Goose from the 50: Chiefs, Redskins take step back on offense... more

Discussion in 'NFL Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    03:18 PM CDT on Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    The defection of offensive coordinator Al Saunders from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Washington Redskins in 2006 appears to have been a move that has hurt both teams.

    Saunders coordinated an offense in Kansas City that led the NFL in yards each of the last two years. The Chiefs also scored 400-plus points each season.

    That sort of flash and sizzle attracts Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who gave Saunders a reported $2 million to come work his magic in Washington. The Chiefs promoted offensive line coach Mike Solari to replace Saunders.

    Both teams opened the season at home in Week 1, both were upset and both teams struggled mightily on offense. The Chiefs scored 10 points and generated 289 yards against Cincinnati. The Redskins managed 16 points and 266 yards against Minnesota.

    With Saunders last season, the Chiefs generated 387 yards and 25 points per game. Without Saunders last season, the Redskins generated 330 yards and 22 points per game.

    But at least Kansas City's decline has an explanation. New head coach Herman Edwards wants to slow the game down. He wants to run the ball more, control the clock and protect his defense. That means fewer plays, fewer yards and fewer scoring opportunities for his offense. So the days of the 30- and 40-point offensive explosions are over in Kansas City by choice.

    Washington's decline is mystifying because the Redskins want to throw the ball and have some expensive pieces in place in wide receivers Santana Moss, Antwan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd plus tight end Chris Cooley.

    Add elite running back Clinton Portis and quarterback Mark Brunell to the mix and the Redskins, on paper, should be every bit as explosive as the 2005 Chiefs. But Brunell appears to be struggling with this new scheme.

    Washington's first-team offense failed to score a touchdown in the preseason, and the Redskins managed only 27 points in finishing 0-4. You could write that off as a meaningless preseason.

    But Monday night was not meaningless – a 19-16 setback at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings. Brunell failed to throw a TD pass and managed to get the ball to his wideouts a combined nine times against a secondary that ranked 29th in the NFL in pass defense in 2005.

    Saunders misses Chiefs quarterback Trent Green. And Green misses Saunders. He was sacked three times by the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend and knocked from the game with a concussion.

    Don't look for a quick cure to the offensive woes of either team this weekend against a couple of stout defenses. The Chiefs are at Denver and the Redskins are at Dallas.

    Now, around the league – pretty entertaining opening weekend, eh, with all the upsets? The St. Louis Rams are going to be better than I thought. Here's my view of the NFL after one week:

    Let's go with the Colts and Seahawks. The acquisition of wide receiver Deion Branch from the New England Patriots on Monday may have pushed Seattle over the top. The Seahawks think so, obviously, or they wouldn't have given up a first-round pick in 2007 for him. In Darrell Jackson, Nate Burleson and Branch, the Seahawks now have three guys capable of being lead receivers in the NFL.

    This could be a very long season in Green Bay – and the Packers need to find out about Aaron Rodgers at some point before the 2007 draft. The Buffalo Bills took themselves out of a rich quarterback market in 2006 because they failed to find out in 2005 what they had in J.P. Losman. That forced the Bills to pass on both Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler because they were not prepared to give up on Losman, their first-round pick in 2004, without ever having made a commitment to him. The Packers can't repeat that mistake. If Green Bay has the first selection in 2007, the Packers must be prepared to take Quinn or trade the pick.

    I'd eliminate all two- and three-game homestands and road trips. I'd make every team alternate its entire schedule – home one week, on the road the next. No team would play more than one consecutive game at home or on the road. That would eliminate the scheduling inequities that doom some teams. How fair is it that Buffalo must play its first two games – and four of its first six – on the road? Or that New England plays three of its final four games on the road? Or that Houston plays on the road five times in a span of six weeks from late October into December? Something's out of whack here that needs to be fixed.

    GOOSE 101
    Twelve teams controlled the ball for 32 minutes or more on the opening weekend of the season. Those teams went 12-0. Football is a glorified game of keep away. If you have the ball, the other team doesn't – and you can't score without the football. It's much easier to play defense for 28 minutes in a game than it is for 32. Rested defenders are efficient defenders.

    The spanking new Cardinals Stadium left me with a positive first impression. Good-bye bench seating at Sun Devil Stadium. Welcome to the NFL, Arizona. But I have two minor criticisms. First, the location. I prefer downtown stadiums (who doesn't?), and this facility is about a half hour away.

    Secondly, I found the building a bit spartan. It seems to lack some of the fan amenities of the newer stadiums in Houston, New England and Philadelphia. The biggest positive is the rolling grass field – making it the only NFL stadium with real grass under a roof. Some European soccer stadiums have the same type of portable field, but this is the first one in America. Football was meant to be played on grass. My hat's off to the Cardinals for pulling this off. That said, my favorite indoor facility remains Ford Field in Detroit because of its downtown location and architecture. I'd put Houston second, Arizona third, then Atlanta, New Orleans, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Indianapolis.

    The Eagles fell out of playoff contention in 2005 and lost me as a result. It was my first season since 2000 that I did not attend a game in the City of Brotherly Love. I'm headed back to Philadelphia this weekend for the first time since Oct. 17, 2004, when I saw the Eagles smoke the Carolina Panthers – one of their 13 regular-season victories on the way to the Super Bowl. I prefer visiting the Eagles later in the fall when the NHL is in season and I can catch the Flyers on a Saturday night. But the NFC East is so balanced and competitive this season, my guess is I'll be seeing plenty of the Giants, Eagles and Redskins all fall.

    The Cowboys-Redskins is a great rivalry – until the NFL turns the national television cameras on. The two teams have played 24 times during the regular season on national television – on Thanksgivings, Saturdays and both Sunday and Monday nights – and the Cowboys hold a 17-7 edge. The Cowboys are 6-0 against the Redskins on Thanksgiving, 2-0 on Saturday nights, 2-0 on Sunday nights and 7-7 on Monday nights. The two teams play on national TV Sunday night at Texas Stadium. Remember the first time these two teams met on a Sunday night? The Cowboys prevailed, 13-3, in 1989 for Jimmy Johnson's first NFL victory – and his only win in a 1-15 season.

  2. stasheroo

    stasheroo Well-Known Member

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    More reason why Goose should stick to the draft:

    A major reason why the Chiefs are struggling is the fact that they've lost both of last year's tackles and a perennial Pro Bowler in Willie Roaf. That - as much as losing Saunders - hurts their offense.

    As for Washington, growing pains are to be expected when totally revamping your offense and it's a bit premature to make an overall assessment after one game.
  3. joseephuss

    joseephuss Well-Known Member

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    And Tony Richardson. That is losing three very good blockers from last year's team. Makes a big difference to go along with losing Saunders.
  4. jcblanco22

    jcblanco22 Active Member

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    Here's another one: Nate Burleson, with all of his 30 something catches last season, is "capable of being a lead receiver" in the NFL?? Wow. When the media latches on to certain teams and their personnel moves, there's no taking off their blinders.
  5. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    Goose in particular, as exemplified by his Logan Mankins man-love.

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