As before, the parts in bold are the play by play taken straight from the NFL Gamebook, then my commentary is added in it's own font.
On with the second quarter. I think you'll like how this one ends.
Dallas Cowboys continued.
3-4-WAS 6 (15:00) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short right to M.Austin to WAS 5 for 1 yard (P.Buchanon, R.Doughty). PENALTY on DAL-D.Bryant, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at WAS 6 - No Play.
Dallas line up in trips right for a screen to Austin with Bryant and Roy Williams as blockers. But Bryant blocks Rogers downfield immediately rather than waiting for Austin to receive the ball, leading to the PI call.
3-14-WAS 16 (14:31) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass incomplete deep middle to J.Witten [R.Doughty].
Orakpo and Lorenzo Alexander are lined up side by side on the offensive left in a nickel formation with only one down lineman (Holliday). That’s right, it was a 1-5-5 defense. Alexander is initially stymied by the LG, but Orakpo is beating the LT to the inside so Alexander slips around him to the outside. Romo is forced to throw high because of the LT being driven back into his face, then Alexander puts a hit on him for good measure. Two of those five LBs dropped back coverage and a total of four men rushed, so this was an excellent job by Haslett of creating pressure without sacrificing coverage.
4-14-WAS 16 (14:26) D.Buehler 34 yard field goal is No Good, Wide Right, Center-L.Ladouceur, Holder-M.McBriar.
Washington Redskins at 14:21
1-10-WAS 24 (14:21) D.McNabb pass incomplete deep left to S.Moss (M.Jenkins).
2-10-WAS 24 (14:14) C.Portis left tackle to WAS 27 for 3 yards (J.Ratliff, I.Olshansky).
Lichtensteiger, in at LG, works his way out to one ILB and a leading Sellers puts a hat on the other, but the hole is closed when the NT throws Rabach to the ground right after Lichtensteiger sheds off the double team.
3-7-WAS 27 (13:36) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to C.Cooley (K.Brooking) [D.Ware].
Trent Williams had been holding his own against DeMarcus Ware to this point but just got beat on this one. Ware threatens Williams to the outside, but when he reverses back to the inside Williams starts backpedaling, gets high, and loses his base. Ware powers through his inside shoulder and puts a hit on McNabb, forcing an errant throw.
4-7-WAS 27 (13:30) J.Bidwell punts 51 yards to DAL 22, Center-N.Sundberg. D.Bryant to DAL 33 for 11 yards (M.Sellers).
Hang time 4.6 seconds.
Dallas Cowboys at 13:20
1-10-DAL 33 (13:20) F.Jones left tackle to DAL 39 for 6 yards (L.Landry).
The LT holds the edge against Kedric Golston, and TE Martellus Bennet motions inside which puts him in perfect position to take out Fletcher as he tries to plug the running lane while the FB gets a solid block on Orakpo and keeps him outside.
2-4-DAL 39 (12:38) F.Jones left guard to DAL 42 for 3 yards (M.Kemoeatu, L.Fletcher).
Golston at RDE is swallowed up by a double team. The C initially moves Maake off the line but he is able to recover, shed the block, and fill the hole before the RB reaches the first down.
Timeout #1 by DAL at 11:45.
3-1-DAL 42 (11:45) M.Barber left end ran ob at DAL 45 for 3 yards (R.McIntosh).
The TE pushes Orakpo to the inside, allowing the LT to pull to the outside where he blocks both Landry and Buchanon, allowing RB to make it around the edge on the pitch.
1-10-DAL 45 (11:19) T.Romo pass incomplete short middle to M.Barber.
Carricker is at LDE but rushes to his right, drawing the RT with him and opening up a blitz lane for Alexander and Landry, who both lined up to the defensive left. Alexander gets picked up by the FB, but Landry runs through the RB’s block and gets in Romo’s face.
2-10-DAL 45 (11:15) T.Romo sacked at DAL 40 for -5 yards (R.McIntosh). Penalty on DAL-A.Gurode, Offensive Holding, declined.
This design of this blitz doesn’t work – Rocky makes this play through sheer physical determination. Redskins are in nickel with Haynesworth and Carricker as the only two linemen. Haynesworth, from his inside position, attacks the LT, evidently in the hopes of opening up a rushing lane for the ILBs. Rocky comes up the middle but runs right into the C – then Fletcher tries to cross behind him but he is eaten up by the LG, who was not fooled into helping out either the C or LT. But Rocky fights through the C’s left shoulder despite being badly held, and leaps into the air to force Romo to pull the ball down. Rocky then maintains his balance when he lands and pulls Romo down for the sack.
3-15-DAL 40 (10:44) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass incomplete short middle to J.Witten.
Redskins are back in that 1-5-5 alignment. Rocky and Fletcher are in coverage, Alexander and Orakpo on the left, Carter on the right. Orakpo gets lower than the RT and completely overpowers him, driving him back into Romo’s face and forcing the incompletion.
4-15-DAL 40 (10:39) M.McBriar punts 45 yards to WAS 15, Center-L.Ladouceur, out of bounds.
Washington Redskins at 10:31
1-10-WAS 15 (10:31) D.McNabb pass deep middle to S.Moss to WAS 31 for 16 yards (T.Newman). Penalty on DAL-A.Spencer, Defensive Offside, declined.
The line slants left as part of the play action, and manages to bottle up the entire Dallas D-line to that side and hold them there. The only threat of pressure comes from the ROLB, who is fought to a standstill by Cooley, and a S blitzing off the edge who is (of course) promptly picked up by Portis and taken to the ground.
1-10-WAS 31 (10:00) D.McNabb pass deep middle to S.Moss to WAS 48 for 17 yards (K.Brooking).
Here’s a classic McNabb play for you. Hicks and Heyer (rotating in at RT) each get beaten on their outside shoulders, so has two guys closing in from his right, but he has room in front of him and to the left because Cooley has done a good job of keeping the ROLB outside and taking him upfield and Williams has the RDE bottle up at the line. McNabb goes on the move but with his eyes downfield and his arm cocked to throw. He has Sellers open for an easy dumpoff in the flat, but he would probably be swarmed short of the first down marker, so McNabb comes off him and instead floats a pass over a wall of three defenders, allowing Santana to leap and make the catch for a first down.
1-10-WAS 48 (9:26) C.Portis left guard to DAL 49 for 3 yards (J. Brent, I.Olshansky).
2-7-DAL 49 (8:49) D.McNabb pass incomplete short middle to C.Cooley.
Williams gets caught back on his heals by a speed rush from the ROLB, so he loses his base and gets beat. Meanwhile Heyer is beat to the outside by the LDE. With pressure from both directions McNabb is forced into a bad throw.
3-7-DAL 49 (8:41) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to C.Cooley.
Rabach is absolutely blown up by a straight bull rush from the NT.
4-7-DAL 49 (8:32) J.Bidwell punts 48 yards to DAL 1, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS-B.Westbrook.
4.37 second hangtime. Bounces at the 6 and Westbrook is already all over it and easily downs it at the 1. Bidwell is shown pumping his fist and shouting. Gotta love a pumped up punter.
Dallas Cowboys at 8:22
1-10-DAL 1 (8:22) C.Gronkowski left guard to DAL 9 for 8 yards (C.Rogers).
Haynesworth is at NT in a three man front. C gets under Haynesworth’s pads and carries him to the offensive right and runs him into the RG, opening up a big hole. The LG is clean off the line and puts a hat on Fletcher, giving the FB plenty of room to run. Rogers is unblocked but is obviously no match for a FB, so even though he makes a hit at the 5 the play doesn’t end for 4 more yards.
2-2-DAL 9 (7:48) M.Barber left guard to DAL 12 for 3 yards (L.Fletcher, K.Golston).
1-10-DAL 12 (7:48) T.Romo pass short left to M.Austin to DAL 24 for 12 yards (C.Rogers).
Orakpo blitzes clean off the edge but the RB takes out his legs. Haynesworth tries to threaten the C’s right shoulder before putting on a spin move back to his right, but he just spins right into the LG.
1-10-DAL 24 (6:27) F.Jones left tackle to DAL 28 for 4 yards (R.McIntosh).
2-6-DAL 28 (5:41) T.Romo pass short middle to M.Austin to DAL 34 for 6 yards (D.Hall, R.McIntosh).
1-10-DAL 34 (5:04) T.Romo pass short middle to J.Witten to DAL 41 for 7 yards (R.McIntosh, K.Golston).
Here’s a good old fashioned four man front – Daniels, Carricker, Maake, Golston from left to right. It generates no pressure.
2-3-DAL 41 (4:25) F.Jones left guard to DAL 42 for 1 yard (K.Golston, B.Orakpo).
Carricker blows past the RT, forcing the RB to cut the play back to the left, but is further slowed by the fact that Fletcher has shot the A gap and blown up his lead blocker in the backfield.
3-2-DAL 42 (3:43) (Shotgun) T.Choice up the middle to DAL 45 for 3 yards (L.Fletcher).
For the third time we see the Redskins lined up in that 1-5-5 with Vonnie Holliday as the only lineman. Not really sure why we would line up like that when they only need 2 yards for the first down. The RG (Leonard Davis) pulls and blows Rocky out of the gap.
1-10-DAL 45 (3:03) T.Romo pass short right to M.Austin pushed ob at WAS 34 for 21 yards (L.Landry).
Daniels bull rushes the LG and puts him on the ground, but Romo rolls out a bit to escape the pressure and finds Austin on an out.
1-10-WAS 34 (2:29) PENALTY on DAL-T.Romo, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced at WAS 34 - No Play.
1-15-WAS 39 (2:06) T.Romo pass short left to M.Barber ran ob at WAS 37 for 2 yards (C.Rogers).
2-13-WAS 37 (1:58) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass incomplete short middle to J.Witten.
3-13-WAS 37 (1:54) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass incomplete deep left to D.Bryant.
Buchanon blitzes but is easily picked up by a RB. Rocky lines up in the middle of the field but blitzes around the offensive left to take advantage of Alexander’s inside rush. He is picked up by the FB, but he still knocks the FB back far enough that Romo can’t properly step into his throw.
4-13-WAS 37 (1:50) M.McBriar punts 32 yards to WAS 5, Center-L.Ladouceur, downed by DAL-A.Owusu-Ansah.
Washington Redskins at 1:42
1-10-WAS 5 (1:42) D.McNabb pass deep middle to C.Cooley to WAS 25 for 20 yards (A.Ball).
This is where its nice to have two good receiving TEs. Sellers and Cooley are lined up as TEs on the left with Davis tight to the right. Yet with a power formation of 3 TEs and only 1 WR we are still able to attack downfield.
Timeout #1 by WAS at 01:35.
1-10-WAS 25 (1:35) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short left to S.Moss to WAS 27 for 2 yards (D.Ware).
A safety outruns Trent Williams to the sideline to trip up Moss on the screen.
2-8-WAS 27 (1:04) (No Huddle, Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete short middle to C.Portis. PENALTY on DAL-J.Ratliff, Defensive Pass Interference, 1 yard, enforced at WAS 27 - No Play.
OK this didn’t go well. Ware beats Williams to the outside. Lichtensteiger at LG is in a bad spot because he has to worry about the RDE and a blitzing ILB. Portis doesn’t pick up the blitzer despite running right past him because he is the receiver in a designed screen. He has Rabach and Hicks lined up as blockers, but he gets pulled down by the NT who reads the screen as soon as Rabach slides past him. But Ratliff (the NT) gets a little too eager and tackles Portis before the ball arrives, so first down Redskins.
1-10-WAS 28 (1:00) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to A.Armstrong. PENALTY on WAS-C.Rabach, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at WAS 28 - No Play.
NT badly beats Rabach with a swim move but (surprise!) he is immediately Portised so Rabach’s hold was unnecessary.
1-20-WAS 18 (:54) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to C.Portis.
The screen is starts nicely with Rabach and Lichtensteiger lined up as blockers and the Dallas pass rush clearly not wise to it, but the throw is inexplicable behind Portis. Portis immediately gets a kind of pissy about it and he and McNabb have to have a little chat between plays.
2-20-WAS 18 (:50) C.Portis left end to WAS 19 for 1 yard (M.Jenkins, K.Brooking).
The RDE holds his ground well against Trent Williams, and even pushes him back in such away that he trips up Hicks who is trying to pull. This forces Portis to bounce the play to the outside. Unfortunately he still has nowhere to go – Lichtensteiger can’t quite get to the playside ILB, Galloway completely fails to block a DB, and Cooley did a good job of keeping Ware to the outside, which is counterproductive once Portis is forced to redirect into Ware’s path.
Timeout #2 by DAL at 00:45.
3-19-WAS 19 (:45) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short middle to C.Portis to WAS 20 for 1 yard (J.Hatcher).
Timeout #3 by DAL at 00:40.
4-18-WAS 20 (:40) J.Bidwell punts 50 yards to DAL 30, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS-A.Armstrong.
This punt initially only goes 32 yards (2.95 second hangtime)but is courteous to bounce in the correct direction.
Dallas Cowboys at 0:27
1-10-DAL 30 (:27) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short right to T.Choice pushed ob at DAL 32 for 2 yards (D.Hall).
Redskins blitz both ILBs so the RB easily gets open in the flat, but Orakpo and Hall close quickly.
2-8-DAL 32 (:22) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass incomplete deep left to D.Bryant (P.Buchanon) [B.Orakpo].
More 1-5-5. Orakpo drives the LT right back into the backfield, then works inside him to hurry Romo and force a bad throw.
3-8-DAL 32 (:16) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short right to D.Bryant ran ob at DAL 46 for 14 yards.
I'm not convinced all this 5 LB stuff is accomplishing all that much. Obviously Haslett used the formation to blitz from various angles, but Dallas never seemed to have trouble adjusting to it. When pressure was generated it was through someone just winning a one on one matchup – but that doesn’t happen this time.
1-10-DAL 46 (:11) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass incomplete short right to D.Bryant. PENALTY on DAL-A.Barron, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DAL 46 - No Play.
Orakpo is badly beating RT Alex Barron, so RT just wraps his arm around his neck and draws the flag. I have a feeling we will see that particular technique again later…
I hope something cool happens next.
1-20-DAL 36 (:04) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short right to T.Choice to DAL 37 for 1 yard (D.Hall). FUMBLES (D.Hall), RECOVERED by WAS-D.Hall at DAL 32. D.Hall for 32 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Lorenzo Alexander gets around the LT to the outside. This forces Romo up in the pocket, where he decides to flip it out to Choice (this is actually a lateral that goes slightly backwards, not a forward pass). Hall know exactly what he wants to do here and doesn’t make even a pretense of trying to tackle Choice – he just goes straight for the ball and rips it out. Strike up the band.