This is the sixth of a 16-part series where Hog Heaven looks at each game on the Washington Redskins 2013 schedule. We are 16 days away from the start of training camp.
Sunday, Oct 20 – Bears at Redskins
Quarterback Match-up: Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall had a Hall of Fame day when the Redskins played the Bears in 2010. Hall intercepted QB Jay Cutler four times to tie an NFL record. The Hall of Fame indeed asked for Hall’s game-worn jersey for posterity.
To think that Daniel Snyder once schemed for Cutler to replace Jason Campbell. How would that have worked out? Cutler’s performance in Chicago has been no better than Campbell’s in Washington, but Cutler would have been reunited with Mike Shanahan now.
Cutler pouted his way out of Denver after the Broncos fired Coach Mike. If Snyder were successful in trading for Cutler, he would not have been desperate to make the trade that landed Robert Griffin III. Hog Heaven has nothing more to say about that.
Cutler has been effective for the Bears. Like Campbell, however, he has worked with too many offensive coordinators, all of whom exposed him to too many hits. He is in his contract year. That is always a powerful motivator. Hog Heaven thinks Tony Romo is a better quarterback. Romo has the deal that Cutler would like to have.
RGIII had a better year as a rookie than Cutler has had at any point in his career. He runs better. He is the more effective passer. He is playing for a better coach and he is in the second year of his offensive system. That last part is more than Cutler can say.
Aaron Kromer vs. Jim Haslett: Hog Heaven usually discounts new coaching staffs in the first year with a team. Kromer is different. As the substitute interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints, Kromer was the first victim of RGIII and the Redskins zone read offense. Kromer has had a long time to think about that offense. His biggest contribution to this game may be whatever he shares with Bears DC Mel Tucker.
Jay Cutler is no Drew Brees, but Kromer has assets to work with. Cutler will be incredibly motivated. RB Matt Forte is dangerously versatile. WR Brandon Marshall is a bigger load than Dez Bryant who the Redskins will face the prior week.
Kromer’s biggest task is to do something about Chicago’s offensive line. Cutler took more hits and sacks than RGIII last season. Maybe he should run more. (Yeah, sarcasm.)
There could not be a better time to contend with Cutler and Marshall than the week after facing Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Tendencies will be different, but the same scheme should apply. Whatever the young secondary learned in facing Dallas will help in Chicago. Big corners David Amerson and E.J. Biggers will help on the edge for any tricks Kromer tries with Matt Forte. And we can always count on DeAngelo Hall.
D.Hall’s big day against Cutler went to his head. He fancied himself a turnover machine ever since. Former DC Greg Blache and Vinny Cerrato did nothing to discourage the idea. The problem is that Hall ceased to be a complete cornerback. He is been as much a liability as a defensive asset.
Kyle Shanahan vs. Mel Tucker: The Bears were quick to sign Tucker when the Jaguars released him. Like Kromer, Tucker has “interim” experience in 2011 when Jack Del Rio was fired. Tucker was named interim head coach. That was not a happy experience, but it gave Tucker a taste of executive leadership.
Tucker inherits an older defense, now without its spiritual leader Brian Urlacher. The Bears play in a base 4-3 alignment. We think that alignment is susceptible to spread offenses. Option spread schemes are why more teams are converting to the 3-4. Tucker has a good enough track record to expect he will get the most from his Bears, but the presence of a new coaching staff suggests one thing. Da Bears are rebuilding.
Kyle Shanahan deploys young talent against an older defense. This game will be won in the fourth quarter.
Storyline: Jay Cutler said he would continue to target DeAngelo Hall in spite of suffering four picks against him. The story of this game is what, if anything, have either of these players learned since the 2010 game.
The Bears have 10 days to prepare for Washington’s offense. They play the Giants at home on Thursday October 10.
The Bears and the Redskins have the two best fight songs in the league. The Bears do not have cheerleaders. Thank Daughter Bear Virginia Halas McCaskey for that.
Way too early prediction: Hog Heaven believes the Redskins will split with the NFC North. We already called for a win over the Lions and a loss to the Packers. We are more concerned about the Vikings than the Bears. Thus, we are calling this game a win at home for Washington.
Tomorrow: Washington at Denver
“Way too early prediction” means we reserve the right to change our minds after we see these teams in preseason games. Look for Hog Heaven’s stake-in-the-ground prediction the week before game one.
This story idea was inspired by the Big Ten Network Tom Dienhart who is running a similar series for the B1G football season.
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