Nickel Package 1. Shaun Suisham.
He was named the NFC's Special Teams Player of the
Week today after kicking five field goals in the win over New York.
Suisham had missed three of his last five field goals before this game.
But one thing that stands out with Suisham is his ability to stay calm.
When the Jets called time before the final kick, he never moved towards
the ball. And he always has a sly smile when being interviewed. He's a
tough-minded customer. However, his kickoffs have been way too short.
They don't always have to reach the end zone, but he's too often
landing them around the 13-yard line. He's giving teams good field
2. Clinton Portis.
He was finally able to get in a rhythm during a game
and that's important for plays like this: on a second-and-1, he started
right and cut back left for a 32-yard gain. Portis said he had noticed
something the Jets were doing backside, by listening to teammates and
by looking at pictures on the sideline. But the point was this: the
more plays you run, the more chances to figure out what the D is doing.
Can they keep it up? Sunday will tell an awful lot. The Jets have a
horrific run defense, but it's not as if the Eagles' D is playing at a
high level now, either. Two strong games running the ball in a row
would help gather momentum.
3. Jason Campbell.
Yes, he's stagnated the past three games and seems
to be regressing. But let's cut him some slack: we've seen him play
better and we've also seen what he's playing with. The offensive line
is still a question mark on the right side. And the wideouts have not
helped. Finally, Santana Moss seems to be coming out of his funk and
was open by a couple yards on a deep ball that barely missed. But the
Redskins do not have any receiver playing at a No. 1 level now. It's
not often that you see guys wide open. Campbell needs to be more
accurate and has flaws, but the problems in the passing game are many.
The Redskins returned to blitzing against the Jets and it
was fun to watch them set it up. Take the time when LaRon Landry
drilled Kellen Clemens in the helmet. On the play, Landry was about
seven yards off the ball by the left hash. Two seconds before the snap,
he looked to his right where Sean Taylor started towards the line of
scrimmage. The back, who was on Landry's side, clearly was distracted
by this movement. He did not notice Landry taking off a second later
and instead crossed the QB's face to get to Taylor on the other side.
That left a path for Landry. The kid knows how to blitz well from his
days under Nick Saban at LSU. And the Redskins know how to set him up.
With eight games remaining, it's now officially time to
start thinking playoffs. At 5-3, do the Redskins have a legit shot? Of
course. In the NFC, most teams do. As of now, their main competition
for a wild card berth (assuming Dallas wins the NFC East) would be: the
Giants, New Orleans/Tampa Bay and Green Bay/Detroit. Two of those teams
will enter as a division winner. It's hard to imagine Carolina staying
in the race and Chicago has shown little sign of life. Arizona is not
basically three games behind the Skins because of the tiebreaker. So
it's really four teams for two spots at this point. The Redskins have
plenty of sins, but so do those teams. It'll likely come down to
health; and the Redskins haven't shown they can stay healthy this year.
They'll need better luck with that in the second half.
Nickel Package: 5 Current Redskins Topics
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