Last week: they lost on the road at St. Louis, 30-16. Bad loss for the Skins. Steven Jackson only played half the game. Rookie Sam Bradford was making only his 3rd career start. Still, the Rams looked like the better team. We've seen the Skins lose bad games before (Detroit last year), but that was with Jim Zorn and Jason Campbell. This time it was Mike Shanahan and Donovan McNabb that lost. Not good.
McNabb is the same guy he was for us. He doesn't turn the ball over. His overall numbers look good, but he's highly inconsistent. Against St. Louis he made a really impressive throw for the Skins only TD of the game. He also fired some passes straight into the dirt. I still think he goes deep too often. For every pass he completes there are a couple he doesn't and those end drives or have a negative effect. McNabb still doesn't like to run (just 3 times so far). Donovan is the 14th rated passer in the league. His team is struggling in the Red Zone. WAS is 32nd in RZ efficiency.
The running game has been a huge disappointment. Clinton Portis shows flashes, but doesn't look like the player he was. Larry Johnson is already gone. Ryan Torain looked good last week, but only has 7 carries on the year. The RBs have totaled just 189 yards on 52 carries. By way of comparison, Shady has 34 carries for 209 yards. Portis remains a very good pass blocker. Blitz at your own risk. Mike Sellers is still a very good lead blocker. He's also a solid receiver.
WR has been a trouble spot for years and 2010 is no different. Santana Moss is very good (22-290-1), but he and McNabb don't have their timing down on deep balls. They hooked up for a 56-yarder, but have had several near misses. Joey Galloway is the other starter, but that is in name only. He's got just 3 catches this year. One did cover 62 yards. Roydell Williams and Anthony Armstrong are role players. Devin Thomas, who I loved coming out of Michigan State, has been reduced to just KOR/STer. No catches this year.
TE remains a strength. Chris Cooley has 14 catches and remains good at moving the chains. His blocking has improved as well. He won't drive guys off the ball, but he's smart and gives good effort. Fred Davis only has 3 catches this year, but one went for 62-yards. I haven't had a chance to study his blocking. It certainly can't be worse than it was last year.
The O-line isn't in good shape. LT Trent Williams is battling knee and toe injuries. He missed last week, but wants to start Sunday. Stephon Heyer could be the LT if he sits. Heyer is an adequate player, but isn't a guy you want at LT. Kory Lichtensteiger started at LG last week after rotating with Derrick Dockery. He's a better fit for Shanny's style of offense, but can be pushed around by strong DTs. Artis Hicks is the RG. He is a good run blocker, especially against LBs, but struggles at times in pass pro. I was very disappointed with RT Jamaal Brown. He struggled last week in a big way with Chris Long. Brown might not be 100% healthy. Whatever the reason, he's not the player he used to be.
Shanahan hired Jim Haslett to be the Defensive Coordinator and bring his attacking 3-4 style to Washington. The move isn't looking good so far. The biggest issue is that the Skins were built to be a 4-3 team and didn't add a lot of new faces on defense in the offseason. Square pegs meet round holes. The Skins are 32nd in Total defense. They're 22nd in scoring D.
Let's start up front. NT is the foundation for the 3-4. You need a big guy to eat up blocks and free the LBs to run to the ball. You can try to find a Jay Ratliff type, but athletic NTs are pretty rare these days. The Skins added Maake Kemoeatu in the offseason to be their big NT. He is 350 pounds. He missed the 2009 season with an injury. Against STL he was very ineffective. They were able to double team him and drive him several yards off the ball. That's how Kenneth Darby ran up the middle with such ease last week. The DEs are Adam Carriker and Kedric Golston. Carriker was a huge bust for the Rams, but flashed good potential on a few plays last week. He's at his best when firing off the ball. He isn't ideal vs the run. Golston is a blue collar guy that I'd be proud to have on the Eagles DL. Great effort player. There isn't much to say about Big Al. He plays infrequently. He's not exactly playing with passion right now.
The LBs are up and down. London Fletcher is the heart and soul of the defense. He is only 4th in tackles, but does lead the team in TFLs. He's not at his best taking on blockers. He still finds a way to get the job done. I think the world of Mr. Fletcher. Brian Orakpo is a force off the edge. He's gotten better as a LB, but his true impact comes on passing downs when he rushes the passer. He leads the team with 2 sacks. Rocky McIntosh is the team's 2nd leading tackler, but I'm still not sure he's ideally suited to ILB in the 3-4. I think he's better in space where he can run and attack the ball. The other OLB is Andre Carter. He is completely lost in coverage. He looks stiff and awkward. Carter might have LB size, but he's meant to be a DE. He had 11 sacks last year, but is sitting on a goose egg right now.
The secondary is incredibly talented, but isn't playing well. Deangelo Hall has made his share of plays (right Dallas?), but Brandon Gibson was getting open on him and moving the chains. Hall is 3rd on the team in tackles, but picks his spots to be a run defender. Carlos Rogers is the other starter. He leads the team in PDs (4), but Danny Amendola beat him a few times last week on some key plays. LaRon Landry is the team's leading tackler. He is great when playing in the box. Landry is physical and loves to play the run. He is very dangerous when blitzing off the edge. He is over-aggressive at times and that hurts his overall play. He doesn't always take good angles to the ball. Kareem Moore was the other Safety last week, but looked sloppy. That was his first start of the year. He was caught out of position a few times. The Skins are high on him so that may have just been a bad game.
P Josh Bidwell missed last week's game with a hip problem. He's supposed to be fine for this week. PK Graham Gano took his place and did well, all things considered. Gano is 7 of 9 on FGs. He missed one short kick (vs Dallas) and one long kick.
The Skins did have a punt blocked last week. Someone missed a blocking assignment.
They returned the favor to the Rams by blocking a FG. Veteran Phillip Daniels got loose up the middle. He's still a good role player.
Devin Thomas is a good KOR. He averages 28 yards per return.
Philip Buchanon is the PR. He only returned 2 punts all season. He gained 1 yard.