Thursday, December 31, 2009

Redskins vs. Dallas, 3rd quarter review

1st quarter review

2nd quarter review

3rd Quarter

G.Gano kicks 49 yards from WAS 30 to DAL 21. K.Ogletree to DAL 41 for 20 yards (R.Cartwright; K.Moore).

Dallas Cowboys at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:53)

1-10-DAL 41 (14:53) M.Barber right end to DAL 44 for 3 yards (D.Hall, R.McIntosh).

2-7-DAL 44 (14:08) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short right to M.Austin to WAS 44 for 12 yards (L.Fletcher). P13

Haynesworth gets a punch on the LG to knock him back, then beats him with an inside swim move, but Romo again gets the ball out just before the pressure gets to him.
The NT blows past Rabach, so Ganther is making cuts in the backfield.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Redskins vs. Dallas, 2nd quarter review

1st quarter review is here.

2nd Quarter

4-2-WAS 46 (15:00) H.Smith punts 39 yards to DAL 15, Center-E.Albright, fair catch by P.Crayton.

Dallas Cowboys at 14:52

1-10-DAL 15 (14:52) F.Jones up the middle to DAL 30 for 15 yards (R.Doughty, R.McIntosh).

Carter, at LDE, gets driven inside by the RT and trips up both the DTs, which is a shame since Haynesworth was about to achieve penetration. The TE succesfully kicks Orakpo (SLB) outside to open up the hole. Both Landry and Rogers are there, but Landry gets taken out by the lead FB and Rogers badly (really, horribly) overpursues and is left in the dust when the RB cuts back. Sorry I can't get past this - that was the worst case of overpursuit in the whole history of football. EVER.
Question for you:

Watching Titans games last year I noticed that Haynesworth was consistently lined up a bit farther off the ball than the other linemen. It always looked odd and was very conspicuous. I had not noticed him doing the same thing as a Redskin... until this game.

a) Has he been doing this all year and I just missed it, or

b) Is this part of the more aggressive technique he was allowed in Tennessee, and in light of last week's unpleasantness he is finally being allowed to play the way he wants (or Greg Blache hasn't relented but at this point Haynesworth is basically giving him the finger and doing what he feels like)?

I assume the function of this is to allow Haynesworth to build up momentum before crashing into the line. I think it works.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Redskins vs. Dallas, 1st quarter review

Here we go on the second to last game review of the year. It is not the most pleasant. Play by play info is taken from the offical NFL Game Book, my commentary is added in it's own font.

1st Quarter

D.Buehler kicks 64 yards from DAL 30 to WAS 6. M.Mason to WAS 19 for 13 yards (J.Phillips).

Washington Redskins at 15:00

1-10-WAS 19 (15:00) Q.Ganther left end to WAS 15 for -4 yards (A.Spencer).

Sellers lines up at LTE but blocks in on the DE (Dallas runs a 3-4) and leaves the OLB untouched.

The Jerry Gray situation

There are several scenarios under which the Jerry Gray interview makes sense:

- Gray is the Plan B in case Shanahan really is just using the Redskins to drive up the bid from Dallas.

- Gray was told there was a chance he would be brought back as defensive coordinator under Shanahan, and it would be beneficial to his chances if he were to help the team out with the Rooney Rule. It's not hard to picture an interview that mostly covered defensive matters, and then calling it a head coach interview.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Redskins vs. Giants, 2nd quarter review

Something about the holidays - at both Thanksgiving and Christmas the game reviews got thoroughly fouled up by computer issues. Sorry for the delay. As you may have noticed its mid-afternoon Sunday and we have another game in a few hours, so I certainly won't be able to get up the second half today.

2nd Quarter

New York Giants continued.

1-4-WAS 4 (15:00) A.Bradshaw left guard to WAS 4 for no gain (R.McIntosh).

Not sure what the C was thinking on this play. He puts an initial hit on Haynesworth to help out the LG, and then goes to the second level but instead of picking up a LB - Fletcher is right in front of him - he works way outside to pick up Landry, who is nowhere near the play. The lead FB is forced to block Fletcher, so there is no one left to account for Rocky who comes in clean to stuff the play. Very odd.
After the motion there were six blockers on the LOS on the left sideline with Fred Davis behind them. The Giants kept some LBs in the middle of the field to guard against a run, so there was a seven on five blocking situation. Davis immediately turned to take the screen, if that's what you would call this, but Hunter panicked under the rush and tried to throw deep even though there were no routes there. If Hunter had immediately turned and rifled it to Davis he would have had a wall of blockers in fron of him and we would have had very good odds of a first down or even a touchdown. Like the succesful touchdown pass to Sellers of a fake punt against Denver, this play was not predicated on the defense not realizing that it was a fake, so calling it again after a timeout wasn't entirely unreasonable. Nonetheless, it was a bold call and one perfectly suited for a coach who knows he's a goner and may as well go down swinging. I'm sure Zorn's thought process was "What the worst they can do, fire me? Screw it." I don't have a problem with the call.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Staying Medium will be down for a few days

This is Jeff W., friend of Dave O. Dave is having computer issues and says that it will be a few days before anything new is posted. It is hard to find good computer support over x-mas. Go Redskins...Beat Dallas!

UPDATE: I'm back. Computer got a virus and I just got it back from the shop. I hope to power through the rest of the Giants review before leaving for the game tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Redskins vs. Giants, 1st quarter review

Several readers offered their takes on the Redskins' collapse in the comments section of the previous post. And from what I've seen in the 1st quarter, they were all dead on. Especially the part about getting thoroughly out-coached. On both offense and defense the Giants' line was baiting the Redskins' line and exploiting the open holes.

As usual, the play by play info below has been taken from the NFL Game Book, then my commentary has been added in a different font.

1st Quarter

G.Gano kicks 70 yards from WAS 30 to end zone, Touchback.

New York Giants at 15:00

1-10-NYG 20 (15:00) E.Manning pass short middle to B.Pascoe to NYG 29 for 9 yards (R.Doughty).

LBs bite hard on the play action to the right, and Rocky is the only one able to recover and make it to the offensive left to have a chance to stop the screen.
Giants double team Golston, then as Fletcher thinks he has a clear path into the backfield he is blindsided by the RT, who left Daniels unblocked LDE. But the LG pulls and drives Daniels to the outside, as the FB clears Doughty out of the hole.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So what happened last night

I'm serious. I was at FedEx and my upper deck seats are not conducive to picking up the nuance of a game.

It seemed like every time a Giant got the ball in his hands there were already blockers arrayed against all of the Redskins linebackers and DBs. And the reverse - we seemed incapable of getting blockers to the second level and every ballcarrier was immediately under threat.

The protection problems were obvious, and nothing new.

That's doesn't seem like enough to explain the total domination that seemed to occur.

So until I can get the TiVo going (hopefully tonight) I'd appreciate if you can use the comments section to try and explain just what I witnessed. I look forward (sort of) to your take.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Redskins @ Oakland, 4th quarter review

4th Quarter

Washington Redskins continued.

2-9-OAK 45 (15:00) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to S.Moss. PENALTY on OAK-S.Routt, Defensive Pass Interference, 15 yards, enforced at OAK 45 - No Play.
Penalty on OAK-T.Howard, Defensive Holding, declined.

1-10-OAK 30 (14:55) J.Campbell pass incomplete deep right to S.Moss (C.Johnson).

2-10-OAK 30 (14:48) M.Mason right tackle to OAK 23 for 7 yards (T.Kelly).

Heyer gives up the corner but Yoder, leading, sees this and cuts the play back inside with Mason following. Mason runs off Williams left shoulder and Yoder takes out a LB who tries to get to the hole. Williams gets a good initial push on the DT but is unable to sustain the block and the DT wraps up Mason. Thanks to some powerful running on Mason's part, he is able to pick up several more yards before going down.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Redskins @ Oakland, 3rd quarter review

My initial reactions to the GM change went up in the previous post.

1st quarter game review is here, and 2nd quarter is here.

Play by play info is taken from the NFL Game Book, and my commentary has its own font.

3rd Quarter

S.Janikowski kicks 65 yards from OAK 30 to WAS 5. D.Thomas to WAS 30 for 25 yards (C.Johnson).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:53)

1-10-WAS 30 (14:53) Q.Ganther left end to WAS 31 for 1 yard (R.Seymour).

Davis kicks his man to the outside well, but Levi loses control of the DE who works around him and pulls down Ganther as he runs through the hole.

Vinny and Bruce Allen

I am intending to do the 3rd quarter review tonight, but of course the very surpising change in management needs to be addressed.

It was looking likely that Vinny might not survive the offseason, but I never though he would get the axe mid-season. And I especially didn't expect that Zorn would outlast him.

Cerrato's skills in personel management have been widely (and mostly fairly) criticized. I intend to delve a little more into that in the days ahead. But it always seemed to me like one of Vinny's greatest drawbacks was personality. I freely admit that I have never met him, and its certainly possible to get a faulty impression of someone's character when it is filtered by the media. But he always came across as an exceptionally petty, insecure, and vindicitive individual. Four examples come immediately to mind:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Redskins @ Oakland, 2nd quarter review

1st quarter review is here.

2nd Quarter

Oakland Raiders continued.

1-10-WAS 24 (15:00) G.Russell right end to WAS 25 for -1 yards (A.Carter).

2-11-WAS 25 (14:30) (Shotgun) B.Gradkowski pass short left to Z.Miller to WAS 24 for 1 yard (A.Montgomery).

The TE Miller lets Carter (?) slip past him, and the other receiver on the offensive left run go routes to clear out defenders and open up running room for him. Fortunately Anthony Montgomery manages to dive to his right and pull Miller down from behind.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Redskins @ Oakland, 1st quarter review

Play by play is taken from the NFL Game Book. My commentary is added in its own font.

1st Quarter

G.Gano kicks 69 yards from WAS 30 to OAK 1. G.Russell to OAK 11 for 10 yards (H.Blades).

Oakland Raiders at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)

1-10-OAK 11 (14:54) J.Fargas right guard to OAK 12 for 1 yard (C.Griffin).

Orakop blows through the TE and RT to force the RB back into the middle of the field.

2-9-OAK 12 (14:13) B.Gradkowski pass short right to G.Russell pushed ob at OAK 32 for 20 yards (C.Rogers).

The Raiders effectively sucker the line on a screen so the only man in a position to stop the big gain is Rocky McIntosh, who is badly held.
Carter beats the LT, and Orakpo blitzes form SLB on the opposite side and simply jumps over the RB's low block. Both sandwich Gradkwoski and force an errant throw, but McFadden makes a great catch while falling backwards. I've been as down on Landry as anyone, but I think this one was just an exceptional play by McFadden.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The last three weeks, the Redskins went up against superior opponents, outplayed each of them, and managed to lose in heartbreaking fashion.

Today the Redskins faced a bad team and beat the snot out of them.

There are three more tough games remaining: Giants, Dallas, and San Diego.

What if the Redskins win two of those, and are competitive in the other? The improvement of this team has been dramatic - dramatic enough that a strong case could be made against a major roster and coaching overhaul. The Redskins look for all the world like they are an offensive tackle away from being pretty good.

Two more wins should, but probably won't, save Jim Zorn's job. Let's face it, we've been through hell this year. I hope enough continuity is maintained to capitalize on all the progress we've seen.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Redskins vs. Saints, 4th quarter and Overtime review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter review
3rd quarter review

As always, play by play is from the NFL game book and my commentary is added in this font.

4th Quarter

Washington Redskins continued.

1-10-NO 12 (15:00) J.Campbell pass short right to M.Mason to NO 6 for 6 yards (P.Prioleau).

2-4-NO 6 (14:26) M.Mason left guard to NO 3 for 3 yards (W.Smith).

Poor vision - Mason cuts right into traffic instead of left into space.

3-1-NO 3 (13:41) M.Mason left end to NO 3 for no gain (R.Ayodele).

Sellers, leading from FB, doesn't see that the OLB has worked his way around the corner and fails to block him.
4-1-NO 3 (12:55) S.Suisham 21 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.

NO 20 WAS 30, 9 plays, 63 yards, 4:44 drive, 2:09 elapsed

S.Suisham kicks 48 yards from WAS 30 to NO 22. L.Hamilton (didn't try to advance) to NO 21 for -1 yards.

New Orleans Saints at 12:51, (1st play from scrimmage 12:48)

1-10-NO 21 (12:48) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to R.Meachem to NO 30 for 9 yards (L.Landry).

2-1-NO 30 (12:17) P.Thomas right end to NO 32 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh).

The Saints run their standard short yardage play again, doubling Haynesworth and pulling the LG. The guard manages to block neither Fletcher, McIntosh, nor Orakpo but they are forced to dodge him on the way to the tackle and the RB is just over the line when he's wrestled down, with some help from a generous spot.

1-10-NO 32 (11:44) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to P.Thomas to NO 43 for 11 yards (L.Landry, B.Orakpo).

1-10-NO 43 (11:00) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to P.Thomas to NO 48 for 5 yards (C.Rogers).

2-5-NO 48 (10:19) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short middle to J.Shockey to WAS 39 for 13 yards (R.Doughty).

Chris Wilson rushes from RDE and get carried way outside; the DTs try to stunt but get tangled up in the middle.
1-10-WAS 39 (9:38) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to D.Henderson.

Dropped over the middle.

2-10-WAS 39 (9:33) M.Bell right guard to WAS 40 for -1 yards (R.Jackson).

The Saints make a slot receiver responsible for cutting off backside pursuit on this play, and RDE Rob Jackson, who I had honestly kind of forgotten about, knifes past him and is right in the RB's face when he tries to cut back.
3-11-WAS 40 (8:50) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass deep right to R.Meachem pushed ob at WAS 11 for 29 yards (F.Smoot).

Redskins attempt to overload the offensive right side by blitzing Doughty and Fletcher, and stunting Haynesworth to that side. That just creates a traffic jam, and the only pressure is generated by Orakpo who is left one on one against the LT. Orakpo almost get Brees but he steps up to escape, then sees Meachem break off his route and briefly get open against Smoot.

1-10-WAS 11 (8:20) M.Bell left guard to WAS 12 for -1 yards (L.Fletcher). WAS-K.Golston was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

The FB leads around the edge, but Carter drives back the LT and keeps the RB from making the corner.

2-11-WAS 12 (7:45) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to P.Thomas to WAS 10 for 2 yards (L.Landry).

Saints succesfully set up the blocking for the screen, but Landry does a nice job avoiding a lineman to make the tackle.

Timeout #1 by NO at 06:59.

3-9-WAS 10 (6:59) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to M.Colston (B.Westbrook).

Redskins rush three and put everyone else in zones along the goal line, so the WR has three defenders around him when the ball arrives.

4-9-WAS 10 (6:56) G.Hartley 28 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Kyle, Holder-M.Brunell.

NO 23 WAS 30, 12 plays, 69 yards, 5:59 drive, 8:08 elapsed

T.Morstead kicks 68 yards from NO 30 to WAS 2. D.Thomas to WAS 41 for 39 yards (R.Harper).

This is a very nice return by Thomas, but what I want to comment on here is that we once again formed a very obvious three-man wedge, just like we and every other team have done all year. That rule change has been a joke, and I'm still bitter that we actually got called for it in the Dallas game. Also, Devin Thomas is really, really fast.

Washington Redskins at 6:52, (1st play from scrimmage 6:41)

1-10-WAS 41 (6:41) J.Campbell pass deep right to M.Sellers to NO 43 for 16 yards (R.Harper).

Saints bite hard on the play action, and Campbell buys himself plenty of time with a bootleg. Despite the lack of pressure the throw is very slow and Sellers has to go to the ground to catch it. Sellers was wide open, and if the throw had been accurate he would have been able to turn it upfield with only one little DB to run over to create a very big gain.

1-10-NO 43 (6:02) Q.Ganther right guard to NO 36 for 7 yards (J.Vilma).

Ganther shows nice vision to see the backside open, cuts back, and runs through two tackles.

2-3-NO 36 (5:17) J.Campbell pass short right to M.Kelly to NO 29 for 7 yards (R.Harper).

Kelly takes the quick hitch, dodges the first tackler, then takes a good angle to avoid the second guy long enough to make the first down.

1-10-NO 29 (4:29) J.Campbell pass short right to D.Thomas to NO 31 for -2 yards (C.McAlister).
PENALTY on NO-C.McAlister, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at NO 31.

Another hitch (is nice that Santana isn't the only guy we can do this with any more?) but Thomas tries to get a little to cute and cut to the inside first; he is rapidly taken down but fortunately gets grabbed onb the facemask.

1-10-NO 16 (4:23) Q.Ganther left end to NO 14 for 2 yards (C.Grant).
Timeout #2 by NO at 04:18.

Mike Williams uses his bulk to open up a hole, but Stephon Heyer can't stop the LDE from working his way down the line and closing it up.

2-8-NO 14 (4:18) Q.Ganther left guard to NO 7 for 7 yards (J.Vilma, D.Sharper).

Williams allows the DT to penetrate into the backfield, but Ganther is so fast through the hole he just runs right by him.

3-1-NO 7 (3:32) Q.Ganther left end to NO 4 for 3 yards (S.Ellis).

The corner almost collapses but Sellers (leading from FB) powers through it.

1-4-NO 4 (2:52) R.Cartwright right tackle to NO 3 for 1 yard (S.Ellis).
Timeout #3 by NO at 02:46.

Mike Williams can't hold his block against the DT. That's the Saints last timeout.

2-3-NO 3 (2:46) R.Cartwright left tackle to NO 5 for -2 yards (S.Ellis).

The Saints stack up the offensive left side and the Redskins run right into the teeth of it. Heyer tries to pull to the left side but is too slow getting there.

3-5-NO 5 (2:04) R.Cartwright right end to NO 4 for 1 yard (C.Grant).

Two-Minute Warning

4-4-NO 4 (1:56) S.Suisham 23 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Right, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.

Shaun, Shaun, Shaun... you always seemed like a nice guy. Good luck to you.

New Orleans Saints at 1:52

1-10-NO 20 (1:52) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to P.Thomas to NO 24 for 4 yards (R.Doughty, L.Fletcher). WAS-A.Haynesworth was
injured during the play.
Timeout #1 by WAS at 01:43. Timeout charge due to injury.

2-6-NO 24 (1:43) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to D.Henderson to NO 35 for 11 yards (C.Rogers).

Daniels and Lorenzo Alexander are the DTs. Orakpo is at RDE and carries the middle of the pocket while Alexander stunts around him to the outside. With Orakpo in his face and Lorenzo Alexander bearing down on him, Brees can't step into his throw. The WR, however, does an excellent job of breaking off his route and bailing out his QB.

1-10-NO 35 (1:35) (No Huddle, Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to M.Colston (L.Landry).

2-10-NO 35 (1:32) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to R.Meachem to NO 47 for 12 yards (F.Smoot).

1-10-NO 47 (1:27) (No Huddle, Shotgun) D.Brees pass deep middle to R.Meachem for 53 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Brees hold onto the ball forever to give Meachem time to set up Landry with that double move, and when he steps up Carter is almost able to get a hit on him but he gets it out just in time. And I know I'm getting repetitive about this, but move Landry to strong safety or get him off the field.

G.Hartley extra point is GOOD, Center-J.Kyle, Holder-M.Brunell.

NO 30 WAS 30, 5 plays, 80 yards, 0:33 drive, 13:41 elapsed

T.Morstead kicks 64 yards from NO 30 to WAS 6. D.Thomas to WAS 25 for 19 yards (M.Jenkins).

Washington Redskins at 1:19, (1st play from scrimmage 1:13)

1-10-WAS 25 (1:13) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short left to R.Cartwright to WAS 39 for 14 yards (S.Ellis).

Dockery and Rabach get outside to set up the screen.

1-10-WAS 39 (:49) (No Huddle, Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short middle to S.Moss to WAS 45 for 6 yards (R.Harper) [W.Smith].
PENALTY on WAS-L.Jones, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at WAS 39 - No Play.

1-20-WAS 29 (:43) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short middle to R.Cartwright to WAS 40 for 11 yards (P.Prioleau).
PENALTY on NO-P.Prioleau, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at WAS 40.

Thirty-five seconds and two timeouts to gain 15 yards and be in reasonable field goal range...

1-10-NO 45 (:35) (No Huddle, Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short right intended for F.Davis INTERCEPTED by J.Vilma at NO 38. J.Vilma ran ob at NO 46 for 8 yards.

Rock picks up a blitzing safety, who is much too far away to threaten the play, and misses a LB who comes up the middle and drills Campbell as he throws. That's not an excuse for Campbell though - Vilma was all over Davis' out route and there's just now way that ball should have been thrown.

New Orleans Saints at 0:28

1-10-NO 46 (:28) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to D.Henderson.
PENALTY on NO-J.Bushrod, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at NO 46 - No Play.

1-20-NO 36 (:24) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete deep middle to R.Meachem (R.Doughty).

Brees is threatend by Haynesworth and Carter, but sidesteps to deliver the ball. It was a nice deflection by Doughty, but the pressure forces Brees to throw the ball a bit behind the WR.

2-20-NO 36 (:18) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to R.Meachem ran ob at WAS 49 for 15 yards.
The Replay Assistant challenged the pass completion ruling, and the play was Upheld.

3-5-WAS 49 (:12) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to R.Bush pushed ob at WAS 40 for 9 yards (L.Fletcher). P22
Timeout #2 by WAS at 00:07.

1-10-WAS 40 (:07) D.Brees pass incomplete short right to R.Meachem (A.Carter).

Carter gets his hand up and bats it down at the line.

2-10-WAS 40 (:02) G.Hartley 58 yard field goal is No Good, Center-J.Kyle, Holder-M.Brunell. F.Smoot at WAS -9 to WAS 14 for 23 yards


T.Morstead kicks 73 yards from NO 30 to WAS -3. D.Thomas to WAS 20 for 23 yards (C.Reis).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:56)

1-10-WAS 20 (14:56) J.Campbell pass short left to S.Moss to WAS 30 for 10 yards (M.Jenkins).

1-10-WAS 30 (14:24) Q.Ganther right guard to WAS 36 for 6 yards (S.Ellis, R.Ayodele).

Dockery controls the DT and Rabach gets out to the MLB.

2-4-WAS 36 (13:47) J.Campbell pass short right to M.Sellers to WAS 39 for 3 yards (C.McAlister).
The Replay Assistant challenged the runner was down by contact ruling, and the play was REVERSED.
J.Campbell pass short right to M.Sellers to WAS 39 for 3 yards (C.McAlister). FUMBLES
(C.McAlister), RECOVERED by NO-C.McAlister at WAS 37.

I agree with the many people (including many non-Redskin fans) who argue that there is nothiing on the replay that even comes close to the "indisputable visual evidence" that is supposedly required to overturn a call. But its too late to complain about it now.

New Orleans Saints at 13:47

1-10-WAS 37 (13:47) D.Brees pass short right to D.Henderson to WAS 25 for 12 yards (F.Smoot).

And they're already in field gaol range...

1-10-WAS 25 (12:36) M.Bell right end to WAS 24 for 1 yard (P.Daniels).

Doughty avoids the leading FB to trip up the ballcarrier.

2-9-WAS 24 (11:54) D.Brees pass short right to D.Thomas to WAS 20 for 4 yards (L.Fletcher).

3-5-WAS 20 (11:09) D.Brees pass short right to M.Colston to WAS 14 for 6 yards (F.Smoot).

The completions on this drive have come against very soft coverage. I'm fine with the fact that the secondary played off the Saints receivers most of the game, I think it's a sound strategy against this team. But it makes absolutely no sense when you're desperately trying to keep someone out of easy field goal range.

Timeout #1 by WAS at 10:24.

Saints line up for the field goal, and Redskins call a timeout to ice the kicker. During the pause Sean Payton changes his mind and sends the offense back out.

1-10-WAS 14 (10:22) M.Bell right end to WAS 5 for 9 yards (L.Landry).

RB cuts inside. Doughty is unblocked but misses the tackle.

2-1-WAS 5 (9:51) M.Bell right tackle to WAS 1 for 4 yards (A.Carter). R25

1-1-WAS 1 (9:29) M.Bell up the middle to WAS 1 for no gain (H.Blades).
The Replay Assistant challenged the runner was down by contact ruling, and the play was Upheld.

Timeout #2 by WAS at 08:40.

2-1-WAS 1 (8:40) G.Hartley 18 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Kyle, Holder-M.Brunell.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Redskins are the unluckiest team in the NFL

(3rd quarter review went up earlier tonight)

If anyone accuses you of being a homer when you mention that the Redskins have been extraordinarily unlucky this year, you can now tell them that your view point is backed up by math.

Brian Burke at Advanced NFL Stats measures expected wins with his offensive and defensive efficiency metrics, and in this post he calculates the difference between expected wins and actual wins.

Here's his description of "luck":

In my own life, I'm a big believer in hard work, preparation, focus, execution and everything else that isn't luck. Coaches and players can't let themselves think any other way for a single second. But once we account for all those things, what do we call what's left over? Statisticians call it "residual," and a substantial portion of any residual is due to random effect, including sample error and what I call "bunching." In a bounded and meticulously measured system like sports, a vast amount of the residual from any decent model will be due to randomness. A season of 16 games simply isn't long enough for the breaks to even out.

So in other words, there is a certain small probability that your kicker will miss any given 23 yard field goal. If you're really unlucky, that miss just happens to occur when you're playing your best football of the year against an opponent who is going for an undefeated season, and it happens to cause you to lose by... 3 points.

According to Burke's measurements the Washington Redskins are, by a very wide margin, the single unluckiest team in the NFL. They are a stunning 3.4 wins below their expected record - within a sample of only 12 games, that is massive. That's right, with just average luck, the Redskins would be 6-6. In fact the second unluckiest team, Pittsburgh, is 2.3 games under. Still awful, yet about a full game luckier than us.

To be clear, I'm not suggesting that the Redskins are a good team that has just had a few bad breaks. They are, however, merely bad rather than horrendous. When poor performance combines with terrible luck, you end up with a nightmare season like this one.

Just think - if the Redskins had 3 or 4 more wins at this point, how different would Jim Zorn's job prospects look? Or Jason Campbell's?

Redskins vs. Saints, 3rd quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter review

3rd Quarter

T.Morstead kicks 59 yards from NO 30 to WAS 11. D.Thomas to WAS 26 for 15 yards (C.Roby).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:57)

1-10-WAS 26 (14:57) R.Cartwright right end to WAS 31 for 5 yards (S.Shanle).

2-5-WAS 31 (14:17) J.Campbell pass incomplete deep right to M.Kelly (M.McKenzie).

Rock doesn't notice the MLB blitzing up the middle and Campbell is forced to unload the ball earlier than he wants and off his back foot.

3-5-WAS 31 (14:13) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short middle to A.Randle El to WAS 43 for 12 yards (D.Sharper).

Campbell pumps once, then slides out of the pocket when the RDE spins off of Levi Jones. While on the move, he sees Randle El get open due to a pick by Fred Davis (shhh!).

1-10-WAS 43 (13:32) J.Campbell pass deep left to D.Thomas pushed ob at NO 28 for 29 yards (M.Jenkins) [W.Smith].

Fred Davis easily handle a blitzing LB on the right side, and Levi is threatened by the DE but slows him down just long enough for Jason to make his throw. Devin Thomas is tightly covered, but Campbell manages to place it right in his hands.

1-10-NO 28 (13:07) J.Campbell pass short left to D.Thomas to NO 23 for 5 yards (J.Vilma, T.Evans).

2-5-NO 23 (12:43) R.Cartwright right tackle to NO 16 for 7 yards (T.Hargrove).

Levi gets to the inside and blocks both the RDE and DT from closing up the hole. Heyer and Dockery both do an excellent job picking up LBs downfield.

1-10-NO 16 (12:04) J.Campbell pass incomplete short right to S.Moss.

2-10-NO 16 (12:00) J.Campbell pass short left to R.Cartwright to NO 10 for 6 yards (M.Jenkins).

Rock get the ball on a dumpoff, and Santana throws a very nice block on a LB to open up the yardage.

3-4-NO 10 (11:14) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to S.Moss.

Saints run an overload blitz on the offensive left. Rock picks up a LB, but that leaves both a DE and a DB against Levi with no other help. Both get past him, and Campbell is hit just after he throws. The ball sails very high and behind Moss. The commentators suggested that Moss, who had cut inside, was supposed to have run a fade, but I'm not convinced Jason wasn't just throwing it away under pressure.

4-4-NO 10 (11:09) S.Suisham 28 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.

NO 17 WAS 20, 10 plays, 64 yards, 4:00 drive, 4:00 elapsed

S.Suisham kicks 59 yards from WAS 30 to NO 11. C.Roby to NO 48 for 37 yards (D.Thomas). FUMBLES (D.Thomas), ball out of bounds at NO 48. Ball fumbled forward and out of bounds at the NO49. Moved back to the NO48.

Again the returner cuts across the field with tons of room, and again Devin Thomas' speed prevents a huge return. Devin even strips the ball, but of course it goes out of bounds. Why do I feel like if the situation had been reversed that ball would have bounced into the hands of a Saint and been returned for a touchdown?

New Orleans Saints at 11:00, (1st play from scrimmage 10:51)

1-10-NO 48 (10:51) M.Bell right guard to 50 for 2 yards (H.Blades).
2-8-50 (10:16) M.Bell right tackle to WAS 43 for 7 yards (R.Doughty, L.Fletcher).

Doughty is solidly blocked by the LT but fights past him to make the tackle. Doughty just keeps getting better in the box.

3-1-WAS 43 (9:46) M.Bell up the middle to WAS 43 for no gain (P.Daniels).

The LG pulls to the inside right, so RB is being led up the middle by both a G and a FB. HB Blades comes off the edge and blows up the FB, and Daniels fights through both the RT and TE to penetrate and trip up the pulling guard.

4-1-WAS 43 (9:26) Z.Strief reported in as eligible. M.Bell right tackle to WAS 43 for no gain (A.Haynesworth, R.McIntosh).

The Saints really need more than one short yardage play. The LG pulls right again, but Kedric Golston drives back the C, cutting off the LG's path and wrecking the play. Haynesworth penetrates through the gap vacated by the LG, and Daniels lowers his shoulder and totally defeats the pulling FB.

Washington Redskins at 9:22

1-10-WAS 44 (9:22) J.Campbell pass deep right to D.Thomas to NO 16 for 40 yards (M.McKenzie).

We never get a good replay angle on this, but commentators say that Fred Davis ran a seam route to occupy the safety and that allowed Thomas to get so wide open after exiting the CB's shallow zone. Thomas has to slow up to make the catch, and stumbles. Given the moves we've seen from Davis, I have a feeling that if he had been able to cath it in stride he may well have been able to outmaneuver the closing safety, who was the only defender between him and a touchdown.

1-10-NO 16 (8:41) R.Cartwright right end to NO 13 for 3 yards (R.Ayodele).

2-7-NO 13 (8:02) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to F.Davis (M.Jenkins) [W.Smith].

The LDE continues to beat Levi, and Campbell gets hit in the back while throwing. Partly as a result, he misses his intended receiver (Davis?) badly and the ball hits a DB right in the chest, but our side gets some good luck for once and it is dropped. Jason had no good throws and a ton of open running room to his right. His awareness has declined so dramatically over the course of the year.

3-7-NO 13 (7:57) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short middle to D.Thomas for 13 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Devin Thomas is absolutely deadly on the shallow cross. He catches it near the hashmarks, then a LB and two safeties all underestimate his speed and take bad angles. He turns the corner on them and tip-toes the sideline to stay in bounds.

S.Suisham extra point is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.

NO 17 WAS 27, 4 plays, 56 yards, 1:34 drive, 7:12 elapsed

S.Suisham kicks 70 yards from WAS 30 to NO 0. C.Roby to NO 27 for 27 yards (R.Doughty).

New Orleans Saints at 7:48, (1st play from scrimmage 7:43)

1-10-NO 27 (7:43) M.Bell left end to NO 34 for 7 yards (L.Landry).

The line and the leads FB block to the right, but the Redskins, especially Rocky McIntosh, collapse the corner and the RB cuts it back to the left. I like Lorenzo Alexander so I don't feel good about publicizing this, but he was at RDE and got completely beat by a slot receiver to allow the RB around the edge. Ouch.

2-3-NO 34 (7:08) D.Brees pass short left to J.Shockey to NO 45 for 11 yards (R.Doughty).

1-10-NO 45 (6:33) D.Brees pass short middle to J.Shockey to WAS 47 for 8 yards (L.Landry).

Quick slant. Landry was in man coverage on him but was playing outside leverage and so never had a chance. Rocky McIntosh is momentarily frozen by play action so he is unable to make it to the outside to cut off the slant route.

2-2-WAS 47 (5:58) M.Bell left end to WAS 47 for no gain (R.Doughty).

Reed Doughty isn't even on camera at the snap, but he reads the play from the beginning and beats the RB to the corner and blows him up. In a previous post a commenter and I discussed the safety situation and I mentioned that I would be fine with Landry taking over strong safety because I consider him and Doughty about even in that role, but I am reconsidering it. Doughty is fantastic.

3-2-WAS 47 (5:19) Z.Strief reported in as eligible. D.Brees pass deep left to D.Thomas to WAS 26 for 21 yards (R.McIntosh).

Saints line up with a sixth offensive lineman and run a play action, so the Redskins are more concerned with gap control than rushing the passer so Brees has plenty of time. McIntosh initially bites on the play action so the TE is able to beat him fairly easily.

1-10-WAS 26 (4:34) D.Brees pass short left to D.Henderson to WAS 11 for 15 yards (L.Landry).

Again the pass rush is frozen by an effective play action.

1-10-WAS 11 (3:49) P.Thomas right tackle to WAS 8 for 3 yards (L.Landry).

The LT tries to keep Anthony Montgomery to the outside, but Montgomery fights through him and puts a hit on the RB before Landry comes to finish him off.

2-7-WAS 8 (3:04) D.Brees pass incomplete short left to M.Colston (L.Landry).

Damn the Saints are good at play action. Smoot was lined up outside so Colston easily beat him on a slant, but fortunately Landry read sBrees' eyes and comes over to break up the play in the end zone.

3-7-WAS 8 (2:58) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to D.Henderson to WAS 9 for -1 yards (L.Alexander).
Penalty on NO-J.Stinchcomb, Illegal Block Above the Waist, declined. [ed.: Call is illegal block in the back. Not sure what an illegal block "above the waist" is.]

An attempted bubble screen. Byron Westbrook sees it developing and avoids the blocking. He doesn't manage to tackle the WR (largely due to the illegal block), but he forces him to cut too early and allows time for Lorenzo Alexander to recover from the screen and take him down from behind.

4-8-WAS 9 (2:40) G.Hartley 27 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Kyle, Holder-M.Brunell.

NO 20 WAS 27, 10 plays, 64 yards, 5:13 drive, 12:25 elapsed

T.Morstead kicks 56 yards from NO 30 to WAS 14. D.Thomas to WAS 34 for 20 yards (P.Prioleau).

Washington Redskins at 2:35, (1st play from scrimmage 2:31)

1-10-WAS 34 (2:31) R.Cartwright left tackle to WAS 39 for 5 yards (S.Ellis, T.Evans).

A LB gets free penetration but Rock puts a cut on him worthy of a video game.

2-5-WAS 39 (1:51) J.Campbell pass short middle to A.Randle El to WAS 45 for 6 yards (J.Vilma).

1-10-WAS 45 (1:11) R.Cartwright right guard to WAS 44 for -1 yards (B.McCray).

Either Heyer or Williams screwed up - they were both seeking out the OLB and the LDE penetrated virtually uncontested.

2-11-WAS 44 (:32) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass incomplete short middle to A.Randle El.

Dockery and Rock do a nice job adjusting to a LB and S who blitz up the middle. Campbell, unfortunately, throws it low.

3-11-WAS 44 (:27) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass deep middle to A.Randle El to NO 12 for 44 yards (M.Jenkins). WAS-A.Randle El was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

The RDE once again beats Levi and is tugging at Jason's back as he is in his motion, but he makes a strong throw and Randle El is wide open on a deep post.

Play by play info taken from the NFL Game Book.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Meet the new kicker

If you're like me, you have absolutely no idea who Graham Gano is. Hogs Haven can introduce you.

The description of his college career looks pretty encouraging, but of course only good college kickers ever get the chance to become bad NFL kickers, so we will see.

Best of luck, Shaun.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Some Redskins-Saints recommended reading

The 2nd quarter review went up earlier tonight. When you're done with that, here's some reading material for you to aid in digesting yesterday's experience.

I think Tom Boswell tends to be hit or miss when he strays from his home turf of baseball, but his column on the Redskins this morning did a good job of expressing the sheer bewilderment that must be felt after this loss:

At some point, the Redskins had to play one game
that absolutely epitomized everything both right and wrong with them. And, of
course, that meant they had to lose in a brutal and bizarre manner, yet not know
quite how it happened, what it meant, how to feel about it or what to do next.

For now, however, the Redskins' self-inflicted curse is in full
and spectacular force, producing breathtaking blunders:

-- If, in order to lose, the Redskins need to intercept a pass yet somehow let the other team
score a touchdown on the same play, they can do it. For years, we'll see replays
of Robert Meachem stealing the ball from interceptor Kareem Moore and returning
it untouched for a 44-yard touchdown with 22 seconds left in the half.

-- If the Redskins have to miss a 23-yard field goal for a 33-23 lead to
virtually ice the game with 1 minute 52 seconds to play, then they can miss it
wide to the right, true Masters of Disaster style. The kick was not blocked,
mind you. It wasn't a fumbled snap. The Redskins can top that: They missed the
equivalent of a high school extra point on a dry day on their own field to blow
perhaps the biggest NFL upset of the year.

Given the exotic nature of the game, it was featured rather prominently in this week's Audibles column from Football Outsiders (scroll down to get to our game). It's worth reading in its entirety, but here's some extended excerpts:

Tim Gerheim: The Redskins' defensive linemen are playing volleyball with Brees' "I'm a six-foot
quarterback" passes. They've knocked two or three back down through about the
middle of the second quarter. It looks like it's part of the game plan. Albert
Haynesworth and the rest of the tackles aren't pushing upfield that hard. Once
they read "pass" they seem to be trying to keep their hands free and their eyes
up on Brees. I think the offense has started figuring that out -- mostly the
fact that the rush isn't coming that hard up the middle unless it's a blitz.

Vince Verhei: From what I've seen (admittedly not much), Saints have been playing a lot of soft zone coverages and Campbell has had plenty of time to find the open man. He hasn't been beating blitzes or making great throws into coverage. And a lot of these receivers are wide-open, too. Not to knock Washington, because they are playing well, but this feels more like a New Orleans loss than a Washington win, at least on that side of the ball.

Tim Gerheim: The Redskins are running really
well-designed plays, mixing up where they're throwing and how the receivers are
getting open. Devin Thomas's first touchdown was a second-and-goal from around
the 9 right after an incompletion, in a tight formation, and Thomas motioned
left across the formation and set up right behind the left side tight end. In
other words, everything screamed run. Mike McKenzie ran with him in man
coverage. Thomas crossed back behind the line to the right out into the flat,
McKenzie couldn't get across fast enough, and there was nobody close enough to
stop him once he made the easy catch.

I think their route combinations
have been more creative than New England's last week, they've had more receivers
who can do damage (Thomas, who's had a great game, Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle
El, and Fred Davis). Even though both Moss and Welker are probably better than
anything Washington has, the greater variety of targets is putting more pressure
on the depleted secondary. I think the Redskins are also benefiting from the
sloppy field conditions after the above-freezing snowstorm yesterday. Then, the
week of tape on McKenzie and Chris McAlister may have helped. It's always hard
to defend against a quarterback in his first game in forever, even if he's not
that good; the same may apply to corners.

Aaron Schatz: OK, folks watching Skins-Saints. Do you think the Sellers
down-by-contact play was properly overturned by the officials on the replay?

Bill Barnwell: No. Absolutely not indisputable whatsoever.

Doug Farrar: No way. Of course, the NFL can hide behind the "infinite levels of indisputable" defense, but that was a bang-bang call either way.

In Monday Morning Quarterback, Peter King discusses Skins-Saints under the heading of "Crazy game of the day. Or the year."

Meachem, a second-year man, hears defensive coordinator Gregg Williams every day in practice preaching "Strip, strip, strip.'' As Meachem said, "It's burned in my head. So I managed to get through the two blockers and I went for the ball.'' It's crazy how easy it was. Meachem grabbed it, and ran it 44 yards for the tying touchdown. Then, given life by my Goat of the Week [Suisham, obviously], the Saints got the tying touchdown, a 53-yard bomb from Brees to Meachem, to send this one into overtime. There's no way it should have gotten to OT, of course. "Maybe it's our turn,'' Brees said after the game. No maybes about it, particularly after the overtime replay.

The replay of the day -- and the timeout of the day: On the third play of overtime, Jason Campbell completed a ball to fullback Mike Sellers in the flat. Sellers was upended by Chris McAlister, and either just before he was down or a millisecond after his elbow hit the ground, the ball came loose. The officials called the runner down by contact, and the Redskins went to run another play. At the last second, with Campbell calling signals at the line, it appeared replay official Larry Nemmers wasn't going to call for a booth review of the play, and so New Orleans coach Sean Payton called a timeout.

During a timeout, it's perfectly within the rules for the replay official to determine if the play should be reviewed. And Nemmers called for a review. Now, overnight, I watched this replay seven times. I believe it does not meet the most important criterion for being overturned -- namely, that it requires indisputable visual evidence to change the call on the field. The one angle where you can see Sellers upside down, with his elbow either touching the ground or very close to touching the ground, the ball has just been dislodged. It's very, very close. Referee Carl Cheffers called for a reversal. I wouldn't have. But you watch the play a few times and let me know what you think.

Redskins vs. Saints, 2nd quarter review

1st quarter review is here.

2nd Quarter

New Orleans Saints continued.

3-7-WAS 39 (15:00) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to D.Henderson to WAS 29 for 10 yards (F.Smoot). NO-D.Henderson was injured during the play.

1-10-WAS 29 (14:49) D.Brees pass deep middle to J.Shockey to WAS 9 for 20 yards (L.Landry).
PENALTY on NO-J.Shockey, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at WAS 29 - No Play.

All three LBs blitz but Saints keep in two TEs and a RB and no pass rush lanes open up. Carter, on the other side of the play from the blitz, gets around the LT and hits Brees as he throws, but Brees is able to get the ball out to Shockey. Fortunately, Shockey only gets open by basically throwing Carlos Rogers out of the way.

1-20-WAS 39 (14:26) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to P.Thomas to WAS 34 for 5 yards (C.Griffin, R.McIntosh).

Griffin reverses course as soon as he reads the screen and makes an impressive tackle from behind.

2-15-WAS 34 (13:41) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short middle to J.Shockey to WAS 19 for 15 yards (L.Fletcher).

1-10-WAS 19 (13:10) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short middle to R.Meachem to WAS 16 for 3 yards (H.Blades) [K.Golston].

Carter keeps threatening the LT on the edge but Brees is consistently getting the ball out just in time.

2-7-WAS 16 (12:30) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to D.Thomas (P.Daniels).

Daniels bats it at the line.

3-7-WAS 16 (12:24) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to M.Colston [A.Carter].

Brees is protected but Orakpo moves the LT far enough inside that Brees runs out of room to step into his throw. He slides to his left, pursued by Carter, and throws it away. This is one example of a play made by pass rush that doesn't show up in any stats. Brees had locked onto a receiver and was ready to rifle a pass when Orakpo and the LT suddenly ended up in front of him.

4-7-WAS 16 (12:18) G.Hartley 34 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Kyle, Holder-M.Brunell.

NO 3 WAS 10, 12 plays, 50 yards, 5:34 drive, 2:46 elapsed

T.Morstead kicks 63 yards from NO 30 to WAS 7. M.Mason to WAS 25 for 18 yards (J.Charleston).

Washington Redskins at 12:14, (1st play from scrimmage 12:08)

1-10-WAS 25 (12:08) Q.Ganther left tackle to WAS 28 for 3 yards (W.Smith).

2-7-WAS 28 (11:29) Q.Ganther up the middle to WAS 33 for 5 yards (T.Evans).

I know this is a 5 yard gain but it doesn't look right. The line slants left, then Ganther cuts the play back to the right. Despite the SLB crowding the line, Fred Davis at RTE ignores him and joins the slant to the left. When Ganther cuts back, the SLB is there waiting for him and its a tribute to Ganther's power that he broke through the tackle for several more yards. I assume Davis was responsible for the backside on this play and missed his assignment.

3-2-WAS 33 (10:53) M.Mason right guard to WAS 34 for 1 yard (R.Ayodele).

Dockery lands a blow on the DT and then pops through to seek out the LB, passing off the DT to Levi. But Levi can't control him and the hole closes up.

4-1-WAS 34 (10:15) H.Smith punts 51 yards to NO 15, Center-E.Albright. R.Bush to NO 13 for -2 yards (H.Blades, B.Westbrook).

New Orleans Saints at 10:01

1-10-NO 13 (10:01) P.Thomas right guard to NO 18 for 5 yards (R.Doughty).

The DTs play rather wide and the Gs are able to keep them to the outside, so the C comes clean and gets a free shot on Fletcher, but he holds his ground and sheds off the block to join Doughty in the tackle.

2-5-NO 18 (9:27) M.Bell right tackle to NO 22 for 4 yards (A.Haynesworth).

3-1-NO 22 (8:29) Z.Strief reported in as eligible. M.Bell up the middle to NO 25 for 3 yards (R.McIntosh, R.Doughty).

1-10-NO 25 (7:47) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to R.Bush (A.Haynesworth).

Daniels (LDE), Golston, and Haynesworth all rush to the inside, and unsurprisingly get tangled up in a scrum with four O-linemen. Carter drives the LT slowly backwards but doesn't get close enough to interfere with the pass. Haynesworth, once he sees the pass rush isn't getting anywhere, disengages from the blockers and drops back several yards to get in position for the deflection.

2-10-NO 25 (7:42) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to D.Henderson to NO 39 for 14 yards (B.Westbrook).

That LT continues getting terrorized on the outside - this time by Orakpo - and Brees continues his perfect timing and get the ball out just as Orakpo is grasping at his back.

Timeout #1 by NO at 06:53.

1-10-NO 39 (6:53) D.Brees pass incomplete deep middle to D.Henderson (L.Landry).

The LT keeps Carter to the outside this time, which is good because Brees takes a very deep drop off the play fake. Fletcher, impressively, is running stride for stride with Devery Henderson down the seam and would have made the play if Landry hadn't also streaked over to knock it down.

2-10-NO 39 (6:45) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to R.Meachem to NO 49 for 10 yards (L.Landry). P8

1-10-NO 49 (6:17) P.Thomas left end to WAS 40 for 11 yards (L.Landry).

Saints snapped the ball while the Redskins were still setting their formation, and we didn't even have anyone lined up at RDE, so its safe to say they were able to seal the corner fairly easily.

1-10-WAS 40 (5:42) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass deep left to M.Colston for 40 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Nothing new here - Colston makes an inside move, Carlos Rogers lets him go assuming he has high safety help, but Landry gets himself out of position trying to lay the Colston out over the middle and is burned when he turns it back upfield.

G.Hartley extra point is GOOD, Center-J.Kyle, Holder-M.Brunell.

NO 10 WAS 10, 9 plays, 87 yards, 4:27 drive, 9:26 elapsed

T.Morstead kicks 69 yards from NO 30 to WAS 1. D.Thomas to WAS 22 for 21 yards (C.Reis).

Washington Redskins at 5:34, (1st play from scrimmage 5:28)

1-10-WAS 22 (5:28) J.Campbell pass short right to F.Davis to WAS 31 for 9 yards (T.Evans, M.McKenzie).

2-1-WAS 31 (4:54) J.Campbell pass short left to S.Moss to WAS 37 for 6 yards (M.Jenkins).

When they give Santana a 9 yard cushion on a 2nd and 1, the quick hitch kind of seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it?

1-10-WAS 37 (4:14) J.Campbell pass short left to S.Moss ran ob at WAS 45 for 8 yards.

2-2-WAS 45 (3:44) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass incomplete short middle to F.Davis.

I'm pretty sure Fred Davis let the LB on his side past him on purpose to suck him into the backfield and set up the dumpoff - the WRs on his side both ran straight downfield and drew the secondary with them, opening up lots of running room. Unfortunately a second LB came untouched from the opposite side - I think Levi missed that he was coming - and the unexpected causes Jason to rush his throw and he misses Davis.

3-2-WAS 45 (3:40) J.Campbell pass deep right to S.Moss to NO 17 for 38 yards (M.Jenkins).

The RB (unidentified) picks up a blitzing LB and gives Campbell time to pump once before lofting it to Santana. The pump coincided with a fake out route, so the DB was totally fooled and Santana beat him badly. It's thrown just a little short, and because Santana has to slow up for it he's taken down right after the catch.

1-10-NO 17 (3:11) J.Campbell pass short middle to M.Kelly to NO 11 for 6 yards (C.McAlister).

2-4-NO 11 (2:37) J.Campbell pass short left to S.Moss to NO 5 for 6 yards (D.Sharper).
Timeout #2 by NO at 02:27.

Eight yard cushion, and another hitch to Moss. The first DB to arrive ends up on the ground as a result of the move Santana puts on him.

1-5-NO 5 (2:27) J.Campbell pass incomplete short right to S.Moss (T.Evans).

One more hitch, but this time a blitzing OLB has gotten into the passing lane and the pass gets batted down.

2-5-NO 5 (2:25) J.Campbell pass short middle to D.Thomas for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Thomas starts out in the right slot, then motions left and stops right behind Levi's butt at LT. After the snap he slips back behind the line to the right (so it is critical that the linemen hold their ground) and he leaks out into the flat. When he catches the pass it looks like two Saints have an angle on him, but he turns on the speed and gets close enough to make a dive into the end zone. Very impressive play.

S.Suisham extra point is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.

NO 10 WAS 17, 9 plays, 78 yards, 3:17 drive, 12:43 elapsed

S.Suisham kicks 62 yards from WAS 30 to NO 8. C.Roby to NO 21 for 13 yards (B.Westbrook).

New Orleans Saints at 2:17, (1st play from scrimmage 2:12)

1-10-NO 21 (2:12) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to R.Bush ran ob at NO 30 for 9 yards.

Two-Minute Warning

2-1-NO 30 (2:00) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short right to M.Colston.

Brees loses his footing as he throws. Haynesworth was pushing the LG back into him, but I think he just slipped on a wet spot.

3-1-NO 30 (1:55) R.Bush left end to NO 30 for no gain (B.Orakpo).

Orakpo absorbs a heavy blow from the LT, then just tosses him backwards and takes down Bush as he tries to round the corner.

Timeout #2 by WAS at 01:43.

4-1-NO 30 (1:43) T.Morstead punts 27 yards to WAS 43, Center-J.Kyle. K.Barnes MUFFS catch, touched at WAS 43, RECOVERED by NOU.
Young at WAS 41. U.Young to WAS 41 for no gain (A.Randle El).

You can't blame Barnes for this. As a gunner, there's no reason he would be looking out for a punt to come down only 27 yards downfield and way over on the sideline. Just terrible, terrible luck. It kills me to see the Saints rewarded for making a completely awful punt.

New Orleans Saints at 1:31

1-10-WAS 41 (1:31) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete deep left to D.Henderson (B.Westbrook).
PENALTY on WAS-A.Carter, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 41 - No Play.

Brees threw into double coverage because he had a free play due to Carter's blatant offsides.

1-5-WAS 36 (1:27) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to R.Bush to WAS 28 for 8 yards (A.Carter).

1-10-WAS 28 (1:04) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short middle to J.Shockey.

2-10-WAS 28 (1:00) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete short right to R.Bush.
PENALTY on NO-J.Evans, Ineligible Downfield Pass, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 28 - No Play.

Carter blows past the RT, then runs over Reggie Bush before he can get into position to catch the screen.

2-15-WAS 33 (:55) (Shotgun) D.Brees sacked at WAS 44 for -11 yards (L.Landry).
Timeout #3 by NO at 00:39.

Greg Blache and his staff decide to show their old boss that they can design crazy blitzes too. Griffin, Haynesworth, and Carter all stack up on the offensive right, but Orakpo is lined up way outside the LTE's shoulder - so there is a huge gap in the line and the LT and LG have no one in front of them. Fletcher and Doughty then shift over to fill this gap, albeit a yard off the line. Fletcher hangs back and picks up the RB out of the backfield, while Doughty charges to the outside and drags the LT with him. Meanwhile Landry, who intially lined up very deep, has been creeping up towards the line and barrells through the gap opened up by Doughthy's blitz and Orakpo's outside alignment.

3-26-WAS 44 (:39) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short middle intended for J.Shockey INTERCEPTED by K.Moore at WAS 30. K.Moore to
WAS 44 for 14 yards (R.Meachem). FUMBLES (R.Meachem), RECOVERED by NO-R.Meachem at WAS 44. R.Meachem
for 44 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Play Challenged by Replay Assistant and Upheld.

Orakpo and Haynesworth both get inside penetration and force Brees to abort his first attempt to throw. He pumps twice, then staggers backwards under hot pursuit from Andre Carter. Carter lowers his head to tackle a bit too early, and Brees stiff arms him in the facemask, driving him to the ground. Brees staggers back still further, and desperately unloads the ball while falling backwards with Orakpo bearing down on him. The throw is released from 15 yards behind the line of scrimmage. And of course once the ball gets there, the play turns exciting. I'm sure you've all relived what happens next plenty of time already, so I won't burden you with another description.

Timeout #3 by WAS at 00:22.

G.Hartley extra point is GOOD, Center-J.Kyle, Holder-M.Brunell.

NO 17 WAS 17, 0 plays, 44 yards, 0:00 drive , 14:38 elapsed

T.Morstead kicks 68 yards from NO 30 to WAS 2. D.Thomas pushed ob at WAS 24 for 22 yards (R.Harper).

Washington Redskins at 0:22, (1st play from scrimmage 0:14)

1-10-WAS 24 (:14) J.Campbell kneels to WAS 23 for -1 yards.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Redskins vs. Saints, 1st quarter review

I couldn't get my mind off this crazy game, so I said to hell with Sunday Night Football and reviewed the first quarter tonight.

I have already posted some initial reactions and a poll question.

As always, play by play is taken from the NFL Game Book and my commentary can be distinguished by having its own font.

1st Quarter

S.Suisham kicks 56 yards from WAS 30 to NO 14. C.Roby to NO 34 for 20 yards (H.Blades).

New Orleans Saints at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:57)

1-10-NO 34 (14:57) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to P.Thomas to NO 47 for 13 yards (R.McIntosh).

Andre Carter powers past the LT's outside shoulder and nearly bats down this screen pass.

1-10-NO 47 (14:32) P.Thomas left end to NO 43 for -4 yards (A.Carter).

Carter runs over both the LG and the slot receiver (the LT had pulled to the outside) and chases down the RB from behind.

2-14-NO 43 (13:53) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass incomplete deep left to R.Bush (F.Smoot) [A.Carter].

Orakpo attacks the LT's inside shoulder and is only slowed down by having the guy's arm wrapped around his neck. He carries the LT into the backfield and interferes with Brees' first attempt to throw, forcing him to pull the ball down. When Brees escapes to the left Andre Carter, who had been rushing from LDE, pursues him and tackles Brees by the legs just as he throws. Smoot is in front of the receiver and gets both hands on the ball, but can't bring it down.

3-14-NO 43 (13:43) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to P.Thomas to WAS 47 for 10 yards (K.Moore) [A.Haynesworth].

4-4-WAS 47 (13:02) T.Morstead punts 42 yards to WAS 5, Center-J.Kyle, downed by NO-J.Kyle.

Washington Redskins at 12:51

1-10-WAS 6 (12:51) J.Campbell pass short right to F.Davis to WAS 15 for 9 yards (J.Kyle).

2-1-WAS 15 (12:11) R.Cartwright up the middle to WAS 19 for 4 yards (R.Ayodele, W.Smith).
PENALTY on NO-W.Smith, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at WAS 19.

There would have been a bigger hole but the RDE stayed on his feet despite Sellers' cut block. After this penalty we're already past the 30 rather than pinned deep by the punt, so Smoot's dropped interception ended up not really hurting us in terms of field position.

1-10-WAS 34 (11:43) J.Campbell pass incomplete deep left to D.Thomas (M.Jenkins).
PENALTY on NO-M.Jenkins, Defensive Pass Interference, 32 yards, enforced at WAS 34 - No Play.

Saints blitz two LBs. Rock picks up the OLB and throws a good block. The RDE slants inside hoping to open a hole for the MLB, but Levi Jones stays home and manages to fill that guy's blitz lane too.
This ball is a little underthrown - Thomas was forced to slow up, but fortunately the only way the DB could break it up was through desperate interference because Thomas had beat him so badly. But if the pass had a little more air under it this may have been a touchdown.

1-10-NO 34 (11:37) R.Cartwright left end to NO 33 for 1 yard (S.Shanle).

Sellers motions to LTE and kicks out the LB to open up a hole, and Jones and Dockery do a good job of sealing the Saints linemen to the inside. But no one is available to pick up the safety who fills the hole, so Rock is forced to cut outside and by that point the LB is able to shed off Sellers and make the play.

2-9-NO 33 (11:00) R.Cartwright left end to NO 31 for 2 yards (S.Shanle).

Rock cuts to the inside off of Sellers' lead block, but Mike Williams (at RG today) and Stephon Heyer can't cut off the backside pursuit.

3-7-NO 31 (10:20) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short middle to D.Thomas to NO 21 for 10 yards (M.Jenkins, D.Sharper).

Saints have only 3 down linemen and try to blitz two LBs up the middle, but Dockery blocks the first one so hard he is able to throw him into the second one, so Dockery takes out both blitzers.

1-10-NO 21 (9:40) R.Cartwright up the middle to NO 5 for 16 yards (D.Sharper).

The LDE apparently misreads the play as a bootleg and takes himself out of the play trying to get downfield to pursue Campbell. Fred Davis kicks out the SLB opening up a big running lane and Heyer, since he doesn't have the LDE to worry about, can clear an oncoming safety from the lane.

1-5-NO 5 (9:03) R.Cartwright right end to NO 8 for -3 yards (R.Ayodele, W.Smith).

The Saints D-line wins this battle. Davis and Williams both get pushed back and can't win the corner, and when Rock cuts back he is taken down by a DT who had penetrated agains Dockery's cut block.

2-8-NO 8 (8:21) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to R.Cartwright.
Timeout #1 by WAS at 08:17.

Campbell was well protected but none of the routes get open. When he tries to dump it off to Rock the RDE, who is engaged on Levi, tries to get his hand up. Campbell reacts to this during his throwing motion and shoots the ball over Rock's head.

3-8-NO 8 (8:17) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short left to F.Davis for 8 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Thomas out of the slot runs a post into the endzone which threatens the LBs in shallow coverage and opens up room for Davis on the shallow cross. Once he makes the catch Davis is simply too fast for a LB and a S who each initially appear to have an angle on him.

S.Suisham extra point is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.

NO 0 WAS 7, 9 plays, 94 yards, 2 penalties, 4:40 drive, 6:49 elapsed

S.Suisham kicks 62 yards from WAS 30 to NO 8. C.Roby to NO 30 for 22 yards (H.Blades, K.Moore).

New Orleans Saints at 8:11, (1st play from scrimmage 8:05)

1-10-NO 30 (8:05) D.Brees pass short left to D.Thomas to NO 36 for 6 yards (H.Blades).

Lorenzo Alexander rushes from RDE and despite being tripped up by the RB gets his hands up and very nearly deflects this pass to the TE in the flat.

2-4-NO 36 (7:30) D.Henderson left end pushed ob at NO 39 for 3 yards (R.McIntosh). End around

Brees fakes a handoff to the RB then gives it to the WR on an end-around, but Lorenzo Alexander and Rocky McIntosh are not fooled and give good pursuit.

3-1-NO 39 (7:07) Z.Strief reported in as eligible. M.Bell up the middle to NO 39 for no gain (R.McIntosh).

Saints attempt to double Haynesworth but he gets off the line too quick for the LG to even get a block on him and he simply runs over the LT. Kedric Golston dives straight through the line and trips up the RG who is trying to pull to the left.

4-1-NO 39 (6:26) T.Morstead punts 31 yards to WAS 30, Center-J.Kyle, fair catch by A.Randle El.

This horribly short punt, which is normally a good thing by the opposition, is an ominous portent of the even worse punt in the 2nd quarter that will somehow end up in New Orleans' favor.

Washington Redskins at 6:17

1-10-WAS 30 (6:17) J.Campbell pass short right to F.Davis to WAS 42 for 12 yards (J.Vilma, M.McKenzie).

LBs bite on play action, opening up both Sellers and Davis in the flat. Jason rolls out and hits Davis, and Sellers blocks the nearest DB to open up more yards.

1-10-WAS 42 (5:39) Q.Ganther left tackle to NO 45 for 13 yards (S.Shanle).

Davis kicks out the SLB (great block #1), Dockery keeps the RDE to the inside (great block #2), Levi hits the MLB two yards past the LOS and knocks him back four more (great block #3). A safety shoots in to fills the large running lane, but Ganther ptus a wicked cut on him and shows impressive power maintaining his footing and forward momentum despite taking a fairly solid blow to the legs.

1-10-NO 45 (4:58) J.Campbell pass incomplete deep right to S.Moss.

Ganther fails to read the LB blitzing around the right edge so he comes in unblocked, but Campbell pump fakes and makes the LB leap for the deflection instead of coming in for the sack. He buys himself a split second to try to get the ball to Santana who is wide open down the sideline, but in all the traffic he is unable to step into the throw and the ball sails out of bounds.

2-10-NO 45 (4:53) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short left to A.Randle El to NO 34 for 11 yards (T.Evans) [M.Jenkins].

Ganther again screws up in pass protection - two DBs come untouched off the left edge, but Ganther blocks to the right where the linemen already have all the pass rushers accounted for. Campbell is able to get the ball out off his back foot and hits Randle-El, who is occupying the zone vacated by the two blitzing DBs.

1-10-NO 34 (4:11) J.Campbell pass short right to F.Davis pushed ob at NO 19 for 15 yards (M.McKenzie).

Sellers handles the LDE, allowing the whole line to fan to the offensive left so that Levi can pick up the blitzing SLB. The DTs try to open a lane for the MLB to blitz as well, but the Redskins interiror linemen win the battle and the MLB runs into his own guys backs and is forced to work his way around Heyer's outside shoulder, at which point he's picked up by the RB (Ganther or Rock??). Campbell hits Davis on an out, and he runs through two seperate tackles to pick up 6 tough yards of YAC.

1-10-NO 19 (3:39) J.Campbell pass short left to M.Mitchell to NO 13 for 6 yards (M.Jenkins).

2-4-NO 13 (3:03) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to S.Moss.

Campbell wants to throw the quick slant to Moss but two DBs jump the route immediately. By the time he pulls the ball down he is under pressure from the LDE and has to throw it away. Not to pick on Ganther, but I think he should have seen that DE was unblocked. The only other pass rush threat he needed to be worried about was the SLB, but Sellers had him well blocked from the TE position.

3-4-NO 13 (2:58) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to F.Davis.

Saints have three down linemen, but have two LBs showing blitz on the offensive left and two DBs showing blitz on the offensive right. The DBs drop back and the LBs come. The Redskins adjust and Levi and Ganther each take out a blitzing LB. Heyer is beat to the outside by the LDE. Campbell steps up to avoid it but, feeling more pressure than there is, he rushes a hopeless throw to Davis, who is well covered and the throw sails high anyway because Jason threw on the run. If he had just pulled the ball down he had a lot of running room to his right - there was only one defender to that side and Santana was well positioned to block him.

4-4-NO 13 (2:52) S.Suisham 32 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.

NO 0 WAS 10, 9 plays, 57 yards, 3:29 drive, 12:12 elapsed

S.Suisham kicks 62 yards from WAS 30 to NO 8. C.Roby pushed ob at NO 34 for 26 yards (D.Thomas).

Redskins coverage unit overpursues and the returner has way too much space when he cuts it back across the field. Good speed from Devin Thomas prevents a bigger return.

New Orleans Saints at 2:48, (1st play from scrimmage 2:40)

1-10-NO 34 (2:40) D.Brees pass short left to R.Meachem pushed ob at NO 45 for 11 yards (L.Landry).

Quick hitch. Byron Westbrook misses an open field tackle 4 yards past the LOS.

1-10-NO 45 (2:15) M.Bell up the middle to NO 44 for -1 yards (B.Orakpo).

Haynesworth and HB Blades take on the Saints RT, RG, and C and win. The RB is forced to cut it outside, where Philip Daniels is unblocked and smothers him.

2-11-NO 44 (1:39) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short right to P.Thomas pushed ob at WAS 42 for 14 yards (B.Westbrook).

Redskins get suckered by a screen.

1-10-WAS 42 (1:07) P.Thomas right end to WAS 41 for 1 yard (A.Carter, L.Fletcher).

Carter comes unblocked at RDE and pursures from the backside, and Rocky blows up the FBs lead block, forcing the RB to take it further outside so Fletcher can chase him down.

2-9-WAS 41 (:28) (Shotgun) D.Brees pass short left to R.Bush to WAS 39 for 2 yards (K.Barnes).

A little bubble screen to Bush, but Kevin Barnes fights past a WR's block to make the play.

A poll - which Redskin most needs to drink away his sorrows tonight?

You can find my initial reactions to the game in the previous post.

For now, a poll. You can vote in the comments section.

Which Redskin is drinking the most heavily tonight:

a) LaRon Landry - exploited for two long touchdowns
b) Shaun Suisham - missed a 23 yard field goal that would have virtually sealed the game
c) Mike Sellers - fumbled in overtime
d) Kareem Moore - got stripped on an interception return that gave the Saints a touchdown
e) Kevin Barnes - hit by a short punt to give the ball back to the Saints after they had been stopped
f) Jason Campbell - threw a killer interception to let the Saints back in the game
g) Jim Zorn, for so many reasons

Saints give the Redskins their third consecutive gut-wrenching loss, and I pick myself up off the living room floor to try to wrap my head around it

OK my head is kind of swimming right now. I'm not exactly thinking coherently at the moment, but I'm going to try to record some of my reactions, in no particular order:

- Three weeks in a row that we have outplayed more talented opponents and let them slip away. This team is so much better than in the first half of the season, and because of the way the schedule was arranged we jsut can't quite convert it into wins. Please don't bother me of loser-talk, I know that moral victories aren't good enough, but after Dallas, the Eagles, and the Saints all barely escaped with hard-earned wins, I feel so much better about the state of this team and our prospects for next year. This team, I think, is currently at an 8-8 or 9-7 level of quality - but of course they didn't get there until after losing all of their "easy" games in the first half of the year.

- The commentators didn't mention this, and maybe I'm missing something, but why did the Redskins run a play before the two minute warning? Unless I'm confused about the clock situation at that point they could have let it run to two minutes, then run a running play and take :40 seconds off of Drew Brees' window of opportunity. If my memory isn't failing me, this was an appalling bit of clock management. UPDATE: I just went back and checked and I was totally wrong about this. The previous play ended with :42 seconds before the two minute warning. As I was watching it I had it in my head that we had more play clock available and was screaming at them to let it go.

- LaRon Landry has been killing us all year and needs to be benched or moved to strong safety. It's not like we don't have options -Smoot, Kareem Moore, or Reed Doughty could all fill the position adequately.

- Other than Landry I think the secondary played quite well.

- Zero sacks allowed. Nice job by the offensive line, obviously, but there were also a lot of great blitz pickups by the running backs.

- Devin Thomas is now clearly our #1 wide receiver. The Redskins' late season turnaround (in performance, not wins) is largely about him and Fred Davis.

- The mistakes (missed field goal, Sellers' fumble, Campbell's pick) weren't quite enough to kill us. The bad luck (a shanked punt hitting Kevin Barnes, Kareem Moore getting stripped on the interception return) wasn't quite enough to kill us. But the mistakes and bad luck combined were just enough to let this game slip away.

- The defensive line was outstanding - Brees was under threat in the pocket constantly and the Saints' running game was shut down entirely.

- I'm trying to be angry at Shaun Suisham but all I can manage right now is to feel sorry for him.

- Here's the Win Probability Graph from Advanced NFL Stats. Another quantified gut-punch. The Redskins topped out at a 99% chance of victory.

- I can't take too much more of this.

UPDATE: It turns out Real Redskins was basically real-time blogging the game, so go here if you want a very thorough overview of what transpired.

Vinny Cerrato's failure leads to sweet marketing opportunity for Audi

On Friday I, and presumably all Redskins season ticket holders, received an email from the Washington Redskins. The subject line read "Redskins Recruit New Powerhouse."

Dave O,
Today the Washington Redskins appointed a new leader...

Wait, what? And yes, the bold is in the original. Surely this isn't a real message about a significant change in team management... but is it? At the very least I'm now hooked into reading the rest of the email.

... that will strengthen the team with speed, control, spirit, and drive.

Oh shit it's a car.

As a passionate fan, we invite you to experience firsthand what this means for the future of the Washington Redskins.

Click on the video or personalized link below to view this special message:
There was then an embedded video featuring a pretty classy looking picture of a Redskins helmet. It takes you to an ad for the Season of Audi event.

Now I'm not bothered by sponsorship deals; the Redskins are a profit-maximizing business like any other and I don't begrudge them making money.

I also tend to shy away from gratuitous Snyder bashing, not because I disagree with all of it (some is fair, some is unfair) but because there's so much of it out there already I don't feel like I'm contributing anything by piling on.

But in this case Snyder, or someone in his marketing department who presumably needs to get Snyder's sign-off on these things, is actually trying to capitalize on the fan base's disgust with the team management to drive clicks on an Audi ad.

Is this repugnant? Hilarious? Appalling? Sad? I was so floored by this that I honestly can't decide on the appropriate reaction.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Redskins @ Eagles, 4th quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter review
3rd quarter review

4th Quarter

Washington Redskins continued.

3-21-WAS 25 (15:00) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short left to S.Moss to WAS 35 for 10 yards (Q.Demps).

4-11-WAS 35 (14:31) H.Smith punts 53 yards to PHI 12, Center-E.Albright. J.Maclin to PHI 10 for -2 yards (B.Westbrook).

Philadelphia Eagles at 14:22

1-10-PHI 10 (14:22) L.Weaver up the middle to PHI 13 for 3 yards (P.Daniels).

Kedric Golston holds up against a double team to make the play, which allows Philip Daniels to shed off the RT and make the tackle.

2-7-PHI 13 (13:44) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete deep middle to B.Celek (K.Moore).

Eagles easily adjust to stunts on both sides, so the Redskins only succeed in sapping their own forward momentum and McNabb has plenty of time. Kareem Moore is right on Celek's hip as the ball arrives, and maybe gets a way with just a little PI.

3-7-PHI 13 (13:39) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short middle intended for R.Brown INTERCEPTED by J.Tryon [C.Wilson] at PHI 26. J.Tryon
to PHI 23 for 3 yards (R.Brown).

Chris Wilson lines up at LDE. He absorbs a powerful chip from the TE that allows the RT to fan wider outside, but Wilson fights past him anyway and comes up on McNabb from behind.. McNabb has no idea there's pressure coming so he doesn't bother to step up and is hit as he throws, causing the ball to float easily into Tryon's hands.

Washington Redskins at 13:32

1-10-PHI 23 (13:32) J.Campbell pass short left to M.Sellers ran ob at PHI 11 for 12 yards (W.Witherspoon).

1-10-PHI 11 (13:11) M.Mason up the middle to PHI 9 for 2 yards (M.Patterson).

Fred Davis can't keep the LDE to the outside and the hole closes up.

2-8-PHI 9 (12:33) M.Mason left end to PHI 7 for 2 yards (A.Dixon; S.Brown).
Timeout #1 by WAS at 11:51.

Fred Davis is at LTE. Jones has the RDE under control, so Davis comes off him but instead of picking up the DB who is the much bigger threat he lets him slip by and seeks out a LB. That DB is able to collapse the corner.

3-6-PHI 7 (11:51) J.Campbell pass incomplete short right to F.Davis.

Campbell never looked at anyone but Davis, then double-clutched and was forced to throw it out the back of the end zone. He had plenty of protection, and even if he didn't have another receiver available there was plenty of room to the left for him to leave the pocket and either run it himself or buy still more time for someone to come open.

4-6-PHI 7 (11:45) S.Suisham 25 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-E.Albright, Holder-H.Smith.

WAS 24 PHI 16, 5 plays, 16 yards, 1:50 drive, 3:18 elapsed

S.Suisham kicks 64 yards from WAS 30 to PHI 6. V.Harris pushed ob at PHI 35 for 29 yards (Q.Ganther).
PENALTY on PHI-D.Patterson, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at PHI 20.

Philadelphia Eagles at 11:42, (1st play from scrimmage 11:37)

1-10-PHI 10 (11:37) D.McNabb pass incomplete deep middle to J.Avant (J.Tryon).

Eagles leave in seven to block, and both Carter and Daniels are neutralized by double teams (Daniels has been consistently doubled when at DT on pass plays). Excellent coverage by Tryon - despite the time McNabb has in the pocket he is right in front of Avant on a deep post. McNabb tries to put it high to give Avant a chance, but Tryon leaps and gets his hand in Avant's face to break up the pass. Tryon is not rewarded for his efforts - Landry and Doughty both close in for kill shots on the receiver but they come in too high and Tryon gets sandwiched.

2-10-PHI 10 (11:30) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass deep right to J.Avant to WAS 44 for 46 yards (C.Rogers).

Tell me if this sounds familiar - the catch is made in front of LaRon Landry at the 30. Instead of just making a professional tackle, Landry lowers his shoulder and leaves his feet to try to make some breathtaking hit. Landry only makes a glancing blow, and is therefore personally responsible for allowing 16 more yards. This is really getting old.

1-10-WAS 44 (10:58) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass deep middle to J.Avant to WAS 24 for 20 yards (L.Landry). PHI-J.Avant was injured during the play. His return is Probable.

Byron Westbrook blitzes from the offensive left but inexplicably hesitates once he gets into the backfield, which allows a pulling guardd to account for him at the last second. Rocky blitzes around the offensive right and is untouched except for a brief TE chip, and blindsides McNabb as he throws. The ball sails, but Avant makes an excellent catch going up for it over the middle.

1-10-WAS 24 (10:34) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right.
Penalty on PHI-J.Peters, Offensive Holding, offsetting, enforced at WAS 24 - No Play.
Penalty on WAS-F.Smoot, Illegal Use of Hands, offsetting.

This is play action out of an I formation.Golston beats the C and then dodges the FB as he is going out on a route, and then, fooled by the play action, he lands a solid hit on the trailing RB. This means the RB is way too late slipping through the line and making it to the right flat for the screen pass. MEanwhile Griffin comes in clean and forces McNabb out of the pocket. When McNabb sees his RB is not in position he simply spikes the ball a good six yard short of the LOS - the absence of an intentional grounding call here is ludicrous.

1-10-WAS 24 (10:29) #7 M. Vick in at QB M.Vick pass incomplete short left to B.Celek.

Vick rolls left on a waggle and has Celek open in the flat, but he drops another easy pass.

2-10-WAS 24 (10:25) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short middle to L.McCoy to WAS 16 for 8 yards (L.Fletcher).

3-2-WAS 16 (9:53) L.McCoy up the middle to WAS 13 for 3 yards (R.Doughty).

The C and LG try to try to move Golston on the line and he stops them cold, so when the LG sheds off to take on Fletcher the C simply wraps his arm around Golston's neck and puts him in a headlock from behind to keep him from collapsing the hole. No flag.

1-10-WAS 13 (9:16) L.Weaver left end to WAS 1 for 12 yards (L.Landry).

Eagles line up with a trips bunch tight to the left, and from that bunch a TE comes across the back of the line as if lead-blocking for a run up the middle or to the right. The Redskins line bites and crashes to the offensive right, and both of our OLBs try to clog the lanes up the middle. The play-side OLB (unidentified) is therefore easily sealed inside by Celek, and the WR who is the third man of the Eagles bunch blocks Fletcher. Smoot has a shot at the RB around the corner but takes a lousy angle and misses the tackle.

1-1-WAS 1 (8:39) E.Buckley left tackle to WAS 1 for no gain (R.Doughty). WAS-F.Smoot was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.
PENALTY on WAS, Defensive 12 On-field, 0 yards, enforced at WAS 1 - No Play.

This penalty wasn't a case of a guy running to the sideline and not making it in time - there were actually 12 guys lined up for the goal line defense. Unsurprisingly, we stuff the run.

1-1-WAS 1 (8:19) E.Buckley up the middle to WAS 1 for no gain (R.Doughty).

Golston and Griffin dive to the ground to take out the C and RG and prevent any sort of push on the line. Then Golston some how emerges from underneath the Eagle's linemen like some sort of swamp monster and trips up the leading FB (much to the FB's surprise, I imagine), which allows Rocky to come in clean and stuff the RB along with Landry, who had actually beaten the LG to gain penetration.

2-1-WAS 1 (7:32) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to B.Celek.

3-1-WAS 1 (7:27) E.Buckley left tackle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN.

Chris Wilson and Andre Carter allow themselves to get sealed outside too easily by the LT and TE respectively. Rocky is in the running lane and even though he leading FB misses him he misreads the RBs angle and lets him slip past.

Timeout #1 by PHI at 07:24.

Designed shovel pass. The Redskins line basically blows up the play, but McCoy miraculously keeps his knee off the ground to lurch into the end zone.

WAS 24 PHI 24, 10 plays, 90 yards, 1 penalty, 4:18 drive, 7:36 elapsed

D.Akers kicks 69 yards from PHI 30 to WAS 1. D.Thomas to WAS 16 for 15 yards (J.Mays).

Washington Redskins at 7:24, (1st play from scrimmage 7:18)

1-10-WAS 16 (7:18) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass deep right to M.Kelly ran ob at WAS 39 for 23 yards.

The play action fake works well enough for a pass rusher to actually try to tackle Rock Cartwright. Kelly slips behind the Eagles CBs when they react to Santana's short slant.

1-10-WAS 39 (7:00) R.Cartwright left end to WAS 41 for 2 yards (S.Brown). WAS-M.Sellers was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

2-8-WAS 41 (6:39) R.Cartwright left end to WAS 44 for 3 yards (T.Cole, Q.Mikell).

3-5-WAS 44 (5:57) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short left to R.Cartwright to WAS 46 for 2 yards (T.White).
Penalty on WAS-S.Heyer, Offensive Holding, declined.

The protection collapses. Fred Davis is at RTE and presumably should read the blitz and help out, but instead he releases directly into his route. Slot corner blitzes from the offensive right, where Heyer is all by himself. At the same time, the LDE stunts to the inside. Edwin Williams reads the stunt and tries to pass off the DT to Heyer so that Williams can pick up the DE, but Heyer is frozen by the CB on the outside and just lets the DT through. After he is beat Heyer turns around and gets the holding call by wrapping up the DT from behind, which probably saved Jason from getting hit.

4-3-WAS 46 (5:43) H.Smith punts 54 yards to end zone, Center-E.Albright, Touchback.

Ball drops on the 6, but again the first bounce is straight to the end zone.

Philadelphia Eagles at 5:35

1-10-PHI 20 (5:35) L.McCoy left tackle to PHI 32 for 12 yards (P.Daniels).

Griffin is taken down by a cut block from the RT, and the resulting pile-up keeps Daniels, at LDE, to the outside. while the RG squares up Rocky to open up the big gain.

1-10-PHI 32 (5:00) L.Weaver left tackle to PHI 37 for 5 yards (R.Doughty, R.McIntosh).

2-5-PHI 37 (4:25) D.McNabb pass deep right to J.Maclin pushed ob at WAS 28 for 35 yards (C.Rogers).

Pressure is created by Carter and Orakpo (SLB) on the offensive left and Griffin on the right, but McNabb get the ball out just in time and places it perfectly in Maclin's hands despite very solid man coverage by Carlos Rogers.

1-10-WAS 28 (4:14) L.McCoy left tackle to WAS 26 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh).

2-8-WAS 26 (3:40) L.McCoy up the middle to WAS 23 for 3 yards (R.Doughty).

3-5-WAS 23 (2:58) D.McNabb pass short left to J.Maclin to WAS 17 for 6 yards (K.Barnes).

1-10-WAS 17 (2:12) L.McCoy left end to WAS 18 for -1 yards (R.McIntosh).
Timeout #2 by WAS at 02:08.

The FB doesn't notice Rocky picking his way through the line, so he is able to take down the RB from behind before he gets to the edge.

2-11-WAS 18 (2:08) L.McCoy right tackle to WAS 13 for 5 yards (R.Doughty).
Two-Minute Warning

Redskins line manages to hold the corner, but McCoy makes a nice cut back to the inside.

3-6-WAS 13 (2:00) D.McNabb sacked at WAS 14 for -1 yards (L.Fletcher).

This is the third time the Eagles have lined up with a trips bunch tight to the left, out of which a TE leads to the right. The first time two were runs to the left and this one, unsurprisingly, was a play action pass with a bootleg to the right. Chris Wilson is at LDE and does a good job of keeping contain; he also puts a good hit on that shifty TE that delays him releasing into his flat route until Doughty is there to cover it. McNabb is forced to pull the ball down and just slides when he sees four Redskins closing on him.

4-7-WAS 14 (1:52) D.Akers 32 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Dorenbos, Holder-S.Rocca.

Timeout #3 by WAS at 01:48.

WAS 24 PHI 27, 10 plays, 66 yards, 3:47 drive, 13:12 elapsed

D.Akers kicks 71 yards from PHI 30 to WAS -1. D.Thomas to WAS 16 for 17 yards (M.Fokou).

Thomas has been doing a pretty good job on kick returns, but here he's not aggressive enough pushing the ball downfield and is caught from behind while waiting for the blockers to open up a hole.

Washington Redskins at 1:48, (1st play from scrimmage 1:44)

1-10-WAS 16 (1:44) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass incomplete short left to D.Thomas [T.Cole].

Levi Jones just can't handle Trent Cole, and Campbell again takes a body blow as he throws.

2-10-WAS 16 (1:39) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass incomplete deep middle to F.Davis.

Davis is running a deep post but barely has a step on the LB covering him, so Campbell is forced to lead him to much. Davis is able to get a hand on it while diving but can't quite make the catch. As the color guy points out after the play, Davis probably could have beaten the LB by bending his route a bit harder to the inside.

3-10-WAS 16 (1:33) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short middle to A.Randle El to WAS 25 for 9 yards (V.Harris).

Jones is beaten by Cole again, and a DB blitzes unmolested from the offensive right. Campbell manages to step up to avoid the pressure and hits Randle-El on a crossing pattern.

4-1-WAS 25 (1:09) (No Huddle, Shotgun) J.Campbell pass incomplete short right to S.Moss [J.Parker]. WAS-J.Campbell was injured during the play. His return is Doubtful.

This is all on Campbell. None of the short routes get open against the man coverage, but instead of exploiting the easy running room he stand there and pumps until Juqua Parker is able to roll off of Edwin Williams and hit him as he throws. As has been well-publicized, Parker also commits a blatant and gratuitous act of roughing the passer which goes uncalled. I will paraphrase a comment I saw from a Football Outsiders writer (but can't find the link): "If Juqua Parker had done that to Tom Brady instead of Jason Campbell he wouldn't just be fined - he would be deported." Juqua Parker has made my enemies list.

Philadelphia Eagles at 1:04

1-10-WAS 25 (1:04) D.McNabb kneels to WAS 26 for -1 yards.

2-11-WAS 26 (:32) D.McNabb kneels to WAS 27 for -1 yards.