Friday, September 03, 2010

A Game Too Far

The last time?

Takeaway Drill: Why bother, no one played and nothing happened, it was all the way across the country and the goddamn game did not end until 1:30 in the morning, for the love of god let the preseason be over.


Quick jump to


Monday Friday Walkthrough: All 22 projected starters sit and there is little interesting that happens as the Redskins lose 20-10 to the Cardinals in Arizona, Washington finishes the preseason 2-2, the games matter from now on and the outlook is murky.

Redskins kickoff to start the first quarter, the Cardinals start their first drive with Derek Anderson at quarterback not Matt Leinart, on second down cornerback Justin Tryon overruns the play and gives up a first down, there is nothing for the Cardinals on the ground and Jay Feely sets up for a 41 yard field goal, it is good and the Cardinals take an early 3-0 lead. Washington gets the ball for the first time, Richard Bartel at quarterback, on third down a fumble is nullified by an Arizona offsides penalty, Willie Parker gets a first down on the ensuing play, then five more on first down, kicker Graham Gano eventually sets up for a 38 yard field goal, a Redskins penalty moves it back to 50 yards and it is good, game is tied 3-3. Arizona gets the ball for the second time, Matt Leinart in the game for maybe the last time in a Cardinals uniform, Robert Henson sacks Matt, a three and out and the Cardinals are punting. The Redskins get the ball for the second time, John Beck in at quarterback, ho hum and three and out, Redskins punt. The Cardinals third possession is blah blah and that is the end of the first quarter with the game tied 3-3.

Arizona continues its third possession into the second quarter, I guess it is ok but punt on a six and out. Washington's third possession, Richard Bartel in the game, the Redskins actually go backwards, mainly on a sack and a false start and the Redskins punt. The Cardinals get the ball for the fourth time, new quarterback in the game, Max Hall, kind of lost track of this drive, the Cardinals go 56 yards into Redskins territory at the two minute warning, the Cardinals go in for the score on short run to move the game to 10-3 Cardinals. The Redskins get the ball for the fourth time, John Beck in the game, they look good on six plays, Graham Gano lines up for a 58 yard field goal, it is short and wide and the half is over with the Jets leading 10-3.

Washington gets the ball to start the third quarter, their fifth possession, Richard Bartel in at quarterback, Willie Parker disappoints then a sack and the Redskins are punting. Arizona's fifth possession is a long drive, all tailback Alfonso Smith, the Cardinals move 48 yards in nine plays and kick a 22 yard field goal, the Cardinals now lead 13-3. The Redskins get the ball for the sixth time, Richard Bartel in the game, an unremarkable three and out and the Redskins are punting. The Cardinals get the ball for the sixth time, the drive starts in Washington territory, Max Hall and Alfonso Smith go 43 yards to score on a quarterback scramble, Arizona now leads 20-3. Washington's seventh drive, Richard Bartel at quarterback, Richard is is four for four on this drive, Ryan Torain in at tailback, the quarter ends with the Redskins at the Cardinals 23 yard line with Arizona leading 20-3.

The Redskins continue their seventh possession into the fourth quarter, on the first play Richard Bartel tosses a 21 yard touchdown pass to receiver Terrence Austin, the Cardinals now lead 20-10. Arizona gets the ball for the seventh time, it is a long nine yard drive and the Cardinals are punting. Washington's eighth possession, John Beck in at quarterback, the highlight of this drive is a 38 yard pass to Terrence Austin, but it's still a punt. The Cardinals get the ball for the eighth time, new quarterback in the game, Jake Skelton, blah bah three and out., Redskins ball. The Redskins ninth possession, John Beck at quarterback, the game is getting hard for me to follow, Devin Thomas still in the game, it is fifteen yards on seven plays and Washington turns it over on downs, Cardinals ball. Arizona's ninth possession is hard to keep track of but all is good as cornerback Justin Tryon intercepts disposable Cardinals quarterback in the end zone then runs it out 25 yards, may have saved his career. Washington's tenth possession is a three and out with John Beck still in the game, Arizona punt returner Justin Miller muffs the catch on a hit by Ryan Torain and Ramzee Robinson recovers, Redskins ball. Washington moves right into its eleventh and final possession with less than a minute in the game, they move with some alacrity, two first downs in a row, John Beck hooks up for one more pass to Devin Thomas and that is the end, the Cardinals win 20-10 to end the preseason, next time we talk the games count.


Soapbox: A pretty much worthless experience, a lousy game played too far away for the occasion and too late for Washington audiences. No projected starters played and while there were a few moments with the reserves and future ex Redskins that were memorable, like Brandon Banks' 40 yard kickoff return and Terrence Austin making another strong statement for the roster with five catches for 94 yards and touchdown and Robert Henson tackling everything in sight until he hurt his knee and sure to be cut Richard Bartel outplaying newly extended John Beck at quarterback, all in all this was a waste of a game.

Note to the NFL, I understand the Phoenix market never gets to have a game on at 7:00 pm locally, even when the Cardinals play on Sunday or Monday nights, so it was nice for them to have a prime time game, I really do get that. A 10:00 pm ET weeknight game however is completely uncalled for, if you really must oblige the west coast market then do east coast fans the courtesy of scheduling the game on Friday so we do not have to drag our asses out of bed for work the next day.

As far as football, the only factor in this game that will bleed into the regular season is Albert Haynesworth, he started or very close to it and must have played the entire game, with less than four minutes left to go in the fourth quarter he was still in the game, Albert is either very psyched to play (not likely) or very pissed (very likely). It looks like head coach Mike Shanahan may be willing to take the pissing contest into the regular season.

So let us get it the fuck on, the 2010 NFL season starts next week sports fans, get ready.


Chattering Class: With Washington Post columnist Mike Wise on a bullshit thirty day suspension for an admittedly bonehead move, I mean seriously the Post should give Mike a bonus for all the eyeballs he has generated in the past week, we are robbed of our regular postgame column, and nothing from Tracee Hamilton either. There was plenty of high quality commentary about this game that happened outside the realm of the Washington Post and sumday I will be back to a place where I can take a leisurely jaunt around the internets to find all the best takes on a game, for now I am lucky to get these gamewraps out between games and the WaPo is still my default start for Redskins tastemaking.


Omnibus: Watching the pregame show on Comcast SportsNet, notes I am picking up:

Twenty-nine players not expected to play, this includes all projected starters and tailback Larry Johnson, presumably that means Larry is on board and Willie Parker, Ryan Torain and Keiland Williams are battling for the third spot.

Trevor Matich, former Redskins long snapper on the CSN pregame said he thought the Redskins might keep four tailbacks but that the fourth tailback would not be competing with other tailbacks but instead would be competing with all other position players for a spot as a special teams contributor. Trevor is not beloved as a Redskin though is very knowledgeable.

Broadcasters: Kenny Albert and Joe Theismann, ugh, hoping the Redskins are good in the regular season meaning we do not see Kenny often. Rick Doc Walker on the sideline, ho hum.

Uniform watch: The preferred home uniform of white jersey and burgundy pants, that is four for four in the preseason. Guessing I will be disappointed in the regular season. The Cardinals come out in some awful looking black jerseys.

Bubble watch: Cornerback Justin Tryon gave up a first down on an overrun in the Cardinals first possession. Linebacker HB Blades was beat in coverage on the same drive. Cornerback Kevin Barnes missed a tackle on a run in that drive. Brandon Banks has a great kickoff return to open the Redskins first possession, Willie Parker had two strong runs in this possession. in the crossover between the Cardinals second possession and the Redskins possession Brandon Banks muffed the punt, that makes three return fumbles vice one 77 yard return for a touchdown. Redskins second drive, Logan Paulsen gets a good catch, same drive Willie Parker hits for a loss. Cardinals third possession, second quarter, linebacker Robert Henson blows through the line to nail the ball carrier. Cardinals fourth possession, second quarter, cornerback Byron Westbrook whiffed on a tackle. Fourth quarter: TERRENCE AUSTIN! Justin Tryon with an interception in the end zone with two minutes left in the game. Does he make the team?

New term: Sideline pajamas, a player in his jersey with no pads, as Chris Cooley was in this game, credit to Tony Almeida for this one.

New real actual general manager Bruce Allen appeared in the teeny tiny media booth with Kenny and Joe in the second quarter and let it slip that the Redskins have six open roster spots.

Ouch, linebacker Robert Henson sprained his knee in the third quarter, he was having a great game.

Albert in the fourth quarter? Awesome. Was still in the game with three minutes left. HA HA! I'M USING THE SHAVING FOAMS!


The Mastermind: Head coach Mike Shanahan does a lot of pacing on the sidelines doesn't he? Dude has some serious, career making or breaking decisions to make in the next 24 hours.

Number Five: Quarterback Donovan McNabb did not play, in fact I was surprised he made the trip, there he was on the sidelines in a t-shirt with his radio earpiece in, Dono should be good to go for week one, now it is all about keeping him upright.

Silver and Back: Rookie left tackle Trent Williams also did not play, in his place started Stephon Heyer, the rising fourth year undrafted tackle, Stephon will be Trent's top replacement at left tackle.

Albert the Butthurt: Defensive nose end Albert Haynesworth basically started, he may have missed the very first play on defense, and then proceeded to play the entire game, after Albert's meltdown following preseason game two then hearing before this game that Albert actually wanted to play, the better to ensure his place on the team and prove his commitment, I am seriously confused. I cannot imagine a guy with such a gigantic ego would actually want to play so far into the final preseason game, playing along with guys that will never play or will not make the team. As far as the quality of his play, I was not able to evaluate him properly.


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

Next up, a real game, 2010 game one, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys come to Redskins Stadium for this season's first Sunday night game, after a weak preseason the Cowboys look like a team that may have missed its window, after splitting with Dallas in 2006, 2007 and 2008, Washington lost both games to Dallas in 2009, pride and a solid start on the line for both teams.

Willie Parker: Getty Images from here. Tony Romo: Getty Images from here.




Number Five

You make the memory of Heath Shuler sad.