First quarter game review here; second quarter here. Play by play info is taken from NFL Gamebook.
D.Buehler kicks 71 yards from DAL 30 to WAS -1. D.Thomas to WAS 33 for 34 yards (D.Buehler).
Nice job by Devin Thomas to let his blocking develop then pick a hole and shoot through it.
Washington Redskins at 15:00, (1st play from scrimmage 14:51)
1-10-WAS 33 (14:51) C.Portis right tackle to WAS 36 for 3 yards (A.Spencer, M.Spears).
Not sure what the plan was here. Redskins line up with a trips bunch tight to the right: Cooley on the LOS but standing up, Santana behind him and to the outside, and Fred Davis behind and to this inside. Just before the snap Davis motions to behind Hicks at RG. Rabach and Hicks ignore the linemen altogether and go straight out to the LBs, so Davis ends up man to man on the NT. He not so shockingly gets pushed back. I think Portis was meant to cut to the left where he had room opened up by Williams and Dockery, but Fred Davis had been carried back far enough to shut that off so he had to cut right, where Brown and Cooley had focused on sealing the LDE and LOLB to the outside but hadn’t created anything even resembling a hole. It is a tribute to Portis’ high-effort running style that he managed to gain 3.
Timeout #1 by WAS at 14:11.
(14:11) 2-7-WAS 36 D.McNabb pass short left to C.Cooley to DAL 40 for 24 yards (A.Ball). FUMBLES (A.Ball), ball out of bounds at DAL 40. Penalty on DAL-D.Ware, Neutral Zone Infraction, declined.
The NT beats Rabach handily but Portis, naturally, comes in to help before he can come free. This illustrates one reason why Portis is a great pass protector rather than just a good one. When he saw the NT breaking through the line he didn’t just position himself to pick him up in the backfield, he closed aggressively and launched himself into a much larger defender. This left McNabb plenty of room in the pocket to make his normal throwing motion at this own pace. He finds Cooley wide open in the flat thanks to clear-out routes by Galloway and Moss, who had lined up as twins WR left.
1-10-DAL 40 (13:43) D.McNabb pass deep left to S.Moss to DAL 24 for 16 yards (T.Newman).
Can’t not be impressed with Trent Williams, and this play is just one of many examples. DeMarcus Ware is just stuck – legs churning, arms flailing – but Williams keeps a strong stance and Ware can’t move him. Williams wasn’t perfect on Sunday, but he was damn impressive.
1-10-DAL 24 (13:02) C.Portis right tackle to DAL 21 for 3 yards (G.Sensabaugh, B.James).
Lack of vision by Portis, I think. Williams and Dockery seal the ROLB and RDE to the outside, Rabach gets out and puts a hat on the RILB. There is a big alley to Portis’ left, but he cuts right into traffic.
2-7-DAL 21 (12:27) C.Portis left tackle to DAL 17 for 4 yards (G.Sensabaugh, B.James).
A think an unexpected blitz broke down the zone blocking on this play. Here’s the setup: Galloway and Moss as twins WR to the right. Dallas in man coverage so a safety follows Cooley when he motions to the left slot. The receivers each aggressively block the DBs lined up over them, and Cooley takes on the ROLB Ware and does a good job of pushing him to the outside. Hicks pulls to the left and picks up that safety that followed Cooley – there is room to run on the left side of the field. I think that Dockery was supposed to handle the RDE while Williams chipped him before getting to the second level – routine zone blocking stuff – but an ILB unexpectedly blitzed and occupied Dockery fully, so the RDE was able to close on Portis from behind and stop what could have been a first down run. Part of the blame also goes to Hicks – if he’d gotten to the outside a bit faster the DE wouldn’t have been able to catch Portis, and Portis had to hesitate for a second behind Hicks’ butt while he waited for Hicks to make his block.
3-3-DAL 17 (11:43) L.Johnson right tackle to DAL 15 for 2 yards (A.Spencer, B.James). PENALTY on WAS-F.Davis, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DAL 17 - No Play.
Just a disastrous attempt at a block by Fred Davis. The ROLB basically jumps over and around him and fills the running lane despite Davis trying to tackle him out of desperation.
Timeout #2 by WAS at 11:12.
3-13-DAL 27 (11:12) D.McNabb pass short right to C.Cooley to DAL 18 for 9 yards (O.Scandrick, K.Brooking).
Jammal Brown nearly gets beat to the inside by the LOLB but does a nice job of repositioning.
4-4-DAL 18 (10:29) G.Gano 36 yard field goal is GOOD, NULLIFIED by Penalty, Center-N.Sundberg, Holder-J.Bidwell. PENALTY on DAL-O.Scandrick, Defensive Offside, 6 yards, enforced at DAL 18 - No Play.
1-10-DAL 12 (10:23) C.Portis left end to DAL 9 for 3 yards (D.Ware, B.James).
This time Cooley gets set up on Ware but can’t kick him to the outside. Ware is able to shed off and take down Portis before he could take advantage of the fact that both ILBs were blocked by Williams and Rabach.
2-7-DAL 9 (9:42) D.McNabb pass short middle intended for S.Moss INTERCEPTED by T.Newman at DAL 0. Touchback. PENALTY on DAL-G.Sensabaugh, Illegal Contact, 4 yards, enforced at DAL 9 - No Play.
Penalty was actually on Newman, not Sensabaugh – he hugged Santana around the waist to keep him from getting out of his break quickly. Moss wouldn’t have caught it though because Sensabaugh was closing in to deck him.
1-5-DAL 5 (9:36) D.McNabb pass incomplete short middle.
An ILB blitzes and attacks Dockery’s inside shoulder, allowing the RDE to come clean on his outside (Williams is of course fully occupied with Ware). Keiland Williams is trying to slip through the middle into a pass route but gets hung up as Rabach and Hicks are both pushed into the backfield. Either he was supposed to pick up the unaccounted-for rusher or he was supposed to be a dumpoff option, but he managed neither. In fact there’s a moment of comedy when he gets to the LOS and whips his head around – you can almost see a thought bubble saying “Oh shit I probably should have blocked that guy.” McNabb realizes there’s nothing doing on this one and he dumps the ball into a safely empty portion of the end zone.
2-5-DAL 5 (9:31) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to A.Armstrong.
Armstrong had a touchdown here but he didn’t catch it cleanly despite it landing right in his hands and gave the DB time to reach in and knock the ball away.
3-5-DAL 5 (9:25) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to A.Armstrong.
4-5-DAL 5 (9:21) (Field Goal formation) J.Bidwell FUMBLES (Aborted) at DAL 13, and recovers at DAL 17. J.Bidwell to DAL 17 for no gain (T.Newman).
Snap may have been slightly high but this was really just a drop by Bidwell.
Dallas Cowboys at 9:15
1-10-DAL 17 (9:15) F.Jones up the middle to DAL 22 for 5 yards (L.Landry, R.Doughty).
Maake Kemoeatu is simply picked up and carried away, opening up the middle of the field. Exactly what is not supposed to happen to a 3-4 NT. This is going to be a problem.
2-5-DAL 22 (8:33) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short middle to M.Austin to WAS 49 for 29 yards (L.Fletcher).
Landry is lined up over Miles Austin in the slot, but Andre Carter draws the RT to the inside and Landry blitzes. Fletcher sprints out to try to cover Austin, which must have been unnerving. But Romo sees Landry coming and slips aside, buying enough time for Austin to come open over the middle.
1-10-WAS 49 (7:44) T.Romo pass incomplete deep left to R.Williams (C.Rogers).
Another blitz by both ILBs, another easy adjustment by the Dallas line. The C passes off Maake to the LG, who handles him easily. The C then takes on Fletcher. Rocky tries to cross behind Fletcher but the RG sees it coming a mile away. Romo has about a minute and a half in the pocket; fortunately Carlos Rogers is able to make a very nice play to knock the ball out of Roy Williams’ hands.
2-10-WAS 49 (7:36) M.Barber left end pushed ob at WAS 48 for 1 yard (B.Orakpo).
3-9-WAS 48 (7:03) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short left to D.Bryant to WAS 42 for 6 yards (L.Landry).
Saved by a great play from Landry. Philip Buchanon comes on a corner blitz but Romo reads it immediately and throws right over his head to the receiver he abandoned. Bryant makes the catch but Landry closes with astonishing speed and makes the tackle short of the first down.
4-3-WAS 42 (6:15) M.McBriar punts 35 yards to WAS 7, Center-L.Ladouceur, downed by DAL-J.Williams.
Washington Redskins at 6:03
1-10-WAS 7 (6:03) C.Portis up the middle to WAS 7 for no gain (A.Spencer).
Cooley is at RTE and releases directly into a pass route. Brown at RT focuses on the LDE. No one felt like blocking the LOLB who comes in untouched for the tackle.
2-10-WAS 7 (5:27) D.McNabb pass incomplete short left to M.Sellers.
A straight-up drop.
3-10-WAS 7 (5:22) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass incomplete deep left to S.Moss.
4-10-WAS 7 (5:16) J.Bidwell punts 27 yards to WAS 34, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS-C.Wilson.
27 yards, 3.4 seconds. Bidwell’s last play was the fumbled FG snap, so I guess this constitutes a bit of a bad stretch for him.
Dallas Cowboys at 5:07
1-10-WAS 34 (5:07) Direct snap to T.Choice. T.Choice left guard to WAS 30 for 4 yards (A.Haynesworth, L.Landry).
A Wildcat play, or something close enough to a Wildcat that I won’t get too snooty over the definitions. Romo goes out wide and RB Choice takes the direct snap. This is a decent play by Haynesworth at NT. Carricker at RDE gets buried by the LT, and the Cowboys have both a 2 TEs and a FB leading through the hole, but Haynesworth sheds the LG, get around the tangle of Carricker and the LT, and makes the play.
2-6-WAS 30 (4:26) (Shotgun) T.Romo pass short middle to D.Bryant to WAS 22 for 8 yards (A.Carter, R.Doughty).
Haynesworth at NT again. He immediately starts pushing the C into the backfield but Romo gets the ball out so quickly it doesn’t matter.
1-10-WAS 22 (3:47) T.Choice right end to WAS 16 for 6 yards (L.Alexander, L.Landry).
2-4-WAS 16 (3:11) M.Barber right end to WAS 4 for 12 yards (R.Doughty, A.Haynesworth).
Daniels is blown off the edge by a double team and Alexander is taken out by a solid block from the FB. Hall has an angle on the RB but overpursues and lets him cut back inside. Haynesworth penetrated through the line at NT, then pursued all the way to the outside and then downfield.
1-4-WAS 4 (2:31) M.Barber up the middle to WAS 4 for no gain (K.Golston, L.Fletcher).
The C gets under Haynesworth and pushes him out of the gap, and the LG gets out to Rocky. But Fletcher attackes the play and runs right through a TE’s block to stuff the play.
2-4-WAS 4 (1:46) T.Romo pass short middle to M.Austin for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
Hall was playing outside position on Austin. Reed Doughty bit hard on play action and was unable to help Hall when Austin cut inside.
D.Buehler extra point is GOOD, Center-L.Ladouceur, Holder-M.McBriar.
DAL 7 WAS 10, 6 plays, 34 yards, 3:26 drive, 13:19 elapsed
D.Buehler kicks 69 yards from DAL 30 to WAS 1. D.Thomas pushed ob at WAS 43 for 42 yards (D.Buehler).
This was a good return by Devin Thomas – good mix of speed and vision – but I’d like to point out it was behind key blocks from Chris Cooley, Lorenzo Alexander, and Chris Wilson.
Washington Redskins at 1:41, (1st play from scrimmage 1:32)
1-10-WAS 43 (1:32) C.Portis right tackle to DAL 48 for 9 yards (A.Ball).
Nice vision by Portis on this one. Run is initially to the left, but Portis sees that Ware is shedding off Williams’ inside shoulder, so Portis cuts it back to the right, then immediately back left behind Jammal Brown’s seal block. Rabach has taken out one ILB and Cooley has shot all the way from the rear position in a trips bunch right to cut the legs out of the other, so Portis is able to power through the middle.
2-1-DAL 48 (:56) C.Portis right guard to DAL 45 for 3 yards (K.Brooking).
Sellers blows another block – he did not have a good night – makes contact with an ILB but just sort of slides past him. Portis is able to cut to a hole in the backside and slip across the first down line.
1-10-DAL 45 (:17) D.McNabb pass short left to M.Sellers to DAL 43 for 2 yards (K.Brooking).
LOLB blows past Cooley on the but McNabb is able to evade him while still maintaining his footing and finding the open receiver.
Hope you're enjoying these so far. I should be able to get the 4th quarter review up Thursday night.