I have received neither complaints nor lawsuits, so I am continuing to use the official play by play from the NFL Game Book and inserting my commentary in a different font.
Atlanta Falcons at 15:00
1-10-ATL 26 (15:00) PENALTY on WAS-A.Haynesworth, Encroachment, 5 yards, enforced at ATL 26 - No Play.
1-5-ATL 31 (14:49) M.Turner left guard to ATL 33 for 2 yards (A.Haynesworth).
Haynesworth is unable to get off the C, partly because of a chip from the LG (is it still called a chip when a lineman does it?) but he’s able to get one arm out and obstruct Turner. He’s so strong that even a powerful runner like Turner is brought to a halt just by having that forearm across his body.
2-3-ATL 33 (14:15) M.Ryan scrambles right end to ATL 38 for 5 yards (C.Rogers).
Naked bootleg. Once it becomes clear no one is open he pump fakes to freeze the secondary just long enough that he has time to make the first down before they converge.
1-10-ATL 38 (13:38) M.Ryan pass short left to T.Gonzalez to WAS 49 for 13 yards (L.Landry).
Another bootleg, just to the opposite direction. It looks like they know we have a formidable pass rush and came out with a lot of QB movement to try to slow our linemen down a bit by forcing them to think about keeping contain.
1-10-WAS 49 (12:59) M.Turner up the middle to WAS 50 for -1 yards (A.Carter).
Twins TE to the left. Both TEs block Orakpo, who is at SLB and right on the line, but the O-linemen are all focused on controlling the DTs, so Carter comes in unblocked.
2-11-WAS 50 (12:22) M.Turner left end pushed ob at WAS 17 for 33 yards (L.Landry).
Falcons line up in a full house formation, then the right-hand FB motions to the left TE spot – so the end result is an I formation offset to the left, with a TE also on the left for some serious power running potential. The fact that there was also a TE on the right, and that the FB didn’t do his motion until just before the snap, keeps the defense from just stacking up against the obvious strength of the formation. The LT, LG, and C do a good job of sealing our DTs to the inside (I can’t make out who we have in at tackle on this play). Rocky McIntosh gets taken out by a very solid block from one of the FBs and Orakpo is simply bear hugged – no call – by the other. Fletcher has a shot at him, but seems to misread the play – he stays home in the middle way too long, despite the fact that there’s way to much commotion in the interior to allow an inside run and those two FBs are leading Turner right around the corner. To me (and this is easy for me to say from my recliner with my TiVo and laptop) it looked like it should have been clear early on that Turner was going to cut outside and follow the FBs. Regardless, by the time Fletcher reads where the play is going Turner has an angle advantage and outruns him.
1-10-WAS 17 (11:47) M.Ryan pass incomplete short right to M.Turner.
2-10-WAS 17 (11:42) M.Ryan sacked at WAS 17 for 0 yards (K.Golston).
Redskins do not immediately generate pressure, but Ryan has no dumpoff options (Turner stays in to block) and all the other routes are deep. No one gets open so Ryan tries to run through a hole up the middle, but Golston spins off his blocker and takes him down.
3-10-WAS 17 (11:11) (Shotgun) M.Ryan pass short right to B.Finneran to WAS 8 for 9 yards (J.Tryon).
Falcons line up trips right, and the Redskins get confused in coverage. One receiver goes to the endzone and two go short. The end result is that we end up with two DBs and a LB on the endzone route, a LB and a DB on the inside short route, and nobody on the outside short route. So somebody blew an assignment, but you would probably have to be in the DB position meetings to figure out who (my prime suspect is Carlos Rogers, but I’m not certain). Tryon, who had been on the inside guy, comes over and makes a pretty good tackle to save the first down.
4-1-WAS 8 (10:23) (Run formation) PENALTY on WAS-A.Haynesworth, Defensive Offside, 4 yards, enforced at WAS 8 - No Play.
Re-watching this, I don’t think its Ryan’s hard count that gets Haynesworth. It looks like he jumps in reaction to movement by the FB. He goes in motion to make the standard I formation into an offset I, but moves those few steps over with tremendous energy. He does a series of hyperactive little hops to his left, while also pumping his arms as if he was running in place. It looks nonsensical from above, but to Haynesworth down there with his hand in the dirt it probably looked like a FB launching himself into a play. It was clearly done with the intent of drawing the Redskins offside, and that FB deserves some credit for his acting ability.
1-4-WAS 4 (10:05) M.Turner up the middle to WAS 2 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh).
2-2-WAS 2 (9:22) M.Ryan pass short left to T.Gonzalez for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Falcons line up in Jumbo and sell the fake run up the gut very well. Chris Wilson, who is up on the line as SLB, initially engages Gonzalez as if he were run blocking, and so is two steps behind when Gonzalez sheds off him and slips into the flat. The two LBs who line up deeper in the end zone – Rocky and Fletcher – bite hard on the play action so Wilson is by himself in coverage. Maybe there was supposed to be help, but on principle I don’t like the idea of a converted DE being responsible for man coverage on the best TE of the era.
J.Elam extra point is GOOD, Center-B.Pittman, Holder-M.Koenen.
WAS 0 ATL 7, 10 plays, 74 yards, 2 penalties, 5:42 drive, 5:42 elapsed
M.Koenen kicks 66 yards from ATL 30 to WAS 4. R.Cartwright pushed ob at WAS 24 for 20 yards (E.Weems).
Washington Redskins at 9:18, (1st play from scrimmage 9:13)
1-10-WAS 24 (9:13) C.Portis left guard to WAS 25 for 1 yard (J.Babineaux).
Rabach and Dockery double team a DT but he stands them up single handedly. Heyer tries to kick out the DE but lacks the strength to push him outside. The intented hole is between Dockery and Heyer, but they have failed to open it even a little, so Sellers has no hole to lead through and just ends up running into Dockery’s back. I think Portis briefly considers trying to break it outside, but there are two unmolested LBs flowing that way, so he figures his best bet is to stick with the plan and follow Sellers into the wall. Punching through for one yard is actually a reasonable accomplishment given that there was nothing even resembling a hole.
2-9-WAS 25 (8:37) C.Portis left end to WAS 25 for no gain (J.Babineaux).
Devin Thomas blew it. The line doesn’t exactly blow the Falcons off the ball but they hold the edge well enough that Portis should have had a chance to make the corner. But Thomas, on an outside run to his side of the field, neglects to even try to block the DB who is lined up over him. The DB shoots in untouched and forces Portis to cut inside, where there is nowhere to go.
3-9-WAS 25 (7:55) (Shotgun) J.Campbell sacked at WAS 17 for -8 yards (K.Biermann).
The DE threatens Mike Williams to the outside. Betts is hovering behind Williams and cheats to the outside on the reasonable assumption that that is where Williams will (not might) get beat. Then the DE puts on a spin move to the inside that is so good it not only beats Williams (not an impressive accomplishment) but even fakes out Betts who has an extra two yards to recover. He beats Betts to the inside and is waiting there when Campbell steps up due to pressure allowed by Heyer.
4-17-WAS 17 (7:31) S.Paulescu punts 47 yards to ATL 36, Center-E.Albright. E.Weems to ATL 46 for 10 yards (K.Moore).
Atlanta Falcons at 7:20
1-10-ATL 46 (7:20) E.Weems left end to ATL 47 for 1 yard (C.Horton, B.Orakpo).
Weird play – we have a fake end around to the left, followed by a fake run up the middle, followed by a real end around to the left.
2-9-ATL 47 (6:42) M.Ryan pass short middle to M.Turner to WAS 47 for 6 yards (L.Fletcher).
Orakpo (RDE) and Griffin are both double teamed, Carter gives the RT a fight but can’t get through, and the LG stands up to Haynesworth one on one (there’s some holding involved, but just the routine stuff that you don’t really expect to get called). None of the deep routes get open, but there’s not even a hint of pressure so Ryan has an easy dumpoff to Turner up the middle.
3-3-WAS 47 (6:04) (Shotgun) M.Ryan sacked at WAS 48 for -1 yards (B.Orakpo).
Redskins rush only three, but get pressure because Griffin loops all the way around RT and beats him to the outside, and Haynesworth drives the LT-LG double team back into Ryan’s face, despite absorbing a solid chip from Turner on his way to the dumpoff route. Orakpo has stayed back to defend that dumpoff, but by the time Turner comes off that chip Orakpo can see Ryan has already pulled the ball down to escape Hayensworth and Griffin so he very easily drops his coverage responsibility and fills the running lane.
4-4-WAS 48 (5:36) M.Koenen punts 36 yards to WAS 12, Center-B.Pittman, fair catch by A.Randle El.
PENALTY on WAS-R.Doughty, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 48 - No Play.
I have nothing to say. (Grinds teeth)
1-10-WAS 43 (5:23) PENALTY on ATL-T.McClure, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 43 - No Play.
1-15-WAS 48 (5:23) M.Ryan pass deep left intended for M.Booker INTERCEPTED by R.McIntosh at WAS 29. R.McIntosh to
WAS 47 for 18 yards (M.Turner).
This was a nice catch by Rocky, but a result of a ridiculously bad decision by Matt Ryan. The receiver was triple covered – tightly – and I have no idea what Ryan was looking at.
Washington Redskins at 5:07
1-10-WAS 47 (5:07) C.Portis right tackle to ATL 48 for 5 yards (M.Peterson).
2-5-ATL 48 (4:33) J.Campbell pass incomplete deep left to D.Thomas (C.Houston).
Well defended by the CB.
3-5-ATL 48 (4:27) (Shotgun) J.Campbell scrambles right end ran ob at ATL 34 for 14 yards (M.Peterson).
1-10-ATL 34 (4:01) C.Portis right end to ATL 36 for -2 yards (J.Babineaux, J.Anderson).
The run was supposed to go behind LG but a DT drives Montgomery back and inside and cuts off the path Sellers is trying to lead (talk about a recurring theme this year).
2-12-ATL 36 (3:26) C.Portis left tackle to ATL 36 for no gain (C.Jackson, T.DeCoud). WAS-C.Portis was injured during the play. His return is Questionable. PENALTY on WAS-C.Rabach, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at ATL 36 - No Play.
This was actually a very nice run by Portis. Rabach allows penetration but Portis sees it early enough that he can bounce to the outside without sacrificing his momentum. It gets called back and Portis is knocked clean out of the game with a concussion, but I’m trying to find positives here.
2-22-ATL 46 (3:01) J.Campbell pass short right intended for F.Davis INTERCEPTED by T.Hill at ATL 38. T.Hill for 62
No excuse. Campbell hit Fred Davis right in the hands and he just bounced it up into the air.
J.Elam extra point is GOOD, Center-B.Pittman, Holder-M.Koenen.
WAS 0 ATL 14, 0 plays, 62 yards, 0:00 drive , 12:13 elapsed
M.Koenen kicks 68 yards from ATL 30 to WAS 2. R.Cartwright to WAS 14 for 12 yards (K.Biermann).
Washington Redskins at 2:47, (1st play from scrimmage 2:42)
1-10-WAS 14 (2:42) J.Campbell pass incomplete short right to D.Thomas.
Thomas is wide open, gets a ball right in the hands, and turns to run before he secures it. Classic.
2-10-WAS 14 (2:33) L.Betts up the middle to WAS 17 for 3 yards (T.Lewis).
3-7-WAS 17 (1:57) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short right to F.Davis to WAS 27 for 10 yards (J.Babineaux, C.Lofton).
1-10-WAS 27 (1:19) L.Betts right end to WAS 31 for 4 yards (B.Grimes).
2-6-WAS 31 (:44) (Shotgun) J.Campbell pass short right to R.Cartwright to WAS 30 for -1 yards (V.Walker).
Another bad screen. Rabach blocks his man, but Dockery is too slow getting over and Montgomery just dives at the feet of a LB and misses.