Redskins v. Saints – First Quarter Thoughts

  • The question in the press box as the Redskins took the kickoff was “how important is this first possession?” The answer, after the first two plays leave the team in third and long — again — is “Hopefully not very.”
  • There is no reason that converting that third and eight, on the first drive of the second game of the season, should feel like such a relief. But it does. This is the first time since the end of the Jets preseason game that the Redskins offense looks like they’re in sync.
  • Malcolm Kelly was drafted to be the big possession receiver who could convert important third downs. So just on that basic level, it’s encouraging to see him doing that in his first NFL reception, a six yard pass from Campbell on third and five. It’s even more encouraging after last week’s repeated frustrations just short of the first down marker.
  • I’m not going to pretend that the drive ending with a missed Suisham field goal is in any way a good thing, but the possession didn’t have the same disheartening, wheel-spinning feel that plagued so much of last week. By the standards of what Brian Billick suggested to me yesterday — are we seeing improvement? — the first offensive possession of the game was at least a minor success.
  • The defense picks up right where they played the second half last week, looking strong, swarming to Reggie Bush on first down, getting after the ball on second down, stopping them short on third down … and then giving up a first down on a personal foul penalty. They really, really need to not shoot themselves in the foot like that.
  • OR like jumping offsides to negate a play that ended in a LaRon Landry interception.
  • Another burning pregame question: with Marcus Washington out, who would cover Jeremy Shockey? At least on that play, the answer was Rocky McIntosh, forcing a fumble that was recovered Chris Horton — who himself is starting in place of Reed Doughty. It’s like a heartwarming underdog story.
  • The fans are chanting for Cooley, who has been invisible again so far this week. It really doesn’t even look as though they’ve looked at him. Unsurprisingly, the chant does not affect the playcall, which goes to Ladell Betts.
  • I will never understand the fans booing a timeout (which has just happened). Obviously, you’d rather not burn the timeout, especially your last one, but isn’t it better than the quarterback attempting to run a play he’s not comfortable with? Maybe it’s just me.
  • The field goal is good, and it’s a mark of the fact that the offense is starting to click that it feels like settling for three, not like they were fortunate to score.
  • LUMBER! Fred Smoot credited with the tackle on Reggie Bush on one play (although he had plenty of help), then with the tip on the pass intercepted by Chris Horton on the next. That’s a fumble recovery and an interception by Horton in the first quarter. Nice work for a sub.
  • MUCH, much more pleasant first quarter to watch than last week, despite the lead only being three.
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4 Responses

  1. There’s 9 minutes left in the first half, but I feel compelled to make a dire prediction, based on what I’ve seen already. Yes, the Skins defense looks great. Yes, Jason Campbell looks much better in the shotgun. But NO, the Skins will not win this game. Why? Because Coach Zorn is willing to play for field goals. After the interception, it was obvious Zorn should have gone for the big pass play while he had the other team off-guard. But he chose a conservative run call, and predictably settled for another field goal. EARTH to ZORN…..field goals aren’t gonna cut it against Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense.

  2. Another field goal…..sigh. Zorn needs to learn that defining moments are what wins (or loses) games.

  3. My mistake….the Skins missed the field goal. (I was on this blog when they missed.) I rest my case….the mistakes of the coach(es) will cost this team a loss. That’s a shame….because the players obviously came to play. BTW….I’m a lifelong Skins fan…..just in case anyone was wondering.

  4. HAHAHHAHA. All the doubters. I know I’m posting on this after the game is over, but all your sighing and negativism didn’t mean a thing. In the end it was the search for consistency that won that game.

    Horton probably should have snagged the SS position from Doughty with that game, very heads-up play overall. However, Doughty does have experience and that isn’t meaningless.

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