1. Shame, Shame, Shane
Shane Matthews isn't happy about returning to the bench, but everyone aside from Mrs. Matthews is OK with the move. Matthews' most telling quote from post-game interviews was this little gem, 'I'm not playing as bad as the stats indicate.' You're right Shane - you're playing a lot worse than the stats indicate. Giants DB's dropped three Matthews passes after being hit in the chest with each ball. Matthews' TD pass to Rod Gardner was pure, dumb luck. As he scrambled - Matthews closed his eyes and heaved the ball as far as he could throw it. Most likely, he intended to throw the ball away through the back of the endzone. But a series of fat rain drops, wind gusts and Giant defender chuckles... the ball dropped into Gardners hands. Shane may have trouble holding on to the #3 spot for the rest of the season.
2. Mrs. Banks brought in for a tryout
In a very under-reported story by the media, Mrs. Tony Banks was brought in for a tryout Monday. Banks' husband Tony, was the Redskins QB through most of last season. Tony had a terrible time getting into rhythm in his kids' street football games. He had thrown three ball through the windows of nearby homes and lost one ball entirely. Then he was shaken up when sacked by a parked Chevy, even after 'no rushies' had been called. Mrs. Banks was asked to step in, and has not relinquished her role as the neighborhoods' starting QB. She was undefeated with 37 TD's and no interceptions when she received a phone call from Steve Spurrier. 'We just brought her in as a goof.' Spurrier explained. 'But we were really surprised. She's got a little stronger arm than Shane, and a lot better ability to make plays outside the pocket.' Matthews was offered in a trade to the kids' along with cash and 12 dirt bikes...the Redskins have not heard back as yet.
3. De Ja Blew
Even after a series of replays of an obvious fumble, referee Tome White still blew an easy call. Giants RB Tiki Barber was fighting for first down yardage as he dove near the sideline with the ball extended. With one foot still, clearly in bounds, the ball came lose and the Redskins recovered. The ruling on the field was, no fumble and a first down. On both accounts the officials were proved wrong. As television announcers stumbled and bumbled their way through the slow-motion. It was painfully obvious that the ball was fumbled and the mark should have been well short of the first down. The process took more than 10 minute to sort out, and Tom White STILL got the call wrong. Replay calls should be sent down from the booth to officials on the field. It's one thing to blow a call at full speed, during the play. It's quite another thing to blow a call in slow-motion on TV.
4. Stayin' Alive
With the broken ankle suffered by QB Donavan McNabb, the first place Eagles are in serious trouble. The Giants sit in second place in the division and they were unimpressive at best. The Redskins at 4-6 still have an opportunity to win the NFC East or have a shot at a Wild Card in this seasons' playoffs. It may take several good bounces and a new set of needles for my voodoo doll... but the Skins are still alive. With a change at QB, the Skins offense has a chance to score more than 20 points per game. The Skins defense has shown signs of life and continues to improve in Marvin Lewis' system. 100 is the magic number for the Redskins. 100 yards for Stephen Davis will equal a Redskins victory. 100 means the Skins controlled the clock. After Davis gains his 100 yards - throw the ball every down if you want. Stephen Davis' new book goes on sale Thursday - 'Give me the Damn Ball!'
5. 2 3 Game Seasons
With the resurgent Rams coming to town next week, the Redskins face the first of their two three game seasons. The Rams, Cowboys and Giants represent the next three Redskins games. The Rams and Giants are at home, while the game versus the Cowboys is in Dallas on Thanksgiving. In order to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Skins should view this stretch as their playoffs. The Rams are the best of the bunch, with great speed and talent on both sides of the ball. At home, on natural grass, the Skins should be ready for the challenge. A Thanksgiving Day victory versus the Cowboys would be the first win in the past 10 consecutive games versus the hated Cowboys. The Giants would then come to DC to face the Redskins in a good old-fashioned, grudge match. Taking games one-at-a-time is fine if it works. I suggest we take on three at a time from this point forward. It's as easy as 1...2...3.
6. How Old is Too Old?
The Redskins held a tryout for a potential replacement struggling punter Bryan Barkers position. Wait, did I call him a punter? I meant to say, shank artist. Anyway, the Skins invited Lee Johnson who will be 41-years-old the day before this Thanksgiving. Over his career in the NFL, including last season, Johnson has been superb. He averaged 42.5 yards per punt, with a 37.8 career net - both almost 10 yards better than Barker. Instead the Skins chose to pick up Craig Jarrett, a youngster with limited experience. Jarrett punted in NFL Europe and punted well. One of the criticisms is his tendancy to "outkick" his coverage unit. Either will replace Barker more than adequately - frankly I'd rather have the old guy.
This article was released on 2002-11-20.
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