Posts Tagged ‘Washington Redskins


Loss To Vikings Puts Redskins in Precarious Position

By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins just made their road to the playoffs a lot more difficult and treacherous when they lost at home to the previously 3-7 Minnesota Vikings last Sunday. Even with Adrian Peterson sidelined for much of the game, the Vikings beat up the Redskins by dominating the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Redskins, who were already previously banged up heading into the contest, allowed 137 yards to Peterson and Toby Gerhart combined, while only gaining 29 yards rushing themselves. Donovan McNabb was sacked four times and pressured throughout the contest.

Key Play:

Down 17-13 with 7:15 left in the game, Redskins Punt Returner Brandon Banks had an electrifying 77-yard punt return to put the Redskins up 20-17. However, rookie Linebacker Perry Riley was called for an illegal block in the back that nullified Banks’ return. I don’t question the call at all; it was a clear penalty, but it was away from the play and Banks had already passed the defender Riley hit. Just a dumb mistake by a rookie that cost the Redskins the game. Washington would go on to stall the next possession, and the Vikings ran the rest of the clock out. Simply put, if Riley doesn’t try to light someone up and look good the Redskins win the game.

This loss truly stings for the Redskins. Four of their last five opponents currently hold winning records and are fighting for playoff position. The Skins will likely have to go 5-0 or 4-1 in these games in order to make the playoffs, saying that this would be a stretch would be an understatement. But Washington still has two games against the New York Giants and a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, two teams that they are chasing right now. There is no better way to catch up to these teams by beating them head-to-head, but the Redskins will need a better performance than this in order to win against those opponents.


Redskins Limp Out Of Tennessee With a Win


By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins, who were already banged up heading into Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, overcame eight more key injuries to escape the Titans 19-16 in Overtime. After missing a 47-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have won the game, Kicker Graham Gano redeemed himself with a 48-yard game winner in overtime to give the Skins a win. Had the game gone any longer, the Redskins entire offensive line may have been injured, because they were dropping like flies at LP Field.

Heading into Sunday’s contest, the Redskins were already down two key players in the secondary, LaRon Landry (achilles) and Carlos Rogers (hamstring). This was not a good sign for the Redskins, whose 31st ranked pass defense had to rely on Reed Doughty and Kevin Barnes to somehow contain Randy Moss. Surprisingly, the Redskins did not do a good job, but a great job, as Moss was held without a catch and the Titans only racked up 222 passing yards.

The running back situation was also a concern when Clinton Portis went down with a groin injury. With Ryan Torain out and Chad Simpson injuring himself in warmups, the Redskins were left with only Keiland Williams, who handled the rushing duties, going for 68 yards on 23 carries.

There were a few bright spots in this game, however.

  • The Redskins defense, who gave up 59 points and 592 yards to the Philadelphia Eagles a week earlier, stifled the Titans offense, only giving up 373 yards and did not allow a touchdown (the Titans scored on a punt return.)
  • Remember all that talk about Donovan McNabb running the two-minute offense? Well, with 1:37 remaining McNabb beautifully manuevered the Redskins into field goal range to win the game. Unfortunately, Gano missed the kick, but it was nice to see McNabb prove his doubters and possibly even his coaches wrong. He had one of his best performances of the season, throwing for 376 yards with 1 td and 1 int.
  • The Redskins came into the game last in the NFL in 3rd down conversions at 22%, and were 0 for 10 against the Eagles on Monday Night. But the Skins were very effecient on third down against the Titans, converting 8 of 16 plays for a 50% conversion rate.

The Redskins may not have won this game as convincingly as they should have, but when was the last time we’ve seen that? I’m sure they will be satisfied with benefiting from the Titans’ self destruction with the whole Vince Young-Jeff Fisher controversy. With the win the Redskins improve to 5-5 on the year and are on the cusp of the playoff conversation. The Skins are currently 8th in the NFC standings, but with a win next week against the Minnesota Vikings (3-7), they will find themselves in the middle of the playoff hunt. Funny for a team that was so thoroughly embarrassed just a week ago.


DeAngelo Hall Saves The Day

DeAngelo Hall and Brian Orakpo both celebrate one of Hall's four interceptions

By Ben Linton

***My apologies on timeliness***

The Washington Redskins needed a big effort from one of their superstars on Sunday against the Chicago Bears, and they got just that. DeAngelo Hall tied an NFL-record with four interceptions in Chicago, propelling the Redskins to a 17-14 victory.

His first interception came in the 3rd quarter with the Bears driving at midfield leading 14-10. It squashed a big chance the Bears had to add to their lead, but the Redskins would give the ball right back as Donovan McNabb was intercepted by Daniel Manning two plays later. His second and best interception came the next possession as the Bears would drive all the way down to the Redskins 13 yard line. On 3rd and 7, Jay Cutler tried to connect with Johnny Knox on an out route, but Hall stepped in front and grabbed it with one hand, taking it 92-yards for a touchdown. This score put the Redskins up 17-14 and might easily be the best defensive play of the year.

Hall wasn’t done though. With 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Hall jumped a slant pattern at the Bears 13 yard line, giving Washington great field position. A penalty and a sack backed the Redskins up to 19 yard line, where Graham Gano’s 37 yard field goal hit the upright and was no good. The Bears would get one last chance with 2:24 to go, but once again Hall would slam the door shut, intercepting Jay Cutler one last time on a deep route intended for Knox. From there, the Redskins were able to drain the  rest of the clock and escape from Chicago with the win, improving to 4-3 on the year.

With all the blame this Washington defense has taken this year, they have been very good at turning opponents over. They may give up the second most yards in the league, but are ninth in points against, ninth in interceptions, ninth in sacks, and first in fumble recoveries. This is a good defense and we should expect them to continue playing this way for the rest of the year. The stats are a bit inflated right now due to the fact that the Redskins have played three of the top five offenses in league in their first seven games, so their rankings will only get better.

The Redskins hit the road to face the 1-5 Detroit Lions next week before heading into a bye. I’m sure all Redskins fans remember what happened last year, so this game should not be overlooked by any means.


“We had wide-open layups, just didn’t make the layups.” -DeAngelo Hall

Carlos Rogers dropped two interceptions on Sunday against the Colts


By Ben Linton

That quote very easily describes the Washington Redskins’ Sunday Night game against the Indianapolis Colts. Missed opportunities allowed the Colts and Peyton Manning to take advantage and come out of D.C. with a win, 27-24. Here is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Week 6:

The Good:

-Ladies and Gentlemen, Ryan Torain has arrived. In his second start, Torain ran like beast for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. He bounced off wimpy tacklers and ran through a much smaller Colts defense. He is a very physical runner that fits very well into the Redskins offensive system.

The Bad:

-The Redskins could not take advantages of early Peyton Manning mistakes, as mentioned earlier. Carlos Rogers was in perfect position to intercept Manning twice, but could not hold onto the ball. Later Manning would throw a perfect pass right to Kareem Moore, but he too could not hang on for the interception. If you want to beat the Colts, you have to capitalize on any bad pass Manning throws, because there aren’t many.

The Ugly:

-You would expect Manning to have a good game against the Redskins, who have given up the most yards in the NFL this season, but for Joseph Addai to get 128 yards and a touchdown is ridiculous. The Redskins were missing Haynesworth and Rocky McIntosh, but they need to be stingier against the run especially, where they have given up 4.7 yards per rush on the season. With Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, and Adrian Peterson left on the schedule, this needs to be fixed fast.

For all the Ravens fans out there reading this post, I’m sure you can relate. When you have the defending AFC champs in your hands, you can’t let them get away with mistakes and give them second chances. The best teams in the NFL know how to finish games, and play their best ball in the fourth quarter, but the Redskins could not. However this should motivate the Redskins, they now know that they are not too far from the top in a wide open NFL this season.

The Skins will try to rebound next week in a big game in Chicago against the Bears (4-2).


Redskins Outlast Packers in Overtime, 16-13

The Redskins D swarms Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers


By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins got a huge victory that put them right back on track and in the thick of the NFC East race when they defeated the Green Bay Packers 16-13 on Sunday. After losing a heart breaker to the Texans and a head scratcher to the Rams, the Redskins pulled off a big upset against a formidable opponent to improve to 3-2. Graham Gano kicked a 33 yard field goal with 6:54 left in overtime to win the game. Here are a few key notes, plays, and reactions from the game:

  • Although they gave up 427 yards, the Redskins D held a very potent Packers offense to 13 points. They also forced two turnovers in the game, and have been playing extremely well and physical after giving up 30 points to the Rams.
  • Donovan McNabb threw for 357 yards, highlighted by a 48-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Armstrong.
  • Ryan Torain ran for 40 yards on 16 carries in his debut as the starting running back, taking place of the injured Clinton Portis.
  • Albert Haynesworth did not play due to the death of his half brother, who died in a motorcycle accident. He is expected to return to practice and play next Sunday.
  • This marks the fourth consecutive week that the Redskins have injured the other team’s best player. Andre Johnson, Steven Jackson, Michael Vick, and Aaron Rodgers have all been injured when facing the Redskins.

This was a big win for the Redskins. They could not afford to lose another game in overtime that they should have won. The Skins have won two straight games against tough opponents, and will need to be ready for another when they Peyton Manning and the Colts come to D.C. Sunday night on NBC.


Portis out 4-6 weeks


Portis has rushed for 195 yards and 2 touchdowns so far this season with the Redskins.
















By Ben Linton

For the second consecutive season, Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis will miss a significant amount of time due to an injury. Portis injured his groin Sunday in the Redskins win over the Eagles, which should keep him out for 4-6 weeks.

That leaves second-year man Ryan Torain as the Redskins feature back for the next couple weeks. Torain ran for 70 yards on 18 carries against Philadelphia, highlighted by an 12-yard run where he trucked Eagles safety Quentin Mikell on his way to the endzone. We aren’t sure about Torain’s durability, but he has potential and right now he’s all the Skins got.

Washington put themselves in a bind with this injury. With Larry Johnson and Willie Parker both released, Ladell Betts in New Orleans, and Marshawn Lynch now on the Seahawks, the Redskins are short at running back. The back up right now is Chad Simpson (who?) and Keiland Williams is on the practice squad. Expect the Redskins to pick up a running back, possibly bringing Johnson back as a third down option with Torain as the feature.

Mike Shanahan has been known to make stars out of ordinary backs, so let’s just hope that Torain becomes another Olandis Gary or Mike Anderson for a couple weeks. The Redskins definitely should make note of this and start looking at the best college running backs now, because Portis’s future is uncertain and we don’t know if Torain is the long-term answer. We may see someone new running the ball in D.C. next season.


Redskins Survive in McNabb’s Return

Donovan McNabb was all smiles after the Redskins beat the Eagles 17-12

By Ben Linton

If you had told me five years ago that Donovan McNabb would be playing at Lincoln Financial Field as a visiting quarterback, I probably would have believed you. But If you had told me he would be playing for the Redskins, I would have called you crazy. In one of the most bizarre trades in NFL history, Donovan McNabb, at age 33 and no signs of slowing down, landed in the laps of the Washington Redskins in the biggest story of the 2010 off-season.

Although McNabb always has a “one game at a time” attitude a “We not Me” mentality with the media (as any franchise quarterback should), I’m sure deep down that this game was circled on his calendar from the start. I’m sure he payed close attention when he saw Kevin Kolb get injured in Week One, then Michael Vick took his place even when he was back and healthy. I’m sure he remembers how the Eagles used their excuse of shipping him to Washington as a beginning of the Kevin Kolb era and starting in a new direction. But when Vick started weeks two and three in Detroit and Jacksonville, it seemed as if the Eagles wanted any quarterback not named Donovan McNabb to be their leader in 2010. Slap in the face to Donovan if you ask me.

But Philadelphia redeemed themselves somewhat when McNabb was applauded as he was announced on Sunday. He was the one who would get the last laugh in the end as Washington defeated Philadelphia 17-12. Finally, Donovan got to say what was on his mind:

“But I just want to say, definitely, this right here defines team, and this is something we can feed off of going into the rest of the season. We are No. 1 in the NFC East, and we are gonna stay up there. Everybody makes mistakes in [their] lifetime, and they made one last year! So … thank you.”

Whether McNabb wanted it to be or not, this game was about him. He deserved to say that Philadelphia made a mistake, and proved it by beating them yesterday. This was a defining moment in McNabb’s career and for that I congratulate him.


Redskins Stumble in St. Louis

By Ben Linton

The Washington Redskins simply got themselves into a hole that they could not climb out of. After 15 minutes of football, the Redskins found themselves trailing the St. Louis Rams 14-0. The Edwards Jones Dome was rocking, and a young Rams team had all the momentum and motivation they needed to sustain the lead they had assembled. Not the ideal way you want to start a game against a team that lost 14 straight at home and 27 of 28 overall (The one win? Washington). The Redskins were able to come back and take the lead at 16-14 early in the third quarter, but never scored again and could not get a Steven Jackson-less Rams offense off the field as the Rams cruised in the second half to win 30-16. The Redskins continue to be the gift that keeps on giving to terrible teams, they have lost to the worst teams in the NFL for two consecutive seasons. Here’s the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from a disappointing Week 3:


1. Although he had a critical fumble early in the game that put the Skins in a big hole, Santana Moss had a very productive day and is becoming Donovan McNabb’s favorite target. Moss caught six balls for 124 yards and a touchdown. If it counts for anything, Graham Gano was 3 for 3 on field goals.


1. The Redskins were 1 for 10 on third down and 0 for 3 in the red zone (field goals instead of touchdowns). You have to be able to capitalize when you get down inside the opponent’s 20 and win the critical matchups on third down. Washington wasn’t able to do either on Sunday.


1. I’m not sold on this 3-4 defensive scheme Washington has installed. They allowed an offense with 27 points total in their first two games against the Cardinals and Raiders to score 30 points and move the ball at will. The Rams had scoring drives of 17 plays for 77 yards, 12 plays for 74 yards, and 11 plays for 46 yards. The Redskins could simply not get a team without its best and only good player in Steven Jackson off the field.

This game was embarrassing to watch and reminds me a lot of the Lions game last season that broke the 19-game losing streak. There is something about a road game against a team full of NFL rejects and no-names led by a rookie quarterback that the Redskins just can’t handle. They are now 2-5 in the past three years against teams 0-2 or worse, a pathetic stat for a team that has a lot of talent. This loss truly hurts because the Redskins could have gained early ground on the Giants and Cowboys in the Division and kept pace with Philadelphia, who they travel face next weekend. With the way Philadelphia’s offense is playing and the way Washington is playing on defense, I find it hard to find a scenario where the Redskins can stop the Eagles. They will have to put up a heroic effort in order to avoid being 1-3 early in the 2010 season.


Redskins Release Larry Johnson

By Ben Linton

Larry Johnson’s short stint with the Washington Redskins has come to an end today, as the team announced that they released the veteran running back. In two games, Johnson accumulated two yards on five carries as a backup to Clinton Portis. His last rush as a Redskin came against the Texans, a 10-yard loss.

The running game has been a concern for Washington this far into the season, which only averages 53.5 yards per game, good for last in the league. Clinton Portis has scored two 1-yard touchdowns this season, but only has 96 yards on 31 carries (3.1 yard average.) Keiland Williams, a rookie out of LSU, has not had a carry so far this season. Ryan Torain is the other running back on the practice squad and gained 94 yards in preseason.

Another area of concern right now for Washington is the pass defense, where the Skins have allowed 745 yards in two games. Although Washington has faced two top-10 quarterbacks in Matt Schaub and Tony Romo, this unit will have to improve in order to have success in the future. This could help with the return of Safety Kareem Moore looming and the possibility of sticking DeAngelo Hall on each team’s top wide reciever. The Redskins have a great opportunity to fix their run offense and pass defense this week against a Rams team that ranks 30th in run defense and 23rd in pass offense.

Before you leave, check out this crucial Clinton Portis block on a Fred Davis 62-yard completion last Sunday.


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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August 2020