Thursday, January 3, 2008

Heyer's challenge in Seattle

If Stephon Heyer doesn't know it now, he'll find out this Saturday: in the playoffs, there is little margin for error.

One critical sack, or even a false start penalty, could derail the Redskins' chances of advancing to the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

As the Redskins prepare for Saturday's Wild Card matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, Heyer is certain to be a key player in the team's fortunes.

Since taking over at right tackle for Todd Wade in Week 15, Heyer has been solid.

He shut down future Hall of Famer Michael Strahan, slowed down speed rusher Kenechi Udeze and fended off Greg Ellis.

Now, in Seattle, Heyer takes on the NFC's top pass rusher in defensive end Patrick Kerney, who led the conference in sacks with 14.5.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Can Collins Do It?

The Redskins' quarterback has been named NFC Offensive Player of the Month in December for his performance over the past four games.

Collins entered the team's Week 14 game against Chicago in the second quarter for an injured Jason Campbell.
Since then, he has led the team to four straight victories and a spot in the playoffs
In four games, Collins has completed 67-of-105 pass attempts (a 63.8 completion percentage) with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a QB rating of 106.4.

Although he does not have enough pass attempts to qualify in the league rankings, his quarterback rating would rank second in the NFL behind only New England's Tom Brady (117.2) and his 8.46 yards per attempt would lead the league.

Collins said on Wednesday that he is enjoying the opportunity.
He had waited 10 years between starts, and now he is leading a team into the postseason.
"This is great," he said.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time, one game at a time.
I'm not trying to get too caught up. I know the last four weeks, if we don't win, we go home.
And now it is the playoffs and that is definitely the case."
Asked how he has reacted to the awards and media attention,
Collins replied: "It is really not why I play.

I played for a long time without that. There are other things about the game that drive me rather than just attention.

"Everybody likes to be recognized, but I think what is important with this [playoff berth] is that it has been the whole team that has been recognized as opposed to an individual."
Collins also earned NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance off the bench against Chicago, completing 15-of-20 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns for a QB rating of 144.6 on the night.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Skins Off to the Playoffs

For the second time in three years, the Redskins are headed to Seattle for an NFC playoff game.

With Washington's victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, the 9-7 Redskins earned a Wild Card berth and the NFC's sixth seed.

They take on the 11-5 Seahawks at Qwest Field next Saturday, Jan. 5 in Seattle. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET.

Seattle finished the 2007 season with a 10-6 record and the NFC West crown. They enter the playoffs having lost two of their last three games, although both losses came on the road. The Seahawks were 7-1 at Qwest Field this season.

Overall, the Redskins hold a 9-4 lead in the series with the Seahawks. In Seattle, the Redskins hold a 4-3 lead.

The last time the Redskins and Seahawks squared off was in the 2005 NFC Divisional Playoffs. The Seahawks prevailed 20-10 at Qwest Field, moving on to the NFC Championship game and ultimately Super Bowl XL.

Playoff football and Randall Godfrey seem to go hand-in-hand. He always seems to find a way to show up.

Godfrey has been in the NFL since 1996 and the 2007 Redskins are the fifth playoff team featuring Godfrey.

Also on that list are the 1996, 1998 and 1999 Cowboys; the 2000 and 2002 Titans; the 2003 Seahawks; and the 2004 and 2006 Chargers.

When Rocky McIntosh went down in Week 15 with a knee injury, Godfrey stepped up into the starting weak-side linebacker job. All of a sudden, the veteran backup was placed in a prominent role on defense.

He has stepped up, logging 15 tackles the last two games.

Late Sunday afternoon, after the Redskins had stretched their win streak to four by holding the Dallas ground game to just one measly yard, Godfrey was asked about his postseason experience.

"Yes," he said with an emerging smile, "there's a lot of it. Every organization I've ever been with has made it to the playoffs. Personally, I've never been to the big one, though."
He was referring, of course, to the Super Bowl.

Godfrey was with Tennessee in 2002 when the Titans reached the AFC Championship Game, only to lose to the Raiders 41-24.

He was with the Chargers last year when San Diego came up short to New England 24-21 in a Divisional Playoff pairing.

Godfrey has been fortunate in a way that others have not been.

Fred Smoot, for instance, will be making his first playoff appearance on Saturday. It's Smoot's seventh NFL season. By contrast, Godfrey has played in nine career postseason games.

"I don't know if I have the magic touch or anything," he said on Wednesday. "But I do seem to get to the playoffs just about every year. And I'll tell you another guy who's like that: Check out what Keenan [McCardell] has been able to do in his career."

The NFL record for appearing in the postseason with the most different teams is six, by Terrell Buckley and Tim McKyer, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Godfrey has appeared in 10 postseason games in his career, winning only two of them. Jerry Rice appeared in 29 postseason games, tops in NFL history, for San Francisco, Oakland and Seattle.

Next in that category are D.D. Lewis of Dallas (27 games), Larry Cole or Dallas (26) and Bill Romanowski (26) for San Francisco, Philadelphia, Denver and Oakland.

Godfrey's stat of playing with five different playoff teams is the most for any active player.
McCardell, who has been slowed by a calf injury, will also play for his fifth team in the postseason if he sees action for Washington at Seattle, according to Elias.

With players like Godfrey and McCardell around, young Redskins like Anthony Montgomery, LaRon Landry, Reed Doughty and H.B. Blades don't have far to go in order to learn what playoff football is all about.

For Godfrey, the fact that he is part of the postseason again is remarkable, given that last summer he was thinking about calling it a career after 11 seasons in the NFL.

But then, his old University of Georgia buddy, Phillip Daniels, talked him out of it.

And so Godfrey, the 6-2, 245-pound veteran linebacker, decided to join the Redskins and Gregg Williams' defense for a 12th campaign.

He's been a contributor as a run-stopper for Williams this year.

Godfrey came out of the season-ending 27-6 win over the Cowboys at FedExField with an abdominal injury, but head coach Joe Gibbs said he expects Godfrey to be available for the Seahawks game.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Portis Excelling

Clinton Portis ran for two touchdowns and had 104 yards on 25 carries Sunday. His 27 yards on four receptions gave him a career high for yards receiving in a season (389). His yards from scrimmage during the four-game winning streak: 122, 126, 124 and 131.
Former Redskins great Dexter Manley revived memories of the old days by taking the microphone and leading cheers of "We want Dallas!" from the field before kickoff. Coincidentally, those were the very words written by Taylor on an autographed photo discovered on the Internet by defensive end Phillip Daniels' wife, a photo Daniels shared with his teammates Saturday.

R.I.P Sean We Will Never Forget You

"I was on the sideline and guys were talking about the score, and then it hit me -- we won by 21," veteran left tackle Chris Samuels said. "I came in the locker room and I yelled it out, and immediately I just kind of broke down in tears. Because I miss Sean, you know."

Collins Todd, TDS 5, INT 0, YDS 888, RTG 106.4

Portis Clinton, CAR 325,YDS 1262, AVG 3.9, TD 11

Moss Santana, REC 61, YDS 808, AVG 13.2, TD 3

Cooley Chris, REC 66, YDS 786, AVG 11.9, TD 8

The workhorse tailback continued his strong running toward the end of the season with 104 yards rushing on 25 carries with two touchdowns. Portis has rushed at least 20 times in each of the last three games " including going for 126 against the New York Giants on Dec. 16 " and scored at least one touchdown in each contest.
"Our offensive line is playing great," Portis said. "The way Stephon [Heyer] is playing is great. He went up to New York and played Michael Strahan straight up. Today, he handled DeMarcus Ware."

Apparently out of postseason contention and mourning the death of a teammate less than a month ago, the Redskins beat them Dallas Cowboys and beat them badly, 27-6 winning 4 straight to guarantee a berth in the playoffs. The Redskins will go on to play the Seattle Seahawks in seattle. As for the Jason Campbell fans I dont think he will be playing yet because he doesnt know how to finish games.