Monday, September 19, 2011
Skins beat Cards!
It went down to the wire but the Skins pulled out the win. We dominated the first half but for a variety of reasons the score was close. The Cards took the lead in the fourth and we had to fight back. What you love to see is that in previous years, the Skins would find ways to lose games and yesterday we found a way to win. A huge change in mindset and play and a great comeback win. It's these types of victories that help shape a team. Here are some of the keys/highlights:
1. Running game on track: Both Hightower and Helu had great games as they combined for 170 yards rushing. Helu is quickly becoming a fan favorite as the crowd cheered him with a Hel-UUUUUUUU after each of his carries. He had great vision and ran hard. Hightower was also very good at hitting the holes and running hard. They both did well in picking up the blitzes.
2. O line was very good: By and large the O line was very good as the Cards were coming early and often with the blitzes. Rexy had good protection most of the day and only took one sack. As mentioned, the running game was awesome and the line deserves much of the credit for creating some good holes. A much better performance over last week.
3. Fred Davis: He seems to quickly becoming a favorite target for Grossman. As mentioned last week, he has slimmed down and is more of a receiver type and can create good mismatches with those that try to cover him. He led the team in catches and had himself another TD.
4. Grossman was solid: Started out shaky as his INT in on the five yard line was a bad throw. Looked like it was going to shape up to be Bad Rexy but he came back and had himself a decent game. He had a number of balls tipped which was scary but he made the throws when he needed to and none bigger than the 4th and 3 TD pass to Moss in the fourth quarter. Wasn't as good as last week but certainly a solid performance. His second INT was neither his nor Armstrong's fault as Armstrong's shirt was grabbed and he wasn't able to get both hands on the ball resulting in Armstrong tipping it up and getting picked.
5. KERRAKPO!!!: Kerrigan and Osakpo each came away with their first sacks of the season. Both played extremely well. Kerrigan is quickly becoming a force on the defense. Love the tandem.
6. Defense: Great defense. We put Kolb under good pressure much of the game. Fletcher was solid on blitzes and had the INT. Outside the one deep TD to Fitz, he was largely in check. Another solid performance by a D that was ranked last in the NFL last season. As I mentioned, much of the offseason/preseason, with the moves the Skins made in the offseason, this is really where you wanted to see improvement.
7. Red Zone offense needs to improve: We dominated the first half in time of possession and yardage but could not get TDs. We have to learn to put some of these away. I am confident this will come but that certainly is an area that will have to improve.
Gano did have one FG blocked but it wasn't his fault. He ended up making the game winner but every time he is out there, I am holding my breath. It will take some time for me to get comfortable with him. Also, Banks was very good. He is a game changer as he had good kick and punt returns giving us much better field position. Gone are the days of Randle-El hopping around in place and then hitting the deck before anyone touches him. HUGE improvement.
Good victory that is character building and it's back to work today (that one is for you Robs). The win coupled with the Eagles loss last night puts the Skins in first place in the East. It also sets up a Monday night showdown against the Cowboys in Dallas. Loved that the crowd started chanting "WE WANT DALLAS!"