1) Exactly how much has the death of Sean Taylor affected the Skins?
Clearly a great deal, but the past week or so has been much more normal; ever since Taylor's funeral. The locker room seems fairly normal. Taylor is never far from thought, not with his locker encased in Plexiglas. But the team has rebounded as well as could be expected.
2) What's one thing the general public doesn't know about that situation or has it all been covered?
A couple things, though some of it may be known that certain players are angry about the coverage and how some initial reports suggested his lifestyle contributed to the murder. Fred Smoot is not talking to the media as much for that reason (though the people who wrote those things do not cover the team). Also, I think what impressed me was the range of teammates who had a Taylor story. It wasn't just his defensive teammates; it was just about everyone, from aging offensive linemen to young guys.
3) Is there anything good to report about QB Todd Collins? All we hear is how awful he is...
Who knows? The guy hasn't played in so long it's really hard to know what he has. He looked great against the Bears, but let's see how he does after a week's worth of prep for a team who knows he's playing. What Collins does well is get rid of the ball fast and on time, hitting receivers before or just as they cut. But he's immobile and has very little arm strength. If there's a pass rush, he'll be in trouble. But he is able to hit the ‘hots' better than Jason Campbell did.
4) Do the Redskins really believe they can pull off the unthinkable and make the playoffs by winning their last three?
If they do they're quite alone. They know they have a chance, but I also think they know it would be extremely difficult considering all the injuries they've endured. But they're drawing on the 5-game winning streak to close 2005. The difference? Health. They were much healthier that year.
5) Who wins this game and why?
The Giants. I learned my lesson long ago that big games in New York involving these teams go the Giants way. I'm not sold on the Giants, but the Redskins must protect Collins and run the ball well. I'm not confident they can do that. And they must contain Plaxico with a much different secondary they had than in the first meeting.
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