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Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

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Old 09-27-2011, 02:53 PM   #16
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

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Originally Posted by dgack View Post
IMO, I think next week will really show us what this team is made of. This is a classic trap game, and one that the Skins have consistently blown in years past. A lot of the media types said the Dallas game was a "must win" for Shanahan, but I don't think that was ever true.

The Rams game, however, will be. Will our squad bring a Grand Canyon-sized chip on our shoulders into this game and step on the throats of a depleted Rams squad? Or will we be conservative and tighten the leash on Rex, and continue to settle for FGs?

(I think the Dallas-Detroit game is going to be key for the same reason: I think it's the game where Dallas is exposed for what they are, and Detroit takes their step to the next level).

Things I'm looking for next week:

-- More Screens. I'd like to see Kyle call more screen passes to Hightower. We could have run the clock out last night with a heavier diet of screens, especially when Ware was basically jumping the snap count on every down towards the end. When we did throw them we got huge gains.

-- Rex the Amnesiac Gunslinger. By now we know what we have with this guy, which is to say, he's going to win us some games by having absolutely no conscience, a short memory, and brass cojones. But we'll likely lose some too. It's Favre Lite, minus the dong pics. I just hope we don't put the training wheels back on or start getting conservative. We'll never develop a vertical passing game without DOING it in games and giving players chances to make plays.

-- Continued execution and special teams excellence. Rocca's botched hold notwithstanding, our special teams have been pretty awesome this year, and we've been generally playing penalty-free football. I can't stress how awesome this is. It's a joy to watch a team just line up and know how to run plays and look like they've done it before. (Ask yourself if you'd rather have that or the shoot-from-the-hip and pray-for-a-miracle Cowboys/Romo offense).

-- More dominance from Dirty 30, more forced turnovers, more aggressive play. His presence was felt immediately and you have to think balls are going to bounce our way eventually if we keep attacking the ball.


What are you guys looking for next week?
Let me preface this by saying that I agree with your mindset and outlook about this season. Organizational improvement > short term results. Fighting Dallas tooth n nail on the road > than winning at home on a fluky play but giving up 30+ points in Dallas.

Now, I'll say this: every week is a new data point in evaluating your team. But I think the fact that we played pretty much identical games the last two weeks is great evidence that we now know who this team is. We're a supremely talented defensive team that will merely produce above average results because of specific flaws, and we're a fundamentally improved offensive team with a strength on the OL, but who is looking for an answer at RB and at QB, as well as a WR who can get behind the (if AA is hurt) safeties.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:57 PM   #17
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

I'm with ya on the screens, I thought they set them up pretty well & almost broke a couple big, just didn't go to it much.

I watched the Rams v. Philly, they hit Vick a lot & they would've been right in that game if not for drops by their wr's. Same thing v. G men, several drops. I think anybody that can get to Rex consistently can beat us, and the Rams seem able w/Spag's blitzing.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:03 PM   #18
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

The Rams are a desperate team in search of it's first win of the season. Regardless of the status, desperate teams playing at home should always be a concern, especially when they're going against a team struggling to sustain drives and scoring TD's once inside the red-zone.

Regardless of how well we play on defense, if you don't score points and sustain offense this is the kind of team that will hang around, gain confidence and make a few plays at critical times, often being just enough to win. I've never liked the idea of playing teams desperate for a win...especially in their house.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:07 PM   #19
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

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He was back this past week and they still got smoked. They've got bigger problems.
The only way we effectively shut him down is if we do what Baltimore did and go up big on them early, forcing them to pass to get back in the game. They abandoned the run because Baltimore went up big on them early. If we let S.Jax run on us early, it will open things up for them down the stretch.

With all that being said, we need to come out this game and attack them offensively. If we can get a big lead early I don't think it will be close, we will take the game out of S.Jax's hands and let K.O. tee off on Bradford all day. But I know that this week they will be determined to come out and run the ball, because Bradford doesn't have enough weapons to be able to shoulder the load offensively.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:19 PM   #20
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

This week's game alone will not tell us "who this team really is." December is a better barometer for such things. It's a long season.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:23 PM   #21
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

Tripp already revealed to us the litmus test last week against the Cards. We blowout a crap team, we're well on our way. We "barely" win, and we will have to claw tooth and nail to even make it to the playoffs. We already failed against the Cards. This team is thus just still a work in progress. Now, we've made good progress, but we need more of it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:28 PM   #22
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

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Tripp already revealed to us the litmus test last week against the Cards. We blowout a crap team, we're well on our way. We "barely" win, and we will have to claw tooth and nail to even make it to the playoffs. We already failed against the Cards. This team is thus just still a work in progress. Now, we've made good progress, but we need more of it.
The Rams in week 4 are a lot more of a crap team than the Cards were in week 2. And nobody knows who they are after 1 game.

Maybe "tell us who this team is" is a bad turn of phrase because it implies a snapshot. Let me rephrase that to say it'll tell us if we've made progress or regressed.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:30 PM   #23
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

Agreed SCP.

I think these guys can improve, they seem to be able to listen to coaching and get things going.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:32 PM   #24
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

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The Rams in week 4 are a lot more of a crap team than the Cards were in week 2. And nobody knows who they are after 1 game.

Maybe "tell us who this team is" is a bad turn of phrase because it implies a snapshot. Let me rephrase that to say it'll tell us if we've made progress or regressed.
Sorry, we could have laid 35 ****ing points on the "better" Cardinals and failed.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:54 PM   #25
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

We're rated 15th in DVOA this week, which sounds about right. That Giants game is looking like one of the bigger upsets of the season to date on the grounds of the fact that we blew them out in the second half, and they're one of the better teams in football still (definitely the best in a "down" NFC East).

This is the first time I can remember this team rating above average in both offensive and defensive DVOA since 2005. We're not a complete team yet, but the components of a complete team are there for the first time in six years. Ever since the offensive line declined in 2007, we've been fighting ourselves for years.

We may still be fighting an offensive talent deficiency and a defensive discipline issue, but both sides of the ball have potential.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:56 PM   #26
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

This week against the Rams is going to give us a good picture as to what direction we are headed this year. Are we what most of us thought at the beginning of the year, an emerging team with some questions, i.e. the qb position, and still a season or two away. Or are we a team that is ahead of the curve and ready to compete for a playoff run this season. How you bounce back says a lot so we shall see. St Louis has had our number the last couple of outings so it is our turn.
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Old 09-27-2011, 08:59 PM   #27
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

Let me suggest that next week will not "tell us who this team is". I suspect we will not know that until sometime around Christmas. There will be games where the Skins will hit on all cylinders and look as if they could be NFC Championship Game material; there will also be games where they just won't seem to be able to get out of their own way.

By Christmas, we will have seen pretty much the entire spectrum of their performances and around then we will have a much better grasp on "who this team is" and what they are going to be in the future.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:50 PM   #28
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

The Rams are one of the easiest opponents we will play all season. A schedule that was considered weak a month ago is a potential killer with the rise of Buffalo and the improvement of the AFC East as a whole. Only games where we have a potential for a solid victory is against the NFC West teams, and even then they won't be that easy.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:53 PM   #29
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

We've actually played St. Louis quite a bit over the past decade, dating back to when Jeff George faced off against Trent Green on MNF in the battle of the back ups. We won that one btw.

Still only random team I can think of us playing more over the past decade has been Tampa. Tampa and St. Louis are our two random rivals.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:30 PM   #30
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Re: Looking ahead: next week will tell us who this team really is.

If we come out flat against the Rams this wknd it's hard to imagine this group i.e. Shanny/Haslett/current roster achieving any real success. Any solid team will respond w/ killer instinct after a lousy (hopefully outlier) performance.

...I really want to believe we can dominate every aspect of the game against a team like St. Louis.
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