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Winning Ugly

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Old 09-21-2005, 09:41 AM   #1
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Winning Ugly

Two days removed from what will go down in Redskin's lore as possibly one of the top five greatest victories in the team's history, there are still some questions that coach Gibbs and his staff must and will address during the bye week.

For one the pass rush or lack there of. The seemingly inability of the offensive line to handle the blitz and keep pressure off Brunell for most of the game. And signs, until the last four minutes of the game, of an anemic offense that finally got revitalized and going just enough to pull it out. Which brings me to the reason for my post.

I believe something that came out of this victory and shouldn't be overlooked is that the Redskins could be learning how to win games. Is it possible that this team is learning how to win as opposed to last year where we found ways to lose, and lost several by just a few points? To me this is the one thing that separates the New Englands of the NFL from the rest of the pack. Similarily an interesting thing could be happening in Indy as well. Maybe Peyton won't have to throw for a million touchdowns this year to make a trip to the Super Bowl.

Now, I don't want to get carried away and suggest that talent and upgrades at key positions don't play a vital role and could take a team from one level to the next, or good play calling as opposed to bad play calling doesn't make a difference because it does. Those things I understand. As a fan and an evolving student of the game I'm learning and realizing one thing more and more that stats don't tell the whole story.

Which of us would have thought that the imobile, cement feet, easy to sack, Drew Bledsoe wouldn't have been sacked once by our much vaunted, blitz happy defense? And what about week one v. Kyle Orton? Whom we all predicted would be sacked and hurried multiple times. Who would have thought that when Clinton Portis doesn't go over 100 yds in a game that the Redskins still win? When it's in the back of eveyone's mind, especially the defensive coordinator of the other team, the Redskins only win when Portis rushes for over 100 yds. Yet Portis didn't even come close to the century mark. Man, I would have loved to come out of Dallas with seven or eight sacks on Bledsoe, Portis rushing for 150 yds on their defense, LaVar making bone crunching hits to show he's finally back in the groove, and a 14 point lead on top of all of that. But you know what, it didn't happen! Sometimes we put too much stock in the power rankings, avg. yd. per rush, total yds allowed, sacks and other so called telling statistics. And we miss the main one - winning. I'm of the opinion that this team may have found a way to win games, ugly I might add, instead of finding ways to lose them!

Our defense "looked" more impressive in the first two games of '04 than the first two of '05. But so far, and granted it's still early, very early, this year's version of Washington Redskins may have more heart, more grit, and more fight. Are there things for us to work on this week defensively and offensively, you betcha! But I'll bet you this much, winning cures a lot of things and confidence is contagious!!

I hope this year's team will continue to refuse to be typecast into any particular formula or statistical category, good or bad, that has engendered a culture of losing for the past decade and just keep doing what they do - just win baby!! Winning ugly may be the way we get it done in 2005. Stay tuned!
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Old 09-21-2005, 10:45 AM   #2
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Re: Winning Ugly

With Gibbs' giving PR only half-hearted support in the run up to the season, the offense seems to have been coached with a defensive mentality -- don't make mistakes, work around PR's shortcomings, hedge your bets with Portis, Betts, Cooley grinding out short gains, with Moss almost as a decoy.

What we overlook in the PR - MB 'controversy' is something Gibbs has plainly stated: He's been looking for one of these QBs to step up and take the leadership role. PR had his chance to do it and failed. It's not a question of arm strength or mobility or reading the defense (though those are all important) -- it's about LEADERSHIP and HEART. Gibbs has won with all kinds of talent, and this offense won't get its act together until it has a leader to rally them, to show them what it means to 'play your guts out,' a favorite Gibbs expression.

There is work to be done on the offensive game plan, for sure, and there is better raw QB talent than we have all over the league. But if this offense is going to click, it has to have a leader, and we all know that Gibbs wants that to be MB, and that he came through on Monday -- not with talent, but with guts and a will to win.
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:05 AM   #3
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Re: Winning Ugly

Our recent history has us losing games we should have won. Last year's 13-9 Dallas loss was a prime example. You're absolutely right when you say we are learning how to win. Every Dallas fan (and a few Redskins fans) can look at Monday's game and say we should have lost, or that we weren't the better team. Winning the games you aren't supposed to is a huge step, and it shouldn't matter how it gets done.
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: Winning Ugly

I am as happy as the next fan. I have seen us lose games we weren't suppose to for years, but this game doesn''t ease my worries of the offense. We are currently ranked 28th in scoring and turn the ball over constantly. Stuff like that just doesn't go away because we threw the ball down field twice and got lucky. I am going to take this win just like the rest of us....but there are 14 more games to play and this game won't mean sh** if our offense doesn't get it together. I sit around and think/hope that the Dallas game is like the Lavar Interception in Carolina when we were 0-5.....that play seemed to turn the whole season around. I hope that this miracle can somehow turn our fortunes for the better.
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:55 AM   #5
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Re: Winning Ugly

Gibbs likes to say that the only thing that the past gets you is relationships and memories. That's so true.

The Dallas game, while great and fresh in our minds, is now in the past. You're only as good as your next game in the NFL. It's for that reason that I can't discount the need to limit turnovers, limit mistakes, and make good play-calls for 60 minutes, despite the fact that we overcame our deficiencies with heart and fight and a never-say-die attitude.

The thing is, if I told you that we were going to turn the ball over 2 more times than the Seahawks on Oct 2, that we'd get penalized for 50 yards more than the Seahawks, that Portis would rush for 60 yards, and that Brunell would get sacked 5 times; my guess is you wouldn't like our chances at winning very much. And that's the point. Heart and fight are great, and I agree that they can get you over the hump, and pull games out that you have no business winning. But we've got to improve our chances at winning games, because we can't expect heart to bail us out all season long. Can we really expect Brunell and Moss to connect twice like that in the last 5 minutes again?

To improve our chances at winning against the Seahawks, we need to limit turnovers, limit sacks, establish Ports, and throw aggressively downfield. Of course, heart can play a role in doing that. You gotta have heart to want to get better. You have to stay hungry. If you want to continue to find ways to win games, you have to continue to find ways to get better. And that takes heart and work ethic, plus smarts.

Without the will we won't go anywhere. But the stats don't lie, your chances of winning after playing like we did for 55 minutes are not very good. We have to get better.
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Old 09-21-2005, 12:00 PM   #6
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Re: Winning Ugly

I do agree though, Gibbs has had a big affect on the overall attitude of the team.
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Old 09-21-2005, 12:07 PM   #7
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Re: Winning Ugly

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrudLee
Our recent history has us losing games we should have won. Last year's 13-9 Dallas loss was a prime example. You're absolutely right when you say we are learning how to win. Every Dallas fan (and a few Redskins fans) can look at Monday's game and say we should have lost, or that we weren't the better team. Winning the games you aren't supposed to is a huge step, and it shouldn't matter how it gets done.
EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We won a game we shouldn't have won. That's a sign of a good team. We needed something to build upon, and the way we exploded, albeit the last 4 minutes of the game, is exactly what we needed. People will question, "why didn't we do that earlier?" The point is, better late than never. No need to worry about what we did for most of the game. We won. Period. We're 2-0. We have two weeks to perpare for the Seahawks(I think that's who we got next.)

It's a free country...fans can worry and analyize the 3 and 3/4 of the game if they choose so. Myself personally, I'm going to enjoy this victory for the next week or so and enjoy being a Redskins fan!
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:11 PM   #8
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Re: Winning Ugly

there's winning ugly where you get an early lead and then stop throwing it, sit on the ball, and do nothing exciting until the clock runs out.

and then there's winning ugly where you just hope the other team made more mistakes than you did. that kind of winning ugly should be a real concern, it means our team is messing up a lot somewhere, and we'd be foolish to rely on 4th quarter heroics to save us every game. lets hope for the former kind.
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:16 PM   #9
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Re: Winning Ugly

I think right now we appreciate winning ugly, or any kind of winning. I think we all know that it will be hard to keep this up. IMO we aren't the same as the 2000 Ravens team we aren't going to leave it on the D to stop the opponents and do all the scoring. We have to change into an offensive team that contributes consistently and effectively.
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:27 PM   #10
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Re: Winning Ugly

Enjoying the win and analyzing our deficiencies are not mutually exclusive. News flash, both can be done at the same time.

I'm very very very happy we won. I jumped out of my chair so high that I hit my head on my ceiling when Moss caught the 2nd TD.

But that doesn't mean you stop there. I can guarantee you that Coach Gibbs, at this very moment, is trying to figure out ways to fix the problems we had in the first 55 minutes. That doesn't mean he wasn't happy as a pig in slop when the Skins pulled it out on Monday night.
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:29 PM   #11
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Cool Re: Winning Ugly

Like I told a buddy of mine early in the game, although I'd like to win big, I could care less about getting more yards, third down conversions, time of possession, etc. As long as we have more points on the board when time runs out, that's all that matters.
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Old 10-03-2005, 09:26 AM   #12
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Re: Winning Ugly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneed10
Gibbs likes to say that the only thing that the past gets you is relationships and memories. That's so true.

The Dallas game, while great and fresh in our minds, is now in the past. You're only as good as your next game in the NFL. It's for that reason that I can't discount the need to limit turnovers, limit mistakes, and make good play-calls for 60 minutes, despite the fact that we overcame our deficiencies with heart and fight and a never-say-die attitude.

The thing is, if I told you that we were going to turn the ball over 2 more times than the Seahawks on Oct 2, that we'd get penalized for 50 yards more than the Seahawks, that Portis would rush for 60 yards, and that Brunell would get sacked 5 times; my guess is you wouldn't like our chances at winning very much. And that's the point. Heart and fight are great, and I agree that they can get you over the hump, and pull games out that you have no business winning. But we've got to improve our chances at winning games, because we can't expect heart to bail us out all season long. Can we really expect Brunell and Moss to connect twice like that in the last 5 minutes again?

To improve our chances at winning against the Seahawks, we need to limit turnovers, limit sacks, establish Ports, and throw aggressively downfield. Of course, heart can play a role in doing that. You gotta have heart to want to get better. You have to stay hungry. If you want to continue to find ways to win games, you have to continue to find ways to get better. And that takes heart and work ethic, plus smarts.

Without the will we won't go anywhere. But the stats don't lie, your chances of winning after playing like we did for 55 minutes are not very good. We have to get better.
I was looking at this thread from a couple of weeks ago, and you had a few insightful comments - hindsight being 20/20 of course.

Funny thing is we won with some heart and accomplished some things statistically as well.
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