|01/11/2013 - Fairfax, VA 1-11-13
After 30 seasons, the Hogettes® are hanging up our pig snouts & dresses.
It has been an honor being a part of the greatest 12th Man fans in the NFL.
We will forever be Redskins’ fans and cheer for our beloved team.
It is a new era and we will continue to support RG3 and his teammates.
HAIL TO THE REDSKINS!!!
We will also continue to help (incognito) raise money for Children’s Charities.
01/03/2013 - Fairfax, Virginia, December 31st, 2012
The Skins win! The Skins win! The Skins win! And beat those dasteredly Cowboys, 28-18...the Skins are the 2012 NFC East Champions...How sweet it is!!! FedEx was rockin'. The Skins' fans had plenty to root about. Morris rushed for 200 yds against the Cowboys in the biggest game of the year for both teams; winner makes the playoffs, loser goes home. Let me say that again, Morris - 200 yds. That is fantastic...that is unbelievable. How about that offensive line. Nobody knows who these guys are, but they had an incredible year - Number one rushing offense in the NFL, that is impressive for a bunch of no-names. A couple of dings, but they were able to play a majority of the season as a unit. This is a basic ingredient for the team to be successful. Another must that happened was the defense played better and made big plays late in the season. When Jackson intercepted that Romo pass late in the 4th quarter, that was a "huge" electric moment in FedEx history - 70,000+ Skins fans went bananas. How sweet that was. The other fabulous rookie played great (but hurt) against the Cowboys. The passing game was down (well defensed), but he had some key runs and was able to get out of bounds or down before getting clobbered. He ran the option play with incredible deception (I was kinda surprised how the Coyboy's defense played the option - the D-ends did not whack the Qbk - the free shot that scares me.). To finish the 3-6 season with seven straight wins was incredible, what a ride. Congratulations to the players (and coaches) for this great season. This team had a "focus - to win" that we have not seen in years here in D.C. It is amazing how "winning" changes coaches from "goats" to "genius'". The Shanahan's and Coach Haslett all of a sudden can coach. It always makes me laugh. Coaches need talented players to win, there is no substitute to that fact. After that, the coaches need to put their players in positions to make plays to win. This season the Skins' coaches did a fine job, especially on the D-side after some key injuries, of putting good players in position to make great plays. A 10-6 season and the NFC East Championship is a wonderous achievement and the Skins fans are very thankful and appreciative of our team. And now comes the playoff game here at FedEx against a talented Seahawks team. The Skins owe these guys. Until next time...Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette
12/19/2012 - Fairfax, Virginia, December 10th, 2012:
How about those Redskins!!! The team started its fourth four-game season yesterday with a rousing OT win over the very capable 9-3 Ravens, 31-28. Led by the sensational rookie Qbk and the sensational rookie running back, the team has won four games in a row, pulling their season to 7-6, three straight over the Eagles, Cowboys, & Giants (That has not happened in a long while.). Let me be honest with you, standing there next to my daughter and son-in-law with 4:45 left in the game, the Skins returning a kickoff after the Ravens had gone up, 28-21, on a very short field, seeing the ball lying free on the ground, I was feeling our chances of pulling this game out were slim-to-none. But the Ravens could not control the ball before going out of bounds, so the Skins kept possession…and had a chance.
Then came the clutch drive that is the foundation of legends. RGIII completed some nice passes, one a critical third down play to keep the drive alive, then hurt his knee on a good (but ill advised) run. In came the other rookie Qbk Kirk Cousins, who completed a nice pass. Robert came back in and completed two more passes, basically off one leg…took himself out and Cousins completed the nice TD pass to a wide-open Gracon in the corner of the end zone (why was he so open???)…tie game - OT. The defense came up with another key stop in OT, some kid named Crawford ran the punt back 64 yards to get the Skins in field goal range. After a couple of running plays, in came Forbath who kicked his 14th straight FG (has not missed all season – unbelievable) to win the game. The House (FedEx) went crazy. This team is a fighting unit that doesn’t give up. Now we can only hope Robert did not hurt his knee too badly.
It has been a fabulous month, winning four straight. It’s amazing what a cure “winning” is. All of a sudden Shanahan & son are geniuses. The execution on the field has improved 100%. Now it doesn’t take three scores to get one TD (two nullified by penalties). Alfred Morris has turned into a solid running back, albeit he needs to stop the fumbling. And of course, Robert is Robert. All of this is possible because of two major changes: the defense has come up with big stops late in games, which is a new experience for too many years. And two, the O-line (who are these guys???) is playing great. The five guys: Williams, Lichtensteiger, Montgomery, Chester, and Polumbus are playing at a high level as a unit. Without these five guys blocking well, the team would be in its usual struggle. The forgotten guys in the trenches are gaining their due. Until next time…Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette
09/24/2012 - Fairfax, Virginia, September 9th, 2012
When you are stuck getting IV treatment in an ER for a bacteria infection, you turn to modern communications technology to keep real-time track of how the Skins are doing against the SAINTS in New Orleans (N.O.). This THE GAME: Robert Griffin’s & the New Skins first NFL game (that counts), you really do not want to miss it, no matter what. So using ‘text messages’ only on cell phones, the guys kept me up-to-date on the happenings on the field. Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it;
Time: Description of What’s Happening on the Field:
2:52 (E.S.T.) Skins 20, Saints 14…Saints scored on a blocked punt just before half time (LIT – Richmond, VA)
2:55 27 – 14 (LIT)
3:31 Skins gave Saints (1st down) on pass interference on the 8 (LIT)
3:32 Saints had to settle for a FG (LIT)
3:38 30-17 (George (BG) in the Super Dome at The GAME with Mikette, our Missing Link from L.A.)
3:40 Saints gave the Skins a 1st down on a 4th and 5, having 12 men on the field. Just started the 4th quarter (LIT)
Note: This is a huge play for the Skins…it moved the chains and kept Brees & Co. off the field.
3:49 Skins got FG, now 33 – 14 (LIT)
3:52 Sorry, Saints have 17 (LIT)
4:01 Saints have 5th time – 3 & out (LIT) (Note: Way to go Skins’ Defense)
4:13 4th & 10 and the Saints score a TD! And then get a 2 pt conversion: Yuck! (LIT)
4:21 Skins intercept and take the ball to the 3!! Yeah!!! (LIT)
4:21 3:23 left in the game!! (LIT)
4:23 Skins score on a 3-yd run…40-25 (LIT)
4:30 (Saints) 1st & goal on the 1 yd line (LIT)
4:31 2nd and goal! (LIT)
4:31 3rd and goal! (LIT)
4:32 4th and goal! (LIT)
4:34 Saints score! Down by 8 with 2:25 to go! (LIT)
4:46 We won 40-32! Yeah!! (LIT)
5:19 Get well Quick! Stop trying to compete with me (LIT)
6:58 Great game. So glad I came and real glad George (BG) made it! Hail VICTORY!!! (Mike Wade)
9:13 We won and record between 4.5 & 2.3 M (million) new photo ops…Please!!! (BG)
That was one heck of a ball game and an ingenious way to be kept abreast of the action, minus a radio or a T.V.
Until next time…Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette
09/06/2012 - September 1, 2012, Fairfax, VA
O.K., Boys & Girls (Skins’ fans everywhere), it’s been a while since I dropped a snow flake on you all…and of course nothing significant has happened in Skins’ Country since then…A couple of new ‘rookie’ Qbks, a new kicker, so long to Capt Chaos, etc., etc., etc…. The team selection process is over. I think of the 53-man NFL Team (The ‘ultimate” team sport, with many different talents and skills…being similar to a submarine crew, I.e., each guy has to know how to execute as many of the other guys jobs as possible, so that injuries do not wipe out the team’s chances to reach their collective ultimate goal – the SB.) We now have the 2012 Washington Redskins’ team. It’s very sad to see Captain Chaos’ Redskins’ career come to the end. In his ‘Hey Day’, he had DB’s bouncing off him like he was a “Running Tree Trunk”; it really made me laugh…and when he scored three touchdowns against the Dallas-based “Big Tuna”, that is a really sweet memory. I suspect, true to our recent history, Capt. Chaos will be picked up by another talented team and end up winning a Super Bowl ring before the Skins sniff that altitude. Capt. Chaos had the big three against him: age (30 is old in this league), injuries (they slow the player down…loose a step), & big salary. We may not have liked some of the decisions made; but rest assure, Mr. Allen & Coach Shanahan, are being paid to ‘win’, so I trust they have given it their 110% best effort to field the best football team they can muster. These two gents are pros at winning. They both have Super Bowl (SB) rings; they both know what it takes, they know they need the best players available to even have a chance to compete to get to the SB. I think that is what got Gano; when Cundiff hit the street, you notice our guys jumped on him in a flash, before anyone else could reach for their wallet. Besides, Cundiff had to get out of Baltimore. You can’t miss a chip-shot FG that gave his team a chance to play in the SB and not be done in that town. It’s just so tough for all to get over that one, no matter why the kick was missed; poor snap, poor hold, blinked on the foot pass at the ball (feet had no eyes); whatever, the kicker gets all of the blame. It’s hard for a man to live in the town where he is, “The Goat for Life.” Now the Skins have a grateful, talented kicker who hopefully will help the team win many games in the Skins’ future. So far I like what I see out at Redskins’ Park; what our player-brain trust has been doing; two-talented rookie Qbks, a veteran Qbk who knows the O-System and is capable of running out onto the field in the last two minutes of a game and helping win it; I love the Running-by-Committee; three runners, with different styles, who can pass block and cut off a block and make yards & first downs in this league. Just a note: My oldest boy and I saw Royster play as a high school freshman (14). You could tell then he was a special player. He had a wonderful career at Penn State (I hope he earned
01/04/2012 - Philadelphia, PA.
Our Skins closed out the 2011 season with a road trip to the City of Brotherly Love. The Skins were basically three-and-out the first four times they got a hold of the ball, and really didn't get an offensive rhythm going (making third down plays) until the second half. The Skins missed a chance for a long TD pass early (a defender waved his arm in front of Moss' face to cause a drop). In the meantime, the defense played pretty well, held the Eagles to a FG when Rocca made a poor punt to give them a short field and held the Eagles to 13 points through three quarters; only trailing 13-7. One play and the Skins could have been in the lead during a typically scrappy game with them. Now, I normally do not complain about the refs, but this crew was poor. And the dumb actions by the Skins' players compounded the poor calls. Moss got mugged on the goal line, with a no-call, that would have put the Skins at first and goal, if it had been called right. Instead, Moss got hot and took his helmet off; automatic 15-yard penalty and a blocked FG attempt, the Skins' fifth of the season. There have only been 28 blocked FGs for the entire NFL this year, so the Skins accounted for almost 20% of them...unbelievable. Then the Skins mismanaged the game clock at the end of the first half, after they had forced a fumble on the Eagles' 17-yard line on a nice play by Orakpo - no points. Orakpo hurt himself tackling Vick on the play, thus ending his playing for the 2011 season. The Skins' defensive unit went south with him. The Skins fought back in the 3rd Qtr, controlling the ball for over ten minutes. They got a nice 47-yard screen pass for a TD by a hurt Helu...In fact, Royster and the O-line had a nice running day, gaining over 100 yards. But then the Skins' celebrated the TD too much and got a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff...really dumb when you are a 4-11 team and behind...Just hand the ball to the Ref and go back to the bench and work on figuring out how to score again. Too many of the Skins' players really need to learn how to be professionals after they get their job done. But, when Doughty got penalized for tackling a receiver, you had to figure this was a "Home Cooked Meal" kind of game. On top of that, the Skins' defense folded up their tent, allowing the Eagles to score three TDs in the 4th Qtr, and making it look easy; the Skins were done, 34-10. The Skins defense was supposed to be so improved this season; over the last five games, the Skins gave up 34, 34, 33, and 34 points in the four loses. For a team that usually scored less than 21 points a game, this was definitely a losing formula. I wish I could be more hopeful, but the Skins need to show me they have the players who will team up, be professional, and figure out a way to win on a bad day. Until then, it's the same-old same-old, scoring FGs (maybe) when they need TDs and finding a way, across the board, to lose games. The Skins were last in the NFC East, for the fourth year in a row. That is who the
12/27/2011 - Washington, D.C.
The 2-12 Vikings came to town to take on our 5-10 Skins in a game nobody cared about except Skins’ fans and Vikings’ fans. Hopefully someday, the Skins will again play games in December that count toward a playoff berth; but not this year. Unfortunately this was a typical Skins game at FedEx seen too often in recent years. Lots of empty seats for a Christmas Eve game, but the Skins’ fans who did post were into the game, rooting heartily for the home team. The Vikings caught the first break on a missed block, Grossman was stripped of the ball, and the Vikings recovered the fumble on the Skins’ 20. The Skins’ defense was tough, allowing only two yards, so the Vikings converted a FG. The Skins were three & out, and the Vikings marched down the field 68 yds in 13 plays and scored a TD to take a 10-0 lead. Oh boy, here we go again, the FedEx curse…But the Skins got the kickoff and went 60 yds in seven plays to score a TD, the Vikings missed a FG, and the Skins went down the field in 11 plays, didn’t get the TD, but kicked a FG to tie the game at the half. In the first series of the second half, the Vikings wonderful running back, Adrian Peterson, blew out his ACL, and the Vikings’ QB got knocked out of the game. So guess what the Vikings did after that? Their next three possessions – TD, TD, TD. The Skins went FG, TD, FG and with less than eight minutes left in the game, scored a 68-yd TD on a nifty double reverse to Banks, but alas, it was called back on a holding penalty. The very next play, Grossman overthrew his receiver and the Vikings intercepted (first one in like five games) and returned the ball to the Skins’ 24-yard line. They ran the clock down, got the ball to the Skins’ 5, and kicked a FG to go up by ten with four minutes left in the game. The Skins got the ball, went half the length of the field in ten hurry-up plays and kicked another FG, to get within seven. The Skins held the Vikings to two yards and got the punt, but had to go 74 yards in 55 seconds to score the tying TD. They couldn’t do it, game over. By the way, the player who replaced Peterson, Gerhart, ran the ball 11 times for 109 yards and the back-up QB, Webb, was 4-for-5 passing for 84 yds and two TDs, and a perfect QB rating of 158.3, whatever that means. So much for the 2011 FedEx season. The Skins’ travel to Philadelphia, who knocked off the Cowboys this past weekend, this week to play on New Year’s Eve, in a game you hope all of the players are able to get out of without any injuries.
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF ‘98
12/20/2011 - Meadowlands, New Jersey.
The Skins win! The Skins win!! The Skins win at their place, the Skins beat the Giants 23-10 to sweep them for the first time since 1999. Frankly, what a pleasant surprise. And the Skins put the "wood" to the Giants all day, they beat them in the trenches and the Skins skill players made plays, a lot of plays. It started out a little rough, throwing long passes into the wind led to two interceptions early. I'm not sure the coaches adapt their game plan for playing conditions, but when you win, I guess it's a moot point. Along with out-playing the Giants, a team that had everything to gain by winning this game in the play-off hunt, and hitting them hard all over the field, the Skins did something they haven't done for a while; they made third down plays, a lot of them. This allowed them to keep drives alive and keep Eli and the Giants' offense off the field. Manning had just as much trouble throwing into the wind as Grossman, which was good for the Skins, allowing two interceptions; one an excellent tipped-ball interception that was run back a nice distance. The third interception was in the end zone. I love interceptions in the end zone, it denies the other team points when they are on the verge of maybe getting back into the game with a touchdown and it really has a deflating affect on their psychic. The Skins running game was a little off, which is not unusual against the Giants' defense, but it was smart and consistently executed when it needed some yards. For example, the fullback got a running touchdown, very cool. The other distinction about this game was the Skins' players made plays! It is incredible how much more successful a team is when their players "make plays". All of the planning and strategy and bad play-calling don't mean a hill of beans when your players "make plays". The Skins took this game away from the Giants. Looking at the game summary, the Giants ended nine of their 11 drives with a punt, punt, punt, interception, punt, interception, missed FG, interception, and downs; now that is putting it to them. The only trouble is, two things; the Cowboys benefited, which is too bad, and the Skins high draft position gets lowered. Both are too bad, but will need to be faced because beating the Giants there, and sweeping them for the year is sweet for the Skins' fans, and I suspect for the team, too. Now the McNabb-less Vikings come to town on Christmas Eve featuring one of the best running backs in the league, and a poor record. Hopefully the Skins will figure out a way to win (nice Christmas present) and traffic won't be bad.
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
12/13/2011 - Washington, D.C.
Oh, so close...The Skins battled the powerful Pats right down to the wire, but came up short in an entertaining game that kept the fans rootin' until the last 20 seconds of the game. Final score: Pats 34 Skins 27. It started out ugly, the Skins' second possession ended with Andre Carter (ex-Redskin - why do these guys come back to haunt us every time?) sacking Grossman in the end zone, stripping the ball, touchdown Pats. Brady didn't even have to throw a ball and they were up 7-0. The Skins followed that with an 11-play drive, but couldn't come up with a TD in the Red Zone, kicking a very short FG (This has happen way too many times this year). The Skins and the Pats traded FGs and TDs to end the first half tied, 20-20. When was the last time the Skins scored 20 points in a half? One of the TD's was very slick; a double reverse pass by Banks to Moss, who made a couple of nifty moves to avoid getting tackled for a 49-yard TD. Nice, well executed play. The Pats primary offensive weapon was a bruiser (real) tight-end Gronkowski, a huge load at 6'6", 280 lbs monster with good hands and pretty good speed who had a habit of running down the middle of the field and catching TD passes (two for this game, 17 for the season now, I believe). But those plays didn't really define his quality of play (although on one, he did run out of Kerrigan's grasp for a score). He had a short crossing pattern where he caught the ball, fell down, nobody touched him, got up, ran over two d-backs, and ran for another 20 yards before being tackled by a host of guys. What a moose, the best we've seen at that position all year. Brady was off with his very short Red Zone TD passes, missing one and throwing an interception (first one in over 200 passes) on another, but he is the ultimate pocket quarterback; He stands in the pocket flat-footed and delivers the perfect pass for the situation 95% of the time. No 'happy feet' on this guy, but when he needs to, he slides or steps up quickly and gets rid of the ball. He is fun to watch. The Pats weakness is an average defensive unit; the Skins got over 460 yards of offense, but it wasn't enough to overcome the offense power of the Pats. I must say though, I was like many who thought the Pats would come into FedEx (a place they have never won in) and score as many points as they wanted and blow out the Skins...but that was definitely not the case. The Skins were competitive...and entertaining. In the end though, they found a way to lose. With three games to go in the 2011 season, I guess it is time to look to 2012. It sure would be nice to see them beat the Giants and the Eagles to close out this season. The Giants this week in the Meadowlands.
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
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12/06/2011 - Washington, D.C.
Well, what can you say? The Skins hosted the Jets at FedEx, played them tough for 53 minutes, even had the lead, then let them off the hook. The Jets rattled off three touchdowns to blow the game wide open. It was like the Skins shutdown in the last seven minutes of the game. Very disappointing. The game started off well for the home team; receiving the opening kickoff, marching down the field with balanced running and passing (I'm not sure they had a third down play in the drive?), and scoring on a solid two-yard run. Bingo, bango, bongo, 7-0. The Skins even recovered a muffed punt late in the second quarter, for an 18-yd short field, but had to settle for another FG, unable to score a TD. So the Skins retained the lead, 13-10, but failed to knock the Jets out with TD's instead of FG's. Then the second half started, and things headed "South" in a hurry. It seems like the Skins run the same running plays early in the second half, which get "stuffed" by the opponent, who has made the necessary adjustments at halftime. What's with that??? The Skins second half was three and out, three and out, two plays and a fumble, punt, punt, fumble, interception, and a couple of FGs. After the first FG in the second half, the Skins had a 16-13 lead, then the Skins' Brain Trust seemed to have gotten too smart: with 7:52 to go in the game, the Skins attempted something called a "Bloop" kickoff; a high, short kick that possibly allows the kickoff team a chance at the ball. This from a kicker who constantly kicks the ball through the end zone. Gano kicked the ground first and instead of a "high", "short" kick, he had a "low", "short" kick the Jets returned to about the 50-yard line. Five plays later, the Jets hit a pretty 51-yard bomb, to start the scoring avalanche; two plays - TD, one play - TD. And so the game ended with too many Jets fans hollering their J-E-T-S cheer in FedEx. This was on a day the Giants and Cowboys both lost; and with the Eagles losing the Thursday before, it could have been a huge boost for the Skins and their fans if they had held tough against a beatable Jets team. But, alas, this team seems to find ways to lose games...it's depressing. Now the high-flying Pats come to town this week. Let's play the game and see where it lies at the end of this coming Sunday.
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
11/30/2011 - Seattle, Washington.
Our 3-7 Skins traveled over 3,000 miles to take on the 4-6 Seahawks in a cold, rainy, loud, hostile stadium. Side note: Larry Michael, et al (the radio guys) said the crowd noise was being piped in during the game. Really?!? What a bunch of phonies. The teams got into a fight during the coin toss. The Seahawks made a huge, strategic mistake getting the Skins players riled up before the game even started. It showed throughout the game. The Skins won the toss and got the ball. Interesting the Seahawks' chose the wrong end of the field because at the end of the game, they were going against the wind. The Skins proceeded to march down the field on a 14-play, 80-yd drive, and made a nice TD pass on a play with two open receivers. The drive consumed almost eight minutes. The Skins had the ball for almost 12:30 minutes of the first quarter, Grossman was 12 for 13, but the score was only 7-0. Sure enough, early in the second quarter, Grossman threw an interception, giving the ball to the Seahawks on the Skins 20...one play, tie game. The Skins had a FG attempt blocked, another interception, and a couple of punts found themselves down two scores, 17-7, early in the fourth quarter, our usual situation this season. Here we go again. But then Skins' players started making plays. It is always good when players make plays. Helu made an excellent 28-yd TD run, hurtling one tackler and bouncing off another would-be tackler. The Seahawks were terrible tacklers. Then Grossman got some good protection (decent all day), slid up in the pocket nicely, and lofted a sweet (and perfect) 50-yd TD pass to single-covered Anthony Armstrong for the Skins' first bomb-TD pass of this long season. In a cold, wet, and windy stadium, this was a heck of a pass and catch. The Skins up 20-17, after the Seahawks blocked another kick. The Skins' kicking-line blocking got blown up in this game. Then the Skins defense did something they haven't done in a long time. They got stops. They held the Seahawks to -5, -1, -4, and an interception their last four possessions. Now that would really be cool if they could do that again this week against the JETS here at FedEx.
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
11/23/2011 - Washington, D.C.
The Boys came to town riding high after a big win over the Bills last week. The Bills had shut us out several weeks ago. Our 3-6 Skins looked like easy pickings for them. Frankly, I thought we were going to get hammered. That’s why it’s good they have to play the game. Not only did the Skins fight them tooth-and-nail, they overcame some stuff and almost pulled off one of the best upsets ever at FedEx. But alas, it was not to be, the Boys prevailed in OT, 27-24, with a 39-yd FG that went right over the right up-right (was it good or was it not good???...it was called good, so it was good). I was proud of the way the Skins players fought the dastardly Cowboys. The Boys first TD was a gift. I could not believe the refs’ call on a Davis fumble…They even reviewed it and still blew it. There was tape that showed Davis had possession of the ball with his knee on the ground. Somebody is going to have to explain that one to me. Anyway, three plays later the Cowboys were leading 7-0. The Skins punted four times in a row and did not look very good on offense. But the Skins defense played tough, forcing two punts before giving up a 37-yd FG. The Skins offense then started clicking (although the running game is non-existent) and scored two solid TD’s before the half, to lead in a game for the first time since St. Louis on October 2nd. That is a long time ago. The Skins run defense was great, holding the Boys’ running to under 90 yards. That’s winning football. But, the defense just cannot seem to come up with a key stop late in the game when they really need one. The Skins did make a stop with 5:35 left and got the ball on their own 11. They then rattled off 12 plays culminated with a very slick end zone sideline Grossman pass to Stallworth, who did a great job of dragging his feet and catching a well-defended but perfectly thrown pass: Tie game – Overtime. The Skins won the toss, had to start at their own 18, drove down the field, but could not get any closer than the Boys’; 34. Gano had missed a 48-ydr in the third Qtr, after a really nice Banks’ punt return. It would have been a great FG to have made. Now he was faced with a 52-ydr (no chip shot) with all of the pressure on him. He had to have only missed it by less than a foot. The Boys got the ball, made some key pass plays (Romo is tough.), and got the ball close enough to make the winning FG. They got out of Dodge, sweating bullets, with a very tough win. Entertaining game to watch, would have been a great game to have won. The Skins will get ‘em next year. Our guys travel to Seattle this week, always a tough place to bring home a win from…;
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF ‘98
11/16/2011 - Miami, Florida
The 3-5 Skins traveled to southern Florida to take on the 1-7 Miami Dolphins, in a game nobody cared about except Skins' fans and Dolphins' fans. The Dolphins were favored to win this game by 4 1/2 points, that is poor for the Skins. I was surprised Rex Grossman was tagged to start at Qbk. I thought Coach Shanahan would stick with Beck to see if he could turn the corner. It sounds like when the coach found out Brown could not start at right tackle, he opted to go with the more experienced Qbk. Frankly, I don't think it really matters which of these two Qbks play, but that is just my opinion. And right now, I have a better feeling the Skins players feel like they have a better chance to win with Grossman in there. The game started out pretty much on par, the Skins received the opening kickoff and went three and out. The Dolphins got the ball to the Skins' 45 on the punt and took it in for the TD. The Skins got the ball back, but missed a fairly long FG. The Skins got the ball right back on a good interception and had a very nice short field (five yards), but had a TD run nullified by a penalty; then kicked a FG. The teams traded FG's in the second and third quarters, so the Skins trailed 13-9 in the fourth. Grossman was having a decent game, with good rhythm and making some nice throws. The Skins were moving the chains. The Skins got the ball back on their 41, with a minute left in the third and started a nice drive to maybe take the lead in this game. They got down to the ten, but then a receiver went behind a defender, Grossman threw the ball too quickly, interception. I was sitting there wondering, "Why are we passing on a crowded, short field?" On thinking back, after the game, I answered my own question; In the first quarter, the Skins went -3 yards running the ball on the same spot on the field, so that didn't seem to work either. The Dolphins then managed to drive 81 yards and score a Bush running TD to ice the game. The Skins' defense played a pretty good game overall, but when the team needed a "stop", they always seem to come up dry. Until the Skins can generate a decent running game, their chances of winning are slim to none. So the Dolphins covered the points and the Skins went down to their fifth loss in a row. So much for this season. Now the Skins take on the Cowboys at FedEx, who beat up on the Bills, 44-7, Sunday, the team that handed Shanahan his first ever shutout in the NFL several weeks ago. Oh, me, it ain't good in River City, but, they need to play the game; who knows what'll happen.
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
11/08/2011 - Washington, D.C.
The Skins went down to their fourth loss in a row to the 49ers, 19-11 at FedEx. The Skins were hanging pretty tough for most of the first half until an unfortunate fumble by the rookie running back Helu with 69 seconds left gave the ball to the 49ers on the Skins' 30-yard line. One play, bang, touchdown made the score 13-0. The Skins would have had six quarters in a row of scoreless football except for a Redskins' record 59-yard FG by Gano with no time left in the half. That was the only bright spot on offense for most of the game. It seemed like whenever the Skins got some offensive momentum going, they'd make a stupid penalty that would stop them in their tracks. They didn't sniff the Red Zone until in the last two minutes of the game. They did score a TD and a two-point conversion, to get the score to 19-11. Now, if they had recovered the ensuing perfect on-sides kickoff, things could have gotten really interesting. But alas, they didn't, game over. The Skins' defense held the vaulted 49ers' running game to less than 140 yards - an improvement against one of the better running games in the league. But the Skins' running game produced a meager 52 yards; which is illustrative of the poor shape of the Skins' O-line. The Skins' passing game was pretty much confined to short and safety-valve passes. The longest passing play was a ric-a-shay ball off a 49ers' helmet that went for 17 yards. I wondered at the time why Beck hadn't thrown the ball directly to the receiver who caught that volley ball? I did not realize the rookie Helu caught 14 passes in this game, breaking Hall of Famer Art Monk's Redskins' single-game receiving record, until after the game. I'm happy for the kid and Beck, but, until Beck works his way out of his rookie-Qbk status, I'm afraid we are in for a long spell of gaining experience and losing more games. It's hard to be competitive with a rookie Qbk. This week the Skins travel to Miami who won their first game of the season on Sunday. Let's hope the Skins' figure out a way to score more points than the 1-7 Dolphins.
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
11/02/2011 - Toronto, Canada.
The Redskins traveled to our northern neighbors to take on the Buffalo Bills and laid a goose egg, getting beat 23 to zip, they say Coach Shanahan’s first NFL shutout ever. Wow, what can you say? There was not any aspect of the Skins’ play that was any good. Well, the punting was excellent, but that’s it. The O-Line play was terrible, worst in over 30 years, giving up nine sacks and over a dozen hurries and hits. Nine sacks, Beck did not stand a chance, no Qbk would have in that environment. The Skins played uninspired football, simple as that. No running game, no passing game, no pass defense, no run defense, no special teams – it was hard to watch. The question now is, where does this team go from here? Let’s hope this is the bottom, but who knows, the 6-1 49ers come to town to take on our hapless Redskins this week. It looks like it is going to be a long season.
Until next time…Cheers,
Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF ‘98
10/25/2011 - Charlotte, North Carolina
The Skins traveled to NC to take on the Panthers and their rookie Qbk Cam Newton, all 6'6", 250 lbs of him, and proceeded to get their collective butts kicked, 33-20, not even close. There is an interesting stat for this game: It is the seventh time in a row the Skins have lost to a Rookie Qbk-lead team in forever. When one of the best pro football analyst, Doc Walker, says he'd buy a ticket to watch this kid play, you know he is a good player. Course the Skins' defense made him All-Universe. He was 18 for 23 in passes for 259 yds (several of these passes were long, pin-point beauties: so much for him being "not accurate") and ran the ball ten times for another 59 yds (one a nice 16-yd TD run)...maybe he is All-Universe. What can you say, the Skins defense gave up 175 yds rushing and got handled at the line-of-scrimmage...another bad day at the office. The Skins new Qbk did O.K., was 22 for 37 passing, got blind-sided sacked and fumbled, and he and a rookie-wide receiver weren't on the same page, resulting in an interception, it pretty much looks like "the same old same old". Beck's second half was a lot better than his first half (probably a little nervous), but there was no real "spark" on the field, or in the team. It seemed like the players did not believe they could win. You add to that Moss and Hightower got knocked out of the game (one for five or six weeks, the other for the season), and the poor play of the Defense, you end up with a disaster. About the only bright spot was the kicking of Gano, he seems to be solid on the FG front. You have to give credit to the Panthers, they flat out played better than the Skins, they should have won the game. Course, what does this mean for the upcoming games against the Bills and the 49ers, folks, it could be a long month. Hopefully the players will step up, believe they can win, and go out and score points...time will tell.
Until next time, cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
10/20/2011 - Dateline Redskins Park
The Eagles came into town riding a 1-3 start of the season. But they love to play in FedEx and they always seem to be able to get well on the Skins, having won ten of the 11 times they have played at FedEx. Now they are 11 for 12, thanks to a 20-13 win, the Skins threw away. Vick had his usual three or four great plays, but the one play early that was a real head-scratcher and hurt the Skins badly was when the ball got hiked passed Vick into the end zone; Vick ran back, scoped it up, and threw the ball into open space just before getting drilled by Arakpo. Instead of being awarded a safety and having the ball punted back to them, the Skins were penalized for roughing the passer?? What a “Hogwash” call; If Vick did not illegally ground the ball, that meant he was out of the “tackles Box Zone”, thus a “runner”;, and therefore he could not be “roughed”. It was a terrible call by the refs and a real game changer. Throughout the game, the Eagles defense stacked the “box” with eight or nine players and basically said to the Skins, “Beat us with your passing game.” It was the perfect defensive game plan (One I suspect the Redskins will see more of in the future.); Grossman was terrible, throwing four interceptions, mostly short or very ill-advised. He just did not manage the ball well, at all, simple as that. We may have witnessed the end of his starting career. Eleven turnovers in five games will do that to a career of an older, experienced player. The Skins’ defense was no great shakes either, giving up almost 200 yards on the ground to a team that had no running game in its previous four games. After Grossman threw his fourth interception, a terrible decision and terrible pass, Beck came in and directed the Skins to a TD to make the score 20-13. But the Defense couldn’t make a stop and the Skins ran out of time. This is too bad because if the Skins could have knocked off the Eagles, they could have made a statement, would have created some space in the division race, and would have really put the Eagles into a deep hole at 1-4. The Skins did this same thing with the Giants several years ago, and the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl. But, it was not to be and now the Skins need to go on the road for two weeks against Carolina and their sensational rookie Qbk and the up-start Lions before returning to FedEx against the much improved 49ers. There will probably be a change at the Skins’ Qbk position this coming week, so now we’ll go from lousy to the unknown, should be interesting. I just hope Beck takes care of the ball and doesn’t lose games with big mistakes, that would be a huge improvement.
Until next time, Cheers!!!...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF ‘98
10/05/2011 - St. Louis, Missouri.
The Skins win, the Skins win, 17-10, reaching a 3-1 record...yeah!!! The Skins started out like a house-a-fire, but the game ended up a nail biter until almost the end. The defense played great, holding the Rams scoreless until about 10:00 left in the game, then things got a little dicey. The defense got seven sacks, many hurries, and knocked the Rams QB down many, many times. He had to be one black & blue, sore dude by the end of that game. It helped the Rams' receivers couldn't catch a cold; there had to be at least a dozen catchable passes dropped, unbelievable. The Skins' running game was solid against an average defense. Apparently Hightower got hurt early, enter Torain, who ran great (running down hill), scoring a 20-yard TD, and being his signature self...he is such a load. It is great having him back on the field, I just hope he can stay healthy. Almost 200 yards running; the Skins won the clock time, 35 mins to 25 mins, but Grossman had an average day, with one TD and two interceptions. With 5:30 mins left in the game, Grossman was passing, I asked myself, "Why was a pass play called, especially with our running game clicking???" The Rams middle LB made a great play and intercepted the pass. The Skins' defense had to make two stops in the last five minutes of the game to keep the 0-3 Rams from tying the score. The other pass play I wish the Skins would scratch from the playbook is the stretch rollout to the left where the QB has to throw across his body back into the middle of the field, there are lots of defenders in there. The ball should never, ever be thrown back into the middle late, across the body with no humph on it! Shoot, the left defense end can intercept the ball by then, especially if it is tipped up into the air and turned into a "volley ball". This is a disaster waiting to happen. It seems to me this play is better designed if the progression is; inside hook fast, long pass second, outside button hook last, and if there is no one open, either run for the sidelines or throw the ball into the second row of the bleachers. It appears our first line QB can't run too often before he is winded, what is with that? Enough about this, we are happy, the Skins are 3-1, with a bye week to rest some. They are basically half way through the football period (72 days since the start of Training Camp, 84 days to the last game of the regular season), with the Eagles coming to town next. The other good things after the win Sunday, the Cowboys blew a big lead and lost, and the Eagles blew a big lead and lost. How sweet it is!!!
Until next time, cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
09/27/2011 - Dateline Spt 27, 2011 Dallas, TX
The Cowboys found a way to beat the Skins in a tough game, 18-16. What a terrible loss for the Skins, an opportunity lost, very disappointing, thank goodness it is only one game. Romo played hurt, his wide receivers didn’t know where they were going, his center didn’t know when to hike the ball; they were a mess, but they figured out a way to win. Maybe some of the Skin players will learn to keep their mouths shut before the game, it is hard enough to win in Dallas without throwing gas on the fire. Or, maybe the Skins played just good enough to lose. A bobbled FG snap/hold cost ‘em three points. The not executed third and 21 stop cost them the ball and field position. Dallas is a great place to win, but it’s a lousy place to lose. I think this is the first time I have ever seen a football team lose to two guys. Romo, or should I say, Rambo, played his heart out. And Andre Ware was an unsolved force on defense, influencing play after play. You have to give them credit for making plays. The Skins had the win in their hands, but let it slip away. They played hard, the defense did not allow a TD, which was great, but gave up too many big running plays in the second half, and then of course the third and 21 play; close but no cigar. When you lose by two, the botched FG snap/hold was a killer. The Skins offense had no rhythm in the second half. When one or two more first downs helps you win the game, it just makes you sick. So much for 3-0, two games of separation in the NFC East, so much for all of that. There is no time to dilly-dally, the Skins travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams this week. They need to win to get to the bye week, 3-1. Then they can get some “rest” time and refocus on a 12-game season. Let’s hope they figure out a way to bring home a win from below the arches.
Until next time, cheers…Mikey T., Boss Hogette HoF ‘98
09/22/2011 - Nov 18, 2011 FedEx Field
The Skins pulled out a win over the Cardinals, 22-21, wow, what a nail biter. Kind of a strange game; The Skins moved the ball down the field good, but after 35 plays and three trips into the Red Zone, they only had three points on the board to show for their efforts. Not a good start, and they were trailing7-3. But, it’s a 60-minute game, so patience is a virtue. I have to say, after Grossman’s second interception, I got a knot in my gut every time he went back to pass. I hope I can work my way out of that feeling. The Skins defense was solid, forcing four punts in the first half. Even though it was a ugly start, with a lot of yardage, but with two interceptions and a missed FG attempt, the Skins were leading at the half, 10-7. In the second half, the Cards scored a TD to go up, the Skins were still struggling, punting twice, then the best receiver in football, Larry Fitzgerald, got single coverage and busted a nifty 73-yard TD pass to put his team up by eight with eleven minutes to go in the game. The Skins’ running game was much improved this week (172 yds) and Fred Davis has turned into a consistent monster, catching six passes this week, many for first downs and big, timely gains. But, the game came down to fourth and three at the Cards 18-yard line. With my heart headed for my throat, Grossman hit Moss with a really nice TD pass in the back corner of the end zone to get the Skins to within two points. This was a well designed play that got Moss a lot of separation. The tying two-point conversion got batted down, but the Skins would need a field goal to win any way. I don’t think I have ever seen so many batted passes in a game, by both teams…amazing. Grossman made a nice play or two knocking down to the ground a batted up pass catchable by anybody. Now it was up to the Skins defense. Kerrigan (another solid game) batted down the third-down pass, the Skins got the ball back on their 36-yard line with 4:20 left in the game, plenty of time to get into position to score a winning TD or FG. More good running and good passing got the team to the Cards 16, where Gano kicked the winning 34-yard FG. The Cards had a 1:45 left to get their own winning FG, but Westbrook (I think) forced a fumble, game over. Statistically, the Skins looked great in this game; 455 yards of total offense, 25-43 passes for 291 yards with two TD’s, but two interceptions, 172 yards rushing (solid), 28 first downs, and time of possession almost 40 minutes to 20 minutes. But, just enough points, you would hope seven times in the Red Zone would result in more points. I like this team’s mind set on two fronts; one, the players are thinking and playing team first, me second. Second, they seem to be able to find a way to win (for two games), very good positive habits to start. We haven’t seen these winning features since the early 90’s – that’s 20 years, Boys & Girls. Now it is Dallas week in Dallas, a tough road. Let’s hope all of these positive trends,
09/15/2011 - Septembar 11, 2011 Washington, DC
On the tenth anniversary of one of the most horrific days for humankind in general, and the United States in particular; a day when so many innocent people were so senselessly killed, it was hard to shift from a day of solemn remembrance to a football game, but, that is what we do on Sunday afternoons in the Fall. The Redskins squared off against the New York Giants at FedEx Field in the 2011 opener.
How sweet it is to win this game, especially at home. It hasn’t happened at FedEx in too long, but the Skins got it done on this day. The Skins had four long drives, three resulting in touchdowns and one in a missed FG. It was great to see the Skins score in the Red Zone. The Skins’ defense scored the go-ahead touchdown. I love it when the defense scores. This one was on a nifty play by rookie DE/LB Ryan Kerrigan, who batted a pass up in the air, was able to locate the ball, caught it, and ran nine yards for the score. Excellent play!!!
I’m concerned about the stretch running game and the pass blocking, but the boys up front made enough plays to score enough points. But this game was won first by the defense in the second half. I don’t know what was said at halftime, but they stepped up their energy level and put a lot of pressure on E. Manning, getting sacks and forcing bad throws. And they stuffed a 4th and short, blocked a FG attempt, and basically bottled up Jacobs and Bradshaw, the Giants’ talented running backs, limiting them to less than 75 yards combined for the game. That is an excellent day’s work by the defense. So Skins’ fans got to celebrate winning the opener for a couple of days.
This team seems to have a total team work ethic we haven’t seen for a while. A team spirit that is pulling these guys together…this may be a special team. With some more wins, they will define themselves. The Cards come to town after winning their first game Sunday. Let’s hope the trend continues.
Until next time, Cheers…Mikey T Hogette, HoF ‘98
09/05/2011 - Fairfax, VA August 29,2011
Hey fellow Redskin fans, a new season is almost upon us. An NFL season that came close to not happening. The labor agreement got done, not helping the old-timers any, or covering long term injury treatment for players, but that is history and now we can focus on Sunday afternoon football. Before we do that, let’s go back to April and the 2011 Draft. The Skins leadership (Allen and Shanahan) drafted a lot of players. Ah ha, returning the team to the “team” concept for the greatest team sport in history. What a bright, new beginning. This team has a lot of new young, energetic, hopefully talented players who want to play and who want to win. What a pleasant thought. Gone are the guys who got fat pay checks but didn’t want to play where the coaches needed them to play to help the team win. In all of my experience in watching athletics, I have never heard of a player who would not play where the coach told him to play, until the last two years. That was absolutely unbelievable to me. A very unpleasant, losing situation, that fortunately is in the past now, to be thought about no more. Also gone is an excellent running back who had the misfortune of playing on only poor Redskins teams. I knew his time was up, when after his longest run ever, with a blocker out in front of him, instead of cutting back and scoring the winning touchdown, he fell out of bounds because he was too pooped to go on. The greatest players work the hardest to be in shape to make those winning plays to help the team win when they are out of gas.
This year’s Redskins team is full of a lot of young players who look ready to focus on the team effort. They have won their first two preseason games with good O-line play and good team defense. Of course this is preseason, a time to evaluate players and plays, but starting the habit of “winning” is a very good thing for the team collective psychic. If this habit carries over and takes the day on 9/11/11, against the Giants, in the first game that counts, this would be an excellent first step for the new season.
Just a word on the latest Redskin addition to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Chris Hanburger. For a man who got drafted late, wasn’t very big, but loved the game and loved to win, this is an honor well deserved and our hats are off to him, old # 55.
Until next time, Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette HoF ‘98
01/06/2011 - Fairfax, Virginia: January 6, 2011
The Giants came to town for the final game of the season, thank goodness, it's time to get this season over with. They needed a win to stay eligible for the playoffs. But, they also had to have the Bears beat the Packers, too.
Frankly, after the Giants ran all over the Skins in early December, I was not optimistic about the Skins' chances to win this game. Unfortunately, I was afraid the Skins would figure out a way to lose this game, too. It didn't take them long, with about five minutes left in the 1st Qtr, Gano missed another 30-yd FG. Bah humbug. Could this be the margin for another close loss?
The Skins run defense played pretty tough, giving up only 45 yds. Unfortunately, E. Manning played just well enough, with one slick bomb, to get 17 points on the board. The Giants' DE's ate the Skins OT's up, causing two sack fumbles, real drive killers. The Skins lost three fumbles and an interception, not a winning combination. The Skins fumbled on the Giants 17, 20, and 30, missed the FG from the 12, fumbled again on the Giants 30, and lost the ball on downs on the Giants 32; that is six times with no points, not the best approach to winning a game against a divisional opponent.
Thus the 2010 campaign came to a close. It started out with an exciting win over the Cowboys in Week 1, but then crashed back to Earth with the disappointing loss to the Texans after leading by a lot. Then it was slipping and sliding and bumping along for the next three months. The Skins lost seven games by less than six points. The Giants game was typical - good in parts, played hard, but ultimately lost the game they could have and should have won. This team, lead by these coaches, needs to learn how not to lose.
Once the Skins lost to the Bucs in mid-December, they were out of the playoff hunt. The final three meaningless games the coaches used for "evaluation". Can you imagine if this had been an 18-game season? We could still be facing two or three more "meaningless" games, whoopee!!! Talk about empty seats.
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
12/31/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia: December 30, 2010
The Skins traveled to Florida to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team fighting to get into the playoffs. The Skins played well, getting a great start with an excellent kickoff return into Jaguar territory. The Skins got a first down, but stalled and Gano kicked a solid 48-yard FG. Then Carlos Rogers made a nifty interception and run back to the Jaguar 18 (We've watched Carlos drop many interception chances over the years, but this was a very nice play.) Grossman and the Skins made the Jags pay, getting the touchdown with a nice red zone pass play to the left side that split the defenders. Skins lead 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.
The Jags scored a TD early in the 2nd Qtr, but then the teams traded punts for the rest of the half and most of the 3rd Qtr. Cooley was having a very bad day, flat out dropping the first five passes thrown his way. He ended up righting himself and catching five passes for the game. The Jags really did not play like a team needing a win to get into the playoffs. The Skins had a lot of new faces on the field who stepped up really well, making plays, and showing a solid desire to win.
Course with this Skins team, there is always that nagging feeling that they'll figure out a way to lose. But not on this day, you have to give them credit, they battled down to the wire and got the game into overtime, tied at 17-17. Gano kicked an excellent kickoff that they muffed and the Skins were able to tackle the Jags returner deep in their territory. The Skins run-defense played well all day, including in OT. Then they got good pressure on the Qbk and he made the huge error of trying to throw under duress, resulting in an interception by a young Skins player I didn't even know was on the team. Gano had to kick into the wind for the winning FG; good snap, good hold, he got it done. The Skins win, the Skins win, the Skins win. That had to be a happy plane ride back to D.C.
The last game of the season is in FedEx against the Giants. The Giants need to win to get into the playoffs. It will be a new year, maybe the Skins will find a way to start the new year off with a win. That would be fun.
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
12/23/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia: December 22, 2010
Well, no super Christmas present from the Redskins. No win over the Cowboys, no sweep in 2010. The Skins teased us, coming back from 27-7 in the 3rd Qtr to tie the game at 30-All with less than eight minutes left in the game, but the Skins just could not come up with that one big play to pull this one out. They got close, but no cigar.
Last week just did not feel like "Dallas Week". No hype, no yapping, and then the Coach announced on Friday he decided to start Grossman instead of McNabb. After losing to the Bucs the week before and being eliminated from the Playoffs Hunt, I can understand why the Coach made this change, he wanted to see if Grossman can play. Too bad this was for the Cowboys' game. But, the Coach knows what he has in McNabb, he does not know his other Qbks under game conditions. The Coach doesn't get many "style" points for how he handled this change, but whatever, he's the one who needs to figure out who stays and who goes next year, if there is a next year.
The game started out all Cowboys. They ran the opening kickoff back to their 46, but only managed a FG. Then they got the ball on the Skins 30, 27, and 35 yard line. Fortunately the Cowboys were poor in the Red Zone, getting stuffed on the one, scoring only one TD and two FGs, to lead 13-7. They scored another TD just before the half and with less than three minutes gone in the 3rd QTR, scored again after Grossman suffered a sack fumble on the Skins' 15 to get the score to 27-7. Then Grossman & the Skins came back, scoring three TDs and two two-point conversions to tie the game at 30 apiece. The Skins got our attention and our blood flowing.
But alas, the Skins were teasers. The Cowboys got field position, held the Skins inside their own 10, and got the punt to their own 48. Seven plays later, from the Skins' 21, the Cowboys kicked the winning field goal with less than a minute left in the game. The Skins made a couple of plays and Grossman got the ball out to Moss on what could have been a huge play, but Moss could not hang onto the ball...again. Rex tried to feather a ball to Cooley, but it got intercepted, game over.
Grossman was hot and cold. He had four TD passes, which is great, and threw for over 320 yards. But he had two interceptions and a fumble; two of these turnovers inside the Skins' 30-yard line that lead to Cowboys' TDs. The Skins' defense was put in tough situations and fought hard, stopping the Cowboys on the Skins' one and stopped them twice in the 4th Qtr, but couldn't come up with the big stop when the game was on the line and prevent the winning field goal. The Cowboys offense got over 430 yards. I guess that is why the Skins' defense is ranked 32nd in the NFL. Now the Skins and the Cowboys are tied for last place in the NFC East at 5-9.
The Skins travel to Jacksonville this week, then have the Giants at FedEx on January 2nd. Grossman starts again, and McNabb is the "Emergency" 3rd Qbk these last two weeks. Happy New Year all.
12/15/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia: December 15, 2010
Unfortunately our Skins handed one to the Bucs this last Sunday. On a cold, rainy, miserable day at FedEx Field, the Skins found another way to lose a game. It's too bad, too, they played pretty well, but made one too many poor plays to overcome their own folly.
It did not start out that way. Surprisingly the Skins established a solid running game. It was quite impressive. The O-Line did a great job of blocking, the scheme seemed really good and the young running back, Ryan Torain, ran for over 150 yards in the first half alone. But, not many points were put on the board. They missed two very makeable field goals, one inside the 30, the other inside the 20. This is very unsat. Then things started going downhill from there.
The Skins failed to cover the second half kickoff, a 30-yard grounder. This gave the ball to the Bucs for the opening kickoff and the second half kickoff. The defense rallied, stopping a third-down conversion, but a Skins' linebacker was off-side, giving the Bucs another set of downs. They didn't get a first, but they got the ball close enough to kick a line-drive 44-yard field goal. That was a big three points.
But then the ultimate highway robbery: The Bucs threw a really nice 41-yard TD pass, but the Skins' Arakpo was mugged on the play, he was held so bad. I don't know what the Referee was looking at because the hold was between him and the Qback. Bad call there, bah humbug. The Skins battled back in the last 3 1/2 minutes, making a nice drive, and a sweet TD pass to Moss with nine seconds left in the game to get the score to 16-17.
But then the ultimate folly; high snap (been happening off & on all year), wet ball, the snap whipped through the holder's hands (He got fired the following Tuesday.), no extra point conversion, game over, the Bucs win. This is the second special teams play to lose a game at FedEx this year.
On another note: Thank goodness the Hanesworth Saga is over - he was suspended for the rest of the season (last four games) and hopefully will never play for the Redskins ever again - good riddens.
The Skins travel to Dallas this week. The Cowboys are playing pretty good ball for their interim head coach. But maybe the Skins will find a way to give all Redskins' fans everywhere a surprise Christmas present.
'Til next time, cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
12/07/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia: December 7, 2010
The Skins got their collective butts kicked in New York by the New York Giants Sunday, simply put. The Giants ran over the Skins. What was it, the second play from scrimmage; the Giants' big back Jacobs ran off left tackle, the Skins had a DB in position in the backfield to make a play for negative yards and the Skins' player whiff him??? Whiff him, like he went to tackle the guy and tackled nothing but air, he had to have closed his eyes. I haven't seen that since high school. Jacobs is not a shifty back, he pretty much plods straight ahead with a little change in direction to glance off tacklers. Jacobs ended up gaining 39 yards on the play, setting up the Giants first touchdown with less than four minutes gone in the game, game over. The Giants pretty much stomped on the Skins from then on, leading 14-0, with less than ten minutes gone in the game; 28-0 in the third quarter.
What can you say? It was a long afternoon for the Skins, embarrassing to the players and the coaches, and tough to watch for Skins fans. The poor tackling was not the only bad part of the game. McNabb had to do his usual running for his life quarterbacking, throwing a terrible pick in the end zone trying to force a pass into triple coverage. He also fumbled after picking up a first down on a third down run; just dropped the ball. And he wasn't alone, Cooley did, too, and a wide receiver also; six turnovers in all, not a winning approach. The Skins' running game almost got 80 yards. And there was a missed field goal attempt, though on a windy day. Bad day all around.
I do not know what the Skins' are going to do the rest of the season, I hope they do not mail it in. The Bucs come to town this week, then won't be back in town until the last game of the season against the Giants on January 2nd. Maybe it'll be a new year.
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
12/03/2010 - December 3, 2010
The Skins got a huge win in Nashville, but then lost to the lowly, but always dangerous Vikings here at FedEx Field. It has been an up and down two weeks, with dismal prospects for the final five weeks of the season.
The win in Nashville was a heck of a gut check win. I don't remember the Skins ever having so many players hurt in one game, I believe it was over a dozen, with about eight of them out for the game and a number of them lost for the remainder of the season. I am not exactly sure how the Skins pulled that win out, but they found a way to bring home a victory for old D.C. Thank goodness the Kid Kicker did not miss two in a row, or he would have been hitch hiking back to D.C.
Then the Vikings came to town with their banged-up 41-year old Qbk, who can still play on some days. The Vikings had been wiped out by the Packers (The Skins beat them.) and the Bears (The Skins beat them.), but the Skins had a lot of hurt players after the Titans' game, a formula for disaster.
The Skins were solid early, marching down the field and scoring a nice TD in the first quarter, converting several key third down plays. The Vikings tied it up, then went ahead in the second half. More importantly, Favre did not turn the ball over, and the Skins' running disappeared.
But the Skins had a chance to pull the win out; late in the 4th Qtr, the Vikings had to punt to the Skins' rookie-returner Banks, who took off on a beautiful 80+ yard return for a touchdown. But alas, there was a flag on the play, and the touchdown was called back. To add insult to injury, the Vikings ran the clock out after the 41-year old Favre scrambled for a key first down, beating the Skins with his legs. Bah humbug.
The Skins travel to Giants' land this week. With the depleted team, it is going to be tough for the Skins to bring home a victory.
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
11/22/2010 - November 26, 2010
The Eagles landed...hard on the Skins. Holy cow, from the first play of the game to the first half bell, that was the most amazing display of offensive football I think I have seen since the Skins jumped on the Rams in the 1984 playoffs. I looked up at the clock and said to myself, "What are we going to do for three quarters?" The Eagles VICKtemized the Skins' aggressive CBs play and just blew right by them. Vick couldn't miss, what was he, 12 for 12 in the first half? You have to take your hat off to them. The Skins were 0-3 on third down the first three times they got the ball. I gotta ask, "Who designed a passing play where the wide-out button-hooks? That is the dumbest play ever devised. Scrap that one. It is a sure six way too many times for the other teams' defense.
My kid brother texted me from Idaho at the end of the first quarter, "28-0, what's with that?" It was a nightmare; 45-14 at the end of the first half, if it'd been a fight, they would have called it. Vick can really play. You don't want your D-linemen trying to run him down in open space, they look like their feet are in mud. The Skins' Defense did not put any pressure on him all night. They did not tri-anglize him, that is for sure.
What can you say? At least it counts as only one loss. A Skins' fan friend of mine, also in Idaho, declared to me, "Tuesday, November 16, 2010, as the official first day of looking forward to the opening of the 2011 summer Training Camp." What did we expect? This is a transition year with the old guys learning new systems (offense & defense). From the first day I've said, "If the Skins go 8-8 in 2010, it would be a very good year."
I am kinda surprised so many are piling on McNabb as the cause of our struggling ways. He has his moments, but most of the time he's running for his life. I believe he has turned more busted plays into positive yards than most Qbacks in the NFL could possibly do. He had to pick himself up off the rug at least 25 times in Detroit. Until the Skins commit themselves to fixing the O-line, the Skins fans aren't going to have much to root for, simple as that.
The Skins travel to Nashville to take on the Titans this Sunday. If the Defense doesn't put any pressure on Young or their old Qback - Collins, it could be another long, long day for the Skins and a long, long plane ride home. Pressure their Qback and run the ball a lot, getting first downs on third down, the Skins' could find a way to bring home a "Victory for Old D.C."
Happy holidays from all of the Hogettes.
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
11/04/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia: November 4, 2010
The Lions jumped up and bit the Skins again, they really have their number. That da'gum game was three minutes too long. The players played their guts out, they deserved to win that one, but, it is a 60 minute affair. I am not sure why the Skins have had to play in Detroit the last three times they played the Lions? Playing on that concrete field has been no fun; the Skins are one incredible punt return away from losing there three times in a row. The Lions D-Line flat out won that game Sunday. That and the fact that the Skins Defense put no pressure on the Lions' young Q-back in the second half. And the defensive scheme on their big wide receiver, Johnson, sucked. When the Lions got into the Red Zone, where was the linebacker under that kid...he just ran a simple straight down the field and inside hook and bingo - three TD passes. What's with that?
Of course the Skins' O-Lay O-Line is just totally ineffective, they couldn't block a cold. I don't like the scheme. Zone blocking has been tried here before, with no success, and it may have worked in Denver, but it don't work here in the East, as demonstrated by the Lions. I don't know where the Lions' D-Line ranks in the NFL, but they looked All-Universe Sunday. It seems like all the D-lines do is a little, quick half-a-gap shift just before the snap, and in that split second, causes confusion and chaos, and McNabb has to run for his life to make a play. He has made plays with his legs all season long. But Sunday, after picking himself up off the ground at least two-dozen times, he had to be one huge bruise. And it looked like he tweaked his hamstring on his long run earlier in the game. They had to take him out of the game, he probably couldn't raise his arms over his shoulders. And I do not know a player worth his salt who'd be happy about getting pulled, but that's why you have head coaches.
Course the McNabb move gave the talking heads enough to talk about for the next two weeks that they are choking on their tongues. The thing that bothers me the most about that move is the O-Coordinator didn't have a clue about the D-rush and the Skins O-Lay O-Line play: Where was the shotgun formation and the quick passes to keep the rush off the passer? Thank goodness for the Bye week; it gives the players some rest time and gives the coaches some time to re-evaluate what they are doing and who they are doing it with. This team is better than a 4-4 team, although some could argue it is two penalties away from being a 2-6 team, but they aren't. The coaches need to be smarter and the half-time adjustments need to be installed starting with the MNF Eagles' game. This team has a chance, if the coaches figure out better ways to win.
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
10/27/2010 - Dateline: Fairfax, Virginia: October 27, 2010
A win is a win is a win, no matter how ugly it is; the Skins came back from the Windy City with a win in their pocket...that is the most important aspect of the Bear game. And to win on a bad day is a good day. The Skins may have had a bad day, but the Bears had a worse day. Winning is a relative experience, different on each day.
J. Cutler completed more passes to the Redskins' D. Hall (4) than to most of his receivers. Sure am glad he's the Bears' Qback and not the Skins' Qback. Sounds like the Skins came within an eye lash of acquiring Cutler before they landed McNabb. I am so glad we got Donovan, he is so tough physically...and mentally; he gets knocked down, he keeps getting back up and just keeps on ticking. I will always remind all - Mr. McNabb is a year younger than Elway was when Coach Shanahan arrived in Denver. And they had a pretty good run together. I am thinking Shanahan & McNabb can have a very good future here in "Old D.C."
The Skins-Bears game was one of the craziest games I have seen in a long time. Skins' fans everywhere can enjoy the Washington, D.C., Monday Morning Bounce walk. D. Hall had a career day, with four interceptions in the second half. I understand the Pro Football Hall of Fame got one of his game jerseys. The man has arrived. I am not exactly sure why J. Cutler kept throwing Hall's way, but he did and Skins' fans got to enjoy it.
It was really good to see Mr. Haynesworth make some plays. He is a "force" up the middle when he wants to be. The pass rush he made where he gathered up two or three Bears O-linemen and pushed all back into Cutler creating a sack was really something, quite impressive. And the goal line play where he jumped over the O-line and helped create a fumble with London Fletcher was cool, too. Mr. Albert, we loved the way you played Sunday in Chicago - You played to "Win for Old D.C." You keep doing that, Skins' fans will love you.
What was with our receiver corps, they couldn't catch a cold. They caught the dropsy disease the Skins' D-backs had last week. It seemed like every one of them dropped at least one game-changer pass - what is with that? McNabb is a tough dude to have taken the hits he got and just kept getting back up and leading the team up the field. He can make plays, this man.
The run game, and some good run blocking, was solid and became a factor late in the game, when the team needed it most. HALLALUYAH!!! It will only make the passing game better, if the guys can catch the ball and hang onto it. McNabb will keep throwing it. I loved the punting game strategy - Mr. Hesters would have had to be sitting next to the little old lady in the second row to catch a Skins' punt Sunday - smart play.
The Skins now travel to Detroit to take on the dangerous 1-5 Lions, remember last year. I hope the owner and his friends enjoy this game from the owner's box.
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
P.S. You notice how all of a sudden D-players are now remembering how to tackle with their shoulder pads...dah, amazing.
10/23/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia, October 23, 2010
The Skins let one get away...Peyton Manning & Co. (COLTS) came to town Sunday night and played good enough to win. Manning is so good. He's been in three O-systems in his entire football career; one in high school, one in college, and one in ten years as a pro. He can do it in his sleep. The Skins played with a lot of heart & fight, but made too many mistakes. However, at the end, with a bit over two minutes left in the game and a little over 60 yards of field to cover, the Skins had the ball and had a chance to pull the game out, trailing 27-24. But alas, not on this night, a Colts D-back made a spectacular one-handed interception to end the Skins hope for this game. Our D-backs need to take some catching lessons from the Colts.
This was another whole-team loss. I get little chance to hear after-game evaluation (on Mondays) player interviews, but the impression I got from what I did hear the players say, they know they should have won this game. I can only hope they have a bitter taste in their collective mouths from this loss and they'll fight not to repeat it again any time soon. It is one thing to get whipped, it's another to lose one you should have won. This is the second game this season the Skins have let slip through their fingers. Of course the Skins have won three games on the last play of the game, one in overtime. For the first third of the season, the games have been tight.
It was a very special night for all Skins fans in general and the Hogettes in particular. Russ Grimm came back to town to receive his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring at a halftime celebration. Many of the HOGS were present; George Stark, Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic, Doc Walker, Fred Dean, Ron Saul, and of course the great Coach Joe Bugel, a very intense man. The Redskins organization was most gracious in allowing the Hogettes to also be on the field with Russ & the HOGS. What an incredibly fabulous moment for us. To be standing on the 50-yard line of FedEx Field, next to Russ' HoF bust, looking up at 90,000+ fans cheering on the scene, believe me, it was enough to take your breath away. I had our Redskins POC pinch me so I knew it wasn't all a dream.
But now we need to focus on the Bears, this week's opponent. They have beaten the Packers, too. But they have also lost some games badly, I believe. They have a punt-return man who is the absolute best in the business. I hope he's standing on the edge of the field watching Hunter the Punter's kicks land in the lap of the little old lady in the second row. The Skins are going to need to have all of their P's & Q's lined up smartly and then executed properly to come back from the Chicago with a win.
The Hogettes will be watching the game with about 400 rabid Skins fans in Lusby, Maryland.
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
10/14/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia, October 13, 2010
The Skins win, again, beating a good visiting Packer team in overtime, 16-13,
with our Gano kicking a sweet 33-yarder on the last play of the game to closeout
a comeback victory for "Old D.C.". The Packers had over 200 yards of
offense by the end of the first quarter. They executed a simple dive play into
a nifty 71-yard dash, but the Skins Dback ran the runner down before he could score.
The Pack subsequently scored a TD, but it was the last one they got on this day,
which was key to the Skins win.
Later in the first half the Packers' kicker nailed a 52-yarder that would
have been good from 65 yards. This gent has a heck of a leg, he could kick it through
from downtown Cleveland. The Pack threatened again, but on 4th and a foot, instead
of kicking for a sure three, they went for it. Stud Lorenzo Alexandria made a huge
play, knocking the pass away and the Pack ended up with no points on this drive.
The Skins were coming back.
The Skins Special Teams were "smoking" people all day; Sellers creamed
one returner, I did not think the gent was going to get up. There were several
other intimidating big hits. And then there is the Skins #30 - Landry, what a hitter
this gent is. The Pack receivers did not want to catch the ball over the middle,
or anywhere near Landry, or Doughty (#37) either, for that matter. These gents
flat our rattle molars. The Pack receivers must have dropped a half-dozen balls,
The Pack moved the ball up and down the field, but they could only put 10, then
13 points, up on the board - Yeah Skins' Defense. The Skins picked up three
points just before halftime (a positive after a very difficult first half). Then
late in the third quarter, McNabb connected on a nice, long TD pass to Armstrong,
who went up strong for the ball for a very nice catch: Pack - 13, Skins - 10. Then
more good things started to happen for the Skins; first, all of the Skins players
refused to quit - they play the game to the end. And the 90K+ rabid FedEx Redskins'
Fans manned their posts, screaming their guts out throughout the game.
The Pack had a 30+ FG attempt in the 4th to get the game to 16-10, but the GrandPaw
Hogette-Goal Pole (left upright) strained a tad to the right and the ball did a
solid "DOINK" (as Madden would say), bouncing toward the Pig Pen. The
second time the Pack drive resulted in "zero" points. The Skins drove
down and missed the tying FG. The Pack could not sustain a drive, punted, and the
Skins again drove down but, this time Gano connected for the tying FG to get the
game into OT.
In OT the Pack got the ball first, but had to punt. The Skins couldn't
move the ball either, and had to punt, too (solid punts all day long - Hunter/the
punter did a splendid job). Then somebody got in Rogers' face, forcing him
to throw a bad, bad pass - Landry made a very nice play on the ball, Skins ball
again. The Skins drove the ball to inside the 20; the Pack tried to "ice"
Gano, but to no avail - Gano had been there before against the Texans - Gano started
his kicking routine again from the sidelines (great coaching), and nailed the game
winning FG to send all of us all happily home.
The FedEx Field history (and legend) is starting to grow, building on a solid
foundation of well-educated, good plays and exciting, great wins, and with 90K+
rabid Skins fans, who love to holler at good-winning football, filling that stadium,
FedEx Field is an exciting place to be on Sunday afternoons.
Now Mr. Payton Manning & Company come visit FedEx this Sunday night. I
don't know what will happen, but for sure - the Skins will flat out put some
"wood" to some people, Mr. McNabb & his Crew will hang tough; hopefully
the running game will make an appearance, and we'll have a heck of an entertaining
'Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
10/12/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia, October 9, 2010
The Skins Win, the Skins Win, the Skins win in Philly. Surprised a lot of people. I was hoping they'd find a way to win and they did. Of course the Skins were one catch away from losing that game, but the Eagles did not make that catch, so history records the Skins win in Philly in 2010.
Kalb is their Qback whether they like it our not. Vick is a wonderful player, but running Qbacks in the NFL just do not last, they get broken. The play that got Vick was interesting. Hanesworth broke through the double or triple team on him and flushed Vick out. Vick took off like a scared jack rabbit (hard to catch) and made it down to the one foot line and then got sandwiched between two Dbacks (not big guys, but hard hitters). I don't know if the tackles got him or if he landed on the ball. Either way, he was done for the day and probably a month.
I thought Kalb did a good job all day, taking what the Skins’ Defense gave him and bringing the Eagles back to have a shot at winning the game. That last pass with no time left, was right on the money. Thank goodness the Eagle receiver momentarily forgot how to catch the ball, because it hit both of his hands. I think he was surprised the ball actually got to him. The Skins’ defenders were there, too, going for the ball, so a hand, or an elbow, or a hip might have influenced the catch. Alas, the ball hit the ground – game over, and McNabb & Company got their 2010 win Philly.
The Skins had speed on Special Teams and that hit by Lorenzo Alexander on the punt returner really set the tone for the Skins. The intensity to win was there. Usually the Eagles beat up the Skins, but this time the Eagles lost; a Qback (ribs), a running back (broken rib), a wide receiver (concussion), and who knows who else – the Skins are really putting the “wood” to their opponents. Lots of big hits, and I especially like that they are with shoulder pads, and not helmets.
The Skins lost Clinton Portis, probably one of the best running backs ever to play here, but totally under-appreciated. I hope CP gets well and comes back and plays as a 3rd down back for two or three more years; of course, at a reduced rate, but certainly at a living wage. His pass blocking is ferocious and his down field blocking is amazing. I’ll never forget the play were he ran 60 yards down the field, without the ball, and made the key block on the 10 yard line that made the TD run happen. We have Hall of Fame running backs who wouldn’t run that far for a beer. It is too bad he played on so many dog-skins teams for coaches who were learning their trade on the run or had other issues. If CP had played on contending teams, I think he’d be better appreciated.
We ( and some Eagle fans I know) are so happy for McNabb to get his team win the first time he played in his old hometown, Philly. He played great and the winning TD pass to Cooley was a thing of beauty. Maybe the coaches were involved, we’ll never know, but McNabb knew when the team lined up for the play that Cooley was wide open because he knew Cooley was the responsibility of the middle linebacker, who was lined up over the center, and in no position to cover Cooley running straight down the field. All McNabb had to do was deliver the ball softly high and outside and Cooley was home free – touchdown.
Now the Skins get to play the Packers with their decent defense and excellent Qback. Hopefully the Skins will give the 90K+ Skins fans something to shout about…and figure out a way to win this one to keep the “winning” momentum going.
‘Til next time, Cheers…Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF ‘98
09/29/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia, September 29, 2010
Oops, our guys went into St. Louis and got their collective butts kicked. The Skins went from a bad loss to the Texans to a worse loss to the Rams. From what I saw, it looked like they just did not show up emotionally to this game.
The NFL is a funny place right now. The Skins are at a disappointing 1-2 record. But look at all of the teams who are elated to be at 1-2; The Cowboys are excited they laid the wood to the Texans (now that one is surprising) and the Vikings are very happy to have gotten through Detroit with a win. The Giants are reeling at 1-2, kinda worse then the Skins are. There are nine teams with a 1-2 record, nine. How many of them will make the playoffs? It all depends on what they do and how they play over the next 12 to 14 weeks. Note: The Skins beat the Cowboys, the Texans beat the Skins, and now the Cowboys wamp-up on the Texans; go figure? It just goes to show you how different and unique each week is in the NFL.
Here are some interesting stats, which don't mean squat to the outcome of the next play: the Skins are 0-6 against rookie Qbacks over the last several years; this is the second year in a row they have lost to the number one draft pick; the Skins have lost 11 of their last 12 road games, eleven, now that is amazing; the Skins were 1-10 in first down conversions on third down (that is not very good); etc., etc., etc. You didn't think this transition to the Shanahan-Allen Era was going to be easy, did you? Evolving to two new systems (offense and defense) requires the players to think before they react and on an NFL field, things are happening too fast to think first, the player is way behind by the time he does what he is supposed to do.
But, no time to fret over spilt milk. The Skins get to travel to Philly to take on McNabb's old team the Eagles this week. I am sure McNabb and the Eagles are saying this is just another game, but Boys & Girls (Skins fans everywhere), this ain't just another game. This is a big deal for McNabb. The Eagles will be coming after McNabb, you can bet on that fact. I hope the Skins O-Line is mentally prepared to protecting McNabb at all costs. I hope the Skins front defensive seven are mentally prepared to contain Vick and do not give him time to find a high percentage receiver. And I hope they are focused on not letting him run because it looks like he's his old self again. When he gets into space he is off to the races, a lot of fun to watch, but a real problem for his playing opponent, as it the Skins this week.
I'm hoping the team mind-set going into Philly is, "Let's win one for our guy, McNabb." Thank you very much, we are so happy to have this "old" Qback on our team. Like Sonny before him, we are looking forward to many great games ahead for him. Just remember folks, when Coach Shanahan went into Denver, Elway was a year older than McNabb is today. And they had a grand time there, didn't they? Let's hope our guys are up to the task at hand a
09/26/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia, September 25, 2010
The Texans pulled one out at FedEx. Man, oh man, oh man, what a tough loss for this young team. And they had everything under control for the longest time in this game. The game was obviously a minute and a half (90 seconds) too long. But, the game ain't over 'til the Fat Lady sings. Evaluate it, learn from it, and move on - got to prepare for the next game.
I bet if you look closely at this game there are at least a baker's dozen plays that all went the Texans' way. If, if any one of them went the Skins' way, the Skins win going away. I have never seen one team get so many plays go their way. A blocked field goal: I bet there is a Skins tight end who now knows there are players in this league who are fast enough to go around you and block a kick. As great a game as McNabb played (I heard Jaw's say on the radio this week, this was McNabb's best game ever in the NFL.), there were probably a half dozen plays he could have done better for a win. But Jaw's, don't you want your very best game in the NFL to be a "win"? Back to the drawing board. The 'miss" to Galloway in the second half needed a tad more air under the ball. It could not have been more than six inches off.
The O-Line did a great job again in this game. You don't get 500 yards passing without good pass blocking. But the third and two off-sides turned into a 3rd and seven incompletion, instead of a run for a first down. If the Skins running game gets one first down, one first down any where in the game, that last 90 seconds is eaten up and would not have existed. The Defense, any where in those last minutes of the game (after the Cooley touchdown) had come up with any one stop or turnover, they would have changed the outcome of the game.
So Boys & Girls (Skins' Fans everywhere), this is what you call a "Team Loss". The offense, the defense, the special teams make one play, one play anywhere in this game and the Skins would have been 2-0. But, none did, and the team is 1-1* going into St. Louis (a very dangerous 0-2 team) needing to take care of business to get to 2-1. GO SKINS?! Root 'em Out? Most Skins fans will be with you in spirit, listening to Larry & Sonny, rooting you onto to Victory for Old D.C.
'Til next time, Cheers…Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
* We was doomed, at the 1:34 mark in the game, FedEx ate my lucky "Hail to the Redskins" sign; a very bad omen.
09/18/2010 - Title Fairfax, Virginia, September 17, 2020
O.K., Boys & Girls, how was that for the first game of the 2010 Season…The first ‘real’ game of the Allen-Shanahan Era of Redskins football. Are you kidding me, that was an unbelievable game. We are back to when the Cowboys & Redskins play each other, people take note. I heard the Sunday night game was the most watched in years. There were 90,000+ fans in FedEx Field, screaming their lungs out until the final whistle. Those who went home early, missed one of the best finishes in Redskins’ game history. Holy cow, how sweet it is to beat the Cowboys, especially this game.
I’ll always remember this game as the three-second game. Both teams were beating each other up the first half, the Skins hanging onto a 3-0 lead. With three seconds left in the half, Romo popped through the line, had 30 yards of open field in front of him, suddenly remembered the coaches saying, “Never, ever run with the football.” And made a nice flip to the running back (the 3rd guy), who gained some yards, but instead of hitting the ground to end the half, fought for an extra yard. Huh ho, that was a mistake…The Skins’ Dback pried the ball loose, picked it up, and ran it in for the Skins only touchdown of the night. The place went nuts. Course, all of this happened a few feet in front of the Cowboys’ bench; Skins-10, ‘Boys-0, at the half.
At the end of the game the ‘Boys had the ball on the Skins 13, with three seconds left it the game. Romo goes back, gets pressure from three sides; somehow slides up and to his right to get away from it, and throws a rope to a receiver in the front right corner of the end zone – touchdown. I am instantly thinking to myself, “Da’gummit, they did it again; they found a way to win in FedEx again.” FedEx instantly went from the loudest I have ever heard it, to total silence. The Cowboys players were celebrating. Three more seconds went by, wait, there is a flag on the field…FLAG is registered on the Big Screens. Holding (That O-tackle wasn’t holding, he was dancing with the Stars – the Skins’ ARAC-ATTACK!) on the offense; no touchdown; game over. The Skins win! The Skins Win!! The SKINS WIN!!! FedEx erupts into the loudest, greatest victory in FedEx history! Unbelievable, the most incredible negative Dirac Function Moment I have ever felt.
One of many keys to the game was the sustained drive the Skins made late in the 4th Qtr that lead to a 47-yd FG, and a six point lead instead of a three-point lead. This made the ‘Boys have to go for the TD at the end of the game vs tying the game with a FG. It got done by the Redhorses doing a great job controlling the line of scrimmage during a must time in the game and the team got points on the board. That folks, is winning football. I think during that drive Mr. Ware met Mr. Johnsons churning legs and left the game never to return on this night.
Let’s look at one stat – penalties by each team (sort of a measure of the team discipline); Skins - 5, ‘Boys – 12. Twelve
09/09/2010 - Fairfax, Virginia, September 8, 2010
On the eve of the opening of the 2010 NFL season and the end of training camps, I am liking what I am seeing and what I am hearing out of Redskins Park, boys & girls. Coach Shanahan focused on finding the best 53 players out of the lot who tried to make the team. Time will tell if he and his staff did good.
McNabb has recovered from the dirty play that whacked his ankle in the Raven’s pre-season game. Hopefully Portis is ready to go from his bad ankle. Course they have the Running Back-By-Committee approach, so they should be O.K. with whoever they use and is hot.
McNabb is a year younger than Elway was when Coach Shanahan arrived in Denver. McNabb was never really appreciated in Philadelphia. They had a heck of a ten-year run with him there, reaching four NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. The Skins have had excellent luck with ex-Eagle Qbacks in the past, some gent named Sonny had a pretty good run down here.
The O-line is really an unknown in a real game. What do we call these gents. I like to say, “ You gotta have the HORSES up front to be successful in the NFL.” Maybe we call them the “REDHORSES” or something like that? I don’t know, sounds kinda goofy. But they are “key” to the success of the offense. If McNabb has time, he’ll make plays, he’s an excellent Qback. And with his leadership qualities and experience, it’s not like he’s going to be a “Deer in the Headlights” on the eve of a championship game or even the Super Bowl, he’s been there. And he’s hungry. Just don’t make him run; if he has to run, we are in trouble and most likely going to have to go to Plan B. I am excited.
I am sure Coach Shanahan is sick and tired of answering questions about Mr. Hanesworth. There are 52 other guys on this team that want to be here and want to win, “…for old D.C.” The situation kinda reminds me of the President Ford pardoning ex-President Nixon. He did it, just so he could face the rest of life. It doesn’t matter to me whether Mr. H stays or goes, I believe this team can win with him and can win without him. If he leaves, he’ll miss this ride.
Come next Sunday night/Monday morning, Skins fans will either be celebrating a fan-tastic victory over those dastardly Cowboys, or the team will be 0-1 and starting to prepare to figure out how they can beat the other team from Texas to get to 1-1.
‘Til next time, Cheers…Mikey T. , Boss Hogette, HoF ‘98
07/21/2010 - July 21, 2010
On the eve of the opening of the 2010 NFL training camps, it is about time I spoke up about all of the changes with our Redskins. Holy cow, there have been a whole lot of changes out there at Redskins Park since the close of the 2009 season. The dismal “Lost Season” that seemed to go on forever and ever.
Gone is boy head coach Jim Zorn, who never really stood a chance in the Redskins’ environment. He is now the Baltimore Raven’s Qback coach with a top-notched kid at that position. Gone is Vinnie Cerrato, the want-a-be General Manager, who never seemed to quite get it right for that job. Gone is Qback Jason Campbell, who was a trooper who kept getting back up every time he got knocked down, and never seemed to have enough time to make a play. He needs a fresh start, good luck, sir.
New is GM Bruce Allen, one of the legendary George Allen boys who has a history with the Redskins, and who has had success in this league as a GM. New is Head Coach Mike Shanahan, an experienced head coach who has won Super Bowls and who wants to be here. He has been to the mountain top. So has Mr. Allen. Also new is the promise from the owner that he’ll let his “football” people do their jobs. And new is Donovan McNabb, ex-Eagles’ Qback now the “man” in D.C. What a surprise that was, to pick up an experienced Qback from within our division. Also new are a whole bunch of other players vying for a shot to make the Skins a “winner” again.
McNabb is a year younger than Elway was when Coach Shanahan arrived in Denver. McNabb was never really appreciated in Philadelphia. They had a heck of a ten-year run with him there, reaching four NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. And with teams with average receivers and O.K. runners. Course, the Eagles’ fans always seemed to blame McNabb for not winning the big one. It’s been a while, but if I remember correctly, when the Skins won three Super Bowls over an eight-year span, it took all 53 players, plus some, a lot of smart coaches, and some good luck and good health to win those big games. It wasn’t all on the shoulders of one guy. I suspect it is going to require the same in the future.
I have heard a bunch of Skins fans say the Skins are good to go now. Really? My first concern is our O-Line. If they cannot protect McNabb, keep him vertical and healthy, give him time, we’ll have the same win-loss results we’ve had the last 10-12 years. I liked that the Skins picked up an All-Pro tackle from the Super Bowl Saints. I think we have the makings of an O-Line who can keep McNabb safe; the quality of the athletic and intellectual talent of the O-Line players will be the foundation for the success of the Redskins.
We have several older experienced running backs looking to help Portis (I worry about Portis’ head injury from Atlanta, hopefully that is 110%) with the running game. I like running by “committee”, hopefully two or three solid runners with speed who can move the “pile” will start the
01/06/2010 - Fairfax, VA, January 5, 2010: Well, it's over, thank goodness
Well, it's over, thank goodness - The 2009 Redskins season to me, will forever be thought of as, "The
Lost Season". It is over for Coach Zorn, too. They did not hardly let his feet hit the ground back from San Diego before they axed him. The Z-Man was out the door before 5:00 A.M. Probably the kindest thing the
Redskins did for him during his tenure here.
The Chargers game typified this season, except for the two recent Giants and Cowboys blowouts, which were embarrassing and made you, as a fan,
want to puke. Against the Chargers, the players had changes to make plays and win that game. But like four or five other games this season, they could not come up with the play. Two dropped interceptions; one
early, and one late, during the game-winning drive. Our defense, over the last couple of years, although statistically great, could not seem to make the key "stop" to win the game. They played just good enough to lose close. And their whiny $100 million dollar man was not even suited up, deactivated for the game.
The O-line made the critical mistake at the other crucial moment; fourth and two on the two, with a chance to score a touchdown and go up by eight points late in the fourth quarter; forcing the Chargers to score
twice or go for two. False start, flag, had to kick a field goal, so they were only up by four. Proved to be a back breaker.
Vinnie said he had provided play-off caliber players...HOGWASH!!! That's why he should have been let go years ago. I'm not sure he could
recognize a play-off player if he stood right next to one. I don't care how much experience a coach has; if the players don't have the talent to make the winning plays, the coach and team cannot win in the NFL. A
4-12 record this year, a 12-20 record for two years; but more importantly, a 0-6 record against the NFC East this year is not acceptable. I like Coach Zorn, the team has certainly invested a lot in his education, but the record is what it is.
I haven't written a note for a while - too depressing for me. The Giants beat the crap out of the Skins, tackling people to hurt them. The Giants went on the get blasted by the Panthers and the Vikings in their last two games. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of fellows. Happy new year to you turkeys. And the Cowboys came to our place; their D-line just beat the crap out of the Skins' O-line, putting Campbell down way too many times. They out-classed the Skins in every department. Then the close loss to the Chargers; it is good that it is over.
Bruce Allen can now move forward in a new direction. I do not know what the future holds for Skins' fans, hopefully we'll have a little to shout about in 2010.
'Till next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '99
12/01/2009 - Fairfax, VA, December 1, 2009: The Skins lose another one in Philly
In the last two weeks, the Skins traveled to Dallas and Philadelphia and managed to lose in the last few minutes both games by a total of four points: 6-7 and 24-27. What a nightmare. They out-played the Cowboys, but in the end, let them off the hook. They scored enough points in Philly to win, but in the end, couldn’t stop the winning field goal drive. My kingdom for a defensive ‘Stop’. Even though the Skins were ahead late in both games, watching them, you just had the feeling they were going to find some way to lose each one. What a yucky feeling, especially when it came to fruition, in both games.
In Dallas, before the first field goal miss, the Skins argued for five minutes or more for a review of the placement of the ball, gaining five or six yards for the kick. Talk about icing your own kicker; missed by less than a foot. With seven minutes to go in the game, before the second field goal miss, lost two yards on a draw play; missed by less than a foot. Man, it is a real downer to lose in Dallas when you could have won.
Then to travel to Philly, play the Eagles tough, with a lot of new players replacing injured starters and replacements for the injured starters.
And the NFL wants to make the season longer, what a joke. The NFL should make the pre-season and the season shorter, to keep their players healthy.
The team deserved better in Philly. At the end of the first half, with a little over three minutes left, the Skins managed to throw two interceptions on short routes, that the Eagles converted into two field goals. That haunts you when you end up losing the game by a field goal, 24-27.
And so the town mopes around for another week. It doesn’t get any easier with the undefeated 11-0 Saints coming to town this Sunday. Hopefully Zorn & Co. can gather enough healthy players to make a competitive showing against the Saints. Thank goodness they have to tee it up and play the game.
Til next time, Cheers…Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF ‘99
11/18/2009 - Fairfax, VA, November 17, 2009: It is so much more fun when the Skins win, especially when they aren't supposed to win
The Skins beat the visiting Broncos 27-17, but the game started the other way; The Broncos scored on a blown-coverage 40-yard TD pass after a little over two minutes were gone in the game. The Skins actually had a first quarter drive of over 70 yards for a touchdown to tie the game up. What is this, a running game? The Broncos fumbled on their next possession, but after the Skins went three and out got the ball back and "bang", got a 75-yard TD pass on another blown coverage; 14-7, what is with our coverage?...our solid defense??
The Skins punted three times after that, and faced with another fourth down, lined up to kick a 35-yard field goal (FG) with only ten men on the field. It was an obvious fake FG situation. After a time out, the Skins lined up the FG team again and pulled off the fake FG with a pure 40-yard TD pass from Hunter the Punter to Mike Sellers. Unbelievable, the Skins were in this game. The Broncos kicked a FG with five seconds left in the first half, but lost Orton, their QB on the last play. Sims had to QB in the second half. More importantly, the Skins continued to run the ball. The O-line actually was a force at the line-of-scrimmage. The third quarter was a draw, but the trend was set. The Broncos got two first downs in the third quarter and one in the fourth.
The Skins intercepted a long Broncos pass on the goal line and after a 60-yard drive scored another TD. The Skins held the ball for over 11:00 minutes in the fourth and won this game going away. Campbell the scrambler moved the chains and the Skins controlled the clock. Betts and Rock and some kid named Ganther kept running the ball up the field and making plays. Ever hear 85,000 happy Skins fans? They are loud. The Skins did not turn the ball over (very important) and controlled the line-of-scrimmage. Oh how sweet it is to win. Much more fun than in Atlanta, where the Skins were not ready to play, got down 24-3, played better in the third quarter, but were never in the game. Portis got hurt; Horton got hurt and is done for the year. But that is history and the Skins now had found an O-Line and a running game.
It is Dallas Week. The Skins travel to the new Jones Palace in Texas...are they supposed to win? No, the Cowboys are supposed to beat the Skins up. Isn't it great the game has to be played. We (some of the Hogettes) are going to travel to Bradenton, Florida, to watch the Skins-Cowboys game in Indian Country with about 400 Sarasota, FL, Redskins' fans. Hopefully it'll be a fun trip home. But we’ll have fun, win or lose.
Til next time, Cheers...Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '99
11/04/2009 - Fairfax, VA, November 4, 2009: The Skins lose their third game in a row to NFC East rival Eagles, 17-27, Bah-hum-bug.
This game was over very quick. The Eagles ran a double reverse with some gent who could flat out fly and 65 yards later it was 7-0, Eagles, with 14:03 left in the first quarter. When the Skins got the ball deep in their own territory, Campbell took a three-step drop to throw a quick slant…bam…the ball got batted in the air volley-ball style, an Eagles’ linebacker caught it on a dead run and 12 yards later the score was 14-zip, Eagles, still in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Randle El tried to hurry a punt return, the ball careened off his helmet, the Eagles recovered and went on to kick a field goal (FG). The party was over. Especially the way the Skins coaches managed the fourth quarter. The Skins fought back to make the score 27-14. Midway through the fourth quarter, down three scores, the Skins players just walked back to the huddle, no urgency in their step. Then the Skins passed on a FG opportunity??? When down three scores, you have to kick the FG; recover the on-sides kick-off; score the quick touchdown (TD); then do it again. If that is where you are, that is what you have to do to even have a chance to win; so much for winning.
Now the team has had a bye week to lick their wounds and this Sunday travel to Atlanta to take on the twice beaten (in the last two weeks) Falcons. One of these teams is going to have a very long week next week. Thank goodness the game needs to be played.
Til next time…Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF ’99
10/21/2009 - Fairfax, VA, October 21, 2009. Kansas City, what a nightmare.
Too many "Olay" blocks and too many "Olay" tackles, and not enough touchdowns. Another O-For team wins their first game against the Skins. I believe this phase is over. A couple of thoughts on this game. The Skins seem to lock-up in the Red-Zone. The defense gave up four field goals and no touchdowns; pretty solid. (Note: Haynesworth ran off the field before the end of the game (Fastest we've seen him run all year.); What's with that? Win together - lose together: TEAM). One touchdown by our side could have won this game. More players need to make plays.
I know these men have pride. Too many are whining about Management supporting Coach Z-Man. If the players want their coach, they need to go on the field and knock somebody down and make tackles. As that famous song says, "Run or Pass, and Score, We want a lot more...". If the players do it on the field, and ignore all of the junk off the field they have no control over, and score more points, the coach could survive and grow into this job he so much wants. But for now, the Skins are a 2-4 team. It could be worse, the Jeff Fisher (excellent experienced coach) TITANS are 0-5 and just got beat 59-0.
Since the game, Mr. Snyder has directed that the ex-retirement home BINGO Caller, who has been with the Redskins' team for about two-weeks, will now be the Skins "Play Caller". He what???...Amazing...The Eagles game should be interesting. The Eagles lost to the lowly Raiders last weekend. They are going to be hot. The Skins players had better run some wind sprints, tackle the tackling dummy, push the blocking slid around the practice field, and strap on their chin-straps real tight, this could be an ugly, hard-hitting affair Monday night.
My experience says, “When in trouble, go back to the basics (and simplify).” Hopefully the Skins will find a way to score more points than the Eagles. The bye-week should be a time to allow the coaches and players to heal, re-tool, and re-group. We have a local retired college basketball coach who points out; it took him three years to figure out how to win...He is now in the Basketball Hall of Fame because he was given time to figure it out. If given that time (and the players), I believe the Z-Man will become an excellent NFL Head Coach, and I prefer it to be here. The Skins fans have suffered through tougher, worst times.
Root 'em on!!!
Til next time...Cheers, Mikey T.. Boss Hogette, HoF '99
10/13/2009 - Date-Line: Fairfax, VA, October 13, 2009. Carolina steals their first win.
Now I understand the creation of the "Pooch Punt"; to take advantage of the stupidest rule in the NFL: If a punting team player can push a receiving team player into the path of the punt receiver who has signaled for a "Fair Catch", the act negates the "Fair Catch" rule. And oh-by-the-way, if the football happens to touch a receiving team player during this sequence; and if a kicking team player recovers the ball; the kicking team gets to retain the ball (where recovered). You have got to be kidding me. Who made up this rule, Art Modell? The best 'offensive' play in the play book, just got better. That is the "stupidest" rule I have ever witnessed. I even bounced that play in Carolina off a lady who knows absolutely nothing about football and could care less, and she even recognized it was highway robbery. I hope it does not cost Coach Zorn his job, because that would be the "ultimate" injustice in sports.
Now I am mad. That rule sucks. If Mr. Snyder has any power in the NFL, that punt rule would be fixed by FAX NLT COB, Wednesday, October 14, 2009.* The Skins fought their guts out, in front of a huge away-game bunch of Redskins fans and got ripped off. Should the Skins have scored more points, sure; but it seemed like they scored quickly when they had the chance. Carolina has a lot of good players. Peppers & Co. can play D-line with anybody. They have smart plays; a pick play that didn't look like a pick play for an easy two points. Carolina will win some games this season.
Now for the tackle that didn't help. How does a Skins' CB get run over by a ferocious scrambling QB? The CB said they used to practice that "Pooch Punt Push" play in Atlanta, but I guess they didn't practice fundamental tackling there either; or at Virginia Tech. Where was Mr. Rogers when we needed him? Daryl Green could teach all of these CB's how to tackle bigger guys. I screamed at the TV: "Tackle a leg, tackle an ankle, tackle a foot, tackle anything to get that overpowering QB on the ground to force a punt. Didn't happen. I'll say one thing for DA Hall, he is a slippery runner once he gets his hands on the ball. Can he catch a punt?
The Chiefs come to town this week, 0-5, after letting the Cowboys off the hook in O.T., oh swell. They gave the Cowboys all they wanted. Hopefully the Skins will have a Business-Get Done outing in front of the hometown crowd.
Til next time...Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '99
* Of course that ain’t going to happen, so I’m thinking rather than getting mad, the Skins should get even; They need to win two games at FedEx using the “Pooch Punt Push” Rule for the home team. Then they’ll be even.
10/10/2009 - By-Line: Fairfax, VA, October 10, 2009. The Skins came back to beat the BUCS
What a nightmare the first quarter (the first half) was against a charged-up BUCS team who came into FedEx to win their first game of the season. Right out of the box, the BUCS defense jumped Campbell, causing a fumble the BUCS recovered on the Skins ten-yard line. A ten-yard field for the Bucs resulted in a TD they scored in less than a minute. The Skins didn't do much better the rest of the quarter, punting a couple of times. But then a glimmer of light late in the quarter, the BUCS lined up for a 48-yard field goal attempt...the kick was true, but at the last second, the ball veered right, hit the upright, and bounced away - FG no good. (Seen in the PIG PEN, a bunch of pigmen sucking air back into their lungs after blowing with all their might toward the goal posts.) Still 7-0, Bucs.
The Skins running game didn't do much better than their passing game. The Portis stretch play did not work; too much penetration down the line, so Portis could not get to the edge cleanly to cut and make something happen. The passing game sputtered, resulting in two interceptions; one at the end of the first quarter and one early in the second. The Boo-Birds came marching out, they had plenty to feed on. I remember one pass play though that Campbell (JC) and Betts combined on that was a really sweet swing pass, in rhythm, that made a good gain. The Skins defense played tough, only allowing a field goal, so the half time score was 10-0, Bucs. A couple of plays and the Skins could get back in this game. During this week I heard several Box-Experts say they would have pulled Campbell in the second quarter. Thank goodness we only have one head coach. I heard Coach Zorn said he still saw a fire in Campbell's eyes. I have only heard of one other head coach who could look into his QB's eyes and see what was going on...and he was a pretty good one.
In the third quarter, the Skins turned the world around. Portis started getting to the edge cleanly and quickly: he's still got 'quick'. The Defense came up with a stop that resulted in a FG. A couple more stops/punts resulted in a Cooley medium-range TD pass and a bomb to Moss for a touchdown; Bang, just like that, the Skins were up 16-10. Long passes are great when they work. People forget they are low-percentage plays. I believe this is the first bomb the Skins have scored with this season. Since the regulars do not play in the preseason games, the first four games of the regular season were in fact the preseason games for them. Now that they have put in the "Grass Time" (as Coach Joe Jacoby (SU) would say.), the regulars should be ready to 'Rock & Roll'. An observation: JC has such a strong arm, he throws a 40-yd rope. It seems like the defenders stay in the play better to knock the ball away. If he can practice "looping" the ball out there, giving it some 'air', so his receivers can run under it, the team's success rate may go up.
In the fourth quarter, the Skins' defense played tough, with Fletcher making the game saving tackle inside the Skins ten-yard line. Good team victory. Now it is down to Carolina against an 0-4 team that beat the Skins by 40+ points last year. Should be interesting. Hopefully the struggling team will continue to struggle and the improving team will continue to improve.
Til next time...Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '99
09/30/2009 - By-Line: Fairfax, VA, September 29, 2009. Tough loss in Detroit
Another view point, I suppose is; Now there are a whole lot of very happy Lions fans saying, "Take that Washington, and stick it where the sun don't shine." It is amazing to me how many ex-Skins players (like Jon Jansen) win their first game with their new ball club against the Skins. Is Mr. Snyder cursed? Then I opened the Washington Post Monday morning and saw the photo on the Front (A-1) Page showing the Skins lost that game by less than a "meter". That is 37 inches, boys & girls. That photo shows a totally committed Clinton Portis (CP) flat-out horizontal, about 3 1/2 feet off the ground. Unfortunately he is outside the sideline. Then my questions started; Did CP run his pattern too wide, or did Jason Campbell (JC) delivery the ball too late, or was CP forced to go outside by the three defenders. Three defenders, that means there could have been two other Redskin receivers jumping up & down, waving their arms, yelling, "Throw it to me, throw it to me." But, maybe JC didn't have time to see them. I just wanted to throw up.
What a tough week this is going to be. Many scribes and radio yapping heads are filling the air waves guessing, "Is Mr. Snyder going to fire the Z-man on Tuesday or Wednesday?" What an environment, the Z-man is one cool cucumber. I think he has all the right stuff, I hope he's here for a long time to come. It took Coach John Thompson (Georgetown, Basketball Hall of Fame) three years to learn how to win. You know Coach Gibbs went 0-5 before his teams started winning. If Jack Kent Cooke had fired him at 0-3, how many Super Bowls would the Skins fans have missed? Great things sometimes have very humble beginnings.
About the Lions game: We were watching it with about 350 wild & crazy Skins fans at a children's charity benefit. The fans didn't have much to root about, so our hands were full and I didn't have much time to focus on the game. I do recall, early in the game, the Skins had a 4th and one inside the Lions five yard line. The Skins ran that da-gum off-tackle play that did not work in the Rams game. I'm screaming, "Move the pile, move the pile, run straight ahead." Maybe this week. Any points is better than no points. What is the basic NFL axiom, "You have to score points to win," Of course the other side of the coin is: Who would have figured the Skins highly toted defense would allow a rookie Qbk and a no-name offense to march 99 yards for a touchdown. Somebody said the Skins tackling sucked again this week. I hope that gets fixed soon. Don't they make tackling dummies and sand pits any more?
The Skins players and coaches fought to the bitter end, but a loss is a loss. It's better at 1-2, than late in the season. I just hope the Skins players got out of Detroit without too many injuries; I hate concrete fields - the players really get banged up on them. It is now onto the BUCS who are coming to FedEx Field, we owe them. Another hard game against a poor team - oh joy! My hope is the Skins score more points than they do, and they don't get booed going off the field after a win. If the final is a loss, I am sure there will be plenty of motivational noise & energy produced by the Skins fans, who like to win.
Monday Morning is so great; all of the turkeys and clowns come out from everywhere and say what should have been done. There are only a few good men who actually do it, real time. The Z-Man is a good young one of them.
P.S. I heard Mr. Snyder and his buddy, Tom Cruise, were on the Lions’ field before the game? Maybe they were having a competition to see who could give out the most autographs to the Redskin players?
Til next time...Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '99
09/22/2009 - Fairfax, VA, September 22, 2009. Tough win.
O.K., Boys & Girls, it was ugly. But you know what; a win is a win is a win. Three field goals will beat one touchdown every time. I hope many don't yap about Campbell (JC) this week - two dropped TD passes are tough to swallow, but they happen, and the team kept after it to the end to win, in spite of many mistakes. They made fewer, less critical ones than the Rams. Receivers have to give their finger-tips eyes (watch the ball into their hands), no matter what is happening or about to happen. If they lose sight of the ball, the finger-tips go blind.) This team (Head Coach, coaches, players) are all a "work in progress" - they will improve for all situations each week - this I believe, because they try to learn from the mistakes. The Z-Man got what he could, and three FG's will forever beat one TD. Since I was in the PIG PEN, I didn't chart the game, so I'm going to give you my macro-view of it. It was a long, tiring game. Aren't they all (I heard today the game actually ran 2.47 hrs...it was a long 2.47 hrs.).
To summarize: I know there were many unnoticed plays that were really big, but in my view, this game was won by two tackles and an athletic move by our tall, gawky QB who somehow got the ball to our six-inch line after being hit by two guys in the end zone, thus avoiding a two-point safety. I am not sure how JC got his feet and the ball out of that end zone, he must be a very strong fellow. The Rams were driving mid-4th Qtr, inside our ten: pass play...catch...huge hit (I don't know who made the hit, but it was big)...fumble...Skins recover - a STOP in the 4th...it's been a long time coming. Result - Saved a probable guaranteed three points, maybe even seven. And finally, with less than two minutes to go, the "Big" hit by Mr. Rogers to preserve the win. A great shoulder-pad tackle up through the receiver that hurt Mr. Rogers, too, probably until Wednesday. He gave up his body to "win".
Remember before the Giants game I said if the Skins could get past the second week at 1-1, and healthy, the Skins would be on the right course; first goal accomplished, except for the tough loss of the experienced Guard Randy Thomas. My hope is he becomes the new assistant line coach to the world renown Joe Bugel.
I don't care how ugly it is, it's "funner" to win.
Now it is onto Detroit; you think Jon Jansen is licking his chops and rallying his teammates to knock off the Skins to win their first game since 2007. You bet he is.
'Til next time...Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '99
09/14/2009 - Date Line: Fairfax, VA, September 14, 2009
Loss in New York.
Well, the Skins are 0-1, losing to the G-men in the Skins last appearance in the Meadowlands, 23-17. There are 15 games to go. As tough a time as they had yesterday, they were only one play away from pulling that game out, stealing it. The Skins were down 17-0 at one point, and fought their guts out to get back into the game, which they did. We have to give them credit. But they could have won that game with one more big play, or not giving up one big play. Bah hum bug, so frustrating. There are so many different ways to view this game. I prefer the view that as much as the Giants controlled many aspects of the game, causing the Skins frustration for 59 minutes, the Skins were one ten-second play away from winning that game. But it is a loss. What did the great Vince Lombardi say, "You have to learn how not to lose before you can learn how to win." I guess that is where our team is.
The Defense played great...and they played bad. There were way too many big 3rd down plays turned into first downs. Who is Steve Smith? How many 3rd down passes did he turn into first downs? He killed us all day, including catching the on-sides kick (Why did we kick it at him?). Fletcher made tackles all over the field, lots of tackles. I loved all the hats tackling the ball. The D-line did it's job on many plays, but very little on 3rd downs. They put pressure on Eli (a very competent Qback). In the 4th Qtr, ten minutes left, the defense could not come up with the key stop, allowed the Giants to march down the field and kick a simple field goal to force the Skins to score two touchdowns to pull the game out. Here we go again, that happened way too often last year. When did the Giants' punter make is his first kick, mid-way through the 3rd Qtr? That is very poor. How many times did he punt? Early in the 1st Qtr, no-catch Carlos did it again...got himself in perfect position to intercept a pass and give the offense a short field...tried to catch the ball with his hands, forget it; no catch, the Giants continued down the field to a score. The defense turned long drives into field goals, which is good, kept the team in the game.
Late in the 3rd Qtr, the D finally made a big play, intercepted the ball caused by the D-line pressure on the pocket/Q-back and gave the Offense a very, very short 11-yard field. But the Offense could not score a touchdown. How could they not score a touchdown? Amazing. The Giants pressured the Skins out of a pass play. Is there a draw play or a quick slant in the play book? In the Red Zone, why isn't Portis on the field? He's the best run threat and the best backfield pass blocker.
The offense had a tough day against an excellent D-line, but suspect D-backfield... A couple of plays illustrate; The play that won the game - Osi Umen... made a terrific outside rush on Samuels, but Campbell forgot to step up into the pocket (basic move)...as Campbell went to throw the ball, Umen... swatted it out of his hand...fumble...then Umen... picked it up and ran 40 yards for a defensive score. The Skins take that one play away from the Giants, guess what the final score is. Instead, the Giants win by two-inches (If Campbell steps up he doesn't lose the ball.) Two plays by Santana Moss really frost me. He was in single coverage most of the day, I think, he never got separation, and had one catch for -2 yards until he caught his second ball late in the fourth. He did 'draw' in a fist fight (Was he on a football field yesterday?); not smart to have your number one receiver thrown out of the game for fighting. Hey Moss, you ever heard of a "flop"? The interception was Moss' fault, too. He has to step back toward the ball on that throw, instead of waiting for it to come to him...to protect the ball, increase his chances of catching it, or keep the defender from catching it. Moss was a non-factor in that game. I noticed the Giants' Jacobs (27) was fighting, too...Did you see the 'flop' he made to try and get another Skins player out of the game? I think the Giant coaches told their players to 'goat' the Skins' hothead players to get them out of their game, and it worked. They won.
Here come the RAMS, I sure hope the Skins beat them by 20, with a lot of backup people playing in the third and fourth quarter.
'Til next time...Cheers. Mikey T., Boss Hogette
09/05/2009 - Notes from Boss Hog
By-Line: Fairfax, VA, September 4, 2009.
State of the Team: The 2009 Campaign begins. Life is good. Coach Zorn is now a young (sophomore) head coach. He is no longer a "Rookie" head coach and no longer a "Rookie" play caller. He knows his players better. Experience is the basis for wisdom. His coaches are no longer learning his system. They are his system. The players are no longer learning his system: so they should not have to think before they act and react; they should just "DO". Sports in general are fast, but the NFL today is so fast, there is no time to think, the players just need to "DO". The players ability to "DO" should improve their execution success. Of course, a major hurtle is the other teams in the NFC East are better, too.
Let's start with the Defense. They ranked 4th in all of the NFL last season. Statistics are so misleading. I remember the Skins lost two, three games, maybe more, because their Defense could not make a STOP late in the 4th Qtr. The Offense could not get on the field (never saw a "short field" in the 4th Qtr), so the Team could have a chance to pull the game out. As far as "short fields" and "Take-Aways" were concerned, they could be counted on one hand? Teams who score a lot of points, most come from a "short field" (40-35 yds in to score), and this is one of the "keys" to winning. A good example is our 1983 Redskins. Any way, with the addition of the $100-Million-Dollar Man Haynesworth and the rookie D-end Arakpo, the Skins Defense should get a better "push" and force more "hurries" and fumbles and interceptions; maybe in 2009 we'll see lots of "short fields". And wouldn't it be great if the Defense and Special Teams scored six to eight touchdown. Now that would give us fans something to shout about.
The Offense can only get better; 2008 started out great at 6-2, but, as the injuries added up, especially to the O-Line (Do you believe the Skins actually played an O-lineman with a broken neck? That is nuts. Maybe the coaches didn't know?). I don't care how good a defense is, when your offense only puts 10 points a game up on the board (score), it is really tough to win a lot of games. And the Offense needs to keep the ball late in the 4th Qtr. They have to make key first downs to keep the ball away from the other guys. I can remember we lost at least one game last year because we couldn't make a first down on third and two. You have to be able to do this to win. So what about 2009? Doc is back at left guard. The right tackle is big and has another year of experience under his belt. Hopefully the experienced center stays healthy this year. But guys up front are going to get hurt; it is the nature of the NFL game. If the backups can play, keep Campbell upright, and he has more than "zero" time for the passing game, he can deliver the ball to an improved receiver corps. We'll be able to tell pretty soon into the season; if the Team averages more than 20 points per game, and the Defense lives up to its billing, the Team has a chance to win more games.
They have to show me though, I'll believe it when I see it. I'm afraid they look like an 8-8 team. But, if they can steal a game or two, win the games they are supposed to win; guess what, they turn into a 10-6 team, with a good shot at making the playoffs. But that is putting the mule before the cart. The Redskins were supposed to beat the Rams last year. They didn't, and the season went South from there. If the Skins can come out of the Meadowlands (tough place to start a season) in good shape, and beat the Rams in FedEx home opener, they'll be off to a good start for the season. I am going to wait and see.
'Til next time...Cheers. Mikey T., Boss Hogette
07/25/2009 - Dateline: July 21, 2009
Rich Tandler has been a Redskins fan since 1966. As the Hogettes, we have our own unique way of celebrating our fandom. Rich has his way of showing Burgundy and Gold runs through his veins as well--he writes books about his team. His third, The Redskins Chronicle: a Journey Through the History of the Redskins 1937-2008, is the crown jewel of Redskins books. You can be among the first Redskins fans to get your hands on this book, a must-have item for any true Redskins fan. And, in doing so, you can help the Hogettes help the kids.
Not only does The Redskins Chronicle have a full story of every game the team played from1937 through 2008, it has accounts of all of the hirings and firings, the drafts and the trades, and anecdotes that paint the picture of the Redskins. It's a unique book; go to RedskinsChronicle.com to get the full picture of what it is about.
The book is now available for ordering and Rich would like to help the Hogettes help their favorite kids charities; For every book sold, Rich will make a donation to the Hogettes. As always, 100% of the donation will go to help the kids. In addition, Rich is offering a hefty discount off the cover price of the book and other perks as well. Just visit RedskinsChronicle.com for details and to order this must-have volume!
01/06/2009 - FedEx Field, Jan. 5, 2009
The Redskins traveled to the City by the Bay for their last game of the first Zorn season with a chance to go 9-7. Instead, they laid an egg in the second half, after leading 17-7 at halftime, allowing the 49ers to score 20 points and winning the game on a last second, 39-yard field goal, 27-24. A too often heard in the latter half of the 2008 season Redskin player quote, “We let it slip away.” The 49ers were not a very good football team, but the Redskins managed to make them look great. Granted this was a meaningless game, but “winning” is a habit that needs to be practiced game in and game out. Coach Zorn’s first season ended 8-8. I believe at the beginning of the season I said an 8-8 season would be a good year, so I guess I better stand by my statement. But it is interesting how close a fantastic 11-5 season was to Coach Zorn’s first year team. They win the Rams, Bengals, and 49ers games and Redskins fans are jumping beans. To think the Eagles made the playoffs, a team the Redskins beat twice, just makes you shake your head. Course the Eagles did a number on the Cowboys (which was sweet), so they won their way into the playoffs, but it is enough to make a fan scream. Now it is onto the 2009 season.
Until next time, Cheers…Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF ‘98
12/23/2008 - FedEx Field, Dec 23, 2008
The Redskins traveled to Cincinnati and were pathetic against the Bengals, losing to the 1-12-1, 20-10. If you cannot beat the Bengals, you do not deserve to go to the playoffs, simply put. Several brief things about this game: On the third play of the game, Cooley put the ball on the ground, and the rest was history. The Redskins got their first first down with about 8:30 left in the first half; very poor. The Redskins proved they could not win with only one and a half offensive tackles; Portis had nowhere to run. Down 17-0, Moss caught a touchdown pass, then proceeded to polish one of his shoes. What a classless, bush-league move. He really ticked off a lot of Redskin fans, and he cost his team a 15-yard penalty. At 17-10, the Redskins fought their way down to the Bengals’ one-yard line. Sellers was given the ball to tie the game. But, instead of power running into the line and moving the pile with his 270 pound body, he took two awkward steps and tried to leap over the pile. He was met at the top of the pile and pushed back. So what do the Redskins do on the next play, they give the ball to Sellers again and again he tries to jump over the pile. Stopped again, he reaches the ball out to put it across the goal line. A Bengal linebacker knocks it out of his hands, the Bengals recover, the Redskins get no points; very poor. With a little more than two minutes left in the game, Rock Cartwright runs back a kick-off to about the Bengals 15 yard line. With little time left and needing two scores, what do the Redskins do; They run Portis off tackle, twice. Twice, unbelievable; then they threw an incomplete pass; game over. Very poor energy by the players and very poor coaching by the coaches, definitely a team loss. So much for that disaster.
The Eagles came to town needing a win to stay in the play-off hunt. The Redskins were still in the play-off picture, mathematically, but with a slim to zero chance. It was very cold and very windy day in FedEx Field. It was the first time I have ever seen a lady flag bearer almost get picked up by the wind. The Redskins played with a lot of passion and energy; where was this effort last week? It was a real fight, which is always the case when these two teams get together. The game came down to two plays; Jason Taylor beat a big tackle and was able to sack McNabb from behind, knocking the ball loose. London Fletcher picked it up and started running for the end zone. The big tackle Jason had beaten tackled Fletcher from behind inside the Eagles’ 20. We were thinking, “Man, I wish London could have scored.” But the offense pushed the ball down to about the one on several plays and Portis powered the ball over the goal line behind the blocking of the young kid from the University of Maryland. Man, the Eagles receivers were pathetic the whole game, they must have dropped at least a dozen passes right in their hands or off their chests, it was amazing. The best Redskins offensive play
12/12/2008 - FedEx Field, Dec 10, 2008
Our Redskins traveled up the road to Baltimore on a cold, winter's Sunday night to take on a decent Ravens team with a rookie Q-back and one of the best defenses in the NFL. After five and half minutes the Ravens led 14-0, and the Redskins were in a lot of trouble. The Ravens' defense repeatedly knocked Jason Campbell to the ground and intercepted him twice. The Ravens' Flacco did not make too many mistakes and Campbell kept getting up off the ground. Then things got worse; both Jon Jansen and Chris Samuels were knocked out of the ball game. So a battered O-line became a disaster zone. The Redskins battled back to get to 17-10 in the fourth quarter, but then the Redskins made another mistake; they knocked the Ravens' primary back, Willis McGahee, out of the game. With the Redskins needing the ball to make the game interesting, the Ravens put two 270 pound running backs in the game, who proceeded to run the ball 11 straight times and burn eight minutes off the clock: bang a 28-yard touchdown pass; final score 23-10. I do not know how a team wins in the NFL without two offensive tackles, but I guess we are going to find out. The Redskins travel to Cincinnati this week to take on the hapless Bengals. It should be interesting to see how it turns out. The Redskins face a simple future; if they keep winning, they may have a chance to make the play-offs; if they lose, they are out and their season ends this month.
Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF'98
12/04/2008 - Dateline: FedEx Field 12/3/08
Well, Boys & Girls, the Giants came to town and pretty much whipped our Redskins' butts, going home after hardly breaking a sweat with a 23-7 win. The Redskins stopped the Giants' running game, but Eli threw for over 300 yards and they put enough points on the board by halftime to handle the situation. The game was pretty much typified by the Giants first extra-point play. The holder dropped the ball, but there was no Redskins' rush. He managed to pick the ball up and put it down, the kicker re-set and kicked the ball through the uprights. I stood there and thought to myself, "What the hey???" I have never seen that in a professional game. I do not know what the Redskins' players were thinking, or doing. The first two or three times the Redskins had the ball, on third down plays, they completed passes a yard short for a first down. Are we back in the Spurrier era??? On a fourth and one, Jansen's defensive end made the tackle behind the line of scrimmage for no gain, Giants' ball. Very poor play on the Redskins part, very poor.
Portis ran as hard as he could, but the running game was pretty much shutdown by the Giants D-line, and Portis got hurt again, jamming his neck. They have pretty much run him into the ground. The offense looks too predictable, and there were too many dropped passes on key plays. Many this week are questioning Jason Campbell's quality of play. He has had no time, and has been picking himself off the deck way too many times. Is he part of the problem, sure, but all need to elevate their play if they want to get their first goal, making the playoffs. Many are complaining about Suisham's kicking percentage, he missed a field goal at the end of the first half that could have lifted the Redskins play a lot. I thought it was a poor high snap that threw the timing of the kick off. How soon folks forget, Suisham has made a lot of big kicks since he's been a Redskin. This season he's had a couple of different holders, which affects a kicker. I do not get to analysis all of the misses, but I bet the biggest factor has been the quality of the snap. And I just do not understand the punting plan. The Skins' current punter seems to have a pretty strong leg, but, whatever happened to the "coffin-corner" kick? These great punts dribble into the end zone for a touchback; kick the da'gum ball out of bounds inside the five yard line. Why give the other team 15 yards? Let them need a 95 yard drive to score.
Now it is crunch time. The Redskins record is 7-5, with four games to go. But this is the fourth best wildcard record for two wildcard spots. It is not clear a 10-6 record will qualify for the playoffs this season. The Redskins travel to Baltimore to take on the 8-4 Ravens. The Ravens' defense is in the élite category, especially their run-defense. And they score points. I hope the team shows some spunk up there, or it could be a long December, and a short season.
Until next time, Cheers...Mikey T
11/27/2008 - FedEx Field, Nov 25, 2008
The Redskins traveled to Seattle and took care of business, winning 20-17. It was not very impressive, and yet it was impressive. Portis is a stud. He carried the ball 29 times for 143 yards. My worry is they run him too much. I think the Giants have the best prototype model for the running game. They have two very good backs and one great back. They run their great back a little over a half, then let the other two guys take over. The point is: they play all three. Twenty-nine rushes puts too much wear & tear on a single back. Fourteen to 16 rushes and 85-90 yards per back per game is optimum. But that is my opinion.
Coach Zorn had to deal with the emotions of returning to his old Seattle stomping grounds and trying to beat his old head coach. Coming out of there with a win I am sure made him very happy. Now let’s look at the realities. The Redskins had the ball for almost 40 minutes, the Seahawks a little over 20 minutes; the Redskins had 24 first downs, the Seahawks 13; the Redskins had almost 80 offensive plays, the Seahawks less than 50 plays; and the Seahawks had the ball with about 90 seconds left in the game and a chance to pull out a win. But Hasselbeck threw a terrible pass and Springs made a nice play to intercept it, game over; Redskins-20, Seahawks-17. It was more of an-almost-lost game. But, it was a win. And a win is a win, is a win.
Speaking of the Giants, they come to town this Sunday, sporting the best record in the NFL, 10-1. They have a strong pass rush, a very good offensive line, a great running game, fine pass receivers, and a smart & capable young quarterback. I guess the Redskins ought to just pack it in and figure on being 7-5 Monday morning. Don’t need to even tee it up. Some how I don’t think Zorn and Company view it that way. I’m thinking they are trying to figure out how to make some good runs, buy Campbell more time to pass, move the chains, and score more points. Meanwhile the injury front isn’t that great: Carter and Fletcher are both banged up; a number of D-linemen and O-linemen have aches & pains; Portis is hurting; the Redskins are the walking wounded. Somehow out of all of this the Redskins need to field a competitive team Sunday afternoon to take on the defending Super Bowl Champs and hottest team in football right now. The Redskins did it last year, maybe they’ll be able to do it again this year.
11/27/2008 - FedEx Field, Nov 21, 2008
Cowboys/Seahawks: The Cowboys came to FedEx Field off a bye week
(like the Redskins) with their Qback back in the saddle and apparently their O-line and D-line intact. The game started good for our side with a defensive stop and then a solid 10-play drive featuring lots of good Portis running (I was surprised he started the game. I don't like our running backs with hurt knees playing, especially in cold weather.)
Redskins-7, Cowboys-0. The Redskins' defense played tough, getting a
couple of first half interceptions, but were unable to turn them into
any points. The Cowboys finally scored a touchdown with a little over a minute left in the half to tie the game. The Redskins Rock Cartwright ran the ensuing kickoff back to the Dallas 37. Five plays later, Suisham kicked a nice 41-yard field goal with four seconds left in the half. I was hoping.
The Redskins got the second half kickoff and had a really nice 12-play drive going until an interception stopped it. The Cowboys
scored the go-ahead touchdown with a little over 10 minutes to go in the game. The Cowboys O-line and D-line took the game over. Romo was
tagged two, maybe three times. Campbell had no time to throw and ended up on his back too many times. The frustration of the game was exemplified by the last 6:40 minutes of the game. The Cowboys burned
the clock and the Redskins never had another offensive play. Bah humbug, now I'm in a funk. I hate it when the Redskins lose to those guys, especially when they only scored 14 points and the Redskins had chances to make one play to pull it out. It is amazing how different the week is after the Redskins beat the Cowboys versus when they lose to them.
But, it's history now. It's onto Seattle. Let's hope the Redskins can do better against this Seahawk team than they have done the last two times they traveled out there to play play-off games. The Seahawks are having a rough year, but they have their Qback back, so they could be a new team. It is another rug game, I kind of hope Portis doesn't play too much and Betts and Alexander carry more of the running load. And we find some way to put more pressure on their passer. Let's hope the Redskins get well and start a trend in the Northwest.
Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
11/10/2008 - Dateline, FedEx, November 10, 2008
The Steelers came to town looking to right their ship after getting beat up by the Giants the week before. We were surprised by their pass rush and with the number of their fans inside FedEx Field, twirling their gold "Terrible Towels". There were a bunch of them, too many. The game started with a surprise on-sides kickoff, which the Redskins managed to cover. But they could not pick up a first down and had to settle for 44-yard field goal. The first time the Steelers got the ball, a pass got batted into the air and intercepted by Cornelius Griffin. Again the Redskins could not muster a first down and had to settle for a 43-yard field goal. Thank goodness we have a good field goal kicker. Bad omen though, instead of leading 14-0 early in the first quarter, the Steelers were only down 6-0 after the first four minutes of the game. The Redskins defense played great in the first quarter, only allowing one pass completion in eight attempts, with one interception, a total of 34 yards, and three punts. But the Redskins could not muster much offense either. Then in the second quarter, the Steelers got a huge special teams play, blocking a punt and recovering it on the Redskins 13 yard line; Halftime score: Steelers-10, Redskins-6.
The Steelers got the second half kickoff and after an almost five-minute drive scored another touchdown to take a 16-6 lead (They missed the extra point.). Then the Steelers' number one defense, and especially their pass rush took over the game. The line play looked like a jail-break. Campbell was running for his life and had no time. The Steelers bullied the Redskins all over the field. The Redskins got the ball two times in the quarter. First they lost five yards deep in their own territory and punted. They had a good drive going the second time they got the ball until Campbell's first interception of the year on a tipped ball. The fourth quarter was a nightmare. The Redskins only got the ball three times, once on a 31-yard short field and got into the Steelers' Red Zone all three times, but ended up scoring no points. It is hard to win if you do not score points. It was a tough night for the home team, losing 23-6.
The Bye Week was much needed. Hopefully the players were able to heal a little bit and the coaches were able to come up with a better pass protection scheme and some cleaver ways to score touchdowns. The team is 6-3, which is good, but they need to score more points. The first game after the Bye is Dallas in FedEx. The Redskins need to get healthy on the Cowboys. If they don't, the second half of the season could be a real struggle. The Cowboys have their own problems, but that is their problem. The Redskins need to send them packing and come out of Sunday night at 7-3.
Until next time, cheers...
10/30/2008 - Dateline - FedEx - October 29, 2008
The Redskins traveled to Detroit to take on the winless Lions, always a dangerous situation. Nobody wants to play a no-win team; they could win. In the first half, the Redskins managed to rack up a bunch of first downs and control the clock for over 21 minutes, but were unable to score any touchdowns (TDs); too many mistakes and penalties. Thank goodness Suisham is kicking great, scoring a 47-yarder with no time left in the first half: Lions-10, Redskins-6. Another long field goal in the third quarter got the Redskins to a 10-9 deficient. Although Campbell played great, completing 23 passes in 28 attempts, he put the ball on the ground twice; the Redskins losing one that ended up being a Lions’ touchdown. The other one the Redskins recovered thanks to a very athletic, hustling play by Jon Jansen.
This tight game turned on two big plays by Santa Moss. One was an excellent 50-yard TD pass; the other a spectacular 80-yard punt return only an athletic player like Moss could have pulled off. He was all over the field to get to the end zone. After that, the defense, lead by London Fletcher, had to rise up and make some plays to stop the up-start Lions from scoring late in the game. They did, final score: Redskins 25, Lions 17. All you want to do for a game like this is get out of the dome with a win and nobody hurt too bad after playing on that carpet-covered concrete field. Moss has a hamstring problem; Portis, after his fifth game in a row rushing for over 120 yards, has a ankle problem; Chris Samuels did not even suit up with a knee problem; and Jason Taylor, who probably should not have played as much as he did, even though he was a defensive force, has to have his calf operated on again and will miss the Steelers’ game.
Now the always tough Pittsburgh Steelers come to town for a Monday Night game. They just lost to the Giants 21-14, with a 53-yard TD pass called back. Roethlisberger got sacked five times, got knocked down 18 times, and threw four interceptions. But the Steelers run defense held the Giants’ running game to less than 100 yards. Sounds like the Steelers have a great run defense and a poor O-Line. I hope the Redskins D-Line can put some heat on Big Ben; it’ll be a key to who wins this game going into the Bye Week.
Until next time…
Mikey T, Boss Hog
10/28/2008 - Dateline FedEx Field, October 23, 2008
The Browns came to town having just knocked-off the Super Bowl Champ Giants. Us Redskins' fans did not know what to expect. Especially after hearing that Clinton Portis had not been able to practice much for the Browns' game. So what do the Redskins go out and do? Portis ran for 175 yards and the team got almost 200 yards rushing. The O-Line is doing a great job. The first half was strictly a defensive battle and field position game, with the Browns punting six times and the Redskins five times. The half ended with a Redskins high-snap field goal attempt bouncing off the right upright; score 0-0.
Both teams finally scored in the third quarter, the Redskins a touchdown, the Browns a field goal. The Redskins scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter on a nice pass to Moss and nifty run. The Redskins stiffened nicely on the goal line, holding the Browns out of the end zone for a bunch of plays, with the Redskins finally taking over the ball on their own three. Unfortunately Portis, after a really nice 24-yard run, got tomahawked from behind and coughed up the ball. The Browns then scored a touchdown and a two-point conversion to make it 14-11, with 2:44 left in the game.
The Redskins could not ice the game with a first down or two, so had to punt the ball back to the Browns with 1:51 on the clock. The Browns got to the Redskins 36 yard line, but missed a 54-yard field goal wide-right; not a very high percentage kick. Our visiting friends from England got to see all of this action up close since their seats were in that end zone. Game over.
Now the Redskins travel to the 0-6 Detroit Lions. I hope we can get out of there with a win and no injuries. We are off to watch the game with Maryland Redskins fans and help raise funds for a family with a very sick little girl.
Until next time, Cheers...Mikey T., HoF '98
10/17/2008 - Germantown, Maryland, October 17, 2008
The “thud” heard in the D.C. area late last Sunday afternoon was the Redskins coming back down to Earth. After two very emotional wins in Dallas and Philadelphia, the Redskins players just could not get it done for the Rams, the scary team that had not won a game this season. My words haunt me. The law of averages could catch up with the Rams. From what I have heard, the Redskin players are hyping each other up to take the Rams very seriously. Any NFL team can knock-off any other NFL team on any given Sunday. The Boys will have to mind their P’s & Q’s. I guess I should have kept my thoughts to myself.
The ultimate “trap” game jumped up and grabbed our Redskins with the nightmare loss, stealing the game: 19-17, on Josh Brown’s last second 49-yard field goal. Mr. Brown has beaten the Redskins before, in similar fashion. The Redskins were one play away from pulling this game out. I can’t believe this game turned on the most bazaar play I have seen in a long time. The Redskins were driving late in the first half. Campbell tried to pass, but the ball got batted into the air. Redskins’ guard Pete Kendall reached up and secured the volleyball. Then he started to run. Rams linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa nailed Kendall with a thunderous tackle, his helmet spearing the football out of Kendall’s grasp. The ball started bouncing around until Ram’s safety Oshiomogho Atogme (these names are amazing) picked it out of the air on a dead run, ending up 75 yards later in the end zone for six. Instead of the Redskins going into the halftime locker room leading 14-3, they were down 10-7.
The Rams controlled the second half kickoff for over six minutes, kicking a field goal to make it, 13-7. One play, and the Redskins could be leading. They battled back scoring a touchdown and a long field goal in the fourth quarter to take a 17-16 lead. But, they left too much time on the clock, over three and a half minutes; way too much time for most NFL teams. The Redskins’ defense hung tough, not allowing the Rams to move until, on fourth down, they connected on the infamous long, but under thrown, pass (always best for the offensive player) to get inside the Redskins Red Zone. Then the kick and the game is over.
There were so many key plays that could have turned this game around. If Campbell falls on a loose ball; if Kendall knocks the ball to the ground or catches it and falls to the ground; if the defense comes up with one more play they get the team out of a bad day with a tough win. But, it was not to be. The only good thing was both the Giants and the Cowboys lost, too. The Giants got beat bad by the Redskins next opponent, the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns come to town with the big win over the Giants and not much else. I have heard this week the Redskins’ defense is banged up and Portis has not practiced much, this is not good. The Redskins have three new players, all ex-Seahawks; a punter, a safety, and the great Sean Alexander; intere
10/11/2008 - Pig Pen
How about them Redskins!!! Was that a great effort Sunday against the Eagles or what. Back-to-back wins in Philly and Dallas, since when has that ever happened? We are talking ‘Hog Heaven.’ How sweet it is! What a fun day for all Redskins fans. The defense was strong again, knocking Westbrook out of the game with two broken ribs and shutting down their passing game. But it sure didn’t start out that great, did it. The first quarter reminded me of the first quarter in the San Diego Super Bowl against the Bronco’s. Everything worked for them, nothing worked for the Redskins. But the guys just kept hanging in there, chipping away, chipping away, one field goal, then another, when our kicker hit the third one just before the half, I was heartened we had a chance to pull this baby out. Cooley caught a lot of passes and Moss did a lot of downfield blocking for Portis on some solid running plays. I like the efforts of this O-line a lot; I am liking the “New Hogs” or “Hogs II”. The running game is very healthy, establishing the passing game, and allowing the offense to really keep their defense on the defensive; not knowing what the Redskins are going to do. Execution is, all in all, very fundamental and high quality. No offensive turnovers in the first five games, that is unbelievable. I loved watching the Eagles standing on the sidelines during those last three minutes of the game, with their long faces getting longer, since they could not get the ball back. When Portis tells the Z-Man on fourth and two, “I want the ball.” Then goes out and moves the pile with the help of his friends the guards and center, we are watching a determined team. The Eagle’s run defense was high caliber, but they could not stop Portis & Co. when they had to. How sweet it is!! But now it is onto a team that has not won a game this season; how scary is that. The law of averages could catch up with the Rams. From what I have heard, the Redskin players are hyping each other up to take the Rams very seriously. Any NFL team can knock-off any other NFL team on any given Sunday. The Boys will have to mind their P’s & Q’s.
Until next time, Cheers…MikeyT.
10/07/2008 - Dateline - The Pig Pen, Oct 2, 2008
How about them Redskins?!? Was that a great effort Sunday evening against the best team in the NFL or what. I had to chuckle, all of the guys on Fox Sports telecast before the game picked the Cowboys. I guess they did not know about the "secret weapon". This past Sunday was the first time in 37 years (1971) that a rookie Redskins Head Coach took his team into Texas Stadium and whipped up on them Cowboys. What a fun day for all Redskins fans.
First, the defense shutdown the Cowboys running game. What a difference a month makes. In New York, the safeties were the last ones able to tackle the Giants big back, getting killed in the process of tackling him too high. Against the Cowboy's beast of a running back, there were at least three or four hats hitting him, mostly in the backfield. The Redskins knocked the Cowboys right out of their running game plan. They became one-dimensional, and Mr. Romo was having an off day, then the defense started putting pressure on him. The Redskins' pre-game planning was exemplified by the pick No. 48 made. For that situation at that position on the field, it looked like 48 was lined up as a linebacker. As soon as the ball was snapped, he took off running toward, I am going to guess here, TO on the sideline, able to arrive just in time to intercept the pass intended for that receiver. Now that was perfect planning with perfect execution.
The offense was clicking on all cylinders, throwing high percentage passes and gaining big chunks of yardage running the ball with either Portis or Betts. The Redskins controlled the clock the entire game. The entire game, in Texas Stadium, that was stellar play by every player on the team. And yet, it came down to one play; an on-sides kick with 1:42 left in the game to ice it. The Cowboys almost pulled it off. The kick was just right, the Redskins in the area of the ball were flatfooted, and the Cowboy player was elevated and the ball hit his hands. He should have come down with it, but he didn't, and the ball went out of bounds; Redskins ball, game over.
One play I'd like to walk through, even though it was a touchdown nullified by a penalty, it shows where the offense is today. The ball was snapped in the Red Zone, but the rush broke down the blocking (one of the few times all day), so Campbell had to avoid a couple of guys and he rolled out to his left. He could have run some, maybe even gotten the first down, but he saw a receiver he could get the ball to and he did. The receiver caught the ball and made it into the end zone for a touchdown. Unfortunately, when the center saw his Qback starting to run, he took off to make a block, so he was caught down field when Campbell passed the ball. I like that Campbell is not going to run unless it is the last resort. Quarterbacks get hurt too often, it is better to get the ball into the hands of a gent trained to run. The fact the Redskins were able to avoid a great rush and get the ball into the en
10/07/2008 - TitleDateline: The Pig Pen, Sept. 24, 2008
Boys & Girls, it is Dallas Week. But more about that later,
let's talk about the last two weeks. The Redskins had a very good home stand, beating two very dangerous teams, the Saints and the Cards. Both teams have a lot of talented players and are capable of winning a lot of games. Both teams fought the Redskins hard, but our guys found a way to win twice. The Redskins finished both games, instead of almost finishing them.
The Saints came to town with a talented offense, featuring Drew Brees and Reggie Bush. The Redskins defense used a swarming defense to keep Bush hog-tied. He only got away on one punt return for a touchdown. There is a new sheriff in town; the Z-Man is trying to win games, he is not trying not to lose games. Against the Saints, he ordered a quick-in pass to Moss, pretty much impossible to stop, high percentage to complete. Moss has one of the quickest first steps in the game. Then the bomb to Moss late in the game was picture perfect, not only the pass and catch, but the adjustment Mike Sellers made to block a freed-up D-lineman who was about to jump on Mr. Campbell was beautiful to watch. Truly an 11-man play.
I can't believe the Cards game came down to a ball that bounced off a helmet. Rogers made a nice play to catch it, then took off for 40 yards to create a short field for the offense to score the winning touchdown. If you look at the photo in the newspaper of Rogers just before he caught that ball, his eyes are not focused on the ball, they are looking above the ball. He was lucky to come up with the handle. Anyway, the Redskins are 2-1 and get to play the 3-0 Cowboys in Dallas this week.
Our Rookie Coach and Co. get to play what the experts call the
most talented football team in the NFL. Well, I guess the Redskins
should just throw in the towel and give up before the first snap. I do not think that is going to happen. Z-man and this team have brass.
They are going to go into the last Redskins-Cowboys game in Texas
Stadium believing they can pull off an upset. That would be fun. TO is a horse, Barber is a bull. The Cowboy defense has a lot of talented players, I am kind of mystified they have given up so many points. Course the Eagles can play, too. This Cowboy team is a little sloppy, if our guys can take advantage of a couple of mess-ups, and not have too many bad plays themselves, it could really be interesting come late next Sunday evening. The secret weapon will be in place. Go Skins!!!
Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
* I use the term "Redskins" with respect and love in my heart for all of our Native American brothers and sisters. That is my intent. I thank GOD for Jim Thorpe, a Native American and wonderful athlete, who helped start pro football, the passionate Sunday afternoon game we love today.
09/11/2008 - TitleWASHINGTON REDSKINS* COUNTRY - From the Pig Pen Dateline: Fairfax, Virginia, September 11, 2
Well, the 2008 Redskins' visit to the Meadowlands was pretty much consistent with most since Jim Burt started this foolishness of throwing ice water on 'The Tuna' back in 1984. The first half of this game reminded me of the first quarter of the Super Bowl against the Broncos in San Diego. Nothing the Redskins tried worked very well, and just about everything the Giants ran pretty much worked out for them. You could just see the Redskins' Qback thinking his every move. Transition years are so sucky.
The Giants pass rush is alive and well. I don't know who they are, but they got the job done, putting pressure on the Redskins' passing game to the point where we had to keep Cooley in to help block. That cuts down on a lot of positive yards for the Redskins' offense, taking Cooley out of catching passes. One play I did not understand: "Why did our Qback run towards the pass rush? Usually, to avoid the pass rush, you run away from it, don't you?" The Redskins running game was O.K., but the Giants run defense is Super Bowl caliber, too. Portis & Co. worked hard, but running was not a big weapon on this day.
The rest of the Redskins pass offense was just a little off; touched a long pass, but could not bring it in. Another long pass was thrown to the inside, where if it had been thrown to the outside, at the post, Moss might have had a better chance to gather it in. I have to note; Did you see the pass block Portis put on the D'End on that one play? Not only did Clinton hit the guy, he knocked him up in the air so that the gent landed flat on his back. What an awesome block. I just hope Portis did not get hurt on the play. I can recall a play like that in high school, where the back hit a rusher like that, creating a loud roar from the home crowd of about 5,000. The problem was, because of physics, (For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.) the rusher's right foot kicked up and caught the blocker square in the cupless-groin. The blocker's eyes watered and he rubbed his elbow for the longest time. Clinton looked unscathed.
The Redskins defense only gave up one touchdown, and less than 20 points. That is pretty good. A Manning keeper, he better cut that out, he'll get hurt. The Giants' running back (27) run all over the place, with too many D'back tackles eventually bringing him down. And what is with the D'back's tackling? Since when do 190 - 210 lbs backs tackle a 250 lbs running back running at speed at the knees? Haven't our guys ever watched Darrell Green or Tony Peters or Pat Fischer tackle big guys ankle high? I am sure there was still a lot of Icy Hot being applied over the weekend. And the Redskins' D'Back could not catch a cold; how many interceptions were dropped, that could have flipped this game around? Man, it seems like Collins and Colt could spend several hours a day helping the Redskins' D'back better intercept game-speed passes.
But I am too negative, we now know where this team is, 0-1, in a division where the other two teams won big the first week. This loss was not really a big surprise. Oh, it would have been a great win, but the Redskins were not the best team on this field on this day. Much can be built from this first game of a 16-game season. There was a telling photo in the paper, it showed the defense sitting on their bench near the end of the game. Their looked like they had left it all on the field, but their heads were up and it looked like a lot of teeth were being gritted. It is up to the players to turn this around, starting with the visiting Saints this Sunday, a team who had their way with the Bucs. The Saints look like they have a lot of talent offensively, but I doubt their defense is the same caliber as the Giants.
I just hope our home town fans give our team lots of support...and patience. They will right the ship. These guys are fighters.
Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, Pro Football HoF '98
09/05/2008 - WASHINGTON REDSKINS* COUNTRY - From the Pig Pen Dateline: New Jersey, September 4, 2008
'Let the games begin.' The practice games are over, the ones that count start tonight with the NFL Kickoff game between the Washington Redskins at the Super Bowl Champion N.Y. Giants. A tough place to start for our rookie head coach (Z-Man). But, it could be a great place to start, how many expect the Giants to blow the Redskins back to our nation's capital. What if the Redskins beat the Giants, in front of GOD & country. It'd be a heck of a start. If the Giants win, nobody will be surprised. The Redskins have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
The preseason ended 3-2, with the Redskins going out 3-0, but then scoring six points in the last two games. These Redskin players have a lot of pride, I do not think this trend will continue for long, course, I am prejudice. Just remember the pre-season are practice games, primarily for 'player evaluation'; who are the players who are going to make the final roster. Some difficult decisions had to be implemented, most notably, shifting the stalwart Jon Jansen to the roll of backup guard and tackle. This is a hard move, but with the injuries Jon has suffered over the last three seasons, he may become the best fill-in guy since the position was unveiled and extend his career several years.
This Redskins team is considerably younger than it has been in a while, which makes it a faster team. Speed is good in all sports, but especially in football, where players need to create space to make plays. I think we saw what this team is capable of doing in Canton. Course, if the Qback doesn't have time, we could see a lot of repeats of the last two pre-season games, I hope not. Time will tell.
The Giants have lost their two D-ends, one retired and one was injured for the season. I would think this would make their pass-rush less potent, not like it was in the Super Bowl (SB) where they pressured Brady into tough spots throughout the game. But they have their talented Qback and wide receivers. Their primary tight end plays for the Saints now, but their replacement tight end was very capable in the SB. I suspect their new guys at D-end can play the game. This is going to be a typical NFC East game, played the full 60 minutes, with both teams capable of winning it. It is good to get the real season underway, let the best team playing today, win one for whoever.
Cheers, Mikey T., Boss Hogette, HoF '98
* I use the term "Redskins" with respect and love in my heart for all of our Native American brothers and sisters. That is my intent. I thank GOD for Jim Thorpe, a Native American and wonderful athlete, who helped start pro football, the passionate Sunday afternoon game we love today.
08/23/2008 - Canton, Ohio, August 4, 2008
Canton 2008, a fantastic weekend for all Redskins' fans, especially those lucky enough to be there (nine Hogettes made it). It was like the center of the Redskins' Nation moved in mass to the seat of professional football, the beloved Canton, Ohio. How often have two players from the same team (and one of their coaches, too) been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (The Hall) at the same time. What a moment. It was worth the wait. Art, the consummate team player, and Darrell, the fastest, smoothest runner with a football, I have ever seen play, were terrific. To me, to share their moment was a honor.
Both Art and Darrell are Godly men, so they thanked Him for giving them the basic skills to play football to the highest level. Then they talked about a combination of wonderful coaches (great teachers), player mentors, solid team programs, and lots of individual hard work to get better as a player. It never ceases to amaze me that the best players are the ones who work the hardest, always working to sharpen and improve their craft. All of this added up to propel them into the ultimate legendary NFL careers recognized by their induction into the Hall. Once again, congratulations to Art and Darrell, you are among the best in the game, and you are wonderful gentlemen.
This was also the tenth anniversary of the NFL Ultimate Fans going into the Hall. I cannot believe it has been ten years since these guinea pigs were honored by the Hall. It was great seeing many old friends from around the league, tipping an adult beverage or two with them, and catching up on their lives. Over the years we have lost too many, but some have survived major calamities and it was great seeing them again. The camaraderie, the positive banter of sportsmanship, and the shared concern and interest in helping hometown charities are marvelous aspects of this small group of NFL fans. One of our goals is to spread these concepts throughout the NFL so that maybe, someday, all visiting fans can be safe going into any NFL stadium to root for their team. From my view, the model fans are found at Texas Stadium. Over the years these folks have treated us (the Hogettes) like kings. Our ten to 12 visits to Texas Stadium have been wonderful experiences.
On top of all of this, the Hall of Fame game was Coach Zorn's (Z-Man) first as the new head coach of our Washington Redskins. Preseason games are hard to evaluate, but I liked what I saw. I liked the control the Z-Man projects. I liked the pace and team energy level. I liked the play designs and the gang tackling. And I liked that our guys scored more points than the other guys. Sergeant Colt now knows by heart, all of the words to, "Hail to the Redskins". From here in it is building each week in preparation for our opener in the Meadowlands against the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. A tough place to start a season. Welcome to the NFL.
08/03/2008 - Hogettes site is back up!
After some issues with the Hogettes site, I am proud to announce the return of the official Hogettes site! There will be more messages to come and we will try to update the site more often to keep everyone up to date with what we are doing and how to help us support the Skins!
Root 'em out!!! Root 'em out!!! Go 'Skins!!!