Sorry for the fragmentary nature of these posts - I just don't have time to do a whole game at once, and besides this blog program doesn't have a "jump" so full games would be entirely too long when posted. Also, I don't want to keep you waiting all week before I get something up. That said, I'm figuring this out as I go along so don't hesitate to give me feedback on how any of this is organized or presented. The "take away" thoughts will be in a seperate post immediately after this one - since the play breakdowns are in three different posts I want it to be easy for people to find my conclusions. Also, people who don't want to pore through every play can just skip straight to the end that way.
Here we go:
Redskins first possession
1-10-W27 - Cooley is standing up and a yard off the line of scrimmage, but Kelly isn’t paying attention and is also a yard off lined up as flanker, so Heyer isn’t covered up and the formation is illegal. Cooley notices this and tries to wave Kelly forward. Kelly looks at Cooley, turns and looks and the sideline, and finally realizes something is wrong. He tries to hop forward to the LOS but is too late – 5 yard penalty.
1-10-W43 – Play action. Portis and Sellers stay in to block so Campbell has plenty of time to wait for Santana on a slow developing route across the field. He is eventually wide open in a big hole in the Lions’ zone on the 34 yard line, then easily outraces the defenders to the end zone. Detroit 13, Redskins 7.
Lions first possession
2-6-D34 – Four man rush. The two TEs lined up on the right control Daniels, the RT, RG, and C all triple-team Griffin, and Golston and Orakpo are each stopped cold 1-on-1 by the LG and LT. Stafford is therefore given way too much time to wait for Calvin Johnson to beat Landry downfield and get the ball to him perfectly at the 6 yard line; fortunately Johnson pushed off just a little bit and the Redskins are saved by a rather borderline offensive pass interference call.
2-16-D29 – Handoff to Kevin Smith out of the shotgun. Center and RT do a good job of sealing off the backside pursuit by Orakpo and Griffin, and the LG pulls. Golston is double teamed and Carter is just straight up buried by a TE. Redskins appear to be in dime as Rocky McIntosh is the only visible LB, so Smith picks up an easy 7 yards.
3-10-D36 – Well executed screen; Smith gets the ball with two big lineman in front of him. Doughty somehow perfectly splits those blockers to bring him down after only 5 yards. Unbelievable game from Doughty. Haynesworth had come back in for this play and managed to put the RG on his back, but he imped his way back off.
Redskins second possession
1-10-W12 – OK, this one was kind of weird. It was clearly a designed run, as the WRs almost immediately positioned themselves to block, but Campbell fumbled the handoff before the ball made contact with Portis. Then two fortunate things happened – the ball bounced into his hands, and the handoff had the unintended effect of a play fake. The corner on Santana stopped to play run, and Moss gave him a double move of sorts and got wide open downfield for Campbell to throw to him out of the end zone while pursued by two defenders. A sloppy mistake, but a pretty heads-up recovery by both Campbell and Moss.
2-6-W49 – The MLB blitzes straight up the middle and Sellers utterly whiffs on the lead block. Portis avoid the blitzer in the backfield but his intended hole is closed off to him, so he is forced to try to take it outside with no lead and is stuffed at the line.
3-5-50 – Protection failure. Betts picks up an interior rusher but nobody is assigned to block a LB who blitzes off the right side so he barrels in on Campbell untouched. In his rush to get the ball out, Campbell doesn’t notice that the safety is playing shallow in the very zone in which he’s trying to force the ball to Santana. An ugly interception.
Lions second possession
2-6-W42 – Golston overpowers Raiola allowing Rocky to penetrate – the LG picks him up but Rocky beats him to stuff the RB for no gain.
3-6-W42 – Sack for an 8 yard loss. There’s a blitz here, but this was simply a 1-on-1 victory by Orakpo against the LT. Stafford never stood a chance.
Redskins third possession
1-10-W9 – I’ve ripped on Cooley’s blocking a lot so I’ll give credit where it’s due. On this play he does a pretty decent job of sealing the DE to the outside, which allows Samuels to get to the second level and block a LB, giving Portis a 5 yard gain.
1-10- W20 – Santana has a step on his DB 20 yards downfield, but Campbell, despite having time in the pocket, just doesn’t put enough touch on it and overthrows him.
2-10-W20 – Campbell is under no pressure at all but the ball simple slips out of his hand as he brings it up to throw. He manages to fall on it for an 8 yard “sack.”
Lions third possession
3-5-D49 – Haynesworth is back in the game and lines up at RDE. You’d think the hip injury would rob him of his leg strength, but not here. He gets engaged with the LT and just churns his legs and pushes him backwards, then reaches out an arm and gets a hit on Stafford as he throws. Who said this guy would quit after getting a big contract?
Redskins fourth possession
1-10-W15 – Portis attempts to run off left end, but Cooley once again gets pushed backwards and prevents Portis from making it to the corner. He is forced to take it up the middle and is stuffed.
2-0-W16 – Campbell has plenty of protection and Randle-El gets open on an out, but Campbell just throws it into the dirt 2 yards in front of ARE.
1-10-W37 – Sellers motions from his FB spot to right TE (Cooley is on the left). Rabach is barreled over by his DT (again), but Portis manages to dodge him 4 yards in the backfield. Heyer takes on the DE and both Sellers and Chad Rinehart nicely slip off their initial blocks and get to the second level to take out LBs, allowing Portis to gain 14.
1-10-D49 – Campbell has plenty of time behind max protect and hits Devin Thomas nicely on a deep comeback on the right sideline, but it’s called back due to holding on Casey Rabach. Rabach had to hold because he was once again being pushed straight back while the rest of the blockers were forming a pocket.
1-20-W41 – Never seen this one before. Campbell gives the count, rusher rush, blockers block, but it eventually becomes apparent that Campbell doesn’t have the ball in his hands. Rabach is still at the line of scrimmage holding the ball, wondering why everyone but him is playing football. On replay it’s clear that the DT jumped offside when Rabach raised his head, and everyone on both teams started moving at that signal. Five yard offside call on Detroit.
Lions fourth possession
1-10-D15 – Rocky blows past first the LG and then the fullback to force a fumble in the backfield, which is unfortunately recovered by Detroit.
Redskins fifth possession
An utterly uninteresting 3 and out.
Lions fifth possession
1-10-D15 – Golston utterly destroys Raiola and lays a hit on Stafford, which is refreshing because I’m tired of writing about how great Raiola played against us. Stafford gets the ball out with ridiculously blatant intentional grounding, which isn’t called. Golston got robbed of a sack.
2-10-D15 – LaRon Landry makes an excellent open-field tackle on Calvin Johnson on an end-around.
1-10-W49 – Orakpo, a LB on this play, pursues very well to lay a big hit on the running back at a hole the opposite side from where he lined up. A very linebacker-ish play, which was encouraging to see.
3-9-W48 – Possibly the backbreaker play of the game. Stafford goes deep to Bryant Johnson in the end zone and Horton gets called for the PI to put the ball on the one. I have sympathy for Horton for being in a no-win situation here, but the interference call was probably correct.
2-G-W1 – Pitch to Maurice Morris. He is pursued by Andre Carter but cuts inside him, and LaRon Landry misses a tackle for the touchdown. Lions 19 – Redskins 7.
Redskins sixth possession
1-10-W28 – Jason is flushed from the pocket when Samuels is beat by the DE, but scrambles outside and (as usual) does a good job of keeping his eyes downfield to hit Moss, who has found a hole in the zone coverage, for 21 yards.
1-10-D35 – The line thoroughly bottles up the Lions’ four man rush, but no one gets open and Campbell slides out of the pocket, keeps looking down field, and fires a near perfect throw to a tightly covered Randle-El on the sideline. We had the good Jason on this play.
1-G-D3 – Touchdown. Rock Cartwright doesn’t initially get open, but the LBs covering him come off when Campbell slides out of the pocket. Campbell’s very legitimate running threat opens up a passing TD. Lions 19, Redskins 14.
Lions sixth possession
Lions gain one first down on this drive, which forces the Redskins to use all three timeouts and the 2 minute warning.
Redskins seventh possession
1-10-W22 – More of the good Campbell, and still too little too late. Keeps the play alive in the pocket when no one is initially open, and uses his feet to get into position to hit Cooley over the middle for 15.
4-10-W36 – Campbell completes it 8 yards down field to Santana, who immediately laterals to ARE, who loses a yard before pitching it to Betts. Betts gets about 5 more yards before getting taken down by multiple defenders. He just may have had a chance to dive across the first down marker and get out of bounds with 1 or 2 seconds left – but in the middle of the game action he probably had no way of knowing there was still a little time left.