Friday, 14 September 2012

NFL Week 1 Review - Redskins @ Saints

My preview:
Redskins + 9 @ Saints: This is the game I feel least comfortable talking about. I have ignored every article on the Saint in the offseason.
Clearly I meant the Saints rather than anything to do with Roger Moore or Val Kilmer.

This was the shock of the week. RGIII looked excellent - I think the second half was delayed while he was inducted into Canton. What I liked the most was that they trusted him. With just over six minutes they started a drive on their own 20 up by eight. Many teams run two plays* and hope to get lucky and if not will throw on third down. On first down they let him throw and he got the first down. He also threw, with less success, on the next two plays - technically he was sacked on the second. Still I was impressed with Washington's decision throughout.

* Maybe that happens more often in the four-minute drill.

One decision I did not agree with was when NO got to within 9 with 2:25 left. Thy took the extra point to make it a one possession game and kicked it deep. It is a very common and very short-sighted decision. You almost certainly need to make a two-point conversion. Taking the extra point defers this and ostensibly keeps you in the game. If you succeed on the two-point conversion you are clearly in better shape. If you fail on it you now know that you need two more possessions and will go for an onside kick. Don't let fear be your master.

There has been a lot of talk about the effect of coaching. Some in the game have said that it should not have a big effect on NO. Their reasoning, which appeals to me, is that he has been there for so long that he has his coaches and his culture installed and instilled respectively. This is opposed to when a good coach replaces a bad coach and has to retrain the players. I really like NO going forward but I must remember that they are a far superior team at the Superdome - last year I thought that playing them in the Superdome was the toughest fixture in the NFL.

Because I am still high on the New Orlean's offence, I also like the Skins defence. They conceded 32 points but this included a touchdown from a blocked punt and two touchdowns on fourth down. In fact I like both defence in the Skins' next game as well as some regression from RGIII.

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