character with all the flashy free agent signings. They failed to hit some serious needs with the offensive line and linebacker position. It was an offseason that was more like that of a franchise located south of them that wears burgundy and gold.
The parallels do not end there. The Eagles' front office is considering bringing in an outside defensive coach to be a consultant for first-year defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. As you would expect, the Eagles are denying the report.
Whether it happens or not, it seems someone is having buyer's remorse with Castillo, who never coordinated an NFL defense before this season. He was the offensive line coach, and we have seen how good that unit is so far in Philly.
The Redskins of course brought in consultants in the Dan Snyder era. In 1999, Bill Arnsbarger came in to help Mike Nolan's defense. Nolan was out the next year. Then, famously in 2009, the Redskins hired Sherm Lewis to help Jim Zorn's offense fresh out of the bingo parlor, which was the beginning the end for Zorn. Was Banner playing Bingo Monday night at a local Moose Lodge in Philly?
If the Eagles truly are trying to become the Redskins, they should hire Vinny Cerrato at the end of the season.
Maryland's Quarterback Controversy
Remember when the college football season was getting started and some idiot on SB Nation D.C. kept saying that the Terps have the most accomplished quarterback in the ACC. I'm that idiot, and boy do I feel more idiotic than ever after Danny O'Brien's game at Georgia Tech that may have cost him his job.
Raise your hand if you thought in mid-October that Rex Grossman would still be the Redskins' starter and DOB might be on the bench. The only thing more shocking may be that Carlos Rogers is tied for NFL lead in interceptions. Must have been a time zone issue for the now-49ers cornerback all these years.
Back to the Terps. Randy Edsall's first season certainly has taken several turns for the worse since the opening-night win over Miami. Edsall is so unsure of his quarterback that he may start CJ Brown on Saturday against No. 8 Clemson.
Certainly, there is an adjustment for any quarterback learning a new system. That is part of it with O'Brien, who is struggling in Gary Crowton's offsense. However, you would be hard pressed to find people that thought DOB would struggle this badly, especially after the strong game in the opener against Miami. Testudo Times has the numbers that show how bad it has been since the encouraging opener.
Statistically, in the FBS (read: non-Towson) games since the Miami opener, O'Brien is 52 for 91, with one touchdown and five interceptions. That's bottom 30 material nationally (in fact, low 90s in completion percentage, and almost certainly as low in TD:INT ratio).
The kid who many other ACC coaches wish they had under center suddenly looks lost, and he might not get a chance to find himself on the field this week.
How Big of a Blow is the NBA Lockout to the Economy?
The biggest loser NBA lockout already has a winner, or is it a loser? I mean the fans of course, but it goes deeper than that when you are talking about a industry that generates billions of dollars. I always enjoy reading economic impact studies and usually do not believe any of them. Usually the books are cooked for someone with an agenda, like with the New Jersey Nets.
So for what it is worth, there are those that get paid to study such things that claim the NBA lockout will not hurt as much as you think. This via a Slate Magazine story.
"There is no way the NBA lockout will have any significant economic consequences," says the University of Alberta's Brad Humphreys, an economist who has studied the effects of sports work stoppages.
I wonder if Brad from University of Alberta will be so casual when studying the NHL next year? Anyway, who am I to argue with Brad Humphreys or Kris
Humphries Kardashian for that matter. Humphreys does admit there will be some pain for some bars and restaurants near arenas in NBA cities.
"There is no doubt in my mindyou can find a bar or a restaurant right next to the [Verizon Center] in D.C. where they're going to lose some business," says Humphreys
Anyway, here is who it hurts: ushers, parking lot attendants, ticket salesman, game-night staffers and plenty of other hard working 9-5ers. Tell those people it is not significant as they try to figure out how to adjust without that income the NBA games bring to them.
We know the owners and players will be able to get by over the next few weeks or months. The bigger concern should be how will the average "Joe" and "Jane" handle it.