If this is your second time looking at this, you may have noticed I had my number's backwards. It was the Giants that led the Redskins by 10 going into the half, 17 to 7. So the Redskins are pretty much who we thought they were. But as I will expound on further down, this game really mean's nothing, considering that they lost to the Giant's in the opener last year and still beat our beloved Cowboy's in week four last season. Therefore, there really isn't much you can take from the stats compiled in this game; especially if you consider how mediocre our otherwise capable of being dominant, Cowboys defense played against the Bucs.
The running back that seem's to have broken the Redskins back was actually Ahmad Bradshaw, averaging 5 yards per carry on 12 attempts yielding 60 yards. The perennial trash talker Brandon Jacobs was held to a measely 2.9 yards per carry with 16 touches totalling 46 yards. Real quick side bar – the Cowboys, regardless of this next weeks meeting's outcome, should be able to shut Brandon Jacobs up, albeit temporarily. On the other side of the ball, Clinton Portis had the most yard's for the day, but was well below average in terms of production with 3.9 yards per carry on 16 attempts, 34 of which was on their first play from scrimmage; in other word's, after his first run, he averaged 1.8 per carry. The big question here is, is Clinton Portis that poor of a runner, or is the Giant's run defense that stout. Considering Portis' career average of 4.4 per carry, I'm leaning toward's the latter. Of course, this could also be an indictment of the OL and/or coaching, but considering Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Barry Cofield, and Fred Robbins, with back-ups who could start for most team's such Chris Canty and Mathias Kiwanuka, I suspect it's mostly because the Giant's are just that good against the run. But getting back to the team in question…the Redskins defense, looked stout throughout the majority of the game against the run, but came up short when stop's were crucial. Of course, many fan's are pointing towards the play calling of Jim Zorn, whose three back-to-back unimaginative running play's following a goal line stand, gift wrapped a short field for the Giants, where the Giants eventually scored.
As I was digging for a description of the game, I happened upon the following, from an actual fan and since I have thing's I'd rather be writing about and the following is about as unbiased as you can get considering it's criticism from an actual fan, I'm going to steal it. So, with out further ado…
Jim Zorn was determined to rush the ball, but the Giants would not permit it. After a 34-yard run on their first offensive play from scrimmage, Clinton Portis and the rest of the running backs did nothing, gaining 51 yards on 20 carries.
Curious about that poll? Here are the results out of the Redskins other 23 fans (lol): Coaching 60% with 15 votes, Jason Campbell 12% with 3 votes, Pass Defense 24% with 6 votes, Wide Receivers 0% (please don't ask how many voted on this) and Other 4% with 1 vote. There were actually 25 votes, but I voted for coaching and I'm sure the contributor voted accordingly.
For anyone planning on walking away from this thinking that's two more W's we can add to our win/loss ratio prior to the actual games, please note that regardless of how the Redskins play other team's, they always show up against the Cowboys. For as long as I have been trying to predict what to expect from these Deadskins, the only thing I've been right about is to not underestimate them.
Furthermore, Albert Haynesworth, regarless of the apology and accepted apology exchanged between he and Andre Gurode, will be looking to be vindicated. Why? The storyline that you don't hear about, when the infamous face stomp is brought up, is why Albert was so frustrated he lost his temper. The truth is, he was getting man-handled, Gurode refusing to give up any ground, despite Haynesworth pile-pusher reputation. Any NT worth 100 million should draw double-coverage, especially from the Center. If he doesn't against Gurode, the Redskins, as well the rest of the nation will know he is what we all think he is: Vastly overpaid.
And then of course there is the Cowboy killer Santana Moss. Newman shut him down in our last meeting, but the big question is will Newman remain healthy throughout the year? (cricket's chirp)
All in all, the first game is somewhat of a waste of time to analyze, for several reason's: First and foremost, there is no game tape from the previous game to study, for the exception of preseason, where most team keep it basic so they don't tip their hand. Second, many player's, particluarly the younger one's, will get a mad case of the jitter's, likely taking a half to really get into the flow of the game. Third, it's the first game the starters play for 4 quarters. Not only are these players physically tested in terms of their conditioning, but their mind set changes when they know they have to maintain the same intensity for 1 hour. It might not seem like much, given the relatively small amount of time transpired during each play, but with the excitement of playing and the concentration that has to be applied for each position, it can be very taxing on the body, mind and spirit of a given player. Combine the above 3 and the result's will vary for team's. The Cowboy's were fortunately able to reign in their collective focus and put together what most of us thought they could be as a team in the 2nd half against the Bucs. The Redskins fell flat in their opener on the road, but by week 11, the first time the Cowboys and Redskins meet, will know alot more about this team and what they are capable of.