Friday, October 19, 2007

MAO of the Week (10-19)

What do you say about a guy who has had possibly the worst game in the history of the WR position? Perhaps an exaggeration, but it was, even by optimistic standards (to which we dutifully hold ourselves), a, um, slightly below-average performance by Santana Moss last weekend in moist, gloomy Green Bay. If you are our own Bobtimist Prime, you write a blog post filled with memories of happier times past, and implore that we simply forget (or "asterisk-ize") the game.

If you are Coach Joe Gibbs, and making a blatant (and successful) play for the Manny Acta Optimist of the Week Award, you voice your confidence that Moss will "make a ton of plays for us down the stretch." You also call him a "proven playmaker" and write off his statistically abberrational early season to naughty hamstring and groin issues. In other words, you remain optimistic. Moss will snap out of his 5-game slump. We're as sure of that as we are that Brandon Lloyd will emerge intact and wildly successful from his mild 21-game downswing.

Seriously, he's coming back strong. Bobtimist knows it, Coach Joe knows it, the Cardinals will soon know it. Just think of Moss, as we do, gliding effortlessly into that inanely blue Dallas end zone (twice!), securing a defining victory two short seasons ago. Think of him leaving all of Jacksonville in his wake, salvaging (who knew at the time?) what could have been a 4-12 season. It's not hard to picture the same things against Arizona this week, New England next week (remember, the Skins can win up there), and against any other secondrary foolish enough to think that five games, 12 catches, 199 yards, and zero touchdowns are the new norms for Santana Moss.

For more optimism regarding Joe Gibbs, look no farther than his assessment of the much-needed, yet currently hobbled Casey Rabach. Sure he says "game-time decision", but we all know that means that Casey will be clearing lanes for Portis and Betts through such legendary Cardinals linemen as Gabe Watson and Darnell Dockett, while also finding the extra groin strength to keep Jason Campbell safe as he hits Santana in stride 40 yards downfield.

On an unrealted note: the Caps will be fine. Olie had a bad game. The PK had a bad game. The PP had a bad game. Reasons not to panic, in order: Olie will bounce back. Seeing him stop 49 of 52 shots numerous times over the years grants him the right to a lousy game or two. The PK will bounce back. Imminent Selke winner Boyd Gordon will soon return, anchoring the PK unit and returning it to its early season 12-for-12 glory. The PP will bounce back. Alexander Semin and his potentially glass-shattering wrist shot will someday be back, bringing another weapon to a unit already bursting with them. It defies all laws of physics and logic that the current talent amassed on the Capitals' power play unit has not been more successful. It can't continue, it won't continue, and it can't continue.

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