Here it is - the first game review of 2010. These tend to be pretty long so I usually do them one quarter at a time, but I hope to have the second quarter up tonight.
The stuff in bold is the raw play by play info taken directly from the exceptionally handy NFL Gamebook. I have added my own commentary under each play (or most of them at least).
As always, these are just my opinions and interpretations. If you have the game recorded, I encourage you to play it back and let me know if you see things differently.
Here we go...
G.Gano kicks 64 yards from WAS 30 to DAL 6. A.Owusu-Ansah to DAL 27 for 21 yards (C.Horton, H.Blades).
1-10-DAL 27 (14:55) T.Romo pass short right to M.Austin pushed ob at DAL 42 for 15 yards (L.Landry). An excellent job by Dallas of selling the play action. RG Leonard Davis pulls to the left and TE Jason Witten (lined up at FB) acts as if he’s lead blocking to the right. This freezes both Orakpo and Carter long enough for Romo to escape into his bootleg. Landry also bites on the play action and by getting pulled up to the line opens up the zone in which Austin gets wide open.
1-10-DAL 42 (14:14) T.Romo pass short middle to M.Bennett to DAL 49 for 7 yards (L.Landry, A.Carter).Both OLBs drop into coverage against the Cowboys 3 TE set but Fletcher and Rocky each blitz up the middle. The Dallas line adjusts to the blitz easily but Fletcher manages to power straight through the LG. He doesn’t quite get to Romo but still impressive.
2-3-DAL 49 (13:40) M.Barber right tackle to WAS 47 for 4 yards (L.Landry, R.McIntosh). The RG and RT successfully seal Carricker and Carter to the outside. A TE had motioned into the backfield so this play basically had two leading FBs. The first knocks Maake out of the way (with help from the C). Fletcher takes on the second in the hole but Barber is able to slip through and wins a collision with Landry to make it over the first down marker.
1-10-WAS 47 (13:09) M.Barber left tackle to WAS 37 for 10 yards (D.Hall). The LT and LG each sweep to the outside and the right side of the Dallas line allows penetration so they can slip past and set up second level blocks. Barber shoots between Landry, who is forced outside by the LT, and Orakpo, who comes up the middle but has a poor angle. All the second level defenders have blockers on them so Barber has a huge lane to cut back across the field. DeAngelo Hall may have saved a touchdown with this stop.
1-10-WAS 37 (12:31) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short right to D.Bryant to WAS 35 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh, A.Carter).The slot receiver is too slow setting up his block on Hall, so Hall is able to trip up Bryant and force him back inside, where he is immediately swarmed.
2-8-WAS 35 (11:48) T.Romo pass short right to D.Bryant to WAS 36 for -1 yards (D.Hall).
3-9-WAS 36 (11:04) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass incomplete short right to R.Williams (D.Hall).Hall pretty badly telegrapahs his blitz, so Romo tries to exploit it with a quick pass to Roy Williams (who Hall had been covering). Hall makes a very impressive leap to bat down the ball but even if he hadn’t Landry was all over the receiver.
4-9-WAS 36 (11:01) M.McBriar punts 36 yards to end zone, Center-L.Ladouceur, Touchback.
Washington Redskins at 10:51
1-10-WAS 20 (10:51) C.Portis right guard to WAS 20 for no gain (K.Brooking, B.James).Jammal Brown somehow completely misses his block and falls to the ground, and Cooley at RTE releases directly into a pass route, so the Dallas LDE comes clean into the backfield. Sellers continues to lead up the middle instead of picking up the threat from the outside.
2-10-WAS 20 (10:11) D.McNabb pass short left to C.Cooley to WAS 22 for 2 yards (G.Sensabaugh).Jammal Brown is badly beaten to the outside by DeMarcus Ware, but Portis decks him in classic Portis fashion. That’s why I love Portis.
3-8-WAS 22 (9:26) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short middle to S.Moss to WAS 38 for 16 yards (A.Ball, B.James). PENALTY on DAL-J.Ratliff, Roughing the Passer, 15 yards, enforced at WAS 38.
1-10-DAL 47 (8:29) C.Portis left end to DAL 43 for 4 yards (A.Spencer, I.Olshansky).Cooley does a good job sealing DeMarcus Ware to the outside to keep the running lane open, and Trent Williams gets to the second level and absolutely mauls an ILB.
2-6-DAL 43 (7:52) C.Portis right end to DAL 44 for -1 yards (D.Ware).LOLB fights Sellers to a standstill in the backfield so Portis can’t make it to the corner and he is taken down by the backside pursuit.
3-7-DAL 44 (7:10) D.McNabb scrambles left end ran ob at DAL 27 for 17 yards (A.Ball). Dallas rushes six men – an ILB is coming free up the middle but gets thoroughly Portised (yes, that needs to be made into a verb) allowing McNabb to escape the pocket. Multiple deep routes had cleared out the secondary, so once McNabb escapes the blitzers he has plenty of open field to work with.
1-10-DAL 27 (6:34) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to J.Galloway.
2-10-DAL 27 (6:29) D.McNabb pass short left to C.Cooley ran ob at DAL 13 for 14 yards (I.Olshansky). Moss lines up tight to the left, then motions to the right slot and pulls a DB with him. The line slants hard to the right on a very effective play action, then Cooley (on the left side) and Trent Williams each slip off their blocks. Cooley takes the screen and Williams manhandles a very unfortunate safety who is pretty much the only Dallas defender remaining on that side of the field.
1-10-DAL 13 (5:56) C.Portis right guard to DAL 9 for 4 yards (J. Brent).Cooley kicks Ware to the outside. Rabach stand up the NT while Hicks and Brown double the RDE and drive him off the line. Brown then sheds off and takes on an ILB. Dockery pulls and is leading through the hole, unfortunately Portis seems to pick the wrong gap and cuts inside into traffic instead of outside which was wide open due to the fact that Moss was aggressive in getting downfield to set up a block on a DB.
2-6-DAL 9 (5:18) C.Portis left end to DAL 11 for -2 yards (D.Ware).Trent Williams is driven back by the RDE, forcing Portis to take this play wider than intended. Ware fights off Sellers block to hold the edge and stuff Portis for a loss.
3-8-DAL 11 (4:35) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to C.Portis.Williams is drawn to the outside by a blitzing ILB, opening up a lane for Ware to come in untouched. McNabb is forced out of the pocket and throws it away.
4-8-DAL 11 (4:29) G.Gano 29 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-N.Sundberg, Holder-J.Bidwell.
DAL 0 WAS 3, 12 plays, 69 yards, 1 penalty, 6:26 drive, 10:35 elapsed
G.Gano kicks 58 yards from WAS 30 to DAL 12. A.Owusu-Ansah pushed ob at DAL 28 for 16 yards (B.Westbrook).
Dallas Cowboys at 4:25, (1st play from scrimmage 4:20)
1-10-DAL 28 (4:20) T.Romo pass short left to F.Jones pushed ob at WAS 48 for 24 yards (L.Landry). Screen. The LG makes it outside to block Orakpo. Fletcher is closing but the center dives at the back of his knees and takes him down, in the process also tripping up Golston who is in pursuit and would have had a chance when the RB cut inside Orkapo.
1-10-WAS 48 (3:47) T.Romo pass short right to M.Austin pushed ob at WAS 35 for 13 yards (L.Landry, D.Hall).
1-10-WAS 35 (2:55) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short left to F.Jones to WAS 33 for 2 yards (R.McIntosh).Haynesworth lines up as one of the two down linemen in the nickel package but he is slow getting out of his stance. The LG is able to keep pace and put two solid blocks on him as he attempts to get to the outside to counter the screen. The LT is not nearly so effective however and is unable to pick up Rocky who makes the play.
2-8-WAS 33 (2:14) T.Romo pass short middle to M.Barber to WAS 34 for -1 yards (P.Buchanon).
3-9-WAS 34 (1:30) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short right to R.Williams to WAS 23 for 11 yards (L.Fletcher).
1-10-WAS 23 (:52) T.Romo pass short right to D.Bryant to WAS 24 for -1 yards (D.Hall, L.Fletcher). PENALTY on WAS-L.Fletcher, Unnecessary Roughness, 12 yards, enforced at WAS 24. Receiver was driven back after the play endedA quick hitch to Bryant, which is mysterious since Hall isn’t playing that far off him. Hall hits him immediately and wrestles him to the ground. The penalty on Fletcher is absurd. At the time that Fletcher made his hit Bryant was most assuredly not down – the only part of him that had touched the ground was his hand and it was at least conceivable he could still escape Hall’s clutches. Fletcher was finishing a play properly.
1-10-WAS 12 (:23) 9-Romo hand off to 24-Barber. M.Barber pass incomplete short right to J.Witten.Cute.
2-10-WAS 12 (:13) M.Barber left end to WAS 6 for 6 yards (L.Landry, L.Fletcher).Philip Daniels holds his ground at RDE and forces Barber to cut outside, but Witten, one of the best blocking TEs around, is able to keep Orakpo inside so Barber gets the corner and a good gain due to Miles Austin’s very solid block on Carlos Rogers (the second strong block by Austin I noticed this quarter).
END OF FIRST QUARTEROne down. Man it felt good to be back at this. Check back later this evening for the second quarter.