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NFL four downs: Redskins fans proved psychic with RG3's success
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

First down Cincinnati at Washington

11 a.m., TV • Ch. 2

The skinny • Everyone expected Robert Griffin III would become a star at some point. And, except for the mothers of John Beck and Rex Grossman, everyone knew RG3 was already better than those two has-been QBs combined. But can anyone seriously say they anticipated THIS? Only Redskins fans would even try, and since they're also claiming they knew "Gangnam Style" by South Korean rapper PSY would be a No. 1 hit on iTunes and get 200 million views on YouTube, we know how credible they are. Both RG3 and PSY are bound to see an end to their meteoric success sooner rather than later. But in the meantime, if Griffin were to celebrate touchdowns with a "Gangnam Style" dance, who would complain?

The line • Redskins by 3.

The pick • Bengals. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green may not be drawing comparisons to international dance sensations, but they're still pretty good.

Second down

San Francisco at Minnesota

11 a.m., TV • Ch. 13

The skinny • Might it be time to remove the qualifiers and actually start giving Alex Smith some credit for being a quality quarterback? Granted, last season and two weeks of this one are probably an insufficient sample size of success to wholly erase the first seven years of underwhelming mediocrity. But … while Smith is never going put up yardage and TD totals that'll get him mentioned with the likes of Brees, Rodgers or Brady … and he still gets sacked so often you'd think he was roughly as immobile as the Lincoln Memorial … and "Game Manager" is probably not the ideal label to have associated with a former No. 1 overall pick … Wait, I thought we were removing the qualifiers? OK, how's this: Smith knows how to efficiently move the ball downfield without turning it over. And that's enough to make Minnesota jealous.

The line • 49ers by 61/2.

The pick • 49ers. Christian Ponder may one day turn out out to be a quality QB, but for now, he's no Alex Smith.

Third down

Houston at Denver

2:25 p.m., TV • Ch. 2

The skinny • The Summer of Peyton has since given way to the Season of Peyton and — after last week's debacle against Atlanta — the Backlash of Peyton. That'll happen when you throw three picks in one quarter. Now, of course, comes the debate as to why it happened. Isolated bad game? Please, what fun is that? He's working his way back after a year away from football? That's a good explanation, but still a bit blasé. Why don't we just skip ahead and go for the jugular? After going under the knife more times than Joan Rivers and Bruce Jenner combined, his game is now as permanently ugly as they are? Maybe. Going against the vaunted Texans defense this week probably isn't going to pretty up his prospects, either.

The line • Texans by 2.

The pick • Texans. Houston defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is no looker, but his results speak for themselves.

Fourth down

New England at Baltimore

6:20 p.m., TV • Ch. 5

The skinny • Recap of last year's AFC Championship: Lee Evans catches the go-ahead touchdown, only to have it knocked away by some rookie cornerback who's name you never heard of before or since, then Billy Cundiff sends a short game-tying field-goal attempt wide left, giving the Patriots the honor and privilege of losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl. Fast forward a bit: Evans' career is hanging out with Jimmy Hoffa, Cundiff's been banished to the Redskins, and the Patriots now have the honor and privilege of losing to … Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals? Seems like a lot's changed since last winter, except that these two teams are probably still the favorites in the AFC, and Sunday's game could very easily come down to a few botched plays yet again.

The line • Ravens by 21/2.

The pick • Ravens. Speaking of botched plays, I'm still trying to figure out last week's pass interference call against Baltimore. I think the fates owe the Ravens, thanks to the improving-all-the-time replacement refs.

… and 10 to go

St. Louis at Chicago, 11 a.m. • Bears deny Cutler mutiny, but we may lose count of Rams' jailbreak pass rushes.

Buffalo at Cleveland, 11 a.m. • Spiller or Fitzpatrick? Richardson or Weeden? Every play from scrimmage may be a handoff.

Tampa Bay at Dallas, 11 a.m. • That gigantic videoboard is wasted having to show highlights from this game.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 11 a.m. • Two AFC South teams featuring two young franchise QBs … well, one young franchise QB.

N.Y. Jets at Miami, 11 a.m. • A sleep specialist? Jets' problem isn't a lack of rest — it's that they're totally dysfunctional.

Kansas City at New Orleans, 11 a.m. • All hope is lost for the Saints? Helloooooo, K.C.

Detroit at Tennessee, 11 a.m. • Good decision by CJ2K to call out O-line. That'll get 'em blocking better .

Philadelphia at Arizona, 2:05 p.m. • Vick's success got Kolb run from Philly. Doesn't seem so great now.

Atlanta at San Diego, 2:05 p.m. • Falcons are a legit 2-0. Not sure about the Chargers yet.

Pittsburgh at Oakland, 2:25 p.m. • This used to be as smashmouth as it got. Now? Not so much. … and 10 to go

St. Louis at Chicago, 11 a.m. • Bears deny Cutler mutiny, but we may lose count of Rams' jailbreak pass rushes.

Buffalo at Cleveland, 11 a.m. • Spiller or Fitzpatrick? Richardson or Weeden? Every play from scrimmage may be a handoff.

Tampa Bay at Dallas, 11 a.m. • That gigantic videoboard is wasted having to show highlights from this game.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis, 11 a.m. • Two AFC South teams featuring two young franchise QBs … well, one young franchise QB.

N.Y. Jets at Miami, 11 a.m. • A sleep specialist? Jets' problem isn't a lack of rest — it's that they're totally dysfunctional.

Kansas City at New Orleans, 11 a.m. • All hope is lost for the Saints? Helloooooo, K.C.

Detroit at Tennessee, 11 a.m. • Good decision by CJ2K to call out O-line. That'll get 'em blocking better.

Philadelphia at Arizona, 2:05 p.m. • Vick's success got Kolb run from Philly. Doesn't seem so great now.

Atlanta at San Diego, 2:05 p.m. • Falcons are a legit 2-0. Not sure about the Chargers yet.

Pittsburgh at Oakland, 2:25 p.m. • This used to be as smashmouth as it got. Now? Not so much.

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