Done in by a Big Johnson
The Redskins lost tonight, 19-16. It was the sixth time in six tries Joe Gibbs has lost a Monday Night season opener. Special thanks to Joe Theismann for taking the 0-5 stat and reminding us that he was the QB for one of them, in 1985, when he threw 5 interceptions.
Game Stats. Team stats. Play by play.
Chester Tayor was more impressive than I expected. The Vikings offensive played really well. Brad Johnson was huge on third down. His scoring cry after throwing that pass to over Carlos Rogers to Marcus Robinson was more emotion than we ever saw when Brad was in Washington. Did I mention that he was run out of town for Jeff George? And that we got stuck with Tony Banks after that? I love Marty Schottenheimer, but fuck you very much on that series of events.
The Redskins never got any pressure on the passer. I think there were one or two times they got through to Brad, but never sacked him. (Cagey veteran) + (good O-line play) = ideal circumstance.
Key stat: Vikings were 9-17 on third down. I'm betting the Vikings needed 5 yards or more on 6 of them.
Offensively, the Redskins ran the same 5 plays like 10 times each. Al, we need to get past page 11 of the 700-page playbook. Enough with the receiver screen to Moss. How about we save that one for November?
Redskins ran for 4.1 yards a carry, but Ladell wheezed 2.75 yards per carry, and Clinton only hit 3.9. The rest comes from trickery. Mark Brunell was 17-for-28, a solid 60%, but only for 163 yards, or under 10 yards per completion. Take out one attempt and 37 yards on the back-from-out-of-bounds-but-legal-because-of-illegal-contact catch by Santana, and you're left with less than 8 yards per completion. That's Rypien-like, circa 1993.
Penalties. Adam Archuleta hits Chester Taylor 6 yards behind the line of scrimmage but grabs Taylor's facemask. And Sean Taylor. After rewarding the 260-lb Jermaine Wiggins' hurdle with a cinder block to the face in the 2nd quarter, and his and Little Sean's special teams blocks for Randle El, all he did for the Redskins was move a step closer to becoming a marked man. Hey Sean, Mark Carrier is just up the road coaching in Baltimore. You should give him a call and ask why he really retired. It wasn't because he lost a step. It was because he could not get near a hard hit without drawing a penalty and/or fine or suspension for helmet-to-helmet. The out of bounds late hit on Marcus Robinson was a bogus call, but then you come back and jerk Troy Williamson to the ground neckfirst. If Coach wants to talk about this one tomorrow, please take his call.
A great win for the Vikings. They deserved it. Redskins move on to Dallas next week, where someone is coming out of Texas Stadium 0-2. Daily Norseman called 20-17 and Ragnarok called 17-10, both close to the final score. Maybe these guys know their team. I'll link up to their postgames, as well as Hog Haven's tomorrow. I'm just pissed the Eagles are already in front.
A geeked-up Brad Johnson: Jeff Wheeler / Star-Tribune