You know, I have to say this. It's preseason. It's meaningless in almost every regard. But sometimes you just really want your team to beat someone else.
Last night was one of those nights.
The New York Jets are doing everything they can these days to call attention to themselves and assume the role of AFC East schoolyard bully. Thing about bullies is, they better be able to back it up.
New York Lite got on a nice run after squeaking into last year's playoffs with a 9-7 record, and apparently the attention got good to them because they haven't stopped talking since.
Rex Ryan, their corpulent head coach, may well turn out to be a great. But he may also turn out to be just another front-running loudmouth. Most people I respect don't start acting like the former until they are well on their way to disproving the latter.
Not so with Rex--he's cashing in "look at me" chips like pocket change.
Fair enough, that's his choice. But to me he's setting himself, and the Jets, up for epic ridicule if they turn out to be just another team. Which through three weeks of meaningless-but-satisfying preseason football is pretty much what they look like.
But enough about that. On to the game.
Here we go again.
What follow are real-time notes and observations made during last night's preseason tilt between the Reskins and Rex Ryan's big bad (just ask them) New York Jets. It has been edited only for grammar, punctuation and clarity.
August 27, 6:55 pm EST
- So, Rex Grossman is the Redskins starting QB tonight. If you'd have told me that this time last year I'd have asked you to pass the doob. Do they still call it that?
- I refuse to let JT (Joe Theismann) get under my skin (Skins?) tonight...
- First look at the new stadium...not much of a crowd at kickoff...where's the Jets buzz?
1st Skins possession
- first pass by Grossman a 3-step drop--KS (Kyle Shanahan) not going to let jets tee off early.
- Moss! Big first down conversion to get things started. Have Skins gone 3 and out yet on first possessions?
- two straight runs into a wall--no movement at all.
- first obvious passing down...Skins pick up rush perfectly...Grossman/Galloway not on same page. Can't tell if bad pass or route.
1st Jets poss.
- D starting slow again...soft on the edges. Rocky (McIntosh) abused on 2nd run?
- even the bad runs are gaining 5 yards. Edge still soft.
- first 3rd and long...good D. DH (DeAngelo Hall) half a step from a pick six.
- I don't want to hear JT talk about AH's (Albert Haynesworth) package. I just don't.
- kickoff returns...two so far...no change from past several years...we return straight up the middle and find a pile to run into. Grr.
2nd Skins poss
- passing game with Rex off by just a touch.
- Zero running game, second straight week. Jets overplaying? Nice conversion to AA (Anthony Armstrong). He's on the team--have I mentioned that?
- Grossman to Cooley. Rex G is no Peyton Manning but he ain't all bad either. Good decisiveness there.
- Rex G throws horrible pass as soon as I write that---totally telegraphed, leads to INT. Sigh. Lucky break on penalty negates it--penalty had no affect on the play. Come on Rex.
- OL pass blocking beautiful so far--big bad (just ask them) Jets can't get there.
- 3 yard gain on run...all to the left so far (thanks JT). KS wanting to see that TW (Trent Williams) has over there.
- damn, LT's (LaDanian Tomlinson) still got it...that's just fun to watch.
- 62 yd FG short...disaster averted.
The Redskins are going to be okay. Would not have been surprised to see "old Skins" from last few years show up tonight and lay major egg. Instead looking competitive...giving as good as they get from big bad (you know) Jets. Been nice to see McNabb...
- AA with coverage tackle...if he can play teams too, he's good to go.
- PB (Phillip Buchanon) isnt a game-changer but he's a pro.
- Jets first team O vs Skins second team D?...this could be interesting.
- nice stop...VH (Vonnie Holliday) looks like solid rotation guy.
- John Beck time...no idea what to expect.
- nice job on 2 short throws for 1st down...good composure.
- Loving KS's continuing to take shots downfield...OL providing time, QB and WR just need to get dialed in. Going to force defenses to play honest. About time.
- another run for too little...thinking longest run of night maybe 5-6 yards?
- nice open field running by Austin on 3rd and 8...are these Jets D starters as well?
- Jason Taylor sighting...that's one guy I don't miss.
- nice short conversion on 3rd and 2 from Beck...kid's not that bad.
- little room on run all of a sudden too.
- shot of glowering, intense MS (Mike Shanahan) on sidelines...flashback to "wtf?" look on Zorn.
- Gano 41 yds, 3 for 3...13 plays, 75 yds, 6:18 TOP.
- someone should probably remind big bad (just ask them) Jets they're big and bad.
9-5, Skins (top of the 7th)
- starting to run over the edges again.
- wait is that STILL their starting offense? That's not big or bad.
- AH brings some pass pressure, gets after Sanchez.
- Golston drives Sanches into turf...bummer, Rex.
- Redskin backup D showing a little fire.
- know which of these is the better team tonight? The one that hasn't spent its days preening.
- Chris Wilson makes Sanchez' life flash before his eyes...better get him out, Rex.
- welcome to Washington TC (Tyrone Carter)...sweet open field tackle on LT.
- big 3rd and...Riley has play in hand but gets dragged 4 yards to give up 1st...that hurt.
- Jets on Skins 10...chance to make a stand...not. Crappy tackling on TE over middle...TD.
- missed extra point is karma, Rex, you big lummox. It's preseason--get your [expletive deleted] starters out.
- could get ugly now...Skins backed up, Bartel could make killer mistake.
- 3rd and 25...ouch...at least Jets can feel big and bad again.
- punt return team gets beat wide...come on guys, finish this off right. Skins have been better team all night, need to finish proud and leave good taste in everyone's mouth.
- whoa...Mark Brunnell...weird.
- LC (Laveranues Coles)? In the fourth qtr? Weirder.
- Beck back in...safe to say battle for 3rd QB is over.
- Jets doing the same over-the-top act Ravens did last week...be nice to beat the damn blitz with a 95-yard slant.
- quick out to Banks, who is one step from breaking it...nice first down...nice call.
- KS still dialing up deep stuff...like the aggressiveness...one of these weeks we're going to hit one.
- chance to get ball back with 5 plus mins left, but epic fail on 3rd and 3...simple off tackle draw gets easy first down. Boo.
- Rob Jackson makes sweet containment play on reverse...reverse? Come on Rex.
- Wilson gets flagged for unnecessary roughness...screw it, at this point I'm cool with the aggressiveness.
- one more turnover--a gift from the big bad Jets...chance to go win the "game." Would seriously love to see that.
- oh...Bartel in...we'll see.
- we have a TE with a pony tail...cool?
- nice deep out to Banks.
- LJ (Larry Johnson) breaks around right end. Don't score too fast now (lol).
- a Selvish Capers sighting!
- Bartel to Johnson for the SCORE...not a battery you expect to hear. Nice effort from LJ.
- I think I like KS. I think I'd love to see Rotund Rex face the NY media tomorrow.
- one more defensive stand and we're dancin'...preseason style.
- Down goes Brunnel! Down goes Brunnel! Turnovers lose, and win, games.
- too much time left to kneel...like to see them attack.
- ok, solid enough...run clock down to 8 secs...I think Gano needs work...heh.
- at midfield...biggest smile I've seen on Shanny since he got the job.