Hey the Redskins are in the headlines again for negative reasons. Glorious! In the past week I've been asked if I hate the Redskins yet and if I was considering abandoning them as a fan. The answer is no, I don't hate them, and I will never abandon them as much as I might wish I could. Short of Snyder moving the team I can't ever stop loving the Redskins (and that will never happen. We give him way too much money). But it is getting tougher and tougher to not have your soul crushed as a Redskins fan.
As far as Haynesworth goes, I think the situation was mishandled by just about everyone involved. At this point the team needs to cut ties with him. It's clear that he won't fit in with Shanahan, but not all the blame for this can be laid on Haynesworth alone. Shanahan deserves a large share of the blame. When you have a talent of that magnitude you find a way to use him, regardless of whatever differences you man have.
Ultimately Haynesworth gets added to the list of failed Dan Snyder acquisitions. I was stupid enough to buy into the Haynesworth signing at the time because unlike Snyder's past big names at least he was young enough to still be in the prime of his career. The money was a little too much, but that has come to be expected with any Redskins signing (and looking at how the Nationals have been acting, apparently any free agent signing in DC).
At this point it's clear one of two things need to happen: One, they cut ties with Shanahan as well and move on; or two, they give him three years to rebuild the roster as he wants (working with GM Bruce Allen, not on his own) and see what he can do. Unfortunately, I think it unlikely that he can build the type of team he wants with players completely subservient to him. It's too hard to do in today's NFL.
Even if Shanahan can make strides towards success he isn't going to be around any more than five years max and then he'd like to hand over the reins to his son. Remember it wasn't too long ago the Redskins made positive moves with a coach who then retired with an assumed successor. But after Joe Gibbs left, Snyder fired Gregg Williams rather than giving him the head coaching job Gibbs had endorsed him for. Will the same happen when Shanahan leaves? Who knows?
What can be said is that being a Redskins fan is hardly even an entertaining prospect anymore. It's a draining process to pour yourself into a team which is routinely such a disappointment. I hardly look forward to Sundays anymore; rather I almost dread watching to see which wheel is going to fall off the Redskins next.
I apologize for two Redskins rants this close to one another, but they are sucking my will to live.
Last Week: 6-9-1
Lock of the Week: 11-2
Home Team in CAPS
Colts (-3) over TITANS
Yes, Peyton Manning has been playing poorly, throwing 11 interceptions in three weeks, but the Titans have been worse. They have lost five straight, and have scored a total of nine points in the nine quarters since Vince Young has been out. A point a quarter isn't going to cut it against the Colts no matter how many interceptions Manning throws.
Raiders (+4.5) over JAGUARS
Win all you want Jacksonville, it isn't going to make me believe in you.
STEELERS (-8.5) over Bengals
As awful as the Bengals have been throughout history, if they lose this game it would set a club record for their longest losing streak in a season at 10 straight games. Really quite an impressive accomplishment when you think back on how horrible the Bengals have been before.
Patriots (-3) over BEARS
The Patriots are the perfect team to give the Bears a dose of reality and start them on their late season collapse, which most certainly is coming. Drew Stanton posted a 102.4 rating against them and the Lions arguably got screwed out of beating the Bears yet again. Tom Brady could put up cartoon like numbers.
Browns (+1) over BILLS
The Bills should go back to close games again after last week's teaser-killing thrashing at the hands of the Vikings. But their league-worst run defense prohibits me from believing they can actually win the game.
Giants (-2) over VIKINGS
The Vikings are starting to look like last season's Vikings, particularly on defense, but I need to see them do it for one more game and against a complete team before I can start picking them to win games.
Packers (-6.5) over LIONS
The Lions can give the Packers a fight for two, possibly three quarters, but eventually Green Bay is going to pull away. They have too much offensive firepower for the Lions to keep pace.
Falcons (-7) over PANTHERS
Last week I made the mistake of picking the Panthers. Never again.
Buccaneers (-2.5) over REDSKINS
It shouldn't surprise you to learn that I also won't be picking the Redskins for the rest of the season. In fact, as a fan, I'd like them to lose by a large margin in each remaining game in hopes that they realize they need to blow the team up and start from scratch.
Rams (+9) over SAINTS
Of all the bad teams in the NFC West, I think the Rams are the least like a train wreck. That is probably the biggest endorsement I will give them. However, the Saints have a way of making games closer than they should be from time to time.
Seahawks (+4.5) over 49ERS
The 49ers are going back to Alex Smith at QB with the reasoning being that he's better out of the shotgun, and with Frank Gore out they want to go with more shotgun formations. Sounds to me like the desperate reasoning of a man who is about to lose his job. The sad thing is that if they win this game they might be right back in the thick of the playoff hunt.
JETS (-5.5) over Dolphins
I have to imagine the Jets will be looking to make some sort of statement after they got embarrassed on national TV last week. The defense in particular will be looking to feast on some errant Chad Henne throws and rebuild their confidence heading into the postseason.
Broncos (-5.5) over CARDINALS
Interim coaches have been fairing well this season, in part because they've lucked out with matchups against subpar teams, but that is more true here than in either of the previous two instances. The Cardinals could very likely start rookie John Skelton at QB. I'd make fun of this, but considering the way their QBs have played this season, maybe it'll be an upgrade.
CHARGERS (-6.5) over Chiefs
Matt Cassel had an appendectomy. If he doesn't play the Chiefs don't have much of a chance here, if he does I still think the Chargers will win because their entire season is on the line. That combined with the fact that the Chiefs still struggle on the road make me think that Philip Rivers will go all PHILIP RIVERS at least once more.
Eagles (-3.5) over COWBOYS
No arguing the Cowboys are greatly improved since the coaching switch, but the Eagles are facing near must-win games from here on out and I can't imagine they'll slip up on the road again like they did in Chicago. Also, the Cowboys don't have the right defense to contain Vick in the same way the Bears did.
Ravens (-3) over TEXANS
Lock of the Week
Three points seems too small. The only team the Texans beat in the past six weeks was a Rusty Smith led version of the Titans.