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  • The Loser Papers 2015 – Edition IV

    A great weekend for the home team! Each of our division opponents went down in heart-breaking fashion, while we wiped the turf with the Saints on both sides of the ball. So bad was the pummeling, that there are calls coming for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s job. Check out this classic from the Times-Picayune:

    Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan must go — and he must go now: Larry Holder

    Larry Holder, | The Times-Picayune By Larry Holder, | The Times-Picayune The Times-Picayune
    on November 15, 2015 at 6:25 PM, updated November 15, 2015 at 8:06 PM

    LANDOVER, Md. — The New Orleans Saints have never fired an assistant coach during the season under Sean Payton. That has to change during the bye week.

    It’s time to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. It’s time for senior defensive assistant Dennis Allen to take over for the final six games this season.

    The Saints made Kirk Cousins look like Tom Brady on his best day as Washington utterly whipped New Orleans, 47-14, at FedEx Field in one of the most embarrassing losses in the Payton era. The Saints displayed one of the worst defensive performances I’ve ever witnessed in Payton’s 10 seasons.

    It was worse than any game I can recall — even taking into account former coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s lone historically bad season in 2012.

    Cousins went 20-of-25 passing for 324 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions for a perfect 158.3 passer rating. The Saints entered the game yielding a 112.0 rating to opposing QBs for the season. Brady led the league entering this week with 113.5.

    The Saints are allowing opposing quarterbacks to play better than the former two-time league MVP and four-time Super Bowl champion every week. How’s that for perspective?

    The Saints’ tackling Sunday was horrendous. The players looked lost even covering rudimentary screen passes. New Orleans had no plan for stopping tight ends in pass coverage — as usual. Washington’s ground game pounded the Saints for 213 yards on 31 carries. The Saints sacked Cousins three times, but nothing truly affected him.

    Washington piled up nearly 400 yards of offense in the first half. The last time the Redskins produced this kind of output in one half was when Doug Williams and Timmy Smith torched Denver in record-setting fashion in Super Bowl 22.

    In fact, Williams, now a Redskins front-office executive, took a stroll into the Saints’ locker room after the game. No joke. Maybe the 60-year-old former quarterback wanted a shot at his native state’s NFL franchise. I’m only half kidding.

    “Listen, it’s (the defense) is obviously a concern,” Payton said of a unit ranked near the bottom of every major statistical category this season. “It’s hard to win.”

    Defensive end Cam Jordan didn’t speak to the media afterward. His body language said everything, though. Jordan sat at his locker, staring down at his fingers, seemingly searching for answers. Then he slammed his equipment bag on the floor.

    I have no idea if Allen can make the Saints’ poor excuse for a defense any better this season. But having the Saints continuously riddled by mediocre offenses and mediocre quarterbacks every week isn’t the answer. That’s all we’ve seen from Ryan’s charges this season.

    It’s evident Ryan is coaching his last season as Saints defensive coordinator. The Saints need some sort of change, a spark — anything. If they remain status quo, the Saints might as well pack it in this season.

    Let’s talk truth. There’s no chance this defense will get any worse by replacing Ryan with Allen right now. How can it?

    Payton avoided the topic of making coaching or personnel changes after the loss to the Redskins. That was to be expected.

    “Again, we’re sitting here after a game … and we’re not going to discuss any of those types of changes, certainly not right now,” Payton said.

    But I have to imagine pondering such a move is at the forefront of Payton’s mind heading into the bye week with his team 4-6 and the defense badly regressing week by week.

    Payton already wrestled with retaining Ryan after the 2014 season when the defense dipped from fourth overall in 2013 to 31st in the league last season. Payton decided in early January that Ryan could be part of the solution. But the caveat was bringing in Allen, who served on Payton’s original staff and helped win Super Bowl 44 before moving on to become Denver’s defensive coordinator then Raiders head coach before being fired by Oakland. Payton brought Allen back into the fold to “change in dynamic.” Allen officially was given the title of senior defensive assistant. Unofficially, it was to serve as Ryan’s shadow.

    The Saints embedded their potential Ryan replacement long before this season began.

    Ryan is not solely at fault for the defense’s underwhelming performances the past couple of years. We can go through the litany of the scouting department’s poor talent evaluations on that side of the ball for days and days. That’s also a major reason the Saints’ defense seemingly is in rebuilding mode annually.

    No, Ryan’s not solely to blame. But he’s in charge of Sundays, the most glaring times when this defense displays its ineptitude.

    The Saints can’t fix the personnel problems right now. That can’t occur until the offseason. They’re stuck with the pieces in place and will have to ride with them the rest of the season. And even a substantial offseason overhaul is not a given considering the team’s cash-strapped situation.

    Do the players anticipate any changes in coaching during the bye week?

    “I don’t know necessarily what’s going to happen,” safety Kenny Vaccaro said. “But we’ve got to get better and we’ve got to win these games. We can’t allow this to keep happening. …

    “I just want to win. Whatever Coach Payton and (GM Mickey Loomis) decide to do. I just want to be in a position to win and have fun.”

    Veteran offensive tackle Zach Strief added: “No. I wouldn’t. Look, good organizations don’t make knee-jerk reactions to things. I don’t see that. But if it does, then it does. That’s OK, too. When you’re 4-6, you open yourselves up for that.

    “Blame gets spread everywhere equally. But if that’s what happens, that’s what happens. That’s not something I think the players in this locker room need to sit around and think and worry about. That’s not our decision.”

    Ryan’s departure wouldn’t be a knee-jerk reaction, though. The proof is in the past two seasons. The most recent proof is in the past few games as the Saints surrendered 49 points to the Giants, 34 to Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota and most recently 47 to a Redskins offense that had been pedestrian at best.

    Firing Ryan wouldn’t paint Payton in the best light, either. This would be the fourth defensive coordinator either fired or to not have a contract renewed in Payton’s tenure. This is on Payton, too, but some alteration needs to occur in the bye week.

    The Saints showed no fear in adding Allen this offseason as well as making significant adjustments to both sides of the roster.

    Ryan exited the locker room rather quickly after Sunday’s loss. Allen remained much longer, sitting in a folding chair in the corner of the defensive players locker room. Allen wore a look of bewilderment as he flipped through the pages of the final stat sheet. The numbers obviously weren’t pretty.

    I doubt Allen sat there pondering how in the world was he going to breathe new life into the defense if handed the job this week.

    But if the Saints are still playing to salvage a season that’s increasingly looking like a lost cause because of the underperforming defense, Ryan has to go.

    And he has to go now.

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    Jordan Reed: #WallpaperWednesday

    After sitting out the previous two games with a concussion, it didn’t take long for Jordan Reed to make an impact when he returned.

    Reed’s presence was obvious. Not only did he catch 11 passes for 72 yards and two touchdowns, but his last catch was the game winner in Washington’s thrilling 31-30 come-from-behind victory over the Bucs. The Redskins lined up 4 receivers left, Reed to the right, and what looked like a good position and time for a fade, turned into a quick slant for a touchdown when Reed immediately planted, went inside, and too quickly for anyone to react. Cousins hit him in stride en route to the end zone, and the Redskins polished off the biggest comeback in franchise history.

    Reed’s Touchdown


    Just click on the picture for a full 1440×900 wallpaper.

    Trent Williams had some pretty high praise for Reed after the game, “You show me anyone in the league who can guard that man one-on-one. I haven’t seen that yet. As long as we’ve got him, we got a chance. He’s the best receiving tight end that I’ve seen.”

    Welcome back Jordan. Stay healthy.

    Enjoy. Share. Hail.

    Follow me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet.

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    The Loser Papers 2015 – Edition III

    The publishers would like to apologize for not getting this edition of TLP out in a timely manner. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get right to the fun. From the Tampa Tribune:

    Bucs ‘in a dark place’ after loss, coach Lovie Smith says

    By Roy Cummings | Tribune Staff
    Published: October 26, 2015   |   Updated: October 26, 2015 at 08:53 PM

    — Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith has suffered through some tough losses as an NFL coach. Few, he said, were as tough as the 31-30 loss Sunday at Washington.

    “We’re in a dark place,’’ Smith said Monday. “We’re miserable around here.’’

    Few could have been more miserable than Smith, who had to admit poor coaching was among the biggest contributors to a loss in which the Bucs blew a commanding 24-0 first-half lead.

    Whether it was the onside kick that sparked Washington’s comeback, the failed run that kept the Bucs from putting the game away late or the touchdown that decided it, coaching factored into every facet of the outcome.

    Start with the onside kick.

    After cutting Tampa Bay’s lead to 24-14 in the third quarter, Washington executed the first successful onside kick in the NFL this season. The Redskins scored again, cutting the lead to 24-21.

    “We didn’t line up properly on that play,’’ Smith said. “We didn’t execute it the right way and that starts with us as coaches. We didn’t have the guys lined up in the right position on that play.’’

    Smith would not detail the mistake, but the ball was kicked into a gap created when linebacker Danny Lansanah lined up 20 yards away from the ball and 5 yards behind the players on either side of him.

    “You can look at it and see we weren’t lined up right,’’ Smith said. “…Obviously it was a big play in the game.’’

    So was the fourth-quarter running play the Bucs called on third-and-goal from the Redskins 1-yard line with 2:31 remaining and Tampa Bay leading 27-24.

    Thinking the Redskins would expect a run into the line, the Bucs opted for an outside toss to the left in which Charles Sims would follow the lead block of his fullback into the end zone. From the moment the teams lined up, though, the play was doomed as the Bucs failed to account for two outside defenders who quickly broke the play up and dropped Sims for a 2-yard loss.

    Tampa Bay kicked a 21-yard field goal for a 30-24 lead, but the opportunity to take a two possession lead was squandered.

    “We would like to have back that sequence. It’s as simple as that,’’ Smith said. “Ideally, the ball should go a different place. I’m just going to say we didn’t handle the situation. It wasn’t on (quarterback) Jameis (Winston for not checking out of the play) or anything like that. it started with us as coaches. We didn’t put the guys in the best position to be successful in that situation.’’

    On the Redskins’ winning touchdown, a 6-yard slant pass to tight end Jordan Reed, the Bucs were positioned properly. The problem was their execution — or lack of it.

    Just as they had earlier in the game, when Reed scored on a 3-yard slant, the Bucs failed to execute the proper technique against the quick pattern Reed ran against them. Instead of blaming his players for the mistake, though, Smith shouldered the blame.

    “On a quick throw like that, you’re supposed to take it away,” Smith said. “Once you get down into the red zone, every team throughout the league, that’s what you do. You make them throw the hard throw, (which) is more of a fade, which is a harder throw to complete than the quick slant. It’s very frustrating. You continue to ask it and I continue to keep talking about, but with our players we haven’t gotten that point across yet.’’

    The point Smith has tried make with players about penalties hasn’t gotten across yet, either. The Bucs were penalized 16 times for 142 yards during the loss and continue to be one of the most penalized teams in the league.

    “It isn’t resonating yet, but it will in some kind of way,’’ Smith said of his message on penalties. “And some of the penalties you see you can live with a little bit. But you shouldn’t have that many. It can’t be that. But we’ll keep working on it, just like we’ll keep working on everything else.

    “We had a six-point lead at the end of the game and all we needed was one stop. But that’s what we’re missing right now. Whether it’s composure or just somebody stepping up and making a play in the situation, that’s what we need.

    “So, today, it’s miserable around here. It’s a dark day. But it won’t be for long.’’


    Bucs’ defense collapses in Redskins record-setting 31-30 comeback

    By Roy Cummings | Tribune Staff
    Published: October 25, 2015   |   Updated: October 25, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    — The question asked most often of the Buccaneers this past week — and it was asked even by some of their own players and coaches — was were they really as good defensively as their No. 5 overall ranking suggested.

    The Bucs gave everyone their answer on Sunday during a sun-splashed afternoon at FedEx Field. And as their devastating 31-30 come-from-ahead loss to the Redskins proved beyond any doubt, it is an emphatic no. Not even close.

    After all, top-shelf defenses don’t let a 479-yard effort by their offense go to waste, and they certainly don’t let a 24-point lead evaporate. But that’s what the Bucs defense did in creating yet another indelible mark on what is now a 2-4 record.

    “All loses really hurt, but you have some that really leave a deep scar and this was definitely one of those,’’ Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. “This one hurts about as much any I can think of. But, it’s supposed to hurt when you finish the way we did.’’

    Hoping to protect a six-point lead with 2:24 to play, Tampa Bay allowed Washington to drive 80 yards in 11 plays. Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a 6-yard touchdown to tight end Jordan Reed with 24 seconds left, and the extra point by Dustin Hopkins capped the biggest comeback win in Redskins franchise history.

    But it was the way the Bucs started that made the finish so painful. With their running game humming yet again (30 carries, 190 yards) and quarterback Jameis Winton pitching at near-perfect levels (21-for-29, 297 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions), the Bucs dominated the first half.

    They took a 10-0 lead in the first 10 minutes, and after a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Howard Jones took a seemingly commanding 24-0 lead with just more than eight minutes left in the first half.

    They peaked there, though, particularly on defense. Their inability to harass Cousins, adequately cover receivers or avoid drive-extending penalties, including four for roughing the passer or unnecessary roughness, slowly did them in.

    “I don’t want to say we got complacent,’’ linebacker Lavonte David said. “They just found a rhythm offensively and were able to execute and make plays and capitalize on the mistakes we made, especially all those penalties. It was probably one of the worst losses ever.’’

    It some ways, it was. Tampa Bay’s 479 yards on offense were the fifth-most in team history and most ever in a loss under Smith’s two-season reign. As for the 24-point lead, it matched the second-largest lead blown by the Bucs, who blew the same edge in a 31-27 loss to the Rams on Dec. 6. 1992. The largest blown lead in team history was 25 points in a 31-28 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Nov. 8, 1987 at old Busch Stadium.

    But that’s no consolation to anyone on this this Bucs team.

    This was the third time in as many games and fourth this season the Bucs, who were only ranked fifth because they had allowed 322.8 yards per game, surrendered more than 30 points.

    “It’s one of those things that makes you wonder, ‘What’s the problem?’” defensive tackle Clinton McDonald said. “We had a great opportunity today, and we failed to take advantage of it.’’

    Most troubling is the fact the Bucs spent the better part of the past two weeks working to correct many of the very mistakes that cost them their lead and eventually the game. After Jacksonville scored 31 points in a Tampa Bay win before the bye week, the Bucs re-evaluated the play of their secondary and made a couple of personnel changes back there. Included in that mix was the benching of veteran starting cornerback Tim Jennings, who was a healthy scratch on Sunday.

    Clearly, though, the problems in the secondary run far deeper.

    Even with cornerback Johnthan Banks back in the starting lineup, Cousins had the time and the space necessary to carve up the Bucs in completing 33 of 40 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns.

    “To me, this game came down to us not contesting the ball when the ball’s in the air,’’ said cornerback Alterraun Verner, who played his second straight game at nickel corne. “We’re not coming down with the ball and the other team is. Either we’re not in position to make a play or we’re not making the play. That’s become the trend. We have to get our hands on the ball.’’

    They have to get their hands on the quarterback, too — and legally. Though the Bucs hit Cousins seven times, they sacked him only once as Cousins used short drops and quick throws to offset the pass rush. Tampa Bay also was called for two roughing the passer penalities.

    “I was moving around a lot, trying to find the one-on-one,’’ defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. “They just kept switching protections on me. I was trying to find ways to free myself up, but collectively we just weren’t good enough.’’

    Neither were the safeties. Chris Conte, who got his hands on a late pass into the end zone, but couldn’t come up with the interception. And Bradley McDougald allowed tight end Reed to beat him with a quick slant inside for the winning touchdown pass.

    “When you get down close to the goal line, you make them throw a fade,” Smith said. “You don’t let them complete the easiest throw. We didn’t get that done today. And that’s normally what it comes down to, how you play at the end. And we had our opportunities. We just weren’t able to close the door.’’

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    Minion Monday: Bucs

    Bidoo, bidoo!! The minions and all of #RedskinsNation joined together last night to celebrate the largest comeback in Redskins history.


    It looked impossible when the Redskins fell behind 24-0 before the half, but they clawed their way back – largely on the performance of Kirk Cousins, who finished the day an impressive 33 of 40 for 317 yards. He had three touchdown passes and ran for another, and didn’t turn the ball over. On the game winning two-minute drive, Captain Kirk was an unconscious 9 of 11 for 75 yards.

    Cousins himself offered, “It was a good lesson: Just keep playing and you never know what can happen,”

    Amen to that.

    Happy Victory Monday to all of #RedskinsNation and Hail!!

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    Redskins vs Bucs: Gameday Final Graphic



    What a comeback.


    This guy was incredible… ice running through his veins in yet another 2-minute drill.


    Enjoy the rest of your day. And tomorrow.


    And please share.

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    DeSean Jackson: #WallpaperWednesday

    I thought that this week I would make DeSean Jackson the subject of #WallpaperWednesday. His status for Sunday’s game against the Bucs is still questionable, so I’m trying to send a little good mojo his way. And the Redskins way.

    Because they sure need a dose of something.


    Just click on the image for the full 1440×900 wallpaper.


    Follow me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet.

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    Redskins vs Jets: Gameday Graphic

    It’s the Jets today! It’s a 1pm start at Met Life Stadium, so get your grill on and get ready. It’s beer o’clock!


    Check’s Game Center for all the details.




    Follow me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet

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    Week 6 NFL Picks

    Once I get about five or six games into a season, I start to gamble with a little bit more fervor. After all, you have a much better sense of all 32 teams’ relative ability by this point.

    I generally only gamble in two veins – football picks, and online casino games. So when I’m not trying my luck at netbet online casino games, I’m scouring over the weekly NFL odds, and looking for opportunity. My experiences are that just gambling every week for the sake of it, is not a worthwhile venture. So with an eye to actually winning, I offer you my four best options this week and a brief explanation of each:

    Redskins (2-3) at Jets (3-1)
    LINE: NY JETS by 6
    Call me a homer, but I just don’t think the Jets deserve 6 points. The Redskins play solid defense, and the Ryan Fitzpatrick led Jets don’t really put the fear of God into anyone offensively, which just lessens the possibility of them winning by a touchdown. I struggle to see that happening regardless of the game’s result, so I’m taking Washington to cover.

    Pick: Washington

    Bengals (5-0) at Bills (3-2)

    Sometimes I let math run it’s course when I gamble and this is a case in point. It doesn’t even matter what I think about the game or the match-up, the line has just moved too much. This game opened as a straight pick-em in many venues, but due to the fact that the Bengals were getting the lion’s share of the action, the line moved four full points! Don’t overthink this or let your ego get in the way – the slide gave you four more points than you should get – take the Bills.

    Pick: Buffalo

    Patriots (5-0) at Colts (3-2)
    LINE: NEW ENGLAND by 9.5

    I have every confidence that the Patriots CAN cover whatever spread is put in front of them, especially against the Colts. Indianapolis may have won 3 times, but it was against the Texans, Titans and Jaguars. In their losses to the Bills and Jets, Indy lost by double digits. For your consideration, the Pats have won the last 4 match-ups by a combined score of 189-73 (45-7, 42-20, 43-22 and 59-24). That’s an average score of 47-18. Gulp. Bill Belichek won’t take his foot off their throats and this one will be ugly.

    Pick: New England

    Chargers (2-3) at Packers (5-0)
    LINE: GREEN BAY by 10.5

    In a complete about face, I struggle to see Green Bay covering double digits this week. The Chargers have covered 7 of the last 8 times after playing the Monday Night game and this week will be no different. Sure the Packers are going to win the game and remain undefeated, but 10.5 points is just an awful lot to give Phillip Rivers on any day.

    Pick: San Diego

    It doesn’t matter what I post here, you’re going to make decisions that you like. I chose these four games this week, because for me, they have the most up-side. Pop on over to’s Game Center and pick up all of the latest information you need to make an informed decision about any game, and have fun!!


    Follow me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet and tell me what an idiot I am when I lose. 😉

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    Laveranues Coles: #TBT

    Today’s Throwback Thursday is Laveranues Coles. With the Jets on tap this weekend, it seemed like a good time to reminisce about Coles’ time in Washington.

    Coles only played for the Redskins for two seasons – 2003 and 2004. He put up good numbers too, 82 and 90 receptions, and 1264 and 1204 yards. Regardless, his time here seemed maligned and he headed back to the Jets in 2005 where he played four more seasons. He then played a season for the Bengals before heading back to the Jets ceremoniously before retiring. Hard to believe that it’s over a decade since he was in D.C.

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    Trent Williams: #WallpaperWednesday

    Still feeling down over the tough loss to the Falcons? Maybe a new Redskins wallpaper for your desktop will cheer you up.

    Personally, I think the offensive line has played well to date this season – perhaps even better than expected. After all, 40% of the line has virtually no NFL experience. Run blocking has been tough sledding as opposing teams stuff the box to make Kirk Cousins beat them. The line’s pass protection has been very good. That line currently begins and ends with Left Tackle Trent Williams.

    The Silverback.


    Just click on the image for the 1440×900 wallpaper.



    Follow me on Twitter @TheHogsdotNet. Share the graphic there too. :)

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