Friday, September 5, 2008

Coming Out Flat

I'll say this about Jim Zorn's head coaching debut: It sure made watching the Republican National Convention afterward seem enjoyable. In their first meaningful game since upsetting the previously undefeated Patriots in the Super Bowl, the Giants spoiled another bid for perfection with an easy 16-7 win over the Redskins at the Meadowlands. So much for 19-0; 0-16, though, looks attainable.

Where to start?

Carlos Rogers belongs in the Arena Football League. No, he belongs in AFL2. He can't cover, he can't tackle, and he evidently can't catch. I know he and Fred Smoot are defensive backs and not wide receivers for a reason, but they both have two hands, 10 fingers, and, unlike Sen. McCain, can lift their arms above their shoulders. Combined, the chopstick-handed duo dropped three balls that should have been intercepted. A shortlist of potential replacements that Vinny Cerrato should invite to Redskins Park this week: Edward Scissorhands, Jim Abbott, and Antonio Alfonseca.

I know Halloween is right around the corner, but those first down markers on the sidelines aren't just for decoration. Why, then, did the Redskins repeatedly call plays on third down that left them a yard or two short of the sticks? Credit the Giants for making open-field tackles when they had to, but come on, Jason Campbell and his receivers need to be more aware of where they are and how many yards they need on a given play.

Zorn's clock management late in the game left something to be desired. Running the 6-minute drill when you're trailing by 9 points isn't going to cut it. The play-calling as a whole was atrocious. Campbell looked flustered in the pocket, the offensive line allowed too much penetration and the revamped defensive line showed little push for most of the night.

I'm not about to jump off the Bandwagon and I don't think that criticizing the Redskins for one of their most embarrassing performances in recent memory makes one a disloyal fan. Bring on New Orleans. 15-1 aint' so bad.

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