Givin’ It Away

Andre Johnson burned the Redskins for 12 catches and 158 yards, including this 34 yard touchdown on 4th and 10

By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins were dominating the Houston Texans 27-10 late in the 3rd quarter, but a huge Texans rally enabled the Texans to sneak out a win in overtime in Landover. After scoring on the final play of the 3rd quarter to make it 27-17, the Texans added a field goal while blocking one, and on 4th and 10 completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Andre Johnson with 2 minutes remaining to send it to overtime.

In overtime, the Texans got the ball first and decided to punt on 4th and 9 from the Washington 39 yard line instead of kick a 54 yard field goal. It seemed like that was a bad call when the Redskins were able to drive down and kick  54 yard field goal themselves in what appeared to be a game winner. But the Texans Coach Gary Kubiak called a timeout before the snap (or after) disabling the play and forcing Graham Gano to try again. This time he would miss, and the Texans would eventually march down and win 30-27 on a Neil Rackers’ 35-yard field goal. Here’s the good, the bad, the ugly from Week 2:


1. Donovan McNabb shined Sunday in the passing game as it has become more clear that he is becoming acclimated to the offensive scheme. He threw for 426 yards on 28 of 38 passing with one touchdown and no interceptions. He connected with eight different recievers, highlighted by Santana Moss who caught 10 passes for 89 yards.

Chris Cooley hauls in a 22-yard pass from Donovan McNabb

2. LaRon Landry followed up a 17 tackle performance against the Dallas Cowboys with an 11 tackle and one sack performance, making his case for a possible Pro Bowl. He was flying all over the field, whether it was making tackles in the run game or short passes, or pressuring Matt Schaub when he came off the blitz. Although Schaub played great with 497 yards and 3 touchdowns, he might still have nightmares of number 30 chasing him.


1. Anytime you blow a 17-point lead at home it’s bad. The Texans are definitely a team you can’t sleep on, especially with Schaub and Andre Johnson on the offensive side of the ball. They are a team built for coming back, so you got to be prepared to take their best shots and to put them away when you have the chance. McNabb barely overthrew Joey Galloway on a long pass that could have put the game out of reach at 34-10. Gano had a field goal blocked that could have put the Skins up 30-20. These things can’t happen if you’re trying to put an opponent away.


1. Two games into the season, the Washington Redskins have 107 rushing yards and a 2.7 yards per carry on the ground. Thats good for 31st in the NFL, but the Redskins should not panic. The running game will take time to develop, but will need to be able to have some balance on offense in order to be a factor in the NFC East or NFC playoff picture.

Not only does he kick game-winning field goals, Neil Rackers also knows MMA.

I will admit that the Redskins lost this game fair and square. But I think it should be wise for the NFL to look into this “icing the kicker” strategy. I’m not so sure that a coach can time when he calls the timeout right before the snap, so most of the time its being called after the snap. You don’t see defensive players calling timeouts when the opponent breaks a long play and they have to re-do it. So they should only be allowed to call timeouts before the snap. But then again, if Gano made the kick on his second try we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Look for the Redskins to try and get back on track against the 0-2 Rams next Sunday at 4:15 in St. Louis. Washington should be able to get the ground game going against a Rams D that has averaged giving up 142.5 yards in two games, but should be wary that this is an improving Rams team that cannot be taken for granted.

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