Friday, October 26, 2007
I'm not naive. I know the Patriots are great. I know the Redskins are a team growing that is looking to find their place in the league. I know that Joe Gibbs is ultra conservative. I know that Tom Brady is a fucking beast on and off the field. And I know that the Skins are 16.5 point underdogs this Sunday. But that being said, I think the Redskins can pull the upset. I really do. After all, these two teams were my preseason Super Bowl picks. How can I be so blasphemous to think that the my boys will be the team to beat the Patriots? Here's 5 reasons:
1. The Redskins Defense - For as inconsistent as the offense has played this year, the Redskins defense has been savage throughout. The secondary is frightening. This is hands down the best, most aggressive defense that Brady has seen. You've always been able to run on the Skins but since the Patriots have no running game, that plays into Gregg Williams' hands. It will be interesting to see what Brady, Moss, Stallworth, and Welker do against Springs, Rogers (who sucks), Smoot, Landry (LaRon, not the guy from Friday Night Lights), and Sean Taylor. It's a big test for both teams really. I'm giving the edge to the Skins here for the sheer reason that Sean Taylor's mugshot is much scarier than Randy Moss's...and features much more bling.
2. Offensive balance - If there is a formula to beat the Pats (and no one has shown it thus far), it has to be to grind out drives and keep Brady off the field. The Skins haven't been able to run much the past few weeks due to the decimated O-Line, but you can run on the Pats. The LB's are slow and allow big holes. If Portis and Betts can get it going, it will open the play action game for J-Camp, who is blossoming into one of the best young QB's in the game. The Skins have to take shots downfield, too. Don't fall in love with the short passes to Cooley and Sellers. You have a lot of speed on the outside with Randle El and Stonehands Moss, use it. And get Keenan McCardell into the fucking game, the guy can play.
3. Figure out the second half woes - This seems to be a problem with both my Redskins and my Cavs. They play a great first half and then come out of the locker room unfocused in the second and let teams back into games. If, and this is a big if, this wasn't a problem for the Skins, they would be walking into Foxboro undefeated as well. Keep the foot down. I expect the first half to be close in this one. The important thing to remember is that the Pats will make adjustments and figure out how to stop what is working for you guys, you have to adapt as well. You'll be able to tell within one drive in the second half if the Redskins are still in the game or not.
4. The classic "look ahead" game - Yes, yes, the Pats/Colts game is next week. That is no secret since ESPN refuses to talk about anything else. The Patriots can say what they want, but they are all thinking about Peyton naked. How can you not? And after throwing 29 touchdown passes in the past 2 weeks, isn't Brady due for a bad game? I would say that this game has the right formula for a bad game for him since you know it won't be next week. I think the Cowboys helped this theory a lot, too. The Pats can sit back now and think about how they took the NFC's "best" out behind the woodshed in their stadium. Why would they give the Redskins any credit at all? But then again, have the Skins earned it? Eh, who knows, but all I'm saying here is that the Pats have played almost flawlessly for 7 weeks, they are due for a bad one.
5. Their douchebag fans are thinking about something else - Game 4 of the World Series happens to be on Sunday which means the quiet, polite Boston faithful will likely have their focus on that. They will sell out, no doubt. But the thoughts and discussion in the stadium will be focused on Jon Lester's cancer-free start more than the football game at hand. This is where you take advantage of them. The fans are out of it. They are already thinking about what gay bathhouse they are watching the Colts/Pats game the following week. They assume victory. And that's where Joe Gibbs sneaks in and steals one.
Look, I'm not saying this is going to be easy and I'm sure as hell not saying that it's going to happen. The Pats are great. The Skins are good. But I still think that they win. Nobody thought that Average Joe's Gymnasium would defeat the Globo Gym Purple-Headed Cobras but they did anyway. You've got believe. I do. Peter LaFleur does. Patches O'Houlihan does. Let's ruin the precious Colts/Pats game next week.
Redskins 28, Patriots 24.