What an incredibly disappointing loss yesterday’s game was. After such an incredible start with the defence and running game, and the most dramatic final few seconds I’ve encountered so far this season (I really don’t know how my heart can keep handling these close games), the Redskins fall to the Bucs by a single missed extra point. IF, big IF, the Redskins had actually made even 1 of the 2 missed field goals, this would be a whole different blog. I know that I’m going to get some slack again for this blog, but this was a very clear case of the Skins shooting themselves in the kicking foot and giving the W away. The Bucs in no way played the way a playoff contending team should. They were very lucky.
Other than the missed field goals and the inability to get into the end zone in the first half, I was actually quite impressed with the Redskins’ performance, particularly in the defence. I think Shanahan’s decision to suspend Haynesworth was the best thing he could have done. I just wish he did it sooner.
The game began with the Bucs on offense and a 3 and out. London Fletcher had great pass protection on a 3rd and 1 pass. The Redskins then took the field and RB Ryan Torain, who’s been out for 4 weeks with a hamstring injury, ran for 54 yards.
The offense kept the running game going and moved the ball to the 16 yard line, but could not get into the end zone. In brings Gano for an easy 34 yard field goal and it hits the post. No good.
The Bucs on O again, the defence steps up with a great play by Buchanon to break up the pass at 3rd and 1. There will be no points in the first quarter, but RB Ryan Torain made NFL history with the most rushing yards in the 1st quarter. In the second quarter, the Redskins were again in the red zone, this time at the 6 yard line, so an easy 24 yard field goal is again wide. This would put the Skins at 6-0. Next up for the Bucs is a turnover, with DeAngelo Hall all over Blount, knocking ball out, then recovering. The Redskins then have some what of a passing game with 2 consecutive completions to Santana Moss, bringing them to 4th and goal. It has been mostly all Torain so far, so the Bucs were expecting a run, but McNabb short pass to Rookie TE Logan Paulsen for a TD. 7-0 Redskins or what I keep thinking, 13-0 Redskins. The Redskins D again holds the Bucs offense and they can only manage a FG. Their kicker seems to have no issues with the rain. 10-3 Redskins.
With only minutes left in the first half, RB Keiland Williams has a huge run to bring the Skins to 1st and goal. I don’t know what was going on with their clock management skills, but they had already called a timeout and as the play clock dwindled, they were charged a delay of game. What was a probably running TD, turned into a pass attempt, but it was incomplete. In comes Gano, and he barely makes the FG. 10-3 Redskins into the half.
The second half brings some life to the Bucs defence and they can actually defend against the running game, however, the Redskins offense seems to have stayed into the locker room where it was warm and dry. The 2nd half starts with the Redskins to receive, but as per usual, it’s kicked away from Banks and LB Chris Wilson attempts a catch, but muffles it and the Bucs recover. The Redskins defence steps up again and keeps the Bucs to a FG. 10-6 Redskins. The Bucs would manage another FG in the 3rd to bring game within 1 point 10-9 Redskins. The Redskins offense in the 3rd quarter was non-existent and McNabb almost intercepted twice.
In the 4th quarter, a long pass by Bucs’ Freeman to a very wide open Arrelious Benn to the 1 yard line. QB Josh Freeman fumbles and London Fletcher recovers in the end zone. Touchback for the Redskins, but does no good. The Bucs finally get a TD with 3:47 left in the game, get a 2 point conversion and take the lead at 17-10.
I feel so bad for Rookie Brandon Banks. He had a very good return, but it’s called back because of a holding call. He previously had 2 TDs called back because of penalties this year. But the offense steps up for a final chance to tie the game. 2 minutes remaining and multiple 1st down passes. If you were watching the game on TV like I was, when Anthony Armstrong caught the ball, it was a 1st down, but the downs were not changed. What then appeared as a 4th and 4 and then an incomplete pass, I as well as everyone watching, thought the game was over, but it wasn’t. They had 1 more down because of the missed 1st down and McNabb finds Santana Moss in the end zone for a TD. I was about to die at this point. All the Redskins needed was a simple extra point to tie the game. Gano had already missed 2 FGs and barely made the extra point on their only TD. So all eyes were on him, including holder Hunter Smith who totally botched the snap and Gano had nothing to do than try and run. He had the opportunity to redeem himself for the missed attempts, but had no chance.
This is typical Redskins football this season. They either are winning and then cannot defend their lead, or they almost come back within minutes and then lose. It is extremely frustrating for fans and I can only imagine the frustration of the coaching staff and the players.
Here are my afterthoughts
- The worst defence in the NFL held the Bucs to only 3 points in the first half and 3 FGs in the 3 quarters.
- The Bucs defence allowed an NFL record high ground game to Ryan Torain, who ended with a total of 172 yards.
- The worst defence in the NFL held the Bucs to only 266 yards passing and 103 yards rushing. This may not seem like such a substantial positive, but for the Redskins, this is great.
- London Fletcher led with 11 tackles, two passes defended and a fumble recovery
- McNabb’s numbers: 22/35 for 228 yards, 2 TDS and ZERO interceptions, Freeman’s: 15/25 for 266, 1 TD and 0 interceptions.
The Redskins overall played well, but could not keep it together. They will never win games this way. The Bucs’ D was horrible in the first half, but they came back. So was this a win by the Bucs due to the mistakes of the Redskins? You decide.
About the Author
Written by Mercedes Green
I lived in Greene County Virginia for about 5 years of my childhood. This span of time was enough to imprint the love of the Washington Redskins (and hate of the Dallas Cowboys) into my life forever, even though I am Canadian and still live in Canada. I am in no way an expert on sports, football, or even the Redskins, but I do absolutely adore them, their fans and their home state(s). My favourite Redskin is and will always be Darrell Green (not because we share the same last name lol). I've adored Chris Cooley since he joined the team from the 2004 draft and love London Fletcher. Hail to the Redskins! See you October 30th in my home town of Toronto.