Monday, September 28, 2009

Funeral for a Friend

RIP 2009 Redskins, 31 July - 27 September

Takeaway drill: This must be rock bottom, a rookie quarterback made to look like a star, poor tackling, poor schemes, poor blocking, poor decisions, no semblance of discipline; lock it down for a long week in Washington.


Monday walkthrough: The Redskins team up and break the Lions nineteen game winless streak as they lose in Detroit 19-14 and fall to 1-2. This was as near a complete breakdown as you can get, the offense was ineffective, the defense seemed to be lost for most of the game and game management was weak, at one point it even looked like the offense was haggling over hand signals.

The Lions won the toss and elected to receive to start the first quarter, on Detroit's first possession Lions tailback Kevin Smith punched through the line on first down, only LaRon Landry saved a long run, two plays later on third and less than a yard Kevin Smith moves the chains, three plays later Fred Smoot hits Dennis Northcutt short of the first down and the Lions are punting, tack on a five yard false start and the Redskins are going to get decent field position. Washington starts its first drive with an Antwaan Randle El punt fair catch, center Casey Rabach's shotgun snap is high and Jason Campbell is sacked on the Redskins first play but the call is nullified by a facemask on defensive end Jason Hunter, the Redskins move fifteen yards before running a play, Jason Campbell hits Santana Moss on the first actual play, Santana will need to be active today, Devin Thomas, back to Santana Moss, a pass to Malcolm Kelly gets the Redskins into the dread red zone, the team kills its own momentum with a timeout, on third down Clinton Portis cannot get into the end zone on a crossing route, the Redskins however catch the Lions napping and line up to go for it, Detroit is forced to call a timeout, Washington comes back in a three timeout lineup, Clinton Portis cannot get in from the one yard line and the Redskins turn the ball over on downs. Detroit's second possession starts inside their one yard line, defensive end Kedric Golston helps the Lions with an encroachment penalty, then Albert Haynesworth with an offsides penalty, the Lions are able to run the ball against Washington at this point, on third and ten Matthew Stafford connects with Dennis Northcutt for a first down, now the Lions are at midfield, despite Detroit's ability to move the ball in short increments, the Lions stall on a third and thirteen at the Redskins 42, quarterback Matthew Stafford tucks and runs when no receivers were open, he goes 22 yards for a first down and now the Lions are one yard outside the Washington red zone, on the next play Matthew Stafford goes up top to receiver Bryant Johnson who times his jump over Carlos Rogers and the Lions strike first, 7-0 Detroit. Washington's second possession starts with Clinton Portis going nowhere then a great pass to tight end Fred Davis for a first down and that ends the first quarter with the Lions leading 7-0. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post Washington Times Official Redskins Blog]

The Redskins continued their second possession into the second quarter, Jason Campbell felt pressure on a weird blocking scheme and was hit as he threw it into triple coverage and the ball is almost intercepted, Lions cornerback Anthony Henry jumps the pass route to Mike Sellers on the next play, almost intercepting the pass, now it is third down, Chad Rinehart lets defensive end Bryan Copeland through unblocked, Santana Moss catches the hurried throw but is one yard short, this time the team does the wise thing and punts the ball. Detroit's third possession begins on their own five yard line which is not a problem for Kevin Smith as he busts through the line for twenty yards and a first down, on third and two a pitch out to Smith goes for another fifteen, throw in a penalty on Fred Smoot and the Lions are at midfield, two plays later on third and seven Matthew Stafford finds Bryant Johnson short of the first down marker, Bryant eludes Chris Horton and London Fletcher overpursues and it is a thirty yard gain into the Redskins red zone, Detroit mercifully calls a timeout doing what the Redskins have been unable to do and that is stop the Lions offense, after the timeout it is third and five and Albert Haynesworth bulls through the Detroit line for a sack, Albert cannot get up and the broadcast has to go to commercial while the trainers attend to him, when the broadcast returns Albert is standing with assistance and cannot put any weight on his right foot, he is carted off the field, Jason Hanson comes in for a 39 yard field goal and the Lions stretch their lead to 10-0 Detroit. The Redskins get the ball for the third time and starts with a playaction short incomplete into double coverage to Devin Thomas, on second down the give is to Clinton Portis who is hit for a three yard loss, Chris Cooley makes a great catch on third and thirteen but only makes it twelve yards and the Redskins are punting. The Lions get the ball for the fourth time, the third straight possession inside their own ten yard line, a false start moves them back to the three, the Redskins run defense shows up and its third down and five but Calvin Johnson comes up with a big catch over the middle and downs reset, the Redskins lose their ability to tackle and it is the two minute warning with the Lions at the Detroit 43, another good run stop by Reed Doughty, Lions receiver Bryant Johnson takes a good route inside DeAngelo Hall and the Lions are moving into field goal range, two plays later Reed Doughty makes a great play to keep the Lions runner in bounds, Fred Smoot makes a good play in the end zone to block a score, now rookie Brian Orakpo is down on one knee and limping slowly off the field, Matthew Stafford spikes the ball with 20 seconds left in the half, with two seconds left they spike the ball and in comes Jason Hanson for a 26 yard field goal that sails through as time expires and the Lions go into the half leading 13-0. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post Washington Times Official Redskins Blog]

Washington gets the ball to start the third quarter, the Redskins fourth possession, a Malcolm Kelly penalty forces them into first and fifteen, Clinton Portis runs thirteen yards, tripling Washington's total rushing tally for the day, a first down to Santana, on the next play as if waking from a bad dream Jason Campbell tosses a touch pass down the right sideline to Santana, he takes it 37 yards for a 53 yard touchdown, Redskins pull the game to 13-7 Detroit. The Lions get the ball for the fifth time, they have much better field position and the Redskins do no tgive up yards so easily, on second down and six at midfield Matthew Stafford opens up with a 58 yard playaction pass to Calvin Johnson, sadly for Detroit Calvin pushed off LaRon Landry and the play is called back, the Lions cannot make up the yards and punt for the second time. Washington's fifth possession starts at their twelve yard line after an Antwaan Randle El fair catch, Jason Campbell is chased out of the pocket on first down and throws off balance to Santana Moss for the first down, then Chris Cooley catches another first down, two runs and it is third and five at midfield, defensive back Ko Simpson jumps a short route to Santana and intercepts the ball, Lions ball for the sixth time, at midfield. Again the Redskins run defense wakes up, it is third down and six, Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo meet at the quarterback for an eight yard sack and the Lions are punting. The Redskins sixth possession starts with Antwaan Randle El not fair catching, Clinton Portis runs hard twice in a row to move the chains, on second down and ten Jason Campbell cocks to throw and the ball comes out, he covers it but the Redskins lose eight yards, an offsides penalty makes it a third and thirteen, Jason breaks the pocket and tosses it too hot for Santana Moss and the Redskins are punting. Detroit gets the ball for the seventh time, Calvin Johnson on second and five puts a move on Carlos Rogers for a first down, on third and five the Redskins put god pressure on Matthew Stafford, he completes the pass near the first down marker but Chris Horton is there to stop him and the Lions are punting from midfield, Detroit could not capitalize on the turnover. The Redskins seventh drive starts with twelve seconds left in the third quarter, Clinton Portis runs for one yard and that is the end of the third, Lions lead 13-7. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post Washington Times Official Redskins Blog]

The Redskins continue their seventh possession into the fourth quarter, second and nine, Jason Campbell's pass is in the dirt, Jason makes the best of a busted play on third down with a 23 yard scramble for a first down, Clinton Portis goes over right guard for fourteen, a penalty negates a first down pass to Devin Thomas, first and twenty, a Lions encroachment penalty gave back five yards, Jason aired it out long for Malcolm Kelly into double coverage, it was long, then the Redskins waited too long and delayed the play, from second and fifteen back to second and twenty, incomplete to Antwaan Randle El, then a seven yard dumpoff to Ladell Betts and the Redskins are punting. The Lions get the ball for the eighth time, a fumble by Maurice Morris may have botched a flea flicker on first down, two rookie grade incompletes and the Lions are punting. Washington's eighth possession starts with good field position at midfield, short completion to Mike Sellers, run for no gain to Clinton Portis, a facemask no call on a Santana Moss catch leaves the Redskins short, the Redskins are punting. Detroit's ninth drive starts on their fifteen yard line, Kedric Golston wraps up Matthew Stafford somehow Matthew's toss is not intentional grounding, it is third and one after a reverse to Calvin Johnson, Stafford completes a short pass to Calvin for the first down, less than eight minutes to go, another first down to Calvin, three plays later Matthew Stafford rolls right and throws long to Bryant Johnson at the goal line, safety Chris Horton turns at the last second to defend the ball but is called for pass interference at the one yard line, London Fletcher stops Maurice Morris on first down, on the next play Morris goes in on a pitch play, the two point conversion fails and the Lions lead 19-7. The Redskins get the ball for the ninth time, desperation and soft defense are in play, Santana rings up a first down, then Ladell Betts fails to get out of bounds, to Betts again for another first down, Antwaan Randle El catches one for a first down but it is called incomplete, Washington challenges and the play is overturned, two plays later Antwaan rings up another first down, Jason Campbell scrambles out of pressure on the next play for a four yard pass to Rock Cartwright to move the Redskins to 19-14 Lions. The Lions get the ball for the tenth time, the Redskins do not attempt an onsides kick, the Lions run on first down, the Redskins call the first of their three timeouts, on second down Matthew Stafford finds tight end Will Heller for a first down, that hurts, Redskins call a timeout, then another after a run for no game, still seventeen seconds until the two minute warning, a quarterback roll and run is unsuccessful and the Lions are punting. The Redskins get the ball for the tenth and final time, first down the center of the field to Chris Cooley for a first down, then to Ladell Betts who manages to get out of bounds, then to Santana Moss, that is three completions in a row, too high for Cooley, incomplete and now nine seconds left in the game, Redskins fourth down at the Lions 36, after a Detroit timeout a completion with two pitches and game over, Lions win 19-14, the Redskins have broken Detroit's nineteen game losing streak. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post Washington Times Official Redskins Blog]


Soapbox: It's bad.

The Redskins were completely unprepared, the gameplans were inadequate, there is simply no question that talent alone cannot win the day in the NFL, your players have to execute in order to leverage that talent.

On offense the run blocking was worse than ever, the Redskins had zero rushing yards in the first half and only ran the ball five times, this is not how to use Clinton Portis. The pass blocking was exploited to allow the maximum pressure on the quarterback. The Redskins were two of ten on third down and did not convert their first until the fourth quarter, and that was a busted pass play converted on a quarterback scramble. The 0-19 Lions held the ball for thirteen minutes longer than the Redskins.

The defense let the team down, allowing the Lions drives of 99, 95 and 97 yards to score. Detroit rolled up 381 yards, more than every opponent but one last season (op. cit.), so much for the defensive upgrades. Poor tackling, overpursuit and a lack of focus allowed the 0-19 Lions to set the tone, 154 yards rushing for Detroit. Matthew Stafford must have been stewing these first two weeks watching Mark Sanchez lead the Jets to 2-0, today Matthew looked like a quarterback in control, the defense repeatedly allowed him do overs for his rookie overthrows, no serious pressure on the quarterback.

The fourth down attempt to go for it in on the Redskins first drive was not bold, it was silly, you take the points. Jason Campbell appeared to screw up basic hand signals when given control of the offense at the end of the game, unfortunately this will reinforce the notion that Jason cannot handle the additional responsibility, coach Zorn was seen on the sidelines dismissing Jason after that gaffe.

This team is currently projecting an inability to prepare for an NFL game.

Mark my words, Redskins fans and media will continue to beat on the players for a couple more weeks, once all the meat is flayed off that bone the long story for this season will be mismanagement at the executive level, an owner surrounded by sycophants and yes men that long ago stewarded the ship to the bottom. What idiot really thinks Mike Shanahan or Bill Cowher would come into this situation as it exists?

As they used to say on The Sopranos, someone's gotta go.


Chattering class: Hall of Fame Redskins running back John Riggins, in a postgame tweet, blames everything on the owner (op. cit.):

There are team specific issues for sure and some individual issues for sure but the owner ultimately is a loser and you can't fix that.

Rich Tandler at Real Redskins sees talent and physical toughness in the Redskins... that is overshadowed by mental softness. The team let itself down again and again in this game.

Barry Svrluga has the front page A1 duties again at the Washington Post this week, a piece sandwiched between the story of Chinese Uighur brothers that would rather remain in Guantanamo Bay than be separated, and a report on Iran's defiant and outrage sparking tests of short range missiles on the eve of international talks.

The Washington Post's Tom Boswell pens another tough to swallow column, this loss was the culmination of years of overestimating the team's talent, of measuring with the wrong stick. Tom uses coach Zorn's two serious game management gaffes, both in the first quarter, the fourth and goal fail and the accepting of the Lions penalty to give them a shot at third and thirteen, which they converted on their way to a 99 yard scoring drive, to wonder if coach Zorn's career obsession with the minutiae of the quarterback position has left him unable to see the bigger picture.

Also at the Washington Post, Mike Wise calls the game a complete debacle, the season has already totally melted down. Best verbiage award to Mike this week, he called this game a quote dumpster fire unquote, an apt metaphor, it will burn, stink and create a hassle but nothing valuable is in danger of loss. The most valuable nugget from this piece though is Mike's assessment from an anonymous player that eighty percent of the locker room with with coach Zorn while twenty percent has serious concerns about his ability to do this job.

John Feinstein, columnifying for the Washington Post as well, echoes the coming conventional wisdom: we can blame the performance on coach Zorn and the players but the real problem is upstairs; owner Dan Snyder and shadow general manager Vinny Cerrato have mismanaged this organization and ignored critical needs to the point where the team is structurally incapable of being competitive. Bonus points for the Marty Schottenheimer reference.

Rick Snider at the Washington Examiner goes straight to the point: time to get rid of Jim Zorn, Greg Blache and Vinny Cerrato, and hire Russ Grimm as the new head coach, something we all know is not going to happen.

Dan Daly at the Washington Times writes that the Redskins are down with the dregs of the leagues, and maybe the team needs to listen to the fans, we have some pretty smart football fans in this town.

Ryan O'Halloran also at the Washington Times boils it down: Jim Zorn will not be fired, and gives three good reasons why, and none of them have anything to do with turning the thing around.

And this gamewrap marks the first time I have ever linked to official Redskins media in the Chattering Class section, I cannot resist this nugget from team writer Larry Weisman:

Pick a flaw, any flaw. There it was. A four-man rush that couldn’t rush Matthew Stafford. A running game that couldn’t run at all (no yards net in the first half). No intensity, no fire, no purpose. Too much time spent on the mellow brick road.


Omnibus: This game was not a sellout in Detroit, the game was blacked out in the local market.

Broadcasters: Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick, not a huge fan of this team, mainly because I think Brian is a bit of a blowhard but he was not all that bad.

Uniform watch: the Redskins are on the road but wearing the satisfying preferred home uniform of white jersey and burgundy pants.

Antwaan Randle El punt fair catch count: four of five.

Penalty honor roll: Stephon Heyer, false start; Kedric Golston, encroachment that moved the ball from the Lions one to the six giving Detroit breathing room; Albert Haynesworth, offsides giving the Lions a first down early on their second drive, those previous two penalties helped Detroit get down the field and score; Fred Smoot, illegal downfield contact on the Lions third drive; in the second half Malcolm Kelly with an illegal motion, setting the Redskins back to first and fifteen to start the second half; Rock Cartwright, illegal block in the back after the punt on the Lions sixth possession, that cost the Redskins nine yards and put their sixth possession starting on Washington's nine yard line; Casey Rabach, holding in the seventh drive, that negated a first down catch by Devin Thomas; the entire offense for a delay of game penalty in the seventh drive.

Red zone-o-meter: two total trips; first trip, pass, run, timeout, pass, line up to go for it on fourth down, force Lions to call timeout, come back in three tight end lineup and run left from one yard, do not get, turn over on downs. Second trip, pass, pass, pass, score, that was at the end of the game.

I do not want to read too much into this game at the beginning, the initial camera pan across the sideline showed head coach Jim Zorn with a serious and possibly nervous look on his face, quarterback Jason Campbell sitting on a bench drinking Gatorade with a please no one come over and talk to me look on his face and tailback Ladell Betts staring off into the distance, I hope this is gameface stuff and not lack of confidence stuff.

Reed Doughty hustled down the field for the opening kickoff tackle, continuing a great comeback season, Reed also had a great run coverage tackle behind the line on the Lions fourth possession, second quarter, and another great run stop three plays later, three plays later Reed keeps the runner in bounds as second tick off the first half, Reed looks great today.

We learned early in the broadcast that Jason Campbell's career completion percentage is sixty percent, this season though Jason is completing 69 percent of his passes.

Welcome Devin Thomas to your second season, on the Redskins first drive Devin caught his first pass of the season.

The game management bug was out early, Jason Campbell was forced to call a timeout in the Redskins first drive.

Jim Zorn was clearly trying to set a tone by going for it on fourth down from the one yard line on the Redskins first drive, unfortunately not getting has the effect of making coach Zorn look less competent, not more. He gave up three points and we shall see where that plays in the final differential.

Quick take on the Redskins run defense midway through the first quarter, Detroit seems to have no problem getting at least four yards per run, that will keep the chains moving and force rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford to do less, which is good for the Lions.

With few exceptions in the first quarter, notably the pass play broken up by Chris Horton, the Redskins managed zero pressure on the Lions at the line, Detroit was able to run and pass short while taking enough shots downfield to keep the defense honest.

During the Lions second drive, first quarter, on the third and thirteen play in Redskins territory the Washington defense managed to get good pressure on the quarterback, he had no good options and just stepped up and ran past Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo through a broken pocket. The defensive problem with that play was Brian, coming from the offense's left got chip blocked into the middle of the line, that opened the hole for the quarterback to run through, there were no defensive backs or linebackers covering shallow zones and so Matthew was able to run 22 yards for a first down and more. Brian has to learn to stay home and not let himself get bounced out of position, if he cannot penetrate the line he needs to hold it and look to make a play.

Remember that look of possible uncertainty, possible nervousness, possible deep thought I saw on Jim Zorn's face at the top of the broadcast? They keep showing him on the sideline, he still has it and it is looking more and more like an I am not sure I know what I am doing look. I hope I am wrong.

Yeah that was a 99 yard drive to touchdown on the Lions second possession, soft defense, a rookie out of position and two penalties by the Redskins get the assists.

On the Redskins second possession, final play of the first quarter, a good looking pass to second year tight end Fred Davis, Fred took contact at the first down marker and was not brought down easily, that kind of catch and contact makes you hope for his development, that is not the kind of contact Chris Cooley can withstand, Chris is more of a runner and less of a hitter.

Blocking scheme fail or defensive stunt win? Continuing that possession, on the first play of the second quarter there was a strange blocking scheme, it looked like left tackle Chris Samuels blocked straight ahead and replacement right guard Chad Rinehart pulled and ran left, picking up Detroit defensive end Dewayne White, who would normally have to come through Chris Samuels. Chad was not able to engage well, Jason Campbell had to step up to avoid pressure on the right from defensive end Jason Hunter who was engaged by tight end Chris Cooley and fullback Mike Sellers, meanwhile right tackle Stephon Heyer had no one to block on this play. As a result Dewayne hit Jason's arm as he threw, Jason tossed a dead duck that should have been intercepted.

Whiff! To end that same drive, the Redskins second, Chad Rinehart was turned around by Detroit defensive end Bryan Copeland lined up in the interior, not a good play for Chad and that is two on this drive.

Ten minutes thirty seconds left in the first half and the Redskins have three rushing yards. Through a quarter and a half the Washington defense looks lost and perpetually behind the play, they are making Detroit look good and since that does not compute the Redskins defense must be having a bad day.

Albert Haynesworth took down Matthew Stafford on third and five with the Lions in the Washington red zone on Detroit's third possession, second quarter and did not get up, he was carted off the field with a right hip injury, as the cart left the field he had a towel over his head and was covering his face as if to say, shit it's bad and I know it, as Mark Newgent tweeted on the matter today, "I just saw $41 million carted off the field." Talk about a shitty time for another serious Redskins injury. No idea how this will affect him or the team going forward.

To go with that 99 yard second Detroit possession, add a 95 yard drive for a field goal. Some defense.

As broadcaster Thom Brennaman pointed out, and note he is the play by play guy not the color guy, two possessions in a row, the Redskins second and third, ended on third and long with receiving routes coming up short of the first down marker, I know there need to be routes in all places and guys can always catch it short and quote try and make something happen unquote, I think you can call Jason Campbell's decision to throw to those receivers in question subject to coverage, I think you blame running routes short of the chains on Jim Zorn. The dogpile is beginning.

Whiff! Rookie Brian Orakpo badly missed a tackle on the Lions fourth possession, second quarter, after a great tackle by Reed Doughty on the next play, London Fletcher exhibits poor tackling on a short pass, allowing another Detroit first down.

Adding injury to insult: with 36 seconds left in the half Brian Orakpo is hurt and limps off the field, because the Redskins stopped play due to injury inside two minutes of the half Washington is charged a timeout, their last of the half.

Add to the 99 and 95 yard drives a 97 yard drive for a field goal and the Redskins defense is making previously struggling rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford look realllly good.

Redskins: no points at halftime against a team that had not won a game since December 2007, a streak of nineteen games.

Michael Strahan on the FOX halftime team really trashed the Redskins for letting the Lions dominate, he said and I quote, the Redskins have quit.

The Redskins offense seemed to wake up to start the second half, I wonder what was said in the locker room at halftime.

To start the half the broadcast team said Albert Haynesworth went out with a hip injury and was doubtful to return, then showed him limping back to the Redskins sideline, then as the Lions were punting their fifth possession Albert came off the field, he was back in the game, Brian Billick questioned whether it was a good idea to put him back in.

Are the Redskins playing a lot of three safety sets? I see Reed Doughty, LaRon Landry and Chris Horton all on the field at the same time.

Effort wasted: Jason Campbell's interception in the Redskins fifth drive, third quarter was the result of pressure from the outside linebacker on Jason's right, neither Santana Moss nor Antwaan Randle El stayed home to block for Jason, both went out on routes, Ladell Betts stayed home to block but he was on Jason's left and was immediately engaged by a blitzing linebacker that ran in the hole between Derrick Dockery and Casey Rabach, even if not engaging a player Ladell had no chance to make a play, Ko Simpson read the hot route and jumped it, also a bit of lackadaisical route awareness by Santana, he did not appear to try and stretch for the catch.

Something is up with the Redskins defense, the Lions mostly had their way with the Redskins, the Washington players just seemed to be flying around, always behind the play.

London Fletcher went out of the game during the Lions seventh possession, third quarter, he was replaced by HB Blades, no word yet on what it is.

Jason Campbell's busted play scramble in the Redskins seventh possession, fourth quarter was Washington's first third down conversion of the game. On the next play Clinton Portis ran for fourteen through Chad Rinehart so there is that for film study.

Inside baseball: also on the Redskins seventh possession, one play after Casey Rabach's hold negated a first down, he tricked the Lions defense into encroachment with a head fake, they stampeded and he was standing there after the penalty call with the ball, never snapped, with this look like, hey I never started the play! One play after that Jason Campbell went long for Malcolm Kelly, it was incomplete, Brian Billick referred to Malcolm as Kelly Malcolm. Got news for Malcolm, you need to make some more plays before announcers reflexively get your name right.

The play after that was not a play, the Redskins took long to get the play going and incurred a delay of game, the camera cut to Jim Zorn immediately in time to see him looking, no doubt right at Jason Campbell, mouthing the words, what the hell are you doing. At this point it is falling apart.

The non call on the facemask penalty by cornerback William James on Santana Moss was total bullshit, he grabbed and pulled.

The Chris Horton pass interference in the Lions ninth drive, fourth quarter, was pretty questionable, Chris waited until the last minute to turn for the ball, but when he did he was all ball, he fell into the receiver making a play on the ball. In all I would say it was close enough to have gone either way and it was not a surprising hometown call. Unfortunately though it was followed immediately by...

Jim Zorn's not pretty moment: the cameras caught coach Zorn freaking out over the call, the camera caught him mouthing the words, he played the ball all the way, then started jumping up and down, waving his arms and shrieking, we could not decipher the latter outburst, it was like the real housewife of Malibu shrieking when the valet dinged her convertible. It was not dignified.

Antwaan Randle El's catch in the Redskins ninth drive, fourth quarter, was correctly overturned as an incomplete, Antwaan toe tapped both feet inbounds and kept the Redskins futility going.

Brian Billick, I get it, enough with the I got fined 75 thousand dollars as a coach, we get it.

Did Jason Campbell screw up a hurry up play at the end of the game? As the Redskins were driving for the ninth time announcer Brian Billick said the plays on this drive were being called by Jason Campbell as part of a two minute drill, on the touchdown pass to Rock Cartwright Jason flashed an index and pinkie hand signal down the line, basically a sideways Texas longhorn, the play seemed to develop the wrong way but Jason found Rock for the touchdown. After that play the camera caught Jason talking on the sideline with who I would guess is offensive coordinator Sherman Smith, discussing hand signals, Santana Moss and Antwaan Randle El came over and flashed not the longhorns but rather a V, the index and middle finger, appearing to insist that whatever Jason called they ran a different play with a different signal. As Jason departs that scene and walks in front of coach Zorn, Zorn is dismissive, clearly unhappy with Jason, there are words exchanged. Antwaan follows Jason as he passes the coach, still giving Jason the two fingers sign, not the longhorns. There was clearly some miscommunication on that play and from the body language it would appear to have been Jason's fault.

Adding insult to injury as Mad Mike pointed out on ExtremeSkins, in that tenth and final Redskins possession, Jason Campbell had Malcolm Kelly wide open down the right side on third and ten from the Detroit 36, Jason could not find him and wound up nearly throwing an interception. This will be fodder for those that think Jason does not have good field vision.

Tony Almeida pointed out the Redskins game was the longest of FOX's early games today, therefore everyone else got to tune in at the end as the network switched coverage over when the shorter games ended.


Shooter: Statistically quarterback Jason Campbell had a good game, 27 of 41 for 340 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, in reality Jason had maybe 250 yards of quality passing, the rest came at the end of the game when the Lions were trying to preserve a lead, 178 of those yards went to Santana Moss who finally had a good day (op. cit.). Jason's interception was the result of quarterback pressure and the cornerback reading a hot route. And as indicated at the end of the Omnibus section directly above, it looks as though Jason may have screwed up a hand signal right before the touchdown pass to Rock Cartwright, if this is the case expect to hear plenty of chatter this week about how this proves Jason cannot run the offense and that is why Jim Zorn cannot trust him with it. I am not quite there yet but I am getting closer, I still believe in Jason, a great game from him one of these days would really help my argument in this regard.

Fat Contract Albert: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth sacked Lions rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford in the second quarter and did not get up, he hurt his hip and was eventually carted off the field covering his face with a towel. To start the third quarter the broadcast team announced Albert had a hip injury and was doubtful to return, just a couple minutes later he was back in the game. As far as I could tell he played the rest of the game and his name did not come up again, later we heard he stayed in but was not one hundred percent (ibid.).

OH CRAPPO: Rookie hybrid defensive endbacker Brian Orakpo was visible for a mistake, in the first quarter Brian was chipped outside on a block, by not staying home he created a hole for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford to scramble through. Brian was also hurt at one point, the timing of his injury forced the Redskins to call their final timeout of the half. He also had a great sack to kill the Detroit drive that resulted from the Jason Campbell interception, thus negating that turnover.


Washington Post recap, photos. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos, video highlights.

Other recaps: Mark Newgent at Redskins Examiner, post game and day after reaction and links.

Next up, the Tampa Bay comes to play at Redskins stadium, the Buccaneers are 0-3 but I do not think the sky is falling in Florida, 33 year old rookie head coach Raheem Morris has his own problems right now.

Jim Zorn: Carlos Osorio / AP photo from here. Raheem Morris: AP photo from here.