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.
3-18-WAS 19 (14:15) D.McNabb pass short left to K.Williams to WAS 27 for 8 yards (N.Suh) [K.Vanden Bosch].
Not the greatest screen. Keiland bumps into Lichtensteiger’s back on the way out of the backfield, so he is late getting out and takes the ball even shallower than I think he intended. So he is already just half a step ahead of a DT who recovers quickly and turns to pursue him. But the real problem comes from the fact that Lichtensteiger apparently can’t even pretend to block well. He gets hung up on the DT (N’Damokung Suh, but the way, so maybe I shouldn’t judge too harshly here) and is late getting downfield. Lichtensteiger and Rabach are the two primary downfield blockers (Hicks gets out too but is too far away to have an impact on the play). They are faced by two closing Detroit defenders. For reasons unknown, Lichtensteiger takes the inside guy, whereas if he’d gone after the outside guy Keiland could have cut inside of that block and Rabach would have had a chance on the inside defender. Instead Rabach just gets stuck with nowhere to go and Keiland runs up on his heels, allowing Suh to catch him from behind.
4-10-WAS 27 (13:39) H.Smith punts 38 yards to DET 35, Center-N.Sundberg. S.Logan to DET 43 for 8 yards (C.Wilson).
Bad, bad line drive – 3.5 seconds.
Detroit Lions at 13:30
1-10-DET 43 (13:30) J.Best right end to DET 44 for 1 yard (M.Kemoeatu).
The offensive line attempts to slant right but the entire Redskins defense reads the play immediately. Maake makes a quick move past the center’s right shoulder and hits the right guard, allowing Carriker, at LDE, to get take on the RT. They each win their respective battle and when the back tries to cut inside the TEs kick out block on Alexander (LOLB) he has nowhere to go.
2-9-DET 44 (12:57) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass incomplete short middle to B.Pettigrew (L.Fletcher).
3-9-DET 44 (12:53) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass incomplete short right to B.Johnson.
Nickel package with Haynesworth and Carter as the only two linemen. Haynesworth lines up over the offensive left B gap but attacks the middle of the line, drawing a triple team and letting Orakpo and Carter each work one on one on the OTs. Stafford steps up to escape the edge pressure, and since Haynesworth is still hung up on the three interior OLs he is able to work to the right and try to hit a WR who has broken off his route and come back and towards the sideline, but it all takes too long to develop and the pass ends up out of bounds.
4-9-DET 44 (12:46) N.Harris punts 56 yards to WAS 0, Center-D.Muhlbach, penalty enforced. PENALTY on WAS-H.Blades, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at WAS 20.
Washington Redskins at 12:36
1-10-WAS 10 (12:36) R.Torain right tackle to WAS 12 for 2 yards (K.Vanden Bosch).
The DT – don’t think it’s Suh but never can get a look at the second digit of his number – stands up a Trent Williams-Lichtensteiger double team then splits them.
2-8-WAS 12 (12:00) D.McNabb pass short left to C.Cooley to WAS 20 for 8 yards (J.Peterson; L.Delmas) [K.Vanden Bosch].
The RDE (Vanden Bosch) is unblocked but reads the bootleg easily, so McNabb rolls right into him and has to stop short and leap backwards a bit to fire a throw to Cooley in the flat. Due to a miscommunication between two Lions DBs both of them, including the one who initially followed Cooley into the flat, follow Moss upfield – the first DB clearly though he was passing off Cooley’s short route to the second one.
1-10-WAS 20 (11:18) D.McNabb up the middle to WAS 15 for -5 yards (C.Avril).
Second occurrence of Rabach trying to block a guy to his left, and moving his left foot back and tripping McNabb.
2-15-WAS 15 (10:39) D.McNabb pass incomplete short right to S.Moss.
Either Moss or Donovan misses a sight adjust, so Moss runs a hitch 6 or so yards downfield, and McNabb throws it to the sideline 10 yards deeper.
3-15-WAS 15 (10:35) (Shotgun) D.McNabb sacked at WAS 7 for -8 yards (K.Vanden Bosch).
Once again we see the formation with three linemen and Vanden Bosch standing up a yard off RG. This time Lichtensteiger is waiting for him in the left A gap, but of course that’s what the Lions wanted. The RDE rushes inside occupying both Trent and Lichtensteiger, and Vanden Bosch loops around the edge for a clean rush at McNabb. Both Cooley and Keiland Williams were in the backfield, but both released straight into routes.
4-23-WAS 7 (10:08) H.Smith punts 40 yards to WAS 47, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS-R.Doughty.
Detroit Lions at 9:56
1-10-WAS 47 (9:56) J.Best left tackle to WAS 46 for 1 yard (K.Golston).
The LTE tries to kick out Orakpo but Orakpo wins the fight and pushes him back, forcing the RB to cut too far back inside, where he runs straight into the traffic created by Golston almost singlehandedly overpowering the interior line (where has that been this year?).
2-9-WAS 46 (9:22) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass short right to J.Best pushed ob at WAS 38 for 8 yards (C.Rogers).
Alexander has a wide alignment at LOLB and has an angle to cut off the RB after he takes the swing pass, but he is the victim of a very solid crackback block from the outside WR which lets the WR turn upfield.
3-1-WAS 38 (9:05) J.Felton right tackle to WAS 35 for 3 yards (L.Landry).
The TE successfully kicks out Alexander and Carriker and the RT gets a shoulder under Carriker’s pads and moves him off the line enough to create a hole.
1-10-WAS 35 (8:29) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass short left to C.Johnson to WAS 22 for 13 yards (L.Landry).
1-10-WAS 22 (7:50) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass deep left intended for C.Johnson INTERCEPTED by D.Hall at WAS 0. Touchback.
Hall did have very good coverage on this, but it’s the kind of play Calvin Johnson makes even against perfect coverage. But Stafford didn’t put quite enough air under it and Johnson wasn’t able to use his size to climb over Hall.
Washington Redskins at 7:43
1-10-WAS 20 (7:43) R.Torain right tackle to WAS 25 for 5 yards (J.Peterson).
OK this didn’t end up affecting the play but I’d like to point out a comically bad block by Santana Moss. The Redskins are in Ace (two TEs, two WRs in a balanced formation) and Santana is split to the left. He motions across so that he’s right behind Stephon Heyer’s right hip, then at the snap he runs back to the left to cut off backside pursuit for this run to the right. A DT blows past Trent Williams’ inside shoulder and Santana realizes he should go low to block him, but he also ducks to the left and ends up dodging the guy. If you have this recorded watch it in slow motion – it REALLY doesn’t look good. Fortunately Torain outruns this pursuit anyway and cuts inside a Rabach-Hicks double team on the other DT and Lichtensteiger gets out to the Mike so a decent gain is there to be had.
2-5-WAS 25 (7:08) R.Torain left end to WAS 23 for -2 yards (C.Houston).
More poor WR blocking and I think it’s on Santana again, although Armstrong could conceivably be at fault. Moss is split to the right but motions to tight left, where Armstrong is split wide on the same side. Detroit is in man coverage so a CB follows him across the line. But there is a safety already lined up on the left edge showing blitz, so Santana is faced with two DBs. Santana blocks the CB who followed him, and the S gets a free shot at Torain in the backfield. At the snap Armstrong sprints back towards the middle of the field, but he’s too slow to get to the safety.
3-7-WAS 23 (6:27) (Shotgun) D.McNabb scrambles right tackle to WAS 27 for 4 yards (N.Suh; C.Avril).
I think the pressure goes on Keiland. Lions blitz two LBs through the offensive left. Rabach is tied up with a DT and of course the RDE rushes wide. Lichtensteiger sees it coming and is in position but of course can only pick off one of them. Keiland is back there and should be available to pick up the second guy, but he commits way too early to helping Rabach with Suh and takes himself out of the blitz lane.
4-3-WAS 27 (5:55) H.Smith punts 33 yards to DET 40, Center-N.Sundberg, downed by WAS-L.Alexander.
Detroit Lions at 5:43
1-10-DET 40 (5:43) J.Best left end ran ob at DET 45 for 5 yards (K.Moore). PENALTY on DET-B.Pettigrew, Offensive Holding, 10 yards, enforced at DET 40 - No Play.
Pettigrew lines up as the inside of twins TE to the left, and while his colleague kicks out Orakpo he has to take Daniels (RDE) to the ground to keep him from penetrating into the backfield and draws the flag.
1-20-DET 30 (5:19) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass short right to B.Pettigrew to DET 36 for 6 yards (R.McIntosh).
2-14-DET 36 (4:37) J.Best right tackle to DET 39 for 3 yards (V.Holliday).
3-11-DET 39 (3:57) (Shotgun) M.Stafford pass incomplete short middle to B.Johnson (A.Carter). PENALTY on WAS-P.Buchanon, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at DET 39 - No Play.
1-10-DET 44 (3:49) (Shotgun) K.Smith right tackle to DET 47 for 3 yards (B.Orakpo, K.Moore). WAS-B.Orakpo was injured during the play. His return is Probable.
Rocky blows up the lead blocker forcing the back to cut inside where Daniels is able to shed off the slanting LT and almost fill the lane, but the RB is able to spin off of him to secure a modest gain.
2-7-DET 47 (3:14) (Shotgun) K.Smith up the middle to WAS 47 for 6 yards (L.Fletcher).
Redskins bite on a counter run and Golston, at RDE, get sucked too far to the inside. The RB bounces outside him and then the pulling RG is able to wall off Fletcher to secure 6 yards.
3-1-WAS 47 (2:35) K.Smith right tackle to WAS 49 for -2 yards (A.Haynesworth).
Haynesworth lowers his shoulder and drives into the RG, then swats him down and smothers the RB in the backfield. This is a great play by Haynesworth and he would have made it on his own, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that LaRon Landry won a one on one battle with a RG and would have stuffed the play if Haynesworth hadn’t gotten there first. Not a lot of safeties that can take on guards.
4-3-WAS 49 (1:58) N.Harris punts 49 yards to end zone, Center-D.Muhlbach, Touchback. Detroit challenged the touchback ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1 at 01:44.)
This was a fantastic punt, and after all the replays I still don’t see how this wasn’t downed at about the 4 inch line rather than being called a touchback. But I won't argue.
Washington Redskins at 1:44
1-10-WAS 20 (1:44) D.McNabb pass incomplete deep middle to C.Cooley (L.Delmas) [K.Vanden Bosch]. PENALTY on WAS-C.Cooley, Offensive Pass Interference, 10 yards, enforced at WAS 20 - No Play.
1-20-WAS 10 (1:38) D.McNabb pass short left to R.Torain to WAS 10 for no gain (L.Delmas).
2-20-WAS 10 (:55) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short right to C.Cooley to WAS 20 for 10 yards (D.Levy, L.Delmas).
Zone blitz. Vanden Bosch at RDE drops into coverage, but the Redskins don’t see it til too late. Lichtensteiger keeps working on the RDT which is unnecessary because Williams is unoccupied. The other DT attacks Rabach. That leave two LBs blitzing right at Hicks. He takes on one and Torain only gets about half a block on the other, but fortunately McNabb gets the ball out quickly.
3-10-WAS 20 (:15) (Shotgun) D.McNabb pass short right to K.Williams to WAS 25 for 5 yards (D.Levy).
The Redskins fail to adjust to a tackle-end stunt on the offensive right, as Jammal Brown follows the DE to the inside so the DT comes free around the edge, but fortunately Cooley and Armstrong have run off the coverage on that side so McNabb is able to beat the DT by dumping it right over his head to Keiland.