For those who read my last blog about Grossman (Redskins Start With Grossman) you’ll note I kind of predicted this last weekend’s performance.
For the game, Grossman was 21 of 34 (62% completion) for 305 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions (though one was close) and one fumble. While Antrel Rolle may whine about how the Giants would beat the Redskins “95 out of 100 times” Rolle has failed to recognize that we didn’t beat New York because our offense was better; we beat them because our defense was.
That’s what everyone seems to be missing.
Grossman has put up a combined 641 yards and four touchdowns against big blue in the two games he’s faced them wearing the burgundy and gold. While Grossman may have only put up over 300 yards passing four times in his eight year career, three of those times have been with the Redskins and all of those have been against divisional opponents (once versus Dallas and twice now versus the Giants). Even though he had similar number versus the Giants last year the Redskins still lost that game.
The difference this year was clearly a better defense.
The number one improvement on defense, moreso than the addition of any particular player, was how the defense was called. In previous years, once the Redskins got a lead, they would switch to a prevent defense. The “bend; don’t break” style that has been popular (for God knows why) since Gregg Williams was here. This always allowed teams to march right down the field and into scoring position.
Now to be fair, Gregg’s red-zone defense was tops in the league when he did it, but every year since it only allowed us to let games slip away.
This year, the Redskins took a new approach. Instead of giving Eli Manning all day to torture Reed Doughty and recover their lead, the Redskins seemed to turn up the pressure on Eli as the game went on.
So, let’s look ahead. The Redskins’ next opponent is Arizona. Anybody think Arizona is in any way better than the Giants? Yeah, me neither. Rookie QB Cam Newton put up 422 passing yards with no running game. The Panthers handed the ball off half as many times as they aired it out. Newton got the team’s only rushing touchdown.
As for Arizona’s offense, Kolb couldn’t beat the Redskins when he had the Philadelphia Eagles around him last year. Kolb was 22 of 35 for 201 yards passing against the Redskins and the league’s second worst defense last year. In reality it was the Redskins that cost Kolb his job in Philly as he was carted off the field injured and Michael Vick never looked back.
In short, I don’t think Kolb is better than Eli Manning. I don’t think Chris Wells is better than Brandon Jacobs or Ahmad Bradshaw. I will say that Todd Heap and Larry Fitzgerald are better than any of the Giants’ receivers but a double team of Hall and Atogwe should take Fitzgerald away (or at least lessen his effect, he’s a helluva receiver), and Heap (when he’s not trying to keep Kolb from getting killed) is going up against Orakpo, McIntosh, Fletcher and Kerrigan so I like our chances there.
The Redskins could be looking at their first 2-0 start since 2007. I wonder if ESPN is starting to second guess their 3-13 prediction?
It seems like forever since I’ve said this, but I can’t wait for Sunday!