Rich Tandler's five thoughts possibly related to the Washington Redskins and other matters.
5. What a way to lose. That could apply to either of Sunday’s games but let’s go chronologically here. The Ravens had their chances right up until the end but, well, they didn’t get it done. First, veteran receiver Lee Evans has to put away that pass in the end zone. And Billy Cundiff has to make a 32.yard field goal. Yes, the Patriots won but Tom Brady had a very pedestrian day and he was outplayed by the beleaguered Joe Flacco. At times I was wondering if Flacco should have been calling out Ed Reed to get the defense to make a stop. In the end, though, holding the Patriots to 23 points was a good enough effort to get to the Super Bowl.
4. Eli Manning is getting a lot of kudos and I suppose he deserves some of it. He was getting smacked around pretty hard by the Niners defense and he kept getting back up and pitching. But he averaged a pathetic 5.4 yards per attempt. And if poor, sad, sick returner Kyle Wi had not give Eli a short field by fumbling punts deep in 49ers territory not once but twice the Giants would have been shut out in the second half and overtime. He and Brady will both need to up their games if we’re going to have a compelling Super Bowl. That the two quarterbacks were credited with “wins” yesterday shows just how useless that concept is.
3. No matter what the outcome of the NFC game, there was going to be one ex-Redskin that Mike Shanahan let go playing in the Super Bowl. The 49ers Carlos Rogers did not look good in the first half. It’s hard to say who got burned without knowing the nuances of the coverage but as Victor Cruz caught 10 first-half passes for 142 yards, Rogers sure did seem to be in futile pursuit a lot. New York’s Devin Thomas recovered both of Williams’ fumbles setting up a touchdown and the winning field goal. Some people on Twitter were suggesting that this shows that Shanahan made a mistake when he cut the 2008 second-round pick during the 2010 season. But with Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham, the Giants can afford to keep an unproductive wide receiver (Thomas had three catches for 43 yards all year) as a punt coverage gunner. The Redskins don’t have that luxury.
2. Senior Bowl practices start today and will be televised on the NFL Network. Shanahan and crew will be coaching the South team. Ryan O’Halloran is covering that for CSN Washington, be sure to check out his coverage.
1. And the NFL Combine kicks off one month from today in Indianapolis. The Redskins will sift through the prospects in hopes of making the team playing in January rather than discussing draft prospects in January.