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Pro Bowl Travesty

Pro Bowl Travesty

December 22, 2004

It’s a travesty.

It’s a sham.

It’s a mockery.

It’s (all together now) a traveshamockery!

The Washington Redskins have statistically the best defense in the NFC. Are you ready for the list of players off of that defense who have been selected to play in the Pro Bowl?

  • Marcus Washington

That’s it.

The most egregious slight was to Cornelius Griffin, the Redskins’ player of the year. He’s been a one-man wrecking crew in the middle. The success of the team’s defense starts with him. And Mr. Griffin is the fourth alternate for the Pro Bowl team at defensive tackle. Think about it. There are two starters and three other alternates in front of him, so by this logic he’s the sixth-best defensive tackle in the NFC. Something tells me that the guards and centers who have lined up against him this year would beg to differ.

Stats aren’t the main measuring stick for defensive linemen, but they’re a good starting point for comparison. Thanks to Rat Boy at the site this blog proudly calls home, WarpathInsiders.com, for compiling these numbers for Griffin and the two players selected at DT for the NFC:

DT Shaun Rogers:

Defense's Rank: 11th out of 16 teams.

Tackles: 47 Solo

Sacks: 4

Stuffs: 6

Pass Defenses: 5

DT La'Roi Glover:

Defenses' Rank: 10th out of 11 teams.

Tackles: 30 Solo

Sacks: 5

Stuffs: 3

Pass Defenses: 1

And your 4th Alternate:

DT Cornelius Griffin:

Defense's rank: 1st out of 16 teams.

Tackles: 52 Solo

Sacks: 5

Stuffs: 14

Pass Defenses: 5

Among the others snubbed were Fred Smoot and Shawn Springs, arguably the best CB tandem in the NFC. They also are alternates, along with some others. The complete list of Washington alternate selections from Redskins.com:

First Alternate

Clinton Portis, RB

Sean Taylor, S

Second Alternate

Antonio Pierce, MLB

Fred Smoot, CB

Tom Tupa, P

Third Alternate

Shawn Springs, CB

Fourth Alternate

Cornelius Griffin, DT

It will be argued that players from bad teams don’t make the Pro Bowl and that certainly can be demonstrated to be true. But the whole darn NFC except for one or two teams isn’t very good. If that form was followed they’d be sending the Eagles and Falcons to Honolulu and let them split up the positions.

Anti-Redskins conspiracy or bias? Probably not. For whatever reason, the defense did not impress those who vote for the Pro Bowl as much as it impressed those of us who watch it week after week. But it’s annoying nonetheless.

As we try always to emphasize the positive here, hats off to Washington, who the defensively-challenged Colts inexplicably let get away right into the waiting arms of Gregg Williams and the Redskins. What makes him special is his ability to make the big play but rarely get caught out of position. He’s a solid citizen, too.

And kudos to Sean Taylor as well. He’s overcome come some adversity, much of it self-inflicted, and is beginning to play to his monster potential. A lot of “experts” said that Taylor was the best player at any position in last year’s draft; this could well turn out to be one of the rare instances where the experts turn out to be right.

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One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

One stat that should make DeSean Jackson very dangerous against Eagles

The Eagles defense is on a big-play streak, but not one that defensive coordinators will like very much, and it could be very good news for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson. 

At this stage of his career, Jackson is a well-known deep threat. While much of the 2016 season has been disappointing for Jackson, in back-to-back weeks, the vertical passing attack has worked. In Arizona last Sunday, Jackson only caught one pass, but it went for 59 yards. On Thanksgiving in Dallas, Jackson hauled in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins as part of his season-high 118 receiving yards.

"What he brings to this football team, he brings something that not a lot of people can bring, and that’s obviously the speed and the big play ability," 'Skins head coach Jay Gruden said of Jackson.

The last two games moved Jackson's yards-per-catch average back in normal range with the rest of his career at 16.5. Halfway through this season, Jackson was averaging below 14 YPC, which would have been by far the worst of his career.

"A lot of people think that we haven’t utilized his speed quite like we should, but I think he has had a major impact on this football team," Gruden said. "His deep threat has an impact on the defense. It opens up areas for Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder and the backs sometimes. He’s been a major influence for this football team in a good way."

Beyond just the big plays, the Eagles defense has given up 645 passing yards in their last two games. Cousins has historically played well in Philadelphia, and should be in good position to do the same this weekend.

And based on the Eagles' past six games, expect Jackson to have another big game at Lincoln Financial Field. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

 

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