Friday, September 30, 2005
HAWKS GO TO WASHINGTON DC
Huge game for the Hawks this weekend. This is the bridge game they have to win. Let’s break it down.
#1 thing to look at --- can the Hawks go East the Hawks are 0 for their last 8 when they travel three times zones. All of those teams have been strong physical teams and that is what they are facing with the Skins. The Skins philosophy is pound, pound, pound and then go deep.
#2 thing to look at – Can the Skins score enough to beat the Hawks. For the first 7 quarters and 11 minutes the Hawks scored a grand total of 9 points and no touchdowns.
The Skins offense line had a miserable day against the Cowboys as Brunell got sacked 5 times. This is a huge two part test for the Hawks do they really have a pass rush and can the keep Santana Moss in front of them.
#3 thing to look at – Can Shawn Alexander handle the physical play of the Skins. Shaun Alexander will be facing the league's No. 2-ranked rush defense in the Redskins (65.5). In 2004, he averaged 71.2 rushing yards in five games against top-10 run defenses. The Skins have only allowed 131 yards rushing in two games – 1st down passing will be vital -- 2.8 yards a carry.
My guess is Shaun will be negated and have nothing going against the Skins.
#4 thing to look at --- 1st down passing. Without Alexander the Hawks will have to be great passing on first down. The Skins pressure more then any team in the NFL. Therefore, the Hawks will not be able to get into their 5 or 7 step drop game and they will have to hit the quick passing game early in downs.
#5 thing to look at --- Will Holmgren max protect the QB. More often then not Holmgren’s philosophy is to send the extra receiver rather then protect the QB. Greg Williams the DC for the Skins will test Homlgren. Dallas max protected and the Skins never got a sack on Bledsoe and the Boys converted on 43% of their third downs.
I take the Hawks. The Skins simply can’t score enough to beat Seattle. A huge road win for the Hawks and they end the futility in East Coast Games.