The Eagles offense was fun to watch and pretty much exactly what I expected. The Eagles will be very good this year because Chip Kelly is an innovator. Bill Belichick wouldn’t have reached out to him in the past if he weren’t. He’s the real deal.
I think LeSean McCoy is one of the least respected RBs in the NFL. I’d go so far as to say that if I were starting a team right now and could add anyone, it would be a legit debate for me between adding the younger/shiftier McCoy and Peterson. He’s special – the kinds of jukes he had Monday night haven’t been seen since the days of Barry Sanders. He’s that good.
The Redskins were nearly embarrassed at home by an Eagles team that was simply more ready for the game. But the Redskins showed some real mental fortitude in the comeback effort – as well as an ability to move the ball down the field quickly. The comeback effort is what has me concerned as a Packer fan.
RGIII looked rusty early on and I think Gruden was right, he was not planting and throwing normally because he didn’t seem to trust his knee (and was likely worried about it getting hit). It was apparent that he hadn’t seen any live action for a long time. But as the game nearly got out of hand and a comeback was needed, RGIII kicked into gear and ended up having a quality second half. I don’t think he’s too far away now that he’s had a taste for real action again but I think there may still be some lingering rust yet for Week 2. I’m guessing he’s got a turnover or two in him for Sunday.
Santana Moss isn’t the threat he once was but you can’t leave him alone. I’m not convinced Hankerson is as good as his stats indicated on Monday. Garcon is a threat especially to the Packers weak secondary, but I think if we go man with Tramon on him he shouldn’t do THAT much damage. (I hope we don’t go with that ill-fated zone crap we tried against San Fran and get chewed up again – though I suppose this is possible if we focus on stopping the run again.) Fred Davis is just OK but the truth is any TE looks good playing against the Packers and our 5.8 – 40yard-dash-running-LBs.
Eddie Lacy won’t run over the Redskins like McCoy did. They are very different backs. While I expect Lacy to be better than he was last Sunday, I think the Pack will lean on Rodgers in this one…per usual.
There will be 2 major factors that will determine the outcome of this game: the Redskins ability to run the ball and the Packers ability to jump out to a lead. If the Redskins can maintain a slower pace to the game, if Morris can get into a rhythm and run effectively and if they can avoid falling behind early – there is a real chance the Redskins could win. I think that mostly because I don’t trust the Packers defense (even if Burnett returns). But if the Redskins fall behind early, the game will be over in a hurry.
I remember the glory days of Holmgren and Favre when the Pack would often score on the first drive. (This was after the early Favre years – the years of the Heart Attack Pack.) In addition to the obvious advantage of starting with an early lead, for the 1990s Pack, it set up a mental dynamic that other teams had real trouble overcoming. Opponents already knew we were good and by jumping out to an early lead we’d just reinforce that notion of good…ness right away. It was intimidating. One hallmark of the McCarthy era seems to be just the opposite: the Pack often starts out slowly, seemingly not ready for the game which sometimes results in the team falling behind. If we fall behind early a lot this year I worry it could lead to a surprising number of losses because our defense will not be good enough to be put in that position too much. (Reminds me of my golf game – always seems like I need to start with a bogey or even a double to get me to focus on the right things. Annoying.)
For some reason despite the previous bullet point, I see a fast start for the Packers on Sunday and a second, quality comeback effort by Wash falling short.
* I think part of the issue with Monday’s game was the Eagles assumed a 4-score lead in the 3rd quarter was safe. They took their foot off the gas, and couldn’t get started when the Redskins started turning things around.
* I also think the Redskins would have a much tougher time mounting a come-back away from their home stadium.
* It’s troubling that RG3 got 329 passing yards using 8 different receivers. You can be sure Shannahan will be calling plenty of pass plays to test our pass defense on Sunday. They’d better be ready.
It also means he’s not locking onto just one or two guys. He’s seeing the whole field, and finding the open guy. I don’t know what the Eagles pass rush is like but hopefully CM3, Johnny Jolly, and the rest of our D can do better.