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2014 - Week 2 Redskins v Jaguars

Blognosticator - China

Redskins vs Jaguars

The more things change, the more things stay the same. A new head coach. A new special teams coach. More weapons on offense. Yet the results are the same. Turnovers. Botched special teams plays. Weak pass protection. Watching the game, the offense seemed to carry over from where it left off in the preseason: impotent (Sorry Boone, I don’t think they’ll be the offensive juggernaut you predicted). They finally score and they get an extra point blocked? A punt blocked for a touchdown? What, is Danny Smith still here? Is Norv Turner prowling the sidelines? To be fair, the defense looked pretty good in the first half, and the offense began moving the ball at the beginning of the second half. But they have to hold onto the ball. The Redskins aren’t good enough to give away as many points as they gave away in this game and somehow come away with a win. J.J. Watt is a monster and apparently worth all of the $100 million he’s getting. But it’s a team game and overall the Redskins as a team did not play well enough to win. To make it worse Jordan Reed is injured (again), as are Cofield, Porter, Jordan and Golston. Cofield is listed as out for the Jaguars game. It remains to be seen if any of the others will play and if so, how their injuries may affect them (Porter is nursing a hamstring as is Reed but Reed is listed as Doubtful and Porter Questionable).

Enough about the Texans game. My job is to predict the next game. In the past, writing about the Giants or Eagles came relatively easily because I am familiar with them. But I’m finding this blognostication a little more difficult because I know little to nothing about Jacksonville. What do I know? I know that Mark Brunell used to play for them ages ago. And I know that Jacksonville is a city I drive by on our annual pilgrimage to Florida for spring break. That’s about it. Apparently Jacksonville is the largest city by population in the state of Florida. And despite that they’re barely able to support a football team. Well, they call themselves a football team, but in recent years have been a pretty lousy one. That being said, they did manage to eke out one more victory last year than the Redskins did. And, over the last 10 years they have 72 wins compared to the Redskins 67. They both have 1 playoff win over the last 10 years, but the Redskins have one more playoff appearance (3 to 2). So if they’re lousy what does that make the Redskins? My impression has been that the Redskins are a better team, but maybe that’s just the view through my burgundy colored glasses. I begin to understand why the media thinks so little of us.

Jacksonville finally parted ways with Maurice Jones-Drew and replaced him with Toby Gerhart. Gerhart rushed 18 times for 42 yards against the Eagles, and the whole team only managed 64 yards; hardly striking fear of their running game. Considering the Butler rushed for more yards than their whole team and Helu added another 46, I give the edge to the Redskins in the rushing game.

Their wideouts are Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns (who?) and Mike Brown. Hurns managed to break the century mark against the Eagles and scored 2 TDs, so I hope the Redskins don’t overlook him due to his non-household name. Their wide receivers totaled 208 yards on 13 receptions. The Redskins have Garçon, Jackson and Roberts who totaled 161 yards on 19 catches. Look for the Redskins to stretch the field and throw more deep balls than they did against Houston. The Jaguars primary tight end is Marcedes Lewis who is serviceable, but nothing special, racking up a massive 35 yards on 6 catches. Even if Reed doesn’t play (and I don’t think he will) Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen should be able to get the job done. Despite the receiving yard totals being nearly equal for both teams (266 for Jacksonville and 267 for the Redskins) and Jacksonville having 2 passing TDs, I have to give the edge to the Redskins.

At QB they have Chad Henne. I want to call him a journeyman, but he’s only on his second team so I don’t think he qualifies yet. That will come soon enough however, as he seems to just be keeping the spot warm until they get Blake Bortles up to speed. Enough has been talked about Griffin so I won’t add to the noise. I’ll just say that Griffin gets the nod so the edge goes to the Redskins.

Defense. The Redskins defense overall seemed better to me than last year, despite giving up the one big play and fading late. I’m not sure whether that is a function of the Texans offense or it truly is a better defense. The Jaguars gave up 34 to Philly, but Philly’s offense is strong. Looking over their roster I only recognize two names, Chris Clemons and Paul Posluszny. Last year they were ranked 27th and 28th in yards and points, respectively. Not very good. The Redskins were 18th and 30th in those categories last year, but I think are improved; more so than Jacksonville. Again I give the edge to the Redskins.

Special teams continue to be not so special for the Redskins. While the return and coverage teams appear better, the kicking and punting teams are still making gaffes. Without knowing anything about Jacksonville’s special teams, they get the edge here.

Overall, the Redskins appear better on paper. But we all know the games aren’t played on paper. The Redskins need to stop turning the ball over and taking penalties that either stall their own drives or prolong their opponents’ drives. If they can do that, they should win without too much difficulty.

So how will it play out? The Redskins will once again start slowly. They don’t score until the second quarter and Jacksonville keeps it close in the first half (possibly even ahead at the half). I think Gruden will be one that makes good halftime adjustments (the Redskins came out well in the second half against Houston, but turnovers did them in). So this time around the Redskins limit their mistakes and pull away from Jacksonville in the second half, winning 27-17. Play of the game: the Redskins keep giving it to DeSean Jackson on the end around and this time he breaks one for 64 yards and a TD.

Bonus: Philadelphia loses to Indianapolis and the Redskins go to Philly at 1-1 to fight for the division lead.

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