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Blognostications

Week 17 - NY Giants

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Blognosticator - Stevenaa

Week 17 has arrived marking the end of the regular season. Unfortunately it’s marking the end of the season for our beloved Washington Redskins as well. At 6-9, they certainly haven’t set the world on fire. With all of the change, this is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the amount of drama we endured. Sadly a continuation of what we’ve come to expect from this organization. I really didn’t expect a stellar record this year; 8-8 maybe. This team is just too broken to have hoped for much more than that. What I did expect was a more professional and disciplined team and organization. I’m still not settled on what to think in that regard. In any case, we’ve certainly seen some notable changes.

For years we’ve had a team where the players ruled the roost. It was made clear from the onset of the new regime, this would change. And change it did! Star status, skill or size of contract be damned!!! If you don’t do it the Shanahan way, you won’t be doing it on this team for long. The obvious poster child for this is Albert Haynesworth. Much has been said on this topic, so I won’t ruminate too much on it. What I will say is that there is much to this saga that we will never know. In the end, Albert is an incredibly well paid athlete and it’s reasonable to expect him to play the role he’s asked to play. He’s done himself no favor in refusing to do his part, and he’s set the team back as a result. I don’t think Coach Shanahan could have or should have made concessions for Albert. That would have only served to undermine his message of accountability. Though I could have done without the drama, I’m not displeased with how this situation was handled. No player should be above the team. Al has shown in the past and the present that he is a person of little character and I will be glad to see him go.

I doubt anyone was surprised to see a change at the QB position. As much as I liked Jason and wanted him to succeed, it was time for a change. This made for one of the more perplexing moves. Donovan McNabb traded from a division rival. To me, it never felt right from the beginning. McNabb’s glaring flaw, inaccuracy on short throws, seemed to preclude him from any chance of success in this offense. I’m still having trouble making sense of this one. It certainly gives one pause when looking at this from a talent evaluation perspective. He’s an aging veteran with declining skills, who even in his heyday would seem an odd fit. Seem familiar? Throw in a few draft picks that we need desperately, given the current state of the roster, and this move has failure written all over it. If they miss on this one so badly, how well will the upcoming player acquisitions work out? The silver lining is that Shanahan didn’t continue to cram the square peg in the round hole when it was obvious it wasn’t working out, and seems to have moved into more of a rebuild mode. I certainly hope so. Only time will tell.

Then there’s the 3-4. I’m guessing most of us thought the move to a 3-4 would be gradual without too much drop off in play. Mr. Defense meets Mr. Cliff. Heck, I expected the Offense to struggle, but figured the Defense would carry us a bit. This could ultimately be Shanahan’s undoing. It really hinges on what expectation he set with Snyder. The extra personnel changes needed on that side of the fence as a result are going to lengthen the time it takes to right this ship. I won’t even get into Haslett. I have no confidence in him at all. If Shanahan and Allen really believed we’d be competitive while retooling, and had Snyder believing it as well, this could be the monkey wrench that knocks the wheels off.

This is going to be a year that can only be judged when looking back a few years down the road. Much like grading a draft class, there are too many unknowns early on. I like that Coach Shanahan demands accountability, and I believe the team is showing some positive signs. More disciplined play and playing with more intensity. I like that we’re moving in some youth and I think we’re seeing signs of a much needed rebuild. I hate that we seemingly wasted this year with another failed attempt at patching together a team, but in the grand scheme of 20+ years of abject failure and misery, one more year is tolerable if we move in the right direction from here.

Now on to the Blognosticating.

The 9-6 New York Giants come to town Sunday afternoon for a 4:00 pm EST kickoff. The Giants are currently in a tailspin after the Eagles mount a stunning come from behind victory two weeks ago, and New York fails to even show up for a Playoff clincher against Green Bay. The Giants have been outscored 77-24 over the last 6 quarters. Not surprising with turnover machine, and league leader in turnovers, Eli Manning at the helm. He handed Green Bay 4 picks. His inconsistency has been on full display. The defense has contributed to that disparity as well. Aaron Rodgers went for 400 plus.

By failing to clinch against Green Bay, the Giants no longer have total control over their destiny. With New Orleans winning Monday night, their only hope is a win over our Washington Redskins and a loss by Green Bay at Chicago. Rumor has it that Coughlin will be shown the door if they fail to make the playoffs, so the pressure is on.

Our Washington Redskins have nothing to play for except pride. Or draft position if you’re one of those guys. Personally I hope to see them send the Giants and Coughlin packing. Provide a little fodder in the NFC East to maybe shift a little focus off of us. The defense will have opportunities against Eli. Carlos will most likely have a chance to show if he’s shed the bricks and can get picks in consecutive games. I expect the Offense to be in mostly passing mode. The evaluation of Rex will continue. We’ll run it when we need a score, but that will be about it.

Prediction: Going with my heart on this one.

35-15 Washington

Highlights:

Carlos gets two picks. That’s right. He’ll snag two.

Sexy Rexy goes for 325 YDS, 3 TD’s and 1 INT.

Ryan “The train” Torain runs for 2 TD’s on goal line plays.

The defense holds the Giants to 250 yds.
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