Friday, December 31, 2010

Redskins @ Jacksonville, 3rd quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter


G.Gano kicks 61 yards from WAS 30 to JAX 9. D.Karim to JAX 28 for 19 yards (P.Riley).

Jacksonville Jaguars at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-JAX 28 (14:55) R.Jennings up the middle to JAX 25 for -3 yards (P.Buchanon).

Due to twins WR to the right the TE is the left-most player of the formation, so when he blocks Alexander there is no one left to stop Bucanon from coming off the edge, especially since the fullback goes the opposite way to cut off the backside.

2-13-JAX 25 (14:19) (Shotgun) D.Garrard pass incomplete deep middle to M.Lewis.

Alexander and Chris Wilson come off either edge but the the OTs manage to carry them upfield. But Carriker, Holliday, and especially Anthony Bryant each bulldoze an interior lineman and drive this wall of bodies into Garrard, forcing a bad throw. As much as I enjoy watching improved line play, I am still greatly irritated that it took injuries to give this trio the bulk of the playing time. This should have been the starting defensive line all year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Redskins @ Jacksonville, 2nd quarter review

Click here for the 1st quarter review


3-6-WAS 39 (15:00) (Shotgun) PENALTY on WAS-W.Montgomery, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 39 - No Play.

3-11-WAS 34 (15:00) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass short middle to R.Williams to WAS 44 for 10 yards (K.Morrison).

Jaguars a playing a soft zone, giving up the completion to Roydell and closing to keep him from getting the first down. He seems a bit slow turning upfield – if he’d been more aggressive he just may have made it.

4-1-WAS 44 (14:24) S.Paulescu punts 35 yards to JAX 21, Center-N.Sundberg. K.Osgood to JAX 21 for no gain (V.Harris).

3.8 seconds

Jacksonville Jaguars at 14:13

1-10-JAX 21 (14:13) R.Jennings up the middle to JAX 24 for 3 yards (A.Bryant).

Carriker penetrates from the backside but, again, isn’t quick enough to make a play in the backfield.

2-7-JAX 24 (13:31) D.Garrard pass short right to B.Bolen to JAX 39 for 15 yards (A.Carter).

Carter lines up over the slot receiver, but releases him after giving him a bump. Unfortunately there was no DB to pick the guy, but good luck figuring out who screwed up on that one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Redskins @ Jacksonville, 1st quarter review


J.Scobee kicks 61 yards from JAX 30 to WAS 9. B.Banks to WAS 41 for 32 yards (W.Middleton). PENALTY on JAX-J.Scobee, Face Mask (15 Yards), 15 yards, enforced at WAS 41.

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:52)

1-10-JAX 44 (14:52) R.Grossman pass short left to C.Cooley to JAX 34 for 10 yards (R.Allen). Penalty on JAX-A.Lane, Defensive Offside, declined.

The RDE reads the bootleg so Rex has a man in his face, but despite falling backwards he hits Cooley on a crossing route from the slot.

1-10-JAX 34 (14:36) R.Grossman pass incomplete short middle to F.Davis [J.Mincey].

Again the Jaguars are not fooled by the bootleg and this time Rex has both a DE and DT in pursuit.

2-10-JAX 34 (14:29) R.Grossman pass incomplete short left to S.Moss (T.Knighton).

Rex had a window to hit Santana on the slant but, knowing he had to get it there fast do to a safety moving to cut off the inside angle, he overthrows him a bit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Redskins @ Dallas, 4th quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter


1-6-DAL 6 (15:00) R.Torain up the middle to DAL 6 for no gain (B.James; S.Bowen).

The NT blows up Montgomery and then holds up Cooley, who is lead blocking from the backfield.

2-6-DAL 6 (14:14) R.Grossman pass incomplete short middle to C.Cooley [J.Ratliff]. Pass incomplete back of the end zone; James was the closest defender.

The NT (Ratliff) pushes back Rabach, then splits him and Montgomery to lay a hit on Rex as he tries to throw.

3-6-DAL 6 (14:08) PENALTY on WAS-J.Brown, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at DAL 6 - No Play.

3-11-DAL 11 (14:08) (Shotgun) R.Grossman pass incomplete short right [A.Spencer]. PENALTY on DAL-A.Spencer, Roughing the Passer, 6 yards, enforced at DAL 11 - No Play.

Brown plants his feet against the LOLB, which of course means he gets beat to the outside. This is an incredibly cheap roughing call, but less cheap that the earlier call on Andre Carter so I’m fine with it.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Redskins @ Dallas, 3rd quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter


D.Buehler kicks 77 yards from DAL 30 to WAS -7. B.Banks, Touchback.

Washington Redskins at 15:00

1-10-WAS 20 (15:00) R.Torain left tackle to WAS 22 for 2 yards (J.Ratliff, A.Spencer).

Rabach can’t control the NT, who sheds him to fill the gap.

2-8-WAS 22 (14:24) R.Grossman pass incomplete short right [S.Bowen]. DAL-B.James was injured during the play. His return is Probable. Pass thrown out of bounds sideline at the Washington 30.

Almost a disaster. Despite the fact that the ILBs are clearly advancing towards the line at the snap, Rabach turns to his right to double team the NT and both come in free. Fortunately both Sellers and Torain react quickly, preventing them from taking down Grossman before he can even start dropping back. He is forced very deep, meaning he runs into the edge pressure from the RDE. He keeps retreating all the way back to the two yard line before throwing it away.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Redskins @ Dallas, 2nd quarter review

1st quarter review


3-13-WAS 23 (15:00) (Shotgun) J.Kitna pass short middle to T.Choice to WAS 10 for 13 yards (C.Wilson). Pass complete after Choice circles out of the backfield.

1-10-WAS 10 (14:19) T.Choice up the middle to WAS 4 for 6 yards (K.Barnes, R.McIntosh).

Fletcher is unable to shed the block of the FB.

2-4-WAS 4 (13:45) T.Choice up the middle to WAS 2 for 2 yards (A.Carriker; A.Bryant).

Both the C and RG put solid chips on Bryant, but then both shed off and go to the second level. So Bryant is able to recover, and the FB is forced to pick up Fletcher in the gap so Bryant can take down the RB.

3-2-WAS 2 (13:01) (Shotgun) J.Kitna pass incomplete short left to S.Hurd. Pass incomplete left corner back end zone; Buchanon closest defender.

The slot guy breaks to the flat while the outside WR fakes to the inside then runs to the corner. The route combo is designed to force Buchanon into a pick on Rogers, but each stays with their receiver well and Kitna is forced to throw high.

4-2-WAS 2 (12:55) (Field Goal formation) D.Buehler 20 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-L.Ladouceur, Holder-M.McBriar.

WAS 0 DAL 13, 9 plays, 33 yards, 1 penalty, 4:27 drive, 2:10 elapsed

D.Buehler kicks 68 yards from DAL 30 to WAS 2. B.Banks to WAS 22 for 20 yards (S.Hurd). DAL-S.Lee was injured during the play. He is Out. Doughty of Washington has a head injury; return doubtful.

It’s Barnes who blows his block and allows Banks to be ripped down from behind.

Washington Redskins at 12:50, (1st play from scrimmage 12:44)

1-10-WAS 22 (12:44) S.Moss right end pushed ob at WAS 29 for 7 yards (D.Ware).

End around. Brown and Montgomery go straight to the ILBs. Cooley starts lined up to the left but sweeps across the back of the formation. DeMarcus Ware, at LOLB, takes a brief step inside but then reads the end around and pursues, but he is walled off by Cooley even though Cooley is more or less ignoring him and trying to find a block downfield.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Redskins @ Dallas, 1st quarter review


G.Gano kicks 62 yards from WAS 30 to DAL 8. B.McCann pushed ob at DAL 46 for 38 yards (H.Blades). Return left side of the field outside the yard markers.

Dallas Cowboys at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:51)

1-10-DAL 46 (14:51) J.Kitna pass short right to C.Gronkowski to WAS 42 for 12 yards (R.Doughty; B.Orakpo). Pass complete out of the backfield.

Orakpo is slow getting into a stunt behind Daniels and the LT is able to slide with him to keep him out of the pocket.

1-10-WAS 42 (14:12) F.Jones right tackle to WAS 31 for 11 yards (R.Doughty).

Fletcher plugs the gap but loses the collision with the lead FB, while the TE hold Alexander to keep him to the outside.

1-10-WAS 31 (13:32) J.Kitna pass short left to J.Witten to WAS 22 for 9 yards (R.McIntosh). Pass complete on slant.

A hook to Witten – Moore is playing him deep and Rocky is slow getting to the outside to cut off the pass lane.

2-1-WAS 22 (12:55) F.Jones right guard to WAS 20 for 2 yards (A.Bryant).

Carriker and Bryant hold their ground at the line, but the FB again wrecks Fletcher in the hole.

1-10-WAS 20 (12:12) (Shotgun) J.Kitna pass incomplete short right to M.Austin. Pass incomplete sideline; Rogers closest defender.

2-10-WAS 20 (12:07) F.Jones right tackle to WAS 20 for no gain (C.Rogers).

The Cowboys don’t see Rogers’ blitz coming so he gets in the backfield untouched, and the cutback lanes are eliminated by Carriker (RDE) and Holliday (NT) storming through their gaps.

3-10-WAS 20 (11:24) (Shotgun) J.Kitna sacked at WAS 24 for -4 yards (R.Doughty).

The two Dallas receivers to the left have a wide split, there is no tight end to that side, and the one back is aligned to the right and releases straight into a route – so when Doughty and Rogers stage a cross blitz the LT is stuck with both of them. He chooses Rogers, and Doughty gets a free shot.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Redskins vs. Buccaneers, 4th quarter review

If you're looking for my thoughts on the whole McNabb/Grossman situation, check my last post.

1st quarter review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter


3-1-WAS 46 (15:00) J.Freeman left guard to WAS 44 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh). QB Sneak

Bryant and Maake are in at DT on the four man front and both drive forward, but the sneak is directed towards Daniels, who gets knocked off the line by the LT.

1-10-WAS 44 (14:22) J.Freeman pass incomplete deep right to M.Williams (D.Hall) [B.Orakpo].

2-10-WAS 44 (14:13) J.Freeman pass incomplete short right to K.Winslow.

Rocky blitzes but succumbs to a hard block from the FB. Orakpo gets around the LT, who then recovers and manages to drive him far enough upfield that Freeman is able to make his throw.

3-10-WAS 44 (14:07) (Shotgun) J.Freeman pass deep middle to A.Benn to WAS 1 for 43 yards (K.Moore).

Burned on the blitz. Chris Wilson tries to come up the middle but collides with Rocky, who is dropping into coverage. Barnes comes off the edge but takes too wide an angle, and a slight but desperate shove from the RB directs him past the point Freeman steps up to. Doughty takes a solid block from the TE but recovers and slips past, but he gets there a split second after Freeman makes the throw.

The McNabb benching

The fact that Mike and Kyle Shanahan were very dissatisfied with Donovan McNabb and considering a change had been asserted for some time now by various reporters who generally know what they're talking about, but I'll admit it still came as a shock to me.

This move basically seals the McNabb trade as a complete failure. I think most of us were skeptical of giving up a second round pick (and a mid-rounder), although I was in a state of mind at the time to give Mike Shanahan the benefit of the doubt. After all, he knows what he's doing, right? Assuming McNabb signed an extension, three years or so of above-average quarterback play is probably worth that cost.  And if the new regime had no confidence in Jason Campbell, then it was best for everyone to move on.

There's no way that the coaching staff comes out of this without looking terrible. McNabb may be older, but there's no denying he had been an above average quarterback throughout his 11 year Philadelphia career. There are various possible explanations for his poor play this year:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Redskins vs. Buccaneers, 3rd quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter


C.Barth kicks 40 yards from TB 30 to WAS 30. C.Wilson MUFFS catch, RECOVERED by TB-A.Hayward at WAS 34. A.Hayward to WAS 34 for no gain (K.Golston).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-WAS 34 (14:55) L.Blount up the middle to WAS 34 for no gain (R.Doughty).

The RB slips as he tries to cut, but he just would have run smack into Lorenzo Alexander anyway.

2-10-WAS 34 (14:19) J.Freeman pass short middle to J.Gilmore to WAS 29 for 5 yards (B.Orakpo). PENALTY on TB-J.Lee, Offensive Holding, 9 yards, enforced at WAS 34 - No Play.

Timeout #1 by TB at 13:44.

2-19-WAS 43 (13:44) (Shotgun) J.Freeman pass short right to C.Williams to WAS 40 for 3 yards (L.Fletcher).

Orakpo lines up over the slot receiver and the LT doesn’t recognize him as a pass rush threat until it’s too late, so Freeman is forced to take the dumpoff in the flat.

3-16-WAS 40 (13:04) (Shotgun) J.Freeman pass short middle to S.Stroughter to WAS 35 for 5 yards (D.Hall, V.Holliday). PENALTY on WAS-R.McIntosh, Defensive Offside, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 40 - No Play.

The blockers are all concentrated in the middle of the field, so Hall has no trouble making the tackle on the screen.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Redskins vs. Buccaneers, 2nd quarter review

Click here for the 1st quarter review.


1-10-TB 32 (15:00) R.Torain left end to TB 29 for 3 yards (R.Barber).

2-7-TB 29 (14:28) R.Torain left tackle to TB 27 for 2 yards (M.Bennett).

Cooley tries to kick out the RDE but can’t hold him to the outside.

3-5-TB 27 (13:48) K.Williams right guard to TB 20 for 7 yards (B.Ruud, R.Barber).

Not much space here, but Lichtensteiger turns his DT inside while Trent gets his hands on the RDE solidly enough for Keiland to slip through a very tiny hole with enough quickness that the LB cannot bring him down short of the marker.

1-10-TB 20 (13:12) R.Torain up the middle to TB 8 for 12 yards (R.Miller, C.Lynch).

Sellers cuts the RDE and Lichtensteiger gets a nice second level block on the MLB, then Torain runs through two tackles to turn a nice run into a first down.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Redskins vs. Buccaneers, 1st quarter review

Hi there, thanks for joining me for the one enjoyable quarter of this week's game review. As always the text in bold is the official play by play taken from the NFL Gamebook, and my commentary is added below most plays.


G.Gano kicks 66 yards from WAS 30 to TB 4. M.Spurlock pushed ob at TB 24 for 20 yards (P.Riley).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:56)

1-10-TB 24 (14:56) L.Blount left guard to TB 30 for 6 yards (L.Fletcher, R.McIntosh).

Golston is carried inside by the LT which opens up the cutback lane on the counter action and lets the FB get a shot on Doughty. This could have been a bigger gain but Fletcher does a nice job of shaking off a block by the LG and repositioning himself to make the stop.

2-4-TB 30 (14:17) J.Freeman scrambles up the middle to TB 33 for 3 yards (K.Golston, L.Alexander).

Carriker drives through the RG’s outside shoulder and gets deep into the backfield before getting slowed by the RB. The lack of any sort of push from Golston and Maake (surprise!) gives Freeman all sorts of room to step up into, so even though he briefly slips and Carriker eventually breaks through the blocks this turns into a short scramble instead of a sack.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Redskins @ Giants, 3rd quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter review


L.Tynes kicks 47 yards from NYG 30 to WAS 23. M.Sellers to WAS 34 for 11 yards (T.Beckum, D.Tollefson).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)

1-10-WAS 34 (14:54) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to C.Cooley.

Montgomery gets driven back by the DT and fills McNabb’s passing lane, causing the throw to sail high.

2-10-WAS 34 (14:48) D.McNabb pass incomplete short middle to F.Davis. PENALTY on NYG-K.Phillips, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 34 - No Play.

Solid protection. Brown nearly gets beat by a spin move but resets his feet and recovers. Davis is open on the shallow cross and just drops it.

1-10-WAS 39 (14:42) J.Davis right guard to WAS 43 for 4 yards (B.Cofield, O.Umenyiora).

2-6-WAS 43 (14:14) J.Davis left guard to WAS 46 for 3 yards (B.Cofield, M.Boley).

The second level blocks are there – Cooley and Heyer each get their hands on a LB and Brown takes out the box safety – but the interior OLs and Fred Davis get no push on the D-line and Davis runs into a scrum.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Redskins @ Giants, 2nd quarter review

1st quarter review is here.


4-1-NYG 42 (15:00) M.Dodge punts 53 yards to WAS 5, Center-Z.DeOssie, downed by NYG-D.Thomas.

Washington Redskins at 14:49

1-10-WAS 5 (14:49) D.McNabb pass deep middle to A.Armstrong to WAS 23 for 18 yards (A.Rolle) [C.Webster].

This one was close. Both CBs blitz. Davis picks up the one on the offensive right and angles him upfield but fails to get a solid block on him. The second slows up because he thought he was going to get blocked by Santana who was headed toward him on the fake end around – I’m sure he will get chewed out for that. Both CBs are inches away from McNabb when he gets the ball out.

1-10-WAS 23 (14:18) J.Davis right end to WAS 22 for -1 yards (J.Goff).

Montgomery fails to get out to the MLB.

2-11-WAS 22 (13:45) D.McNabb pass short right to L.Paulsen pushed ob at WAS 31 for 9 yards (M.Boley).

Paulsen was able to get open in the flat because he missed his cut block on the LDE so badly. Whatever works I guess.

3-2-WAS 31 (13:15) (Shotgun) K.Williams left end to WAS 33 for 2 yards (C.Canty).

There’s potential here with a kickout by Heyer and solid blocks on the DBs by Moss and Roydell (both aligned to the left), but Rabach can’t keep the DT in the middle of the field and he tracks Davis Keiland down the field to make the play.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Redskins @ Giants, 1st quarter review

As always, the play by play info in bold is taken from the NFL Gamebook.


G.Gano kicks 66 yards from WAS 30 to NYG 4. D.Ware to NYG 41 for 37 yards (V.Harris).

New York Giants at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:52)

1-10-NYG 41 (14:52) B.Jacobs right guard to NYG 43 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh, K.Golston).

Golston holds up the double team enough that the LG can’t slide off him and get a second level block on Rocky.

2-8-NYG 43 (14:15) B.Jacobs left tackle to WAS 18 for 39 yards (R.Doughty).

The LT and TE double Orakpo to keep him inside, which should be fine because that lets Kareem Moore comes free off the edge to get a shot at Jacobs – and whiff. Rocky is able to get to the corner because Orkapo holds his ground well, but he makes a startlingly poor tackling attempt, just sort of grabbing at Jacobs’ shoulders as he runs by.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Redskins vs. Vikings, 4th quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter


2-18-MIN 36 (15:00) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short right to K.Williams to MIN 26 for 10 yards (M.Williams; A.Winfield).

Timeout #1 by MIN at 14:16.

3-8-MIN 26 (14:16) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short middle to K.Williams to MIN 21 for 5 yards (A.Winfield, J.Allen).

4-3-MIN 21 (13:39) G.Gano 40 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-N.Sundberg, Holder-H.Smith.

MIN 17 WAS 10, 4 plays, 7 yards, 2:18 drive, 1:26 elapsed

G.Gano kicks 69 yards from WAS 30 to MIN 1. P.Harvin to MIN 15 for 14 yards (K.Barnes).

Excellent tackle by Barnes coming down the sideline then diving to the middle to trip up Harvin.

Minnesota Vikings at 13:34, (1st play from scrimmage 13:30)

1-10-MIN 15 (13:30) T.Gerhart up the middle to MIN 20 for 5 yards (R.McIntosh).

Another run right at the Maake Kemoeatu, another free five yards. Maake actually ends up on his back with two Vikings on top of him.

2-5-MIN 20 (12:56) T.Gerhart left guard to MIN 24 for 4 yards (P.Daniels, M.Kemoeatu).

Fletcher takes on the lead FB and stands him up, forcing the RB right up the middle. Rocky meets him in the hole and Daniels comes off his block to help as well, but the RB is able to force his way through with some good hard running.

3-1-MIN 24 (12:20) J.Dugan right guard to MIN 24 for no gain (P.Daniels; K.Moore).

Four man front for the short yardage situation; Haynesworth and Maake are the DTs. Hope this isn’t too predictable: Maake gets pushed off the line but Haynesworth fights through the left A gap and stuffs the play.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Redskins vs. Vikings, 3rd quarter review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter review


G.Gano kicks 70 yards from WAS 30 to MIN 0. P.Harvin to MIN 26 for 26 yards (R.Williams).

Minnesota Vikings at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-MIN 26 (14:55) T.Gerhart up the middle to MIN 31 for 5 yards (B.Orakpo).

Golston gets pushed off the line and the center easily controls Maake singlehandedly, so the LG is free to get a hat on Rocky.

2-5-MIN 31 (14:23) T.Gerhart left end to MIN 31 for no gain (K.Golston, C.Rogers). PENALTY on WAS-M.Kemoeatu, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at MIN 31.

1-10-MIN 36 (14:01) B.Favre pass short right to G.Camarillo to MIN 48 for 12 yards (D.Hall).

The WR got way too open. Hall is the corner nearest him, but he has deep zone responsibility and heads downfield. Rogers is lined up over the slot guy – he first freezes on the play action, then turns to race over to the short zone vacated by Hall, but is too late.

1-10-MIN 48 (13:30) B.Favre pass short right to T.Gerhart to WAS 46 for 6 yards (M.Kemoeatu; R.McIntosh). Penalty on MIN-P.Harvin, Illegal Shift, offsetting, enforced at MIN 48 - No Play.

1-10-MIN 48 (13:07) B.Favre pass short left to T.Gerhart to MIN 45 for -3 yards (R.McIntosh; P.Daniels).

Daniels and Rocky sniff out the screen immediately.

2-13-MIN 45 (12:24) B.Favre pass short right to V.Shiancoe to WAS 43 for 12 yards (R.McIntosh, R.Doughty).

Alexander swallows the play action hook, line, and sinker, and gets caught inside to let Favre into his bootleg.

3-1-WAS 43 (11:42) B.Favre pass deep right to V.Shiancoe to WAS 14 for 29 yards (C.Rogers).

Redskins give a four man front, and the LBs and safeties absolutely sell out against the run up the middle. Rogers also hesitates while looking into the backfield, allowing the TE to easily beat him on a corner route.

1-10-WAS 14 (11:04) B.Favre pass short right to P.Harvin to WAS 9 for 5 yards (D.Hall; L.Alexander).

2-5-WAS 9 (10:33) T.Gerhart up the middle to WAS 5 for 4 yards (C.Wilson).

The RG pins Golston to the inside. Wilson is at ROLB and seems to have a good angle but the RB powers through his tackle for some yards.

3-1-WAS 5 (9:56) T.Gerhart left tackle for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

The LT overpowers Wilson (ROLB) and drives him to the outside. The LG, after helping the C seal Daniels inside, gets a hard block on Rocky. Gerhart outruns his blocking which is the only reason Rocky gets a shot at him, but he is still reeling from the block so he is easily run over.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Redskins vs. Vikings, 2nd quarter review

You can read the first quarter review here.


1-10-MIN 29 (15:00) B.Favre sacked at MIN 25 for -4 yards (B.Orakpo).

The sack is really created by Philip Daniels. He is at DT in a four man front and drives back the LG, thus blocking Favre from properly stepping up in response to Orakpo’s edge rush.

2-14-MIN 25 (14:26) A.Peterson left end to MIN 39 for 14 yards (K.Moore, L.Fletcher).

Haynesworth is at RDE but aligned over the LG, who drives him off the line with some help from the C. Orakpo is kept to the outside (with some holding) by the LTE, and the LT is free to go to the second level and drive Rocky out of the hole.

1-10-MIN 39 (13:35) B.Favre pass short right to P.Harvin to MIN 44 for 5 yards (L.Alexander).

Nice play by Alexander to not bite too hard on the fake toss and recover to take down the receiver from behind.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Redskins vs. Vikings, 1st quarter review

Hi everyone. Sorry about royally screwing up last week. Did you know they will let just any moron sign up for a Blogspot account? Now you do.

Anyway, the bold text below represents the offical play by play as cut and pasted from the NFL Gamebook, and my commentary is added below in it's own font.


R.Longwell kicks 59 yards from MIN 30 to WAS 11. B.Banks to WAS 17 for 6 yards (Erin.Henderson).

We avoid drawing the penalty on the formation of a blatant four man wedge. Not that is does us much good, as Rocky fails to angle off a coverage guy who shoots right up the middle and past the wedge to take down Banks.

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

1-10-WAS 17 (14:56) K.Williams left tackle to WAS 17 for no gain (R.Edwards).

Davis, Trent Williams, Lichtensteiger (LG) and Rabach form an absolute wall to the offensive left. If only Keiland had somewhere to cut back to. Unfortunately Hicks (who did start at RG despite the official PBP stating the contrary) allows the backside DT to drive right through his inside shoulder and Cooley is unable to cut off the multiple defenders who close in.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Well this is a problem

So despite (during) the requisite holiday travel I managed to get the first two quarters of the Titans game done (here and here). I got back into town this afternoon with the inention of finishing up and have discovered a) the game is inexplicably not on my TiVo and b) NFL Game Rewind doesn't feel like loading properly this afternoon. So we have a bit of an issue. Anyay I'm going to keep trying with Rewind and if I can get it running I intend to cover more of the last game, but for now I'm not sure I'll be able.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Redskins @ Titans, 2nd quarter game review


1-10-TEN 40 (15:00) D.McNabb pass incomplete short middle to K.Williams [S.Marks].
2-10-TEN 40 (14:55) K.Williams right guard to TEN 34 for 6 yards (C.Hope, M.Griffin).
The DLs are successfully pinned to the offensive right with the counter action, and Keiland cuts back inside as Cooley slows a safety who tries to close the gap. Keiland then lowers his shoulder and drives for a few extra yards.
3-4-TEN 34 (14:14) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short right to S.Moss pushed ob at TEN 16 for 18 yards (C.Finnegan). WAS D.Dockery was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.
The protection adjusts nicely as the Titans blitz both LBs out of their nickel package. The LDT attacks the right A gap drawing Lichtensteiger (at RG, for the moment) to the inside to open a lane for the MLB, but Keiland reads it well and puts a very solid block on him. Then the rest of the line adjust so that Montgomery picks up the other LB and Dockery and Trent have the other two DLs. Trent almost gets beat to the outside, but the lack of pressure up the middle lets McNabb throw freely.
Dockery goes down, so from here on out your offensive line, left to right, is: Trent, Lichtensteiger, Montgomery, Heyer (!), Brown.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Redskins @ Titans 1st quarter review


R.Bironas kicks 75 yards from TEN 30 to WAS -5. B.Banks to WAS 16 for 21 yards (R.Mouton).

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

1-10-WAS 16 (14:56) D.McNabb sacked at WAS 9 for -7 yards (J.Babin).

Never could get a clear view on whether McNabb got stepped on by Rabach (again) or just slipped on the turf.

2-17-WAS 9 (14:25) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to C.Portis.

The pocket holds after the initial play action, but no routes are immediately open. Cooley initially holds his own against the LDE but the clock runs out and he spins past him, so McNabb has a man in his face as he tries to dump it off to Portis.

3-17-WAS 9 (14:18) C.Portis left end to WAS 12 for 3 yards (D.Ball).

Trent gets pushed back a little, but Portis makes it to the corner. But Cooley misses a cut block on the OLB.

4-14-WAS 12 (13:47) (Punt formation) H.Smith punts 22 yards to WAS 34, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS-M.Sellers.

I’m surprised people aren’t talking about how consistently awful Hunter Smith has been since he’s come back. At this rate I can’t imagine he’ll be around much longer (although to be fair in this case he had to adjust to a low snap from Sundberg).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Redskins vs. Eagles 3rd quarter game review

I think we'll be calling it after three quarter this week, partly due to time and partly due to the rather obvious fact that we don't exactly have a highly competitve game on our hands.

First quarter review is here, 2nd quarter is here.


D.Akers kicks 64 yards from PHI 30 to WAS 6. B.Banks to WAS 44 for 38 yards (J.Chaney, D.Akers).

Good blocks by Sellers and Darrel Young to create a seam for Banks.

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:52)

1-10-WAS 44 (14:52) D.McNabb pass short middle to C.Cooley to PHI 49 for 7 yards (M.Fokou).

2-3-PHI 49 (14:16) D.McNabb pass deep left to M.Sellers pushed ob at PHI 21 for 28 yards (M.Fokou).

A risky throw – the LB had Sellers blanketed on the sideline but McNabb placed the ball perfectly by underthrowing just a bit where Sellers has an easier time adjusting to it.

1-10-PHI 21 (13:49) (Shotgun) K.Williams right guard to PHI 12 for 9 yards (T.Cole, Q.Mikell).

Trent and Rabach are the first level blocks on the zone run, while Lichtensteiger and Hicks seek out the LBs. Rabach holds his block well, while Trent nearly loses his but gets away with just enough holding to keep a narrow lane open for Keiland.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Redskins vs. Eagles 2nd quarter game review

1st quarter review


1-10-WAS 48 (15:00) (Shotgun) M.Vick pass deep right to J.Maclin for 48 yards, TOUCHDOWN. Washington challenged the runner broke the plane ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1 at 14:51.)

Fletcher crowds the offensive left A gap and attacks hard successfully drawing a double team from the center and LG, but when Rocky crosses behind him the RB picks him up well. Maake is able to drive through the RG but Vick already sees that he has his receiver and he has time to step into his throw. Hall’s coverage wasn’t bad, although he may slightly mistime his route. But Vick placed the ball just absolutely perfectly.

D.Akers extra point is GOOD, Center-J.Dorenbos, Holder-S.Rocca.

PHI 35 WAS 0, 3 plays, 58 yards, 0:57 drive, 0:09 elapsed

D.Akers kicks 66 yards from PHI 30 to WAS 4. B.Banks to WAS 26 for 22 yards (C.Anderson).

Washington Redskins at 14:51, (1st play from scrimmage 14:46)

1-10-WAS 26 (14:46) D.McNabb pass deep left to F.Davis pushed ob at PHI 3 for 71 yards (K.Coleman; E.Sims).

Sellers, from the RTE position as part of twins with Fred Davis, cuts the LDE and doesn’t take him down but trips him up enough that McNabb has plenty of time to get into his bootleg and set for his throw (Sellers is hurt while going down though). Davis looks like he’s blocking LBs as part of the run action (in fact he puts one on the ground) and no one think to account for him as a receiver so he is wide open when he releases into a wheel route. He has to slow up slightly to make the catch, and in the process loses his balance a bit. He never really regains his footing; otherwise he easily would have outrun the defenders for a touchdown.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Redskins vs. Eagles 1st quarter game review

You may not be ready to relive this.  I get that. But you may find going over this disastrous quarter in detail actually lessens the shock value somewhat and lets you  move on with your life. At least that's what reviewing the game tape does for me.

The offical play by play is in bold and taken from the official NFL Gamebook.  My commentary is added below most plays in a different font.

Be strong.


G.Gano kicks 70 yards from WAS 30 to PHI 0. J.Calvin MUFFS catch, and recovers at PHI 3. J.Calvin pushed ob at PHI 12 for 9 yards (R.Doughty).

Philadelphia Eagles at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:56)

1-10-PHI 12 (14:56) M.Vick pass deep middle to D.Jackson for 88 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Let’s see here. Orakpo is at ROLB – he initially bites on the play action and this allows the TE to seal him to the inside as Vick rolls out to his left. Meanwhile Hall completely fails to get any sort of jam on Jackson and he gets into his route far too easily, then he drives his route a bit to the outside to get Landry to turn his hips the wrong way before cutting in on the post having earned the inside leverage. The play is topped off, of course, by a pass that could not have been placed any more perfectly.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No, the Redskins are not making the playoffs

The Redskins are 4-4, and are probably lucky to be 4-4.  Remember, the Packers had an overtime field goal bounce off the crossbar and the Bears had a pick-6 called back because the Redskins pulled a Homer by getting called for delay of game before they could run their disastrously failed play.

My point is that the Redskins, while not quite terrible, are not all that good. And that people may as well stop reacting to events as if they expect the Redskins to be all that good.

Just how not-that-good are the Redskins? Let's ask some Math Guys. Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats has the Redskins ranked 18th overall based on his offensive and defensive efficiency metrics.  Meanwhile Football Outsiders' DVOA places the Redskins 22nd. So there's general agreement that the Redskins are a slightly below average team.

Now let's look at how these same metrics rank the Redskins' remaining opponents:

Week 10 - Eagles - Brian Burke: 6, Football Outsiders: 1
Week 11 - at Titans - BB 4, FO 3
Week 12 - Vikings - BB 15, FO 21
Week 13 - at Giants - BB 3, FO 2
Week 14 - Buccaneers - BB 23, FO 23
Week 15 - at Dallas - BB 21, FO 27
Week 16 - at Jaguars - BB 28, FO 24
Week 17 - Giants - BB 3, FO 2

So there are four games (Eagles, Titans, and Giants twice) where the Redskins are clearly outclassed by their opponent and pulling out a win would be a pretty huge upset. But its the NFL and such things happen, and we have a defense with the kind of big play ability that can steal a game, so let's say we eek out aone win out of these four.

Then there are four more games (Vikings, Tampa, Dallas, Jacksonville) where the Redskins are in roughly the same tier as their opponent and it would stand to reason they have about a 50-50 chance of winning each. So let's call those 2-2.

This would mean we are still on pace for my preseason prediction of 7-9. Obviously there are a lot of variables that will go into this tiny 8 game sample, so 3-5 over the second half is only a reasonable middle of the road scenario.

So with that in mind here are a few key points:

- Three wins out of the remaining 8 would not be a collapse but would be right in line with where I and most others think this teams stands quality-wise.

- Simple luck or other unanticipated variables could lead to fewer than 3 more wins.

- Obviously, for the Redskins to have even an outside shot at the playoffs a lot would have to go right. And since from looking at the standings it appears highly unlikely that both wildcards could come from the NFC East, that means a lot would also have to go very, very wrong for either New York or Philadelphia. While the unexpected can always happen, there is nothing we know now that should lead us to think of the Redskins as playoff contenders.

So again, 7 or even fewer wins for the season would be an expected outcome. Not a collapse, not evidence of a "culture of losing" or "lack of heart" or "not knowing how to win," just the expected performance of a team with many well-known flaws.  And right about where a majority of writers and fans thought the team would be back in August.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Redskins @ Detroit 4th quarter game review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter


3-4-WAS 30 (15:00) PENALTY on WAS-A.Hicks, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 30 - No Play.

3-9-WAS 25 (15:00) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to J.Galloway.

Hicks holds up pretty well against the rush from Suh, but once Suh sees he won’t get there he pushes off and makes a leaping tip at the line.

4-9-WAS 25 (14:57) H.Smith punts 45 yards to DET 30, Center-N.Sundberg, fair catch by S.Logan.

4.55 seconds – finally some decent punting from Hunter.

Detroit Lions at 14:48

1-10-DET 30 (14:48) M.Stafford pass short left to N.Burleson to DET 28 for -2 yards (L.Landry).

The Lions underestimate Landry again. Just because he’s 9 yards off the ball at the snap does not mean you have the kind of soft coverage that allows an easy hitch to your slot WR.

2-12-DET 28 (14:08) J.Best right tackle to DET 30 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh).

3-10-DET 30 (13:25) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass short right to J.Best to DET 32 for 2 yards (D.Hall).

Landry shoots through the offensive left B gap to pressure Stafford, and the fact that Haynesworth (at RDE) had driven back the LT give Stafford nowhere to step up and escape, so he is forced to dump off to the RB who is the immediately subjected to a very good wrap up tackle by Hall.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Redskins @ Detroit 3rd quarter game review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter review


G.Gano kicks 69 yards from WAS 30 to DET 1. S.Logan to DET 29 for 28 yards (G.Gano).

We just saw a perfect tackle from a placekicker. As if I wasn’t already in the tank for Graham Gano.

Detroit Lions at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:53)

1-10-DET 29 (14:53) (Shotgun) J.Best left tackle to DET 30 for 1 yard (R.McIntosh).

Golston controls the LT and and Rocky manages to run under the block of the pulling guard.

2-9-DET 30 (14:16) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass incomplete short middle to B.Pettigrew (L.Fletcher).

Four man front; Holliday and Haynesworth as the DTs. Haynesworth draws three blockers as Holliday stunts behind him, but he takes a very wide route and like many of Jim Haslett’s calls it takes far too long to develop and never gets close to the quarterback. Excellent coverage by Fletcher on the TE’s shallow cross.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Redskins @ Detroit 2nd quarter game review

You can find the first quarter review here.


4-5-WAS 25 (15:00) (Punt formation) H.Smith punts 54 yards to DET 21, Center-N.Sundberg. S.Logan to DET 27 for 6 yards (L.Alexander). PENALTY on DET-T.McBride, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DET 21.

Finally a punt with decent hangtime – 4.6 seconds.

Detroit Lions at 14:46

1-10-DET 11 (14:46) M.Stafford pass incomplete short left to J.Best.

Dropped screen pass.

2-10-DET 11 (14:41) (Shotgun) PENALTY on DET-S.Peterman, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at DET 11 - No Play.

2-15-DET 6 (14:41) M.Stafford pass short right to C.Johnson ran ob at DET 18 for 12 yards.

Hall is playing way off the flanker. There’s no one underneath to guard against the out. Landry creeps up to the line and starts to show blitz, but then tries to drop back at the last second but is way too late.

3-3-DET 18 (14:19) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass incomplete short left to N.Burleson (P.Buchanon).

Stafford stares down the receiver on the short route. Buchanon reads it, passes of his WR, and closes to knock the ball loose.

4-3-DET 18 (14:14) N.Harris punts 46 yards to WAS 36, Center-D.Muhlbach. B.Banks to WAS 32 for -4 yards (M.Morris).

For the first time that I have noticed, Banks runs backwards. It doesn’t go well. The Lions coverage team was coming hard up the middle and Roydell Williams and Byron Westbrook had failed to slow down the gunner to Banks’ left so he couldn’t make a break for the sideline.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Redskins @ Detroit 1st quarter game review

Yep told you I'd be back.

As always play by play is taken directly from the official NFL game book and presented in bold, with my commentary added under each play (or most plays) in its own font.

And we're off:


J.Hanson kicks 66 yards from DET 30 to WAS 4. B.Banks to WAS 27 for 23 yards (V.Ciurciu).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-WAS 27 (14:55) D.McNabb sacked at WAS 19 for -8 yards (C.Avril).

Rabach is trying to slide the protection to the left to set up McNabb’s bootleg to the right. But he turns parallel to the line by starting with moving his left foot back, and he plants it squarely on McNabb’s foot to trip him up.

2-18-WAS 19 (14:19) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to R.Torain [K.Vanden Bosch].

Lions line up with three down lineman and Kyle Vanden Bosch, usually a DE, lined up standing and about a yard off of Hicks at RG. Lichtensteiger thinks he is uncovered and helps Williams with the RDE, totally missing Vanden Bosch crossing behind the center and storming through the A gap to bear down on McNabb quickly enough that he couldn’t even get out a simple swing pass.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some quick post-game thoughts

First of all... yes, I'm back. Sorry about last week, my work schedule just didn't allow any blog time.  However we will be back on a regular schedule now and though other reponsibilities will still occasionally get in the way of the blog it won't be as severe as it has been over the past month. The Lions game review will proceed as normal.  A couple quick points on this game:

- The Redskins are 4-4.  Given that most of us thought we would be lucky to be a .500 team this year, it seems rather odd that some people are shocked and disgusted that the Redskins are .500 at the Bye week. This is a flawed team that has displayed the flaws we expected to see.

- On a related note, I would like to see an end to the chatter about the Redskins "playing down to their opponent." By definition, only good teams can "play down to their opponent." I don't think there is a basis for claiming that the Redskins are convincingly better than the Lions, at least not sufficiently better that they should be expected to win and any other result can only be the result of some sort of psychological letdown. The Lions massively improved their defensive line this offseasone (N'Damokung Suh, Corey Williams, Kyle Vanden Bosch). This strong defensive line beat the pants off an offensive line which we already knew to be poor. How does our weakest unit getting beaten by their best unit constitute "playing down to their level"?

- I re-watched the first half of the Bears game this morning, and then of course the Lions game today. In both it seems there were occasional four-man fronts featuring both Haynesworth and Carriker on the same side. I look forward to looking at this more closely. Those are pretty clearly the Redskins' two best defensive linemen, and unfortunately they mostly play in different packages. I am all in favor of finding ways to get them both on the field at the same time.

- Brandon Banks was great today, but his ball security iss terrifying. In both the Bears and Packers games he lost a ball while going to the ground. Maybe they were cases of "the ground causing a fumble" and they never could have been recovered anyway, but nonetheless it raises doubts about his ability to hang onto the ball while sustaining contact. And of course he had a fumble today.  One of these weeks he is going to kill us.

- The last-minute benching of McNabb is worrisome. He was certainly inconsistent in the first part of the season, but he was obviously victimized by his offensive line play at times and we knew coming in he would be the victim of random bouts of inaccuracy. But against Chicago, and continuing this week, the wheels seem to have come off. If we're up to week 8 and McNabb is not trusted to know how to execute the 2-minute offense, then there are definitie concerns with the extent to which he has applied himself to learning the new scheme. And not to make too much out of a little thing, but does his inability to adjust his footwork as the Shanahan's desire indicate a deeper lack of receptiveness to this coaching regime? This could very well all blow over, but given the uneven results so far and McNabb's still unresolved contract situation, we have to at least consider if the coach-quarterback relationship has not progressed in the way the Redskins anticipated when they traded a second round pick for the guy. I'm thinking the bye week came at a good time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sorry everybody

As I have mentioned previously I am in the middle of the busy season at work, and am generally not getting home til quite late at night (in fact I'm writing this at the office) so that's why you haven't seen any progress on a game review for this week.  Don't worry I only have one more week of this absurdity and then we will be back to a normal situation where work only sometimes gets in the way of the blog. Anyway, it's hard for me to predict right now when I will next have free time but when it happens I will be doing something about that Bears game.  Whether we only do certain quarters, or maybe do an abbreviated game review, or something, will be determined when we get there I guess.  Just didn't want you to think I had forgotten about it or lost interest - I'll be back at it soon.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Redskins vs. Colts 4th quarter game review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter


2-4-WAS 28 (15:00) J.Addai up the middle to WAS 23 for 5 yards (L.Fletcher).

Carter and Alexander take on the LG and RT but are on the line in a standing position and obviously give up leverage to the linemem. Golston is the only man with his hand on the ground at the nose but the C (too) easily overpowers him. All three are carried to the offensive left creating a rather obvious cutback lane, and the lack of any other presence on the line allows the RG to get out to Fletcher 5 yards downfield. First down.

1-10-WAS 23 (14:35) (No Huddle) J.Addai right end to WAS 17 for 6 yards (L.Fletcher). FUMBLES (L.Fletcher), RECOVERED by WAS-L.Landry at WAS 17. L.Landry to WAS 17 for no gain (P.Garcon). IND-J.Addai was injured during the play. His return is Questionable. 29- Shoulder Injury

On a stretch to the right the backside guard fails at cutting Golston so he is able to come down the line and wrap up Addai as he starts to turn upfield. Before he is dragged down Fletcher comes from downfield and lowers his shoulder right into the ball, knocking it out.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Redskins vs. Colts 3rd quarter review

First quarter review
Second quarter review


P.McAfee kicks 67 yards from IND 30 to WAS 3. B.Banks to WAS 25 for 22 yards (J.James, K.Dawson).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)

1-10-WAS 25 (14:54) R.Torain left tackle to WAS 35 for 10 yards (C.Session, P.Angerer). PENALTY on WAS-T.Williams, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at WAS 29.

Davis does a good job kicking the OLB to the outside and Cooley, who initially motioned to the playside, turn, reverses again and cuts off the backside purtsuit. Williams gets a solid second level block on the MLB, but although his hands are inside he hooks the jersey sleeve a bit too noticeably and gets called for the hold.

1-16-WAS 19 (14:34) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to C.Cooley (P.Angerer) [A.Johnson].

The DTs stunt and Rabach and Lichtensteiger initially adjust just fine, but despite good positioning Lichtensteiger is knocked aside and McNabb takes a helmet to his chest as he throws. Cooley has the MLB by a step on an out. The ball is just a little bit in front of him but probably should have been caught.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Redskins vs. Colts 2nd quarter review

1st quarter review is here


1-10-IND 46 (15:00) P.Manning pass short right to P.Garcon to WAS 43 for 11 yards (D.Hall).

1-10-WAS 43 (14:34) (No Huddle, Shotgun) J.Addai left tackle to WAS 40 for 3 yards (L.Fletcher).

Colts run a draw to take advantage of Orakpo’s outside rush, but Fletcher reads it immediately.

2-7-WAS 40 (14:04) (No Huddle) P.Manning pass short left to R.Wayne pushed ob at WAS 28 for 12 yards (P.Buchanon).

Reed Doughty threatens the LG with a blitz and pulls him inside to open a blitz lane for Moore, but Moore is picked up by the RB. Alexander beats the RG to the outside and starts to close in, but Manning is not rattled by the shrinking pocket.

1-10-WAS 28 (13:56) (No Huddle) J.Addai right tackle to WAS 24 for 4 yards (C.Rogers).

OK I’m all in favor of replays but not when they make me miss the first half of the next play. There appeared to be a lot of blockers on LBs – couldn’t tell you how they got there - but Rogers beat the block of a WR and lowered his shoulder to make a hit on the RB and keep the gain modest.

2-6-WAS 24 (13:30) (No Huddle, Shotgun) P.Manning pass short right to P.Garcon pushed ob at WAS 10 for 14 yards (L.Landry).

1-10-WAS 10 (13:21) (No Huddle) J.Addai right end to WAS 5 for 5 yards (L.Landry, D.Hall).

The TE kicks Carter to the outside and Jarmon is moved off the line by a C-RG double team. The LT tries to get out to the second level to block Doughty, but Doughty slips under his arm to get into the hole but the RB manages to dodge him.

2-5-WAS 5 (12:48) (No Huddle, Shotgun) P.Manning pass short middle to A.Collie for 5 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Rogers seems to think he is responsible for the flat and expect a safety to be behind him in the end zone, but Kareem Moore helps Philip Buchanon against the outside receiver and the slot guy springs wide open in the end zone.

Redskins vs. Colts 1st quarter review


G.Gano kicks 69 yards from WAS 30 to IND 1. K.Moore to IND 19 for 18 yards (C.Wilson).

Indianapolis Colts at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:56)

1-10-IND 19 (14:56) J.Addai left tackle to IND 23 for 4 yards (L.Fletcher, L.Alexander).

The center carries Golston off the line on a stretch play.

2-6-IND 23 (14:26) (Shotgun) P.Manning pass short right to B.Eldridge to IND 28 for 5 yards (H.Blades).

Lorenzo Alexander (LOLB) is unblocked by the TE, which is of course the plan as that same TE then takes the pass in the flat.

3-1-IND 28 (13:41) (No Huddle, Shotgun) PENALTY on IND-K.DeVan, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at IND 28 - No Play.

3-6-IND 23 (13:16) (Shotgun) P.Manning pass incomplete deep middle to A.Collie (C.Rogers).

Orakpo and Alexander both standing on the offensive right. Orakpo tries an inside move on the LT but Alexander works inside on the LG so they trip each other up, but Orakpo falls forward and interferes with Manning’s ability to step into his throw, leading to an underthrow and what should have been an interception.

Indianapolis challenged the incomplete pass ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1.)

4-6-IND 23 (13:06) P.McAfee punts 52 yards to WAS 25, Center-J.Snow. B.Banks pushed ob at WAS 41 for 16 yards (B.King).

Washington Redskins at 12:54

1-10-WAS 41 (12:54) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to M.Sellers (D.Freeney).

The RDE (Freeney) stands up Trent Williams and pushes him into the middle of the backfield, while Jammal Brown fails to contain a spin move from Mathis (LDE) and allows pressure from McNabb’s right. McNabb is forced to try to dump it off to Sellers but it is deflected, quite dangerously.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Redskins vs. Packers 4th quarter and Overtime game review

1st quarter game review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter


3-13-WAS 47 (15:00) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short middle to C.Cooley to GB 42 for 11 yards (P.Lee, A.Hawk).

4-2-GB 42 (14:17) D.McNabb pass incomplete deep right to A.Armstrong.

The line easily absorbs the three man rush, but nothing comes open downfield. An ILB is on top of Torain to take away the dumpoff option, and the other ILB is spying McNabb so he can’t run for it. He eventually throws it deep, but its essentially a throw-away.

Green Bay Packers at 14:09

1-10-GB 42 (14:09) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers sacked at GB 40 for -2 yards (P.Daniels).

Alexander is at LOLB and despite getting picked up by the RB he forces Rodgers to step up, but Daniles at LDE has completely overpowered the RT and closed off Rodgers’ escape route.

2-12-GB 40 (13:32) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers pass short right to B.Jackson to GB 39 for -1 yards (L.Landry).

The RB takes the dumpoff in the flat with plenty of room in front of him, but Landry closes like a missile to take him down hard.

3-13-GB 39 (12:54) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers pass short middle to D.Driver to GB 44 for 5 yards (C.R.ogers).

Lorenzo Alexander rushes from a standing position over the RG. He works his way inside, blows past the C’s left shoulder, then is picked up by the LG but drives him straight back into Rodger’s face and forces a rushed throw well short of the sticks.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Redskins vs. Packers 3rd quarter review


M.Crosby kicks 62 yards from GB 30 to WAS 8. B.Banks to WAS 26 for 18 yards (K.Hall).

Banks takes a hard hit from the right side and the ball pops right out, but rolls out of bounds. No replay was shown and he may well have been down before the fumble, but it does nothing to assuage my worries about Banks’ ball security.

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

1-10-WAS 26 (14:56) R.Torain up the middle to WAS 28 for 2 yards (A.Hawk).

The DT maintains his feet despite Hicks’ attempt to cut him and is waiting for Torain in the hole.

2-8-WAS 28 (14:17) D.McNabb pass short right to R.Torain to WAS 33 for 5 yards (C.Peprah).

Zero blockers get in front of Torain for this screen.

3-3-WAS 33 (13:35) D.McNabb pass short middle to S.Moss to WAS 46 for 13 yards (N.Collins).

1-10-WAS 46 (12:55) D.McNabb pass incomplete deep left to J.Galloway.

In just about the least-threatening corner blitz ever, the CB over Santana on the far right is spotted by both Torain and Sellers while he’s about 15 yards away, and both set to block him and have to wait awkwardly a few seconds. McNabb has plenty of time, but Galloway is not at all open on a go route – in fact the corner is a couple steps in front of him – so McNabb plays it safe by basically throwing it away deep.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Redskins vs. Green Bay 2nd quarter game review

You can find the first quarter review here. Play by play info is in bold and taken from the NFL Gamebook, and my commentary is added below.


2-4-WAS 20 (15:00) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers pass short right to J.Jones to WAS 9 for 11 yards (R.Doughty; D.Hall).

Holliday lines up as the only DL and tries to occupy both the C and RG to open a blitz lane for Landry, but the RG does a nice job of seeing Landry early and adjusting, allowing Rodgers to hit the flanker on an out.

1-9-WAS 9 (14:17) (Shotgun) A.Rodgers pass short right to J.Nelson pushed ob at WAS 1 for 8 yards (D.Hall).

2-1-WAS 1 (13:40) J.Kuhn right guard to WAS 1 for no gain (A.Carriker; C.Wilson).
Carriker and Golston go low to prevent a surge by the line. Maake tries to but fails and actually gets lifter out of the hole. But Chris Wilson comes off the offensive right edge to start wrapping him up from behind, then Rocky closes and Carriker rises up from the ground to make sure the RB can’t fight his way into the end zone.

Redskins vs. Green Bay 1st quarter game review

G.Gano kicks 69 yards from WAS 30 to GB 1. P.Lee to GB 8 for 7 yards (F.Davis).

Excellent kick coverage by Chris Wilson.

Green Bay Packers at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)

1-10-GB 8 (14:54) A.Rodgers pass short right to G.Jennings to GB 16 for 8 yards (D.Hall).

An easy hook against Hall’s soft coverage.

2-2-GB 16 (14:18) A.Rodgers pass short left to D.Lee to GB 33 for 17 yards (L.Landry). FUMBLES (L.Landry), RECOVERED by WAS-K.Moore at GB 34. K.Moore to GB 21 for 13 yards (B.Bulaga). GB-J.Finley was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

Orakpo overpursues and loses contain, allowing Rodgers plenty of time on the bootleg. The TE is wide open when he catches the pass but doesn’t see Landry coming and the ball is knocked out.

Washington Redskins at 14:04

1-10-GB 21 (14:04) R.Torain right end to GB 21 for no gain (C.Woodson).

Torain gets to the corner despite Jammal Brown being pushed into the backfield, but Galloway leaves the CB unblocked.

2-10-GB 21 (13:27) R.Torain up the middle to GB 22 for -1 yards (B.Raji). GB-R.Pickett was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.

Lichtensteiger and Cooley (at LTE) both pull right and Trent Williams blocks an ILB, so there is no one to cut off the backside pursuit.

3-11-GB 22 (12:46) (Shotgun) D.McNabb FUMBLES (Aborted) at GB 27, and recovers at GB 41. D.McNabb to GB 44 for -3 yards (C.Matthews).

The snap wasn’t all that high, and it didn’t even look like McNabb wasn’t expecting it, it just bounced off his hands.

4-33-GB 44 (12:23) H.Smith punts 34 yards to GB 10, Center-N.Sundberg, out of bounds.

4.4 seconds

Green Bay Packers at 12:17

1-10-GB 10 (12:17) (Shotgun) B.Jackson left guard pushed ob at WAS 19 for 71 yards (D.Hall; L.Landry).

Kedric Golston is moved off the line by a double team, and while Carriker and Orakpo nearly succeed in caving in the right side of the offensive line the RB slips through the tiniest of holes just before it squeezes shut. Three more failures turn this into a massive gain: Fletcher overpursues and gets caught on the wrong side of Golston’s double team, Hall quits on the play early (apparently assuming all that traffic at the line meant it was stuffed) and then is not in position to make a play after the RB pops through the line, and Kareem Moore is caught flat footed and makes an incredibly weak tackle attempt unworthy of a professional safety. Credit is also due to Greg Jennings for a very solid downfield block on Buchanon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Some late Monday night Redskins reading

Hi folks.

As you no doubt noticed, I have not posted anything since the third quarter review of the Eagles game.  This is entirely due to the absurd work hours I've been pulling lately (including weekends) and I just can't always get to things as quickly as I'd like.  I have a couple more weeks of work hell, then things should get more reasonable.  Even until then I will do my best to get as much done as possible.

One thing I learned last year is that once I get behind on game reviews its best to cut losses and move on rather than get bogged down on stuff that is already dated, so I will not be doing the 4th quarter of the Eagles game and will instead move straight to the first quarter of the Packers game.  I'm getting a jump on in tonight, but will finish it up tomorrow.  Until then, here's some recommended reading in case you're one of those people who's not all that interested in Brett Favre's genitals:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Redskins @ Eagles 3rd quarter review

1st quarter review 2nd quarter review


D.Akers kicks 70 yards from PHI 30 to WAS 0. D.Thomas to WAS 24 for 24 yards (O.Gaither).

Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-WAS 24 (14:55) D.McNabb pass incomplete deep right.

2-10-WAS 24 (14:47) C.Portis up the middle to WAS 32 for 8 yards (T.Cole).

Hole is opened by RG Will Mongtgomery (now in for the sick Artis Hicks) blocking down on the DT and Sellers cutting the LDE, then Lichtensteiger and Brown take out the LBs to create the significant gain.

Timeout #1 by WAS at 14:18.
3-2-WAS 32 (14:18) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to A.Armstrong. PENALTY on PHI-E.Sims, Roughing the Passer, 15 yards, enforced at WAS 32 - No Play.

McNabb has to get the ball out quick because an OLB comes unblocked off the edge. His hot route is Armstrong on a hitch but the DB jumps the route. After McNabb got the ball out it looks like the LB took a good three steps before hitting McNabb, so the penalty is not a shock.

1-10-WAS 47 (14:15) C.Portis left tackle to PHI 42 for 11 yards (Q.Mikell).

Montgomery traps the RDE, then Sellers, Heyer, and Brown each put a solid block on a linebacker.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Redskins @ Eagles 2nd quarter review

First quarter review is here.


4-13-WAS 31 (15:00) D.Akers 49 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-J.Dorenbos, Holder-S.Rocca.
WAS 14 PHI 3, 10 plays, 43 yards, 4:52 drive, 0:05 elapsed

D.Akers kicks 70 yards from PHI 30 to end zone, Touchback.

Washington Redskins at 14:55
1-10-WAS 20 (14:55) D.McNabb pass short right to C.Cooley to WAS 26 for 6 yards (B.Graham).

This screen should have been a big gain. The LDE drops into coverage because all 3 LBs blitz to the opposite side. Jammal Brown is the only blocker here and has the LDE lined up but just misses his block and Cooley is taken down after a moderate gain with a lot of open field in front of him.

2-4-WAS 26 (14:20) C.Portis up the middle to WAS 32 for 6 yards (T.Cole).

1-10-WAS 32 (13:46) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to J.Galloway.

The DT brushes aside Casey Rabach, and the backfield is unable to help out because Portis has to account for a safety blitzing from the offensive right and Sellers helps out Heyer with a chip before releasing into the flat. But McNabb nicely sidesteps and steps up in the pocket before throwing low to Galloway.

2-10-WAS 32 (13:38) R.Torain left end to WAS 27 for -5 yards (M.Patterson).

A DB dives right through Sellers’ legs to trip up Torain and allow the rest of the defense to swarm him in the backfield.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Redskins @ Eagles 1st quarter review

Welcome back.  As always the play by play is taken directly from the official NFL game book with my commentary added beneath in its own font.  Let's go -


G.Gano kicks 69 yards from WAS 30 to PHI 1. E.Hobbs to PHI 28 for 27 yards (R.Doughty).

Philadelphia Eagles at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:55)

1-10-PHI 28 (14:55) (Shotgun) M.Vick pass short right to L.McCoy to PHI 28 for no gain (L.Alexander).

The DBs and LBs are all over the multiple curl routes, so Vick has to take the dumpoff but Alexander closes quickly to prevent a gain.

2-10-PHI 28 (14:17) (Shotgun) M.Vick pass short left to L.McCoy to PHI 35 for 7 yards (R.McIntosh).

3-3-PHI 35 (13:35) M.Vick pass incomplete short left to L.McCoy.

With Vonnie Holliday inactive, Haynesworth is on the field as the one lineman – this one appears to have 4 LBs and 6 DBs (Doughty and Moore as deep safeties with Landry in the box) rather than the usual 1-5-5. This is kind of cool – Landry walks right up to the LOS across from the LG… then drops back. Then at the snap Rocky feints towards the LG while dropping into coverage, and Landry loiters about making the RG think he may be on a delayed blitz. End result is that the Gs are frozen and block nobody and the three pass rushers – Orakpo, Haynesworth, and Chris Wilson (at LOLB) all have one on one matchups. Haynesworth shoves the C aside quite easily because that’s what Haynesworth does with centers when given the opportunity and almost wraps up Vick, but Vick manages to barely slip out of his arms and escape the pocket - but he never finds a receiver and has to throw it away.

4-3-PHI 35 (13:27) S.Rocca punts 57 yards to WAS 8, Center-J.Dorenbos. B.Banks to PHI 39 for 53 yards (O.Gaither).

I am usually skeptical of returners who have the label of “home run threat” because they so often are dancers and the returns that they don’t break for big gains often turn out to be almost nothing. On a punt I think the first priority is to get the 8, 10, 12, or however many yards are available to you, and anything more is bonus – for the simple reason that first downs are hard to come by in the NFL and consistently shaving one first down off of each drive leads to significant numbers of additional points over the course of the season. But what I like about Banks is that as soon as he gets the ball he is pressing downfield. No running sideline to sideline hoping to get a huge hole. He gets that 8 or 10 yards, then once he is past that first wave of coverage guys he picks a hole and just goes – with enough elusiveness to delay contact but not so much that it impedes his progress downfield. There were two visible but uncalled blocks in the back here (Horton and Landry) and each may have played a role in getting Banks to the sideline, but honestly you can find those on almost any big return so I’m certainly not going to let them detract from my enjoyment.

Washington Redskins at 13:12

1-10-PHI 39 (13:12) S.Moss right end pushed ob at PHI 34 for 5 yards (Q.Mikell). PENALTY on PHI-Q.Mikell, Personal Foul, 15 yards, enforced at PHI 34.

I would just like to say that I am not a big fan of an end around for the first snap of the game. It’s a play that’s usually more effective if it has been set up by previous plays. I don’t get it. Nice block by Cooley to give Moss the corner. Then Moss gets horse-collared for 15 more.

1-10-PHI 19 (12:45) C.Portis left end to PHI 12 for 7 yards (E.Hobbs).

Fred Davis at LTE does a good job sealing the OLB to the inside, and Santana gets his hands on a DB to let Clinton turn the corner – then Clinton lowers his shoulder and inflicts a little pain on a cornerback before going down. But Clinton’s afraid of contact now, remember?

2-3-PHI 12 (12:08) R.Torain left end for 12 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Beautiful play – damn near brought a tear to my eye. Rabach and Lichtensteiger keep the DTs to the inside. Hicks starts at RG but swings across the back of the formation to knock the RDE to the outside – allowing Heyer to get to the second level after a chip on a DT. Heyer manhandles the MLB while Sellers leads through the hole and puts the SLB on his back. After 5 yards Torain is met by a safety, but he lowers his head and runs right through him. Then the touchdown is secured by Cooley haven gotten way downfield and perfectly squared up the last DB who could have a chance. Perfectly blocked, but still shows off the running ability of the back. If you appreciate football on an aesthetic level, then this play approaches perfection.

Game review tonight

Looks like alot of people have been checking in yesterday and today so I want to let you know that the 1st quarter review should be up later tonight.  Got stuck working crazy hours yesterday but should get home at a reasonable hour today so I should be able to bang it out this evening.  So see you soon I guess.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Live chat during the game

During the game I will be in a live chat with a number of other bloggers hosted by TBD.  Click here to join.

A weekly roundup post


I would like to remind everyone once more that there was near unanimity coming into the season that the Redskins would be an improved team but still deeply flawed, and this would probably lead to mediocre results.  That doesn't mean we should feel good about the loss to the Rams, but losing games to bad teams is something that  flawed teams like the Redskins do.  Some perspective:

- I think most of us would have predicted the Redskins to be 1-2 at this point.  We would probably have had the Dallas win as a loss and the Rams loss as a win, but the result is the same.  We're right where we thought we would be.

- The Rams get paid.  Seriously.  They were, in fact, motivated to win and spent their entire week preparing for the Redskins.  Livelihoods were at stake on their side too.  This seems obvious, but often times in reactions to losses it seems as if people consider the Redskins to be operating in a vacuum.  The Redskins' failures are solely the result of their own incompetence, or worse yet their lack of "heart" or "character" or "will to win" or other stuff that I have never seen adequately defined.  But the Rams are made up of guys who are good enough at football that they are able to do it for a living.  The Redskins played poorly, but the Rams also played well.  That happens in sports.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Redskins @ Rams 4th quarter game review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter
3rd quarter


2-8-WAS 46 (15:00) K.Darby right tackle to WAS 33 for 13 yards (K.Moore).

Carriker gets too high and his stood up by the RG and RT – the RT then sheds off and gets to the second level to neutralize Fletcher while the LF pulls to the right and blocks Rocky to keep the running lane open.

1-10-WAS 33 (14:29) K.Darby right tackle to WAS 27 for 6 yards (K.Moore).

Redskins in a two DL nickel dormation with Haynesworth and Carriker. The C blocks down on Carriker and does a good job of helping the RG carry him out of the play, then comes off and squares up Fletcher to open the hole.

2-4-WAS 27 (13:49) (Shotgun) K.Darby left guard to WAS 24 for 3 yards (L.Fletcher).

3-1-WAS 24 (13:08) K.Darby up the middle to WAS 22 for 2 yards (B.Orakpo).

Golston is driven to the ground by the RT and TE.

1-10-WAS 22 (12:25) K.Darby left guard to WAS 19 for 3 yards (P.Daniels, L.Fletcher).

2-7-WAS 19 (11:47) (Shotgun) S.Bradford pass incomplete short left to D.Amendola.

Haynesworth burst through the A gap from a nickel alignment but get tripped up and goes to the ground. He tries to recover and get his hand into Bradford’s face but is unable to create real pressure – Bradford misses the WR on the screen all by himself.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Redskins @ Rams 3rd quarter game review

1st quarter review
2nd quarter review


Josh.Brown kicks 73 yards from SL 30 to WAS -3. D.Thomas to WAS 27 for 30 yards (D.Vobora).
Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:54)
1-10-WAS 27 (14:54) D.McNabb pass deep right to S.Moss to SL 17 for 56 yards (D.Stewart). PENALTY on SL-D.Stewart, Horse Collar Tackle, 9 yards, enforced at SL 17.

One thing that has been made clear to this point is that Donovan McNabb is very, very good at throwing the corner route.
1-8-SL 8 (14:32) M.Sellers up the middle to SL 7 for 1 yard (J.Hall).
Cooley lines up as the outermost receiver, then motions in and blocks as if to seal the WLB to the inside in order to sell the fake pitch to Torain. It’s actually a handoff to Sellers up the middle, and no one is fooled.
2-7-SL 7 (13:53) R.Torain right end to SL 2 for 5 yards (J.Laurinaitis, N.Diggs).
Rabach and Brown each get pushed into the backfield (especially Rabach), forcing Torain to reach the corner later than he would like, but solid blocks by Cooley and Sellers allow him to cut back upfield for a decent gain.

3-2-SL 2 (13:23) C.Portis left tackle to SL 3 for -1 yards (J.Laurinaitis).

Rabach is carried into the backfield yet again, but the real culprit here is Sellers who not only completely whiffs on a safety in the backfield, but he goes to the ground and trips Portis.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Redskins @ Rams 2nd quarter game review

First quarter review is here.


3-7-SL 11 (15:00) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to C.Cooley (O.Atogwe, F.Robbins). Penalty on WAS-J.Brown, Offensive Holding, declined.

Brown loses his bases and get pushed back past McNabbs’s drop point by the RDE – he has to grab him by the neck to keep McNabb standing.

4-7-SL 11 (14:54) G.Gano 29 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-N.Sundberg, Holder-J.Bidwell.

WAS 3 SL 14, 6 plays, 53 yards, 1 penalty, 1:58 drive, 0:10 elapsed

G.Gano kicks 63 yards from WAS 30 to SL 7. M.Gilyard to SL 24 for 17 yards (H.Blades, R.Doughty). FUMBLES (R.Doughty),RECOVERED by WAS-L.Alexander at SL 21. L.Alexander to SL 21 for no gain (B.Kehl).

Outstanding hit by Doughty to force the fumble.

Washington Redskins at 14:43

1-10-SL 21 (14:43) D.McNabb pass deep left to S.Moss for 21 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Rams are completely fooled by the naked bootleg, despite the fact that the Redskins run naked bootlegs like it’s their job. And McNabb has even more time due to the fact that the CB on side he’s booting towards comes on a blitz and can’t recover from the QB movement (again – how are you not expecting that?). But the playside route – Galloway on a deep out in the end zone – is well covered. Moss has gotten open on a post corner but it’s to the opposite side, so McNabb has to make the dreaded “throw across his body” to hit him in the far corner of the end zone. He has plenty of time and Moss was wide open, but this still wasn’t an easy touchdown.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Redskins @ Rams 1st quarter game review

Play by play (bold) taken from the official NFL Gamebook.  My commentary added below in its own font.


G.Gano kicks 63 yards from WAS 30 to SL 7, out of bounds.

I am convinced Gano did this specifically because I constantly talk about how great he is on kickoffs. Thanks, Graham.

St. Louis Rams at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:57)

1-10-SL 40 (14:57) S.Jackson up the middle to SL 44 for 4 yards (A.Carriker).

Fletcher crushes the lead FB at the line, but Jackson switches to the opposite A gap because Maake has been moved off the line and the RG is able to get a hat on Rocky.

2-6-SL 44 (14:27) (Shotgun) S.Bradford pass short right to F.Onobun to WAS 49 for 7 yards (A.Carter). Penalty on WAS, Defensive Offside, declined.

Carter is unable to keep up with the FB in the flat. Carriker comes unblocked from LDE because the RT has to pick up a blitzing Rocky, but although he gets his hands up he is unable to deflect the pass.

1-10-WAS 49 (14:06) S.Bradford pass incomplete short left to M.Clayton (A.Carriker).

Carricker blows past the RG’s outside shoulder and knocks down Bradford’s arm.