For the first time in more weeks than I care to count, I am not having to write about starting a game with a 3 and out. We had an incredible first drive, minus some penalties (15 yards on Fred Davis alone), dominating the clock and starting big with seven points (courtesy of Fred Davis who made up for the penalty with both the catch and push to get to 1st and goal and, finally, with the TD). The play calling was even, logical and successful. Made me question if Kyle even made the trip to Seattle.
Moss is Boss
There was something about just knowing that Moss was back on the field that calmed me, that made me feel a little safer. Turns out the team felt the same way – Kyle Shanahan said this week that Grossman and other felt more confident have 89 back. It was not his best game, there were at least two passes he really should’ve had, but he was also hit helmet to helmet by Chancellor with no flag. What are you going to do? Having him back opened options and noticeably changed the tone of the offensive. Welcome back, Tana.
Once again, Helu shined bright. This week he was our shooting star, literally leaping defensemen with a single bound. He had a fantastic day running the ball, finding holes and consistently getting the edge on the D. Even more noteworthy than his total yards are his yards after contact, ability to break tackles and his powerful blocks. It is spellbinding to watch him progress each week and assume more and more carries. He is our own Energizer bunny, seemingly get more powerful as the game goes on. And that hurdle! For a TD! Someone get this kid on the ProBowl roster.
I give both Gaffney and Armstrong high fives. I’m a big Gaffney fan. That out of bounds step on the TD was a rookie move, but he rarely makes those and more frequently proves a steadfastly reliable receiver no matter where he lines up. Armstrong has been quiet this year and I was starting to think we had seen the last of him. And then he saved they day with a skillful 50-yard TD catch that queued up the win.
Through Clenched Teeth
I hate to admit this… but the play calling was pretty darn good. We had a good game plan in place and Lil’ Shanny called an even, efficient game. I hope this becomes the rule and not the exception.
Seeing the Future
I continue to love watching the young members of this team find their way and become playmakers for this team. Darrel Young is one tough cookie. I hated seeing him go out and hope he recovers well. Perry Riley has dominated since becoming a starter. He is a difference maker who is truly coming into his own and becoming exciting to watch. And how can I ever forget my favorite rookie of them all, the new team leader in sacks, Ryan Kerrigan. I love watching him play. He is a great compliment to Orakpo and may well prove the more electric of the two. Get your votes in now, Redskins faithful, let’s send this kid to Hawaii.
The haunt us on both sides of the ball. After getting us out of a sticking situation when we started our drive on our own 5 yard line, Rex through an INT that was returned for a TD. It wouldn’t be a Sunday without at least one INT courtesy of Rex. But our defense also struggles get the INTs – Josh Wilson had some balls thrown right to him and couldn’t come away with the ball. DHall, however, after a bad press week, showed up in a major way, playing a great game and capping it off with an INT in the final minute. I do still think he should have more though…
Special teams performance was the real downer of this game. We consistently started with bad field position. Banks gave good runs, but an illegal block took his best one back. On the other hand, we seemed happy to give them great field postion by kicking the ball out of bounds and blowing coverage on the returns. And for a little more kicking frustration, Gano had a field goal and an extra point blocked thanks to break downs on the line.
My word, Fox, get some new talking heads. Once again, the Fox announcers failed miserably. I know this wasn’t a prime game Sunday, but where did you find those hacks? “Hey, is that your boat out there?” “He has an 8-pack, just like you, right(while showing TJack injury.)?” “The entire Redskins bitch just exhaled.” Pretty sure you meant bench. Yes, they really did call the coach’s son Kyle Schottenheimer. Trust me that I have called him many names in his tenure here, but at least I do actually know his real one. Perhaps my favorite, however, was the solid two minutes they dedicated to talking about the size of Rex’s hands. Speechless.
This certainly was not a perfect game on our part, but I only feel good about it. The penalties were crushing at times, but we overcame them. Rex played above average which made up for the Special Teams failures. All in all, it was a win that we needed badly, but it was also a win that looked pretty good. If the Eagles fall to the Seahawks Thursday, it is going to feel even better.