Monday, October 05, 2009

Someone Set Up Us the Bomb

All your deep threat are belong to him

Takeaway drill: A magic ability to make bad teams look good, the game management problems did not go away even if the execution improved... in the second half... after spotting the opponent ten points; Jason Campbell has a career bad day and still keeps his wits about him.

Quick jump to
Walkthrough :: Soapbox :: Chattering class :: Omnibus Spotlights :: Recaps & Stats

Monday walkthrough: A tale of two halves as the Redskins pull out another win, barely, over another previously hapless opponent as they beat the Buccaneers 16-13 to move to 2-2, despite a great second half rally and some terrific individual performances this is not the type of win that will inspire much confidence with a schedule that starts to get much harder in three weeks.

The Redskins won the toss and elected to receive to start the first quarter, Washington's first possession starts with Clintion Portis up the middle for four then Jason Campbell is sacked by defensive end Gaines Adams, on third and long defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson sacks Jason again, this time he coughs up the ball, Gaines Adams recovers for the Buccaneers and Tampa Bay's first possession starts with first and goal. Two plays later, with less than two minutes off the clock Josh Johnson connects with Antonio Bryant for an eight yard touchdown catch and it is 7-0 Buccaneers. The Redskins got the ball for the second time, a terrible series ending with a Jason Campbell tipped pass, three and out with less than one minute off the clock. Tampa Bay's second drive starts with Cadillac Williams up the middle for fifteen yards, a hold on that play pushes the Buccaneers back and they are punting. Washington's third possession starts with poor field position thanks to Antwaan Randle El's punt reception at the Washington five yard line, the Redskins fight hard for a first down, on second and eleven on the Washington fifteen Jason Campbell threw a backwards pass to Clinton Portis, Clinton could not hang on and it bounced out of bounds, the result was a loss of two yards, the Redskins cannot recover and kicker Shaun Suisham comes out to punt in place of regular punter Hunter the Punter Smith. The Buccaneers get the ball for the third time with great field position, they do not move well and attempt a 49 yard field goal, the ball bounces off the right upright with a satisfying thunk and it is Washington ball for the fourth time. The Redskins take over near midfield and get it started with a good looking seventeen yard pass to Chris Cooley, two runs later it is third down, Jason Campbell throws behind Antwaan Randle El and it is nearly picked off, Washington goes for it on fourth down, Jason stares down Malcolm Kelly and Aqib Talib waits for it and pulls in the interception, Tampa Bay ball for the fourth time. Cadillac Williams runs once and the Buccaneers commit their third penalty of the game as the quarter ends with Tampa Bay leading 7-0. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post]

The Buccaneers continue their fourth drive into the second quarter, Reed Doughty makes another good play then a sack by cornerback Justin Tryon and Tampa Bay is three and out. Washington's fifth possession moves twenty yards to midfield on good Clinton Portis running, an eight yard dash by Marcus Mason and an excellent over the middle seam splitter to Santana Moss, after a timeout that head coach Jim Zorn was not too happy about Jason Campbell goes long down the sideline to Malcolm Kelly, for the second consecutive drive Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib reads the route and intercepts the pass, that is three total turnovers by Jason Campbell. The Buccaneers start their fifth drive in good field position, after one long pass play the Buccaneers stall, Mike Mugent misses a 48 yard field goal and the Redskins take over at their own 40. Washington's sixth drive starts with a great Clinton Portis run nullified by a penalty, Ladell Betts saves that third down, three plays later Jason Campbell hits the field judge with a pass over the middle, it is nearly picked off, on the next play there are no open options and Jason Campbell is sacked, out of field goal range, Shaun Suisham is punting and the Redskins are still scoreless through six drives and 25 minutes of gameplay. Tampa Bay got the ball for the sixth time, a long drive marked by not a lot of pressure on the quarterback and an almost interception by Carlos Rogers, Brian Orakpo finally gets to Josh Johnson and the Buccaneers kick a 37 yard field goal as time expires in the half, 10-0 Tampa Bay. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post]

Tampa Bay got the ball to start the third quarter, their seventh possession, the Buccaneers cannot move the ball and on third down DeAngelo Hall reads the quarterback, fades back and pulls down the interception, returns it 22 yards into Tampa Bay territory. Washington's ball for the seventh time, a hard fought drive that stalls after twenty yards, Shaun Suisham comes in and kicks a good looking 42 yard field goal to bring the Redskins to 10-3 Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers get the ball for the eighth time, a penalty pins them back inside their own twenty, Washington's defense begins to come alive and Tampa Bay is three and out. The Redskins get the ball for the eighth time, after five plays it is fourth and two, coach Zorn elects to go for it, a playaction rollout and Jason Campbell finds Chris Cooley for the first down and the whole city exhales, four plays later Jason Campbell finds Chris Cooley for the third time on this drive for a touchdown, the extra point is blocked and the Redskins pull to within one point, 10-9 Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers get the ball for the ninth time, on third and three Josh Johnson gets loose outside the pocket and cannot find a receiver, London Fletcher eventually pulls him down for the sacks and Tampa Bay is punting. Santana Moss fields his first punt of the game and the Redskins get going for their ninth possession, it is only one play as Jason Campbell hooks up with Santana for 59 yards and a touchdown, Redskins take the lead 16-10. Tampa Bay gets the ball for the tenth time and the quarter expires in two plays, Redskins lead 16-10. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post]

The Buccaneers continue their tenth possession on third down to start the fourth quarter, rookie defensive end almost squashes Josh Johnson and the Buccaneers are punting, their third consecutive three and out. The Redskins get the ball for the tenth time, AND SOMETHING IS WRONG, I SEE CLINTON PORTIS RUNNING THE BALL EFFECTIVELY, after three straight runs on second and nine Jason Campbell pump fakes and goes deep to Santana Moss, Aqib Talib pulls an Aqib Talib and reads the route, times the pass and intercepts it for his third (third!) interception of the game, it is Tampa Bay call for the eleventh time. Four straight passes then six straight runs and Josh Johnson is running around outside the pocket, Justin Tryon and London Fletcher collapse on him and the Buccaneers are kicking a 22 yard field goal bringing the Buccaneers to within three points, 16-13 Redskins. Washington gets the ball for the eleventh time with four and a half minutes left in the game, three Clinton Portis runs and a busted play Jason Campbell scramble and Shaun Suisham is punting, the Redskins managed to drain two and a half minutes from the clock. Tampa Bay gets the ball for the twelfth and final time, moving the ball is not easy for them, on third and one tailback Clifton Smith goes into the line and appears to have the first down, rookie supplemental pick defensive end Jeremy Jarmon punches at the ball and it comes loose, scooped up by Chris Horton. Washington's twelfth and final drive is three kneeldowns in victory formation, game over, Redskins win 16-13. [Quarterly reports: Washington Post]


Soapbox: It is tempting to tense up and squeeze out a big and satisfying WHEW but let us be real, the Redskins are damn fortunate to have gotten out of this game with a win. Run blocking was poor through most of the game, Clinton Portis finished with 98 yards on 25 carries, a good day that did not look like a good day.

Jason Campbell seemed to have time to throw, the receivers could not get open, the sacks and scrambles in this game were largely due to downfield coverage. For a Buccaneers team that was supposed to be having a hard time covering receivers you sure would not know it from this game.

Jason Campbell had never had a three interception game in his professional career, and it is a testament to his mental toughness that he stayed with the game. Jason stared down Malcolm Kelly like he was a rookie and made Mr. Inverse Career Day Aqib Talib's (oh how I wanted to name this gamewrap quote Talib? On! unquote) job easy. For the second interception Tim Ryan in the broadcast booth was right, Malcolm Kelly was playing upfield shoulder on that play, looking for a short pass to jump ball and grab. Instead Jason threw downfield shoulder like he was going to Santana Moss, the cornerback then had better position. The third interception did not have much zip and Aqib just made a play. Good for him, he tied a franchise record for three interceptions in one game also held by Ronde Barber (Wahoowa!).

Head coach Jim Zorn seems like he is just second guessing himself to death now, he has his head in that play card like it is a tapas menu, the fourth and four call in the first quarter, that was a huge mistake, even with Hunter the Punter Smith out you could try and pin them deep, by going for it and failing you establish over a two game stretch not that you have balls but that you simply cannot feel the flow of the game and know when is a good time to take that chance.

It only made things worse that Jason Campbell stared down his receiver and gave a gift to the Tampa Bay defense.

Reed Doughty, Justin Tryon, London Fletcher, Chris Cooley, Santana Moss had good games. Brian Orakpo was active. Albert Haynesworth disappeared. LaRon Landry whiffed on a tackle he should have made. Pretty much the whole offense could have done better, the offense was good overall but did not come across as more inventive or risk taking than usual. Do not get too ticklish down there because this Redskins team beat a crappy Buccaneers team.

I can say this about the Buccaneers, they know what they want to be, even if they have a long road to get there. The Redskins sadly do not know what they want to be when they grow up.

It would appear booing fans is now a standard option at Redskins Stadium. This fanbase is only going to get more impatient, given that this schedule includes Falcons, Broncos, Chargers, Saints and five more NFC Beast games I think... well you get the picture.


Chattering class: Tom Boswell at the Washington Post has some plaudits for the team for retaining their poise and not falling apart after a first half that was so bad Redskins fans booed the team off the field. Again. I agree to the extent that a team full of stars should feel good about itself for not getting beaten by a team so bad that it should be in the back alley sucking dick for beer money.


Omnibus: For the second time this season we get the broadcast team of Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan, these guys are good but not FOX's A-team, Tony Almeida noted Ed Hochuli was the head referee and wondered if his star has fallen, getting this game with so many better games this week, or if these things are scheduled well in advance.

Uniform watch: Washington took the field in the preferred home combination of white jerseys and burgundy pants. Last year they did this through Thanksgiving and switched for cold weather. I hope they do not do that again this season.

Redskins penalty roll: Washington's first penalty was committed in the second quarter by Casey Rabach for holding, this penalty was ultimately of no consequence; Redskins sixth drive, second quarter, a holding penalty on receiver Malcolm Kelly cancels out a fifteen yard gain by Clinton Portis; Redskins eighth possession, third quarter, receiver Santana Moss false start, it did not matter, on the next plat Jason Campbell found Chris Cooley from seventeen yards for the touchdown; Redskins tenth drive, fourth quarter, Casey Rabach is called for a chop block, the penalty is inconsequential as the result of the play was a Tampa Bay interception.

Josh Johnson's first NFL touchdown pass to Antonio Bryant in the Buccaneers first possession was a good throw, and Carlos Rogers had good coverage, the problem there was Carlos bit on an inside move by the receiver to start the play and wound up trailing the play instead of being ahead of it, in these situations the corners should be playing wide, keeping the receivers to their inside, that way when the ball comes across like it did on that play it is heading toward the defensive back, not away from him.

After that quick score by Tampa Bay off the Jason Campbell fumble, on the ensuing kickoff the wide shot showed the stadium turf was a wretched yellow from the 40 yard line on one side all the way across the 50 to the other end, and a healthier looking green from that 40 to the end zone. Redskins Stadum hosted a U2 concert last week and I wonder if that part of the field was returfed as a result or if it was simply painted. The team had earlier this week announced it would be returfing the entire field after this game, Washington plays on the road next week at Carolina, giving the field time to settle before game six at home against Kansas City.

As the Redskins took the field for their second possession, a statistic was flashed, overall through three first halves of games, Washington is calling pass 65 percent of the time, run 35 percent, has the ball for less time than any other team and has been outscored 37-13. All very bad stats. The way to turn that around is with the one stat in this list that is in their explicit control: RUN TEH BALL MOAR.

First boos audible over TV: end of Redskins second drive, first quarter, a three and out. More boobirds after Jason Campbell's first interception, more again after Carlos Rogers dropped another sure interception in the Buccaneers sixth drive, second quarter, this guy has terrible hands that have cost the Redskins maybe a dozen or more interceptions since his hands went hard in 2006. Two plays later the half was over and the boos came cascading down from the stands with the Redskins being shut after two quarters.

If Reed Doughty keeps this up he is going to earn his own personal wrapup section below, in the Buccaneers second possession, first quarter he made a play on Cadillac Williams' fifteen yard run, then two plays later stopped Cadillac short of the first down on a swing pass.

Not sure if Dirk Johnson's punt after the Buccaneers second drive, first quarter, would have bounced into the end zone, been stopped short by Tampa Bay players or rolled out of bounds inside the five yard line, what I am sure of is Antwaan Randle El took the ball at the five yard line and ensured Washington started with crap field position. Antwaan needs to be relieved of punt return duty.

Right as the Jason Campbell was winding up for an incomplete to end the Redskins third drive, the camera cut to punter Hunter the Punter Smith on a trainer's table, they called it a strained groin, kicker Shaun Suisham filled in well enough, expecially considering the quality of punting last year. This is troubling as the punting game is one of the only steady positions on the team.

Department of game mismanagement: Why did the Redskins go for it on fourth down during their fourth possession, first quarter? Washington was at the Tampa Bay 37, making a field goal an unlikely 55 yards and with punter Hunter the Punter Smith out perhaps coach Zorn thought there was not a huge point in trying to pooch punt with a backup punter. So let's break this down: fourth and four, not a good distance for running so far in this game. Coach Zorn calls a pass and Jason Campbell totally stares down Malcolm Kelly and it is picked off fairly easily, Buccaneer's ball at midfield. If Washington had punted the ball the worst thing that could have happened was a touchback, giving Tampa Bay the ball 26 yards further back to start the drive. Jim Zorn made a bad game management call and Jason Campbell telegraphed the play easily, these two guys are sinking each other.

Washington had eighteen yards passing, eight yards rushing and had committed two turnovers through one quarter of play.

Nice wheels: in the Buccaneers fourth possession, second quarter second year cornerback Justin Tryon chased down quarterback Josh Johnson from behind the play for a four yard sack, nice work for a guy working hard.

Squishy arm tackles: Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Bryant caught a pass during the Buccaneers fifth drive, second quarter, the play was inside cornerback Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry had a chance to hold it to a ten yard gain, instead his arm tackle was brushed off and the play went for 27 yards. LaRon definitely does not have the late Sean Taylor's ability to focus his hit like a laser beam.

Two year olds and coaches can learn from mistakes: on the same drive, Tampa Bay's fifth, second quarter, the Buccaneers committed an illegal motion penalty, instead of accepting the penalty and making the team replay the down as he did against the Lions to disastrous results, coach Zorn declined the penalty, consuming the down, Tampa Bay was already in field goal range, which was a motivator for coach Zorn last week, he wanted to try and push Detroit back out of range, and it backfired as the Lions went 99 yards for a touchdown. Coach made a different decision on this drive, and Buccaneers kicker Mike Nugent missed the kick anyway.

Two plays after the LaRon Landry missed tackle, linebacker London Fletcher makes a tackle on tailback Ernest Graham and the broadcast team chooses then to run the package on what a great tackler London is, I hope he gave LaRon some grief in the locker room after the game.

Blowed up: on the play following Malcolm Kelly's holding penalty that nullified Clinton Portis' fifteen yard run in the Redskins sixth possession, second quarter, second year tight end Fred Davis is lined up outside left tackle Chris Samuels, before Chris can even get downfield and engage his assignment defensive end Gaines Adams, lined up in a five technique outside Fred, just tosses Fred aside like a little kid and smashes Clinton Portis behind the line for a loss. The more I see Fred Davis the more I see a guy that cannot or is not interested in playing at this level.

Six first half Redskins possessions, three punts, two interceptions, one fumble. Awsum. The Redskins finally scored on their seventh possession, in the second half of the game, punter Hunter the Punter Smith was still hurt and not punting, he was not too injured to come in and hold for Shaun.

Execution smells good: the fourth and two playcall in the Redskins eighth possession, third quarter, was bold, down by seven and facing a 54 yard field goal try coach Zorn called a playaction rollout to Jason Campbell's right, Jason found Chris Cooley and a new set of downs, if that play had gone wrong...

Still making plays: Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber (Wahoowa!) made an infrequently seen play, blocking an extra point at the end of the Redskins eighth drive, third quarter, I tend to think of blocked extra points as the result of lazy special teams play.

Bomber: Jason Campbell set aside his terrible day for one play, the 59 yard bomb to Santana Moss in the Redskins ninth possession, third quarter, all the more enjoyable as Santana beat cornerback Aqib Talib with a double move, Aqib still wound up pulling down three (gak!) interceptions on the day.

Jason then followed that play up in the next drive with his third interception to Aqib Talib, Jason had never thrown three interceptions in one game before tonight.

As I watch the Buccaneers with the ball for the eleventh time, fourth quarter, I see a team that is struggling but knows what it wants to be, trailing by six points the team evinced no panic, playing the game its coaches wanted, after four straight passes to start the drive Tampa Bay went to the ground game with six run plays in a row, totaling 33 yards, to get the team to first and goal. Tampa Bay is having a hard time with the new program, but they know what they want to be which is more than I can say about the Redskins right now.

Pouring through: great play by LaRon Landry in the Buccaneers eleventh drive, fourth quarter, Tampa Bay tried a sixth run play in a row and were at goal to go, LaRon blew through a hole in the line and hit Ernest Graham for a loss, package that with Justin Tryon's and London Fletcher's tackle of a scrambling Josh Johnson on the next play and you have good red zone defense.

Cornerback Justin Tryon impressed the hell out of me today, he is damn fast and proved he can hit and tackle as well, as Buccaneers quarterback Josh Johnson was scrambling for something at the very end of the game, Justin just came up and popped him down easily.

Turnaround: in the first half the Redskins had six possessions and scored no points. In the second half Washington scored on three consecutive possessions while holding Tampa Bay to three three and outs on five second half possessions, one of the other two resulted in a fumble recovery by just benched safety Chris Horton.


Shooter: Quarterback Jason Campbell did not have a great day, and he looked uncomfrotable all day. His passes did not have zip and the line was uneven. Jason fumbled the first possession away, in the Redskins second possession, first quarter, Jason's third and thirteen pass to Chris Cooley was low and slow, on the next possession his third down throw missed a wide open Antwaan Randle El, Jason threw behind Antwaan and it was almost intercepted, which the next pass on fourth down was. On the next Redskins drive Jason called a timeout that did not make coach Zorn happy. Jason had a couple of scrambles for positive yards and the two second half touchdown passes including the beautiful bomb to Santana Moss in the third quarter.

Fat Contract Albert: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth moved the pile a number of times in the first half, though he did not have a signature play. In the Buccaneers second drive, first quarter, Albert got penetration on the wrong side of Cadillac Williams' long run and on third and fourteen on that drive penetrated the pocket and took away the screen passing route. He seemed to disappear in the second half.

OH CRAPPO: Rookie hybrid defensive endbacker Brian Orakpo had a good play during the Buccaneers' second possession, first quarter, on Cadillac Williams' fifteen yard run Brian came from behind the play to make the tackle along with Reed Doughty, two plays later Brian manhandled Tampa Bay tight end Jerramy Stevens, forcing a holding call that helped end that possession. Then during the Buccaneers sixth drive, second quarter, Brian put a cutback move on Tampa Bay left tackle Donald Penn for the sack. Good game for Brian.


Washington Post recap, photos. NFL recap, box score, full play by play, Gamebook (PDF), photos, video highlights. Note the NFL photo galleries have a new look.

Next up, a road game against the winless 0-4 Carolina Panthers, Curly R's schedule band one comes to a close.

Santana Moss: Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP photo from here. Jake Delhomme: Getty Images from here.