I'm going to Disneyland
Takeaway drill: All three phases of the game fail the Redskins, for the fifth straight week Washington faced a team with no wins, for the third time in 2009 a team got its first win against the Redskins; black clouds and black curtains, that is all I see.
Quick jump to
Monday Walkthrough: Intro
Carolina won the toss and elected to receive the ball to start the first quarter, the Panthers' first possession started with Albert Haynesworth penetrating through Panthers left guard Travelle Wharton, Kedric Golston takes down tailback DeAngelo Williams, there is a scrum and the Albert comes up with the ball, Redskins first possession starts off a turnover. This drive starts deep in Panthers territory and is only two plays as Jason Campbell hits Clinton Portis on a bootleg swing pass for a touchdown and the Redskins take a 7-0 lead. Carolina gets the ball for a second time and almost does not after Jonathan Stewart bobbled the kick as Devin Thomas came in for the hit, that's a three and out with heavy defensive pressure. Washington's second possession starts strong but ends at midfield when Jason Campbell is hit and fumbles. The Panthers third drive gets a big boost from a Steve Smith first down then stalls thanks to Chris Horton and game management bugaboos by the Panthers coaches and Carolina is punting. Washington's third possession finds itself in third and four before you know it, Ladell Betts bails the offense out, it matters not as Jason Campbell is sacked twice consecutively and the Redskins are punting. Carolina gets the ball for the fourth time, near midfield and moves the ball, a third down sack by Brian Orakpo was nullfied, giving the Panthers new life, then the quarter ended with the Redskins leading 7-0.
The Panthers continued their fourth possession into the second quarter, the Redskins play tough defense until third and eleven, Jake Delhomme hits Dante Rosario for first and goal,
WAS 4, CAR 5
Omnibus: for the second time this season the Redskins get Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick on the booth for FOX, given that the last game was against the Lions and this game is against the winless Panthers we can safely assume these guys are about the bottom of the barrel.
Uniform watch: the Redskins were in the standard road uniform of burgundy jerseys and white pants, most teams in the NFL prefer to wear colored jerseys at home which is good if you like to see the Redskins in the white jerseys, not the Panthers though.
Penalty shots: defensive end Brian Orapko, Panthers fourth drive, first quarter, lined up offsides, negated a sack that would have ended a Panthers drive and instead gave them fresh downs.
Randle El fair catch a palooza: zero fair catches on two punts.
Tales of O line decay: left tackle D'Anthony Batiste, first quarter versus Everette Brown, just humilated, led to Jason Campbell fumble; the whole line, first quarter, third possession, pocket collapsed like a paper hat on playaction, led to Jason Campbell sack; next play, left guard Derrick Dockery versus Damione Lewis, led to Julius Peppers sack of Jason Campbell.
Easy meat: Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme has turned the ball over nine times in three games, that is perfectly Jason Campbell circa 2006.
Solid start: defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth pouring through the line on the first play of the game, generating a turnover and giving Washington the ball from the get go, it looked at the time like the Washington defense was going to dictate the game.
Ruh-roh: left tackle Chris Samuels went down on the second play of the Redskins first possession, he left the game, he collided straight on with defensive end Tyler Brayton and just... sank to the ground, following the extra point the broadcast cut to a shot of Chris standing on the sidelines unassisted, but shaking his head.
WTF: Chris was replaced by D'Anthony Batiste, and after the Panthers three and outed we learned that former four hundred pound man Mike Williams was starting at right guard in place of Chad Rinehart, who was now inactive. So much for his progress and I guess so much for the competition with Will Montgomery, I guess even if Chad is not good to go at right guard coach Zorn would still rather keep Will in reserve at center? I am not sure this makes sense given that Mike Williams was the backup right tackle and Stephon Heyer is the backup left tackle, meaning there are two scenarios where Mike Williams gets in the game, an injury to Stephon or an injury to Chris Samuels. Now we have scenario two in effect but Mike is in at right guard and the former replacement starter is inactive. What the fuck is this team doing with the offensive line? It is in tatters and they are moving guys around seemingly at random.
WTF (cont'd): we see immediately IMMEDIATELY what happens when talent level drops so precipitously at the left tackle position. The Redskins were moving the ball on their second drive, after a second down incomplete Panthers defensive end Everette Brown JUST MAN KNOCKS D'Anthony out of the way on his trip to meet Jason Campbell, Jason fumbles. Great thinking guys, time for a new crop of guys and a new offensive line coach. Sorry Joe Bugel, all I get from you anymore is these guys are great, this guy is fine, I'm not worried, yada yada, SOMEONE NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE, THE REDSKINS OFFENSIVE LINE SUCKS BALLS.
Film study: on the Panthers third drive, first quarter, facing second and one in their territory Steve Smith lined up on right side, DeAngelo Hall gave a five yard cushion, at the snap Steve cut straight inside on a slant, DeAngelo hesitated, cocked in the wrong direction and gave Steve plenty of time to make an easy catch, then DeAngelo did not wrap Steve and needed Rocky McIntosh to bring Steve down. Nice work DH.
Rules clarification: after the play described above head coach Jim Zorn challenged the spot of the play, his argument was the initial hit by DeAngelo Hall should have resulted in the play ending, Steve Smith's knee was down, he spun around and kept running, the whistle did not blow and play continued for three yards until Rocky McIntosh took Steve down. Coach Zorn wanted to see the play moved back to the spot where Steve's knee was first down which I think is reasonable. The referees gave coach Zorn back his red flag and announced the play was not reviewable for forward progress because quote it did not have to do with a first down unquote. Which is technically untrue since it was second and one and Steve Smith went for thirteen yards and a first down so I guess what head referee Walt Coleman meant to say was it was not near a first down. In other news the spot of the play is only reviewable when a first down is in question. I think a bad spot is a bad spot and if a coach wants to use a challenge on a routine first quarter play then he should be able to. This was not a game management screw up by Jim Zorn, this is a stupid rule or a stupid interpretation of a loose rule. Brian Billick of course screwed up his opportunity to clarify for the viewers by making no sense.
At the end of this same drive, Panthers third, first quarter, safety Chris Horton made the critical third down stop of DeAngelo Williams a yard short of the first down, then the Panthers coaches helpfully botched the fourth down call going for it NO WAIT we're punting NO HOLD ON we're going for it SHIT delay of game. Game management fuck ups happen all the time, it is part of the game, they are only worthy of serious discussion when they appear in tandem with other problems, such as lack of talent, questionable preparation, absence of basic effort and poor playcalling as has been the case with the Redskins so um yeah.
Following this botched fourth down play, heading into the punt defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth took a knee on the field and had to be attended by trainers, the announcers avoided reference to his propensity for getting winded early, that seemed to me to be the case, to be fair Albert did go off the field on a cart two weeks ago against Detroit, unable to put any weight on his right foot, he was back in the game about fifteen minutes later. When the game came back from commercial Albert was out. I think Albert is a gasser.
Real quarterbacks don't need blockers: on consecutive plays in the Redskins third possession, first quarter, the offensive line fell apart like a two year old at Disney, the resulting two sacks moved the team from third and four to fourth and eleven and a punt. On the first play it was a jailbreak and the whole line was pushed back into a slow developing playaction pass. On the next play defensive tackle Damione Lewis pushed back then put a spin move on left guard Derrick Dockery, on the right side tackle Stephon Heyer did a decent job on defensive end Julius Peppers, the play simply called on Stephon to hold Julius off for too long, that sack is on Derrick Dockery, not Stephon Heyer.
Riverboat gambling is not a profession: on the Panthers fourth possession, first quarter, on a second and seventeen following a holding call against the Panthers, the Redskins called a corner blitz by Carlos Rogers, who happened to be lined up against legendary receiver Steve Smith. On snap Carlos ran in and Jake Delhomme simply tossed it to Steve in the open before Steve reached safety LaRon Landry's zone. I will not call this a bad coaching call per se, I would wonder though on second and seventeen if that is the time to blitz in the corner covering the opponent's best receiver, at that down and distance you want to contain and save the dagger for third down.
Silly mistakes: on the play following the failed corner blitz above, Brian Orakpo busts through left tackle Jordan Gross for a sack to end the Panthers drive then I eruh, wait what? Brian was lined up in the neutral zone and so was offsides when the ball was snapped? The sack would have meant a punt at that field position and instead gave Carolina new downs and they would hold the ball for another five minutes of game time.
I'm not the only one: during the Panthers fourth possession, second quarter, Thom Brennaman referred to DeAngelo Williams, lined up in the wildcat, as DeAngelo Hall. There are only two DeAngelos in the NFL and they are both playing in this game. Albert Haynesworth also returned to the game during this drive after sitting out eight plays.
On the third and eleven during the Panthers fourth drive, second quarter, Carolina receiver Dante Rosario made an inside move from the right side wideout, linebacker London Fletcher was in man coverage and could not keep up.
Fat Contract Albert:
More to come in this gamewrap, the pitiful Redskins will not ruin my Disney World vacation.
Washington Post recap, photos. Charlotte Observer recap, photos. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos, video highlights, it's ugly.
DeAngelo Hall failing to tackle Jake Delhomme: Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer from here (photo 54).