1. How will Jon Jansen's absence affect the offense? We thought it would have an impact, mainly because of how loud the dome would be and the fact that Todd Wade had not played all season and had never played next to Randy Thomas. We also thought the Skins would provide him with lots of help and they did. Wade was fine and showed he could be a capable backup for the Redskins. There were many, many times in pass protection where a tight end was on his side and all Wade had to do was provide help. It made it easier on him, allowing him to shake off the rust. Wade acquitted himself well, but he did so thanks to the schemes.
2. What does this mean for Chris Samuels? We thought he had to have a heck of a day against Will Smith and for the most part Samuels did. We anticipated less help on that side, which only made sense. But Samuels was solid.
the Redskins now a dangerous team? I didn't buy them being dangerous because they had not
played well enough defensively to be considered a threat for such an upset. I
also wondered what the Saints had left after the
guys quit? That was
easy to answer before the game and even easier to answer afterward. Of course
it's no. And a win like this almost guarantees no one mentally checking out of
5. Can the Redskins slow this offense? We said this was easy. We were very wrong. The Saints had a lot of firepower and a quarterback being touted as an MVP candidate. The Redskins had allowed opposing QBs to post an average passer rating of nearly 100 this season, the worst in the league. So why would we think it would be different? But the Redskins did an excellent job at covering their zones, staying disciplined and disrupting the rhythm of the offense. Also, Cornelius Griffin was outstanding up front, as was Andre Carter. And the secondary had its best overall game.
7. Will the Redskins be more successful in the red zone? They weren't. This is one area that must change for next season. This game should not have come down to the last minute. Some of it stems from Joe Gibbs' cautious nature. I wish he'd go for it every so often, just to create a mindset of playing to win. Also, part of their lack of success, I think, stems from the lack of a true physical receiver, which takes away some of what an offense can do in this area.
big a test is this for Jason Campbell? We thought it was huge because of the situation he'd be
confronted with: crowd noise, not having his starting right tackle, etc.
9. Will Rocky McIntosh play more? We thought he would play some and he did. He actually made one nice play, getting off a block and assisting on a tackle. He actually looked more comfortable than he did a week ago. We'd like to see even more of him this week and in the finale. They clearly want to build his confidence by playing him in spots and allowing him to be successful. But letting him fail will also help him down the road. Again, at 5-9, what difference does it make.
the Redskins win? Here's
what we said: ‘'Hey, we're not Santa Claus; we can't deliver this type of
gift.'' And we thought the Saints would win, 31-17. If you're honest, you had
to agree with us. But shows how little we really know about picking games.
Maybe the Saints had nothing left, but give the Redskins credit for how well
they played, especially defensively.