Redskins v. Cardinals – Third Quarter Thoughts

  • The Cardinals drive felt like a continuation of what I was saying at the end of the last half — the Redskins always just a step away from where they need to be — right up until the defense tightened up and held them to a field goal. I’m going to hope that changes the tempo of the game.
  • You know, when I asked Randle El a couple of questions on Friday about him playing quarterback in this league, his answers were a little more emphatic than I expected. I wonder if he knew that rollout pass of his was in the playbook this week; I certainly didn’t see it in practice. Nice play, anyhow, and good to see that they’ve remembered Cooley’s an option in this offense — four plays to him in this drive alone.
  • But the touchdown goes to Todd Yoder. He’s always much more involved in practice than he has been in the games this season, so that’s a pleasure to watch. It’s also nice to see Jason Campell as emotive as he was after that toss. His stoicism has been something of a knock on him lately, but that was anything but stoic.
  • Reed Doughty stumbles on the long touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald, which will probably inspire all sorts of calls for Chris Horton, but it seems like Fitzgerald would be tough for any safety to cover.
  • There’s a different feeling watching this team this year than in recent years. Even when the team was doing well or on a winning streak in the last few years, I was always worried. Part of this is down to my own neuroses, but some of it was well-earned, after years of blown leads and missed late field goals. If any of those teams was involved in a game like this, I would be sullen, frustrated, and resigned to inevitable defeat. This squad gives off a different feeling, at least to me, and it makes for a much more pleasant watching experience. Not to say that I’m absolutely certain that they’re going to win, but … it’s a distinctly different vibe, that’s for sure.
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2 Responses

  1. On missed 52 yd fl goal what was zorn yelling at brooks about??

  2. Matt, I reached the same exact realization when I watched this game. There were hints of it last week, but it felt a lot more full-blown this time around. The conclusion I’ve reached as a Redskins die-hard for a couple decades now is that the Redskins have always been that type of team. A team that subscribes to a very old-school style of football built on the foundations of run-it-out, gut-it-out, possession-based, and rely on the defense. I’ve certainly shared in the nervous feelings that on any given sunday, we could win or lose by a one or two scores and that the outcome would ultimately come down to a handful of plays made (or not made). This gut-wrenching, conservative style offense has/had been the Gibbs/Redskins staple for years (with the exception of the Steve Spurrier era). I think now it feels and looks different because you throw out your 500 page playbooks and your differing offensive philosophies and you bring in Zorn, who it appears is FINALLY fully utilizing the talent available and playcalling to their strengths. And now our beloved Redskins seem to be truly ready to not only play smashmouth, time-of-possession football anchored by great D, but also lead a well-balanced attack that gives you quick outs, deep threats, and YAC. What that means to me is that the gameplan now is variable, as beautifully suggested by how our Redskins played yesterday…we played catchup and attacked mercilessly when we needed to yet ran the ball effectively to take the ball away from the Cardinals, and then played aggressive (went for the field goal, completion to Cooley to ice the game) at crucial moments to not only WIN but more importantly, not playing “not to lose”. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, and call me an overexcited optimist, but I think we’re on the verge of a wonderful revolution in Redskins football – playing to WIN, and DOMINATING!

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