Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith are notoriously two of the more—verbose—sports analysts on the planet right now. The two combat each other on each and every subject in sport. Sometimes they’re right and sometimes they’re wrong, but they are certainly never afraid to raise their voices to reach decibel levels louder than a moving jet to get their point across.
With the NFL season kicking off tonight preseason power rankings and season record predictions that have been floating around more than the leaves on the trees at Redskins Park on a blustery autumn day will be brought into the spotlight one final time.
Most preseason power rankings have had the Redskins somewhere around the 10-12 mark and that includes ESPN. Bayless took offense to that. Before you chalk up another interesting Bayless sound bite, he actually thinks that the Redskins ranking of 10th is–as his coworker would say—ridiculous.
Does third sound better?
“I have the Redskins, crazy me, ranked third in my power rankings behind San Francisco and behind the New England Patriots at No. 2. I have them at third because I don’t know what’s not to like about the Redskins. I heard Coach Gruden on Mike and Mike [on Wednesday] raving about the Redskins, making a case that sounded like they were one of the top teams in the league. Because as you know, Orakpo is back opposite of Kerrigan so they have two stud pass rushers. It does obviously hinge on the health of RGIII, but I’ going to have to trust that he will be RGIII. Maybe not so much on opening Monday night, [but] as he eases back into the fire. And Stephen A., that offense got Fred Davis back who’s his security blanket receiver who blew out his Achilles last year, Garcon looks healthy and what were they last year with Garcon? 9-1. So he looks fine to me. Everything is good about that football team. Obviously the running back is really good and they run a little bit of spread option to keep people off balance, that team is going to be a factor in the NFC and I’m going to pick them to get to the NFC Championship Game against the No. 1 ranked team ranked in my poll, the 49ers.”
As for Stephen A. Smith’s rebuttal:
“Garcon–I know he can play [but] who’s your real No. 2 receiver? We like Santana Moss, but who’s your real No. 2 guy? We look at a Fred Davis, we know he can play. Alright. We like Alfred Morris. Is he really going to have another season where he’s rushing for 1,600 yards? Remember, [he] averaged nearly six yards a carry when RGIII was healthy. When he had suspect help or he was not in the game, Alfred Morris’ average dropped below four per carry. Not only that, RGIII is not going to be a surprise this year. Now we know who he is and what he can do. I believe in them but let’s not act like they are some surefire bet here.”
While the two are probably still arguing at this very moment, the greatest positive to take out of this is the fact they are arguing about a top 10, top five ranking. It’s a far cry from where the Redskins were just 365 days ago when rankings had them near the bottom of the league and “experts” tabbed them to have their worst season 1961.
Oh and it’s always nice to see this too:
“They’re lucky they got a rating.”–Stephen A. Smith.
Hey even though it’s Eagles week there’s always time to poke at the Cowboys a little bit. The first matchup between the two familiar rivals takes place on October 13th.
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