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Week 17 - Studs, Duds, and Hat Tips

Loss Vegas

Canadian Hog

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16 games are now in the books and the good news is that this is very likely the last time we will ever witness the Washington Football Team missing the playoffs. A year from now, the name will most certainly be different and let's hope that the results are too!

At 6-10, the team is one game worse than their record from a year ago and it is abundantly clear that a significant infusion of top-flight talent, and let's face it, a bit of luck on the health/injury front, might go a long way towards helping this team move from mediocre to the fringes of "good" next season. With yesterday's 20-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Football Team has now fallen to 1-4 in the division - a major change of fortunes compared to a year ago when they thrived in the NFC East. We all knew that the divisional run of games at the end of the year would make or break the team. What we didn't expect was that two other divisional opponents (Dallas and Philly) would progress and develop at a much faster rate than the WFT in 2021. All that being said, let's get to our Studs, Duds, and Hat Tips for Week 17.

Studs:

1. Cole Holcomb - #55 has truly put together a pretty solid year in Washington. Over the last 3 months, he has consistently been one of the few guys on our defense that has stood out in a positive way more often than not on Sundays. On Sunday vs. Philly, the same was true. He accumulated 11 tackles and made plays all throughout the field. We saw some nice plays in coverage, and Cole had his moments where he applied some nice pressure to Hurts, almost resulting in a sack of the Eagles' signal caller. While the LB group overall throughout the season has been a major sore spot, Holcomb has certainly not been the main reason why. On the other hand, he is maybe the only LB who has brought a smidgen of credibility to the group.

2. Joey Slye - The Washington Football Team converted all four of their first half drives yesterday into points and Joey Slye was a big reason why. He was 3 for 3 on field goals and connected fairly cleanly on a 55 yard attempt right before halftime to give the WFT a 16-7 lead going into the break. While you thought that those points might have been a difference maker come the end of the 4th quarter, it wasn't meant to be. Could Slye potentially be the long term answer at kicker for the WFT? While it remains to be seen, he is certainly establishing a good case for himself, as he has gone 9 for 9 in total on field goal attempts in a Washington jersey this season. As well, he has made 3 field goals in a game twice in 5 appearances for the WFT.

3. Washington Fans - 17 out of 23. If that was your score on a test you did in school, you would be pretty proud of yourself I would think. Unfortunately, after yesterday's game, for us 17 out of 23 now officially stands for the number of years we have missed the playoffs under the ownership of Dan Snyder. The guy continually tests our patience, but here we are still hoping for the best and waiting for a turnaround. Nobody in the sports world has it harder than us - NOBODY! Your loyalty is second to none and I applaud every one of you who stands by this team despite all the garbage we have to deal with both on and off the field.

Duds:

1. Dan Snyder - let's see, water pipes bursting, plywood falling onto fans' heads in the upper level of the stadium, sewage, railings collapsing and having fans fall onto the field, home stadium filled with people wearing green, sexual misconduct, never appearing in the playoffs in back to back years during his ownership...have I missed anything? I am upset today and Dan will get the blame 10 out of 10 times. He has utterly destroyed the thing I love more than anything outside of my children, wife, and family. It's just not right and another failed season should never have this man escape without blame.

2. Coordinators - Scott Turner and Jack Del Rio were both shorthanded coming into this week, as has been the case for many, many weeks now, as a result of injury/health, etc. I don't want to be too hard on these guys, but I will say this from yesterday - when you score 0 points in the second half after having a promising first two quarters, and the defense opens up the 3rd quarter by allowing the Eagles to possess the ball for over 11 minutes, gain 128 yards, and score 10 points to take the lead, it tells me that the opposition is adjusting better than you are. A disastrous third quarter played a role in our demise yesterday. Players have to execute, but coaches have to push the right buttons as well - it just didn't seem to happen yesterday.

3. Front Office - I am one of the biggest Ron Rivera supporters you will find. I admire the man that he is and his character. I am very proud knowing that he is our franchise's coach. Coming into this season, I was one who didn't want to go all in on a quarterback via trade or the draft. I thought there were too many holes on the roster and that the team just isn't quite ready to make a huge jump yet. That line of thinking seemed to jive with how Rivera and other team leaders approached the offseason. They decided to take the risk of coming into 2021 with at best average quarterbacking on the roster. Yes, we tried to significantly upgrade if you believe offseason reports, but we weren't prepared to go far enough to pull it off and do whatever it takes. Obviously, that seems like the wrong decision now that we have been eliminated from playoff contention. We didn't progress. Instead, we stayed in the mediocre range. Maybe the lack of a true difference-making QB is what is really holding us back from getting out of the 5 to 7 win gutter year in and year out. Maybe getting a franchise quarterback truly does help to mask other deficiencies on the roster and allows things to fall into place once and for all? All in all, I suppose some blame needs to be placed on Rivera for putting QB on the backburner in 2021. I would bet that we will see an entirely different approach come the offseason. Get your popcorn ready.

4. The Trenches - you truly do win football games in late December/January with great line play on both sides of the ball. We know this as well as anybody based on the glory years we watched in Washington. Yes, our big boys on both sides of the ball have taken a huge hit recently. On the defensive side, we lost Young, Sweat has been unavailable for a large part of the year, guys on the line got hit with COVID which has affected their play. Yesterday, we simply made things a bit too comfortable for Jalen Hurts in some critical moments in the game. Pressure was non-existent at certain times yesterday and we made Hurts do what he wanted to do when he absolutely had to. There were also a couple 4th down attempts that Philadelphia was just able to own the line of scrimmage and impose their will on our guys defensively. On the offensive side of the equation, we have been forced to play roulette a few too many times now with backup linemen and it is catching up to us. The likes of Keith Ismael and Cornelius Lucas had their share of struggles vs. Philly. As sound of a coach John Matsko is, even he is likely at a point where he just wants to throw his hands in the air at the season.

5. Jamin Davis - I believe he played in 13 snaps defensively yesterday. 13 snaps for our 1st overall pick on the second to last game of the season! I suppose it is hard to call a guy a dud when he is only appearing in 13 total plays in the game, however, this "dud" choice is largely a reflection of the diappointment that has been Jamin Davis' first season in the NFL. At such a thin position on the roster, we certainly could not afford having him make a next to nothing contribution on the football field in 2021. At the end of the day, the positions of need/weakness that we had coming into 2021 are unfortunately mostly still positions of need, and that includes LB. It is no wonder that as a result, with a significantly more difficult schedule that we faced, we are sitting at 6-10.

Hat Tips:

1. John Bates - 3 catches for 35 yards were amassed vs. Philadelphia. Bates now has a total of 19 receptions and 244 yards on the year and could legitimately surpass the 300 yard receiving mark in his rookie year next week vs. the Giants. The more active involvement he has experienced in the passing game of late could be something promising to build on in his future years in burgundy and gold.

2. Jaret Patterson - with Gibson out yesterday, Patterson got a legitimate opportunity and delivered. He made some nice cuts in the game and did a nice job of getting upfield. He accumulated 57 rushing yards, added another 41 yards receiving, and scored the team's opening touchdown of the game. His performance from yesterday should surely give our staff a better sense of how he can be deployed properly and used effectively in future seasons.

That's it for this week. Do you agree? Disagree? Who did we miss?

Hail To The ..... Redwolf Commanding Hogs?
 

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SilentThreat

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As frustrated as we've been regarding some of the moves this offseason, we need to give a major tip of the hat to what we've done at TE. When we signed Logan Thomas, a lot of people were very critical and questioned the move when TE was arguably our most baron wasteland on the team. We saw flashes last year, then the question this offseason was "if you lose Logan, what then?" Welp.... We signed Reyes with the legit expectation (and hope) that he contend for the no. 2 spot. RSJ and Bates have come in and locked down the depth chart at the positon. We're going to be going into 2022 with a TE room that's considered to be about as 'set' as any position group on the team.
 

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