- Well, it initially looked like I’d be starting this quarter out talking about how the Skins had built up some momentum, how Clinton Portis was starting to find a little running room, and other good things like that. Then the screen to Santana Moss got stuffed on third and 4, and Coach Zorn made the completely inexplicable decision to attempt a 54 yard field goal. Shaun Suisham started the season with a strong leg, but he’s been having a rough time lately, and this makes very little sense to me. Maybe after seeing the opening kickoff sail out the back of the end zone, Zorn assumed that Suisham is kicking with the wind at his back, but … that’s questionable logic at best.
- And not only does Suisham miss, but the Eagles nearly break the big return. That’s a decision that may haunt Zorn if this game goes wrong.
- The Eagles drive stalls on the 36, the same yard line (on the other side of the field) that the Redskins attempted the field goal from. Eagles coach Andy Reid sensibly elects to punt, pinning Antwaan Randle El inside the 20. That seems like a much more sensible decision, from inception to execution.
- The Redskins put together a 16 play, eight-and-a-half minute drive for a field goal, making the score 3-0. Jason Campbell completed six of his nine passes (although one of them, a third down pass to Ladell Betts, was literally centimeters from being batted down or intercepted), but he made one decision that I found very questionable: on third and 5, Campbell rolled out of the pocket and, not seeing anyone open, stepped out of bounds five yards behind the line of scrimmage. The play was negated by penalty, and it’s possible that Campbell knew that the flag was on the Eagles defense so it didn’t matter what he did, but still: why would you take the loss there instead of throwing the ball away? Strange play, regardless of the fact that it turned out all right in the end.
- Now a strange decision by Andy Reid that wound up not mattering: after Zorn successfully challenged the spot of the ball, taking away an Eagles first down, the clock started running again. The Eagles, instead of waiting for the two minute warning, punted a few seconds before 2:00. The ball took a nice long roll and the Redskins took possession at 1:59, after the warning, but it could just as easily have given the Skins an extra play and, essentially, a free timeout. Just that kind of game, I suppose.
- Campbell is doing as good a job of spotting the blitz and getting rid of the ball as I’ve seen from him, but it doesn’t matter when Jason Fabini completely misses his rusher and nearly gets Campbell killed, as happened on that second down play there.
- Well, I won’t be saying that Ryan Plackemeier is the only good thing the Redskins have going today — the decision to punt on fourth and 14 from the Philadelphia 40 was defensible, but it would’ve looked a lot more sensible if Plack hadn’t boomed the ball into the end zone. If there was ever a time for that high, tumbling kick that Plackemeier likes, that was it.
- So your score at the half: 3-0, Washington. “This is riveting,” someone in the press box says dryly, as the media stretches their legs and goes to eat the inevitable chili dogs, and it’s impossible to argue.