September 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) reacts after throwing a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Usually when we have time to manage it on Monday, we'll begin generating a file for the next opponent. All the while reviewing the previous game, trying to afford you as much perspective as possible, or at least information to generate your own quality-based perspective, while gearing up for the next game. It's a service we provide in the business of being awesome. But that's a taste of how busy one of our days can become, even if the number of postings are down for a certain day, the level of work we put into this entity, this beastly, accumulates to 12-14 hour days. And that's not including school and/or our day jobs (I have a 50-hour/week job as a systems analyst).
Anyway. During those moments when building next week's file, we'll watch the previous two games of Cincinnati's next opponent. We figure two games addresses trends, how a team is playing and the most current roster on the field. Granted. We're not doing an analytically exhausting breakdown of the next opponent. Rather a more generalized "scouting" of the next opponent, players that look good, positions that they play and philosophies that they use, etc... (mostly thinks that make me sound less stupid). Most of that information will be refined throughout the week for our game previews -- which is already being developed for later in the week.
But I was really interested in Washington's quarterback. How can you not be?
+ THE ROBERT GRIFFIN III PROBLEM. Most of the offensive philosophy that the Washington Redskins have applied at this point seemingly attack the outside. Remember the regular season opener when Robert Griffin III connected on his first seven passes during the team's opening two possessions? Six of those passes were quick outside routes, mostly bubble screens to receivers, presumably to get the rookie quarterback comfortable to generate some confidence. In truth it was a masterful gameplan by head coach Mike Shanahan and his son Kyle, the team's offensive coordinator.
When the Redskins called RGIII on a designed run, it was usually to the outside. That being said they're not afraid to call an RGIII run on third and long, which he converted in the first quarter against the Saints.
RGIII could pose a huge problem for the Bengals, who have struggled against quarterbacks with speed. During the preseason opener against the New York Jets, Tim Tebow generated 34 yards on four rushes. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers added 52 yards and two rushing touchdowns in the third preseason game.
Last year in only his second career start, Texans quarterback T.J. Yates ran for 36 yards, including a 17-yard scramble on third-and-15 with :44 seconds remaining that eventually led to a Kevin Walter game-winning touchdown. Colt McCoy scrambled 20 yards on third-and-18 in the third quarter when the Bengals hosted Cleveland on November 27 last season. And during the third game of last year's preseason, Cam Newton ran for 49 yards and scored a rushing touchdown.
On the other hand the Cincinnati Bengals secondary plays strong when playing press coverage off the line of scrimmage. Leon Hall has no issue mixing it up with ball carriers. Think if the Bengals invite Taylor Mays back to the defensive secondary. You know there will be some detonations involved -- especially since the deep pass may be a limited concern. Most, though not all, of Griffin's biggest passing plays were the result of huge runs, not necessarily passes in the air. Anyway, it's a non-refined Monday evening (Tuesday morning by the time you read this) thought about next week's game.
+ EXPECT CARLOS DUNLAP TO RETURN. With the injury suffered by Jamaal Anderson during Sunday's win over the Cleveland Browns, we highly expect Carlos Dunlap to be activated during this weekend's game against the Washington Redskins. It's simply a matter of numbers at this point. Michael Johnson and Robert Geathers are your only healthy defensive ends who are playing a significant number of snaps, in turn wearing them down later in the game.
+ On that note it wouldn't be surprising if the Bengals hosted a handful of free agents on Tuesday for a tryout/workout. Tuesdays are usually off days for players and a day that the team invites free agents if they're looking to sign someone. Such as a defensive end. Just saying.
+ THE NFL'S VETTING PROCESS. We find the story of Brian Stropolo a little amusing. Stropolo was the sideline judge that the NFL was forced to remove from the Saints/Panthers game early Sunday morning, after ESPN reported that the replacement official was wearing Saints gear on his Facebook page. We don't care if an official is a fan of a certain team, though it's probably not good etiquette for that official to call a game that includes his favorite team.
Either way it's fascinating that the NFL didn't even know about this, saying: "He was replaced because of the information that surfaced disclosing that he is a Saints fan," confirmed league spokesman Michael Signora.
As much scrutiny that the league is receiving having replacement officials, one would think that they'd take the time to run a background check on these officials before allowing them to officiate an NFL game. It's not like Stropolo was hiding nuclear secrets during an 80s espionage movie. It was on his friggin' Facebook page.
+ We take a detailed look at the Bengals biggest offensive plays against the Browns, Cincinnati's pass protection that led to six quarterback sacks and how the Browns scored big plays against the Bengals defense.
+ Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer is upset.
+ Browns tight end Alex Smith was taken to the hospital following the game on Sunday for a concussion. He was released on Monday and driven back to Cleveland.
+ Dawgs by Nature is encouraged about Cleveland's performance Sunday, but optimistically cautious.
+ Questioning the decision to convert the field goal down by two scores rather than attempt the touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
+ We've created a list of twitter accounts that follow the Washington Redskins. You should be able to access them here.
+ Two defensive starters for the Redskins in Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker are out for the season after injuries sustained Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.