Free NFL Pick: Washington at Tennessee 11-21-2010

November 17, 2010

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Washington Redskins at Tennessee Titans

Sunday November 21st, 2010 1:00 PM EST

Line: Tennessee -7

Overview:

The Washington Redskins should be embarrassed. They allowed the Eagles to come in on Monday Night Football and handle them, giving up a ridiculous 59 points. The 4-5 Redskins were right in the mix of things in the NFC East, but they have since nosedived into a losing record. With a short week to prepare, they will have their hands full when they take on another team with jaw dropping speed in the 5-4 Tennessee Titans. The Titans have had struggles of their own lately, dropping their last two games.

Keys to the Game:

  • The Eagles personnel dominated the Redskins and the Titans offense poses the same problems. Vince Young can scramble -though not as well as Michael Vick- and the Redskins showed that they are vulnerable to broken plays turning into big runs. The deep threat was also a huge problem for the Redskins last week and the Titans happen to have Randy Moss on their roster. Jerome Harrison broke loose, racking up 109 yards and a touchdown on a measly 11 carries. Imagine what Chris Johnson is going to be able to do. The Redskins might have a quick front seven, but just as I said last week, they need to limit the huge plays.
  • The Redskins don’t have the ability to recover from big gainers. There are home run threats all over the Titans offense, so if the Redskins are going to remain in this one, they can’t allow Chris Johnson or Randy Moss to break loose. The Eagles hit big play after big play, running right by the Redskins. Washington has the front seven to contain Vince Young, it is up to the defensive backs to avoid being burnt by Randy Moss. Moss struggled last week against Miami, but the Titans smell blood in the water and are likely to go after the Redskins secondary.
  • The Titans continue to dominate opposing offensive lines. Jason Babin has racked up seven sacks this season and Dave Ball has six of his own. Both were held in check last week, but could have a big day this week when going up against inexperienced Trent Williams and inconsistent Jammal Brown. Donvoan McNabb is going to have a dirty jersey at the end of this game, which won’t bode well for the Washington offense.
  • Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan appeared to be in the middle of a feud of some sort, but all was made well after McNabb was given a huge contract extension, or was it? Let’s peek into McNabb’s extension shall we? McNabb’s max value for the contract is 88.5 million dollars. That is a huge total, but one that will unlikely be seen. If he is cut after this year, the Redskins will only owe him 3.75 million dollars. This means that unless the Redskins intend to shell out an unspeakable amount of money, they will likely be searching for a quarterback after this season, as the 2011 bonus is critical in the McNabb contract. So what does it all mean?
  • McNabb is happy because of the huge contract and Shanahan doesn’t have his hands tied at the end of the season. That being said, if McNabb does perform this season, Shanahan will be forced to remain with him under center going forward. You can expect to see better out of Donovan McNabb. He wants every penny of his contract and knows throwing three picks in a beat down is not going to put him in a position to do so.

Key Matchup:

Albert Haynesworth Vs Eugene Amano

  • Watch Albert Haynesworth on Sunday. No, he hasn’t been starting, but he has most certainly been active this season, especially in the last three games. Nobody has been a bigger critic than Haynesworth than I have, but he has been impressive of late. One play in particular where he leaped over the center and into the backfield stands out as a high effort high energy play. If Haynesworth can keep up his high motor destructive play, he might be in Shanahan’s good graces.
  • Eugene Amano has stepped in well behind a world class center in Kevin Mawae. Amano has been a critical piece of the Titans offensive line, especially in the run game. When Haynesworth comes into the game, he is going to be outmatched physically. Haynesworth might have a horrible attitude, but his mean streak and power are likely to pave their way through Amano. Amano needs to hold his own in order to give running lanes to Chris Johnson. Neutralizing the nose in a 3-4 defense is crucial and difficult to do so when that nose is Albert Haynesworth on a good day.

Wrap Up:

The Redskins game was hard to watch last week. They have a lot to prove to their fans. The stock of Mike Shanahan and virtually everyone in the organization plummeted last week. If they want to salvage any sort of hope for the rest of their season, they need to come away with a big victory. As it stands, that seven point spread is looking very small.

I’m going with Titans. I expect nothing short of 100 yards on the ground for Chris Johnson and Randy Moss should have a big day. The Titans offense shuts down with the run game, so it will be imperative that the Redskins limit Chris Johnson, but their poor tackling and atrocious angles give me no reason to think they will make this one difficult for the Titans.

Free NFL Pick: Tennessee -7


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