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ES Coverage: 2009 Redskins vs Rams (FINAL)


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ES Coverage: 2009 Redskins vs Rams




Redskins 9 - Rams 7


Hello everyone and welcome. Joel back with you again for the first home game of the Washington Redskins' 2009 season.

The 'Skins are looking to rebound from last week's loss against the Giants. Luckily, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic this week. For starters, the Redskins are historically 22-10-1 against the Rams. They have won six out of the past nine meetings and are currently favored by 10 going into this game.

But to borrow a term from Murf, I think it's best to stay "cautiously optimistic" going into this week's game. After all, a St. Louis team that won just two games all last season recorded one of those victories here at FedEx Field, stealing a 19-17 victory from Washington back in Week 6. That game was the first sign of how flawed the 2008 'Skins were. (On a related note: Here's hoping that guard Derrick Dockery is smarter than Pete Kendall was, and if the situation arises, he just falls on a loose ball, instead of inexplicably trying to scoop and score.)

So, you never want to say a Week 2 game is a "must win" situation, but if the Redskins don't come away with a victory today, it may officially be time to panic.




CB Fred Smoot

CB Kevin Barnes

C/G Edwin Williams

LB Robert Henson

G Chad Rinehart

G/T D'Anthony Batiste

DT Anthony Montgomery

DE Renaldo Wynn


S Anthony Smith

S Craig Dahl

G Roger Allen III

G John Greco

WR Ruvell Martin

DE Victor Adeyanju

DT Darell Scott

QB Keith Null (third quarterback)



12:13 PM - Pam Oliver apparently enjoyed covering the Redskins so much last week that she is back (sans Buck and Aikman). She will be joined by Sam Rosen and Tim Ryan today (but chances are, you'll all be listening to Larry Michael, Sonny Jurgensen and Sam Huff anyway.)

12:24 PM - The official Gameday program has a feature story on Hunter the Punter, in which he says, "One of the big things that will always go unnoticed - and I'm not real concerned about it being noticed - is holding for extra points and field goals." This article was obviously written prior to last week.

12:40 PM - The inflatable helmet in front of the Redskins entrance is being blown up. We're getting close now ...

12:46 PM - I just saw a Chip Lohmiller jersey in the crowd, so I can only assume that one of Lohmiller's relatives is in attendance today.

12:55 PM - The Redskins are officially being introduced. Surprisingly, they are getting a much more enthusiastic reaction than they did last week.

1:00 PM - Washington won the toss and will receive. Let's hope they start things out by making a statement on offense.

1:02 PM - We are underway ...

1:09 PM - Brian Orakpo breaks up a pass on third down. After being a non-factor last week, here's hoping this is a sign he will be back to his preseason form today.

1:24 PM - A 13 play, 83-yard drive ends with a 21-yard field goal after Jason Campbell's pass to Devin Thomas in the end zone is incomplete. All 83 yards came from Campbell, Cooley and Portis. 3 - 0

1:27 PM - A fumble recovery forced by Rocky McIntosh and recovered by Andre Carter is negated when Brian Orakpo gets called for roughing the passer. This isn't what I meant when I said I wanted Orakpo to be more of a factor this week.


3 - 0 (Just like last week - one quarter is in the books and the home team leads by three. Only this time, that's a good thing.)

1:39 PM - After a little breather, the defense comes out fired up and gets some great pressure on Marc Bulger to force the Rams to punt. That's what we like to see.

1:41 PM - Rams center Jason Brown is out with a right knee injury. His return is questionable. Although, there's always a chance he is "just giving the guy on the sidelines enough time to mosey on out there so he can get up, go to the sidelines, catch a breather, get something to drink and then he [will come] right back out."

1:51 PM - 13 plays, 64 yards. Great use of both no huddle and shotgun, but the 'Skins still have to settle for another field goal. 6 - 0

1:52 - Randy Thomas is out for the game with a right triceps injury. That is not a good thing.

2:06 - A 62-yard run by Steven Jackson fuels a 10 play, 84-yard drive for St. Louis. Washington's offense needs to respond with a touchdown.

6 - 7


6 - 7

Halftime thoughts: Overall, the Redskins offense has looked good, but they haven't been able to get into the end zone. So far, they have 214 yards (148 passing, 66 rushing), but they have had to settle for two field goals. They have also relied mostly on Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis. I would really like to see more production from Santana Moss (2 receptions, 28 yards) and Malcolm Kelly (3 receptions, 25 yards).

The defense has looked fairly solid overall, even without Fred Smoot. Rocky McIntosh has stood out to me so far - he already has four tackles (and he forced the fumble that ended up being negated because of the roughing the passer call against Brian Orakpo). Speaking of Orakpo, I would like to see him step up more this game. After such a promising preseason, he seems to be struggling to adjust to the speed of actual NFL games.

2:54 - 14 plays, 74 yards and once again the Redskins are forced to settle for a field goal. This is great news if you have Shaun Suisham on your fantasy team, but bad news for everyone else in Redskins Nation. 9 - 7

3:07 - The Rams are blowing through their timeouts in the third quarter. This could be a factor later in the game if the Redskins keep struggling to find the end zone.

3:14 - An absolutely huge play on defense. Chris Horton forces a fumble in the red zone and Carlos Rogers recovers it. Now, the offense needs to drive down the field and put 7 points on the board.

3:18 - ... or they could just go 3-and-out and punt from their own end zone instead.

3:26 - The Rams fake a fake punt to try to draw the 'Skins offside and then burn their last timeout to keep from getting called for delay of game when it doesn't work. Then, they get called for a false start penalty and end up getting backed up five yards anyway. A bold strategy, to say the least.

3:33 - One of these days, Jason Campbell needs to figure out how to slide so that my heart doesn't stop every time he runs.

3:35 - The Redskins call a timeout on fourth-and-one. But why not challenge the spot of the ball on that play instead? You still get your timeout regardless and there's always a chance you'll get a more favorable spot.

3:36 - Then again, Clinton Portis just rushed for nine yards to pick up the first down, so consider my point moot.

3:42 - Rams safety James Butler is actually chatting up a cheerleader while she dances right next to him in the end zone during the two-minute warning. It is highly entertaining to watch.

3:44 - Clinton Portis loses two yards as the 'Skins go for it on fourth-and-one in the red zone. Now the Rams have two minutes to drive down the field and win with a field goal. Here's hoping the Redskins defense can come up with a big stop here.

3:46 - Albert Haynesworth comes up with a big play when it counts. Somewhere inside the locker room, Jason Brown weeps.

3:47 - And the Redskins D bails out the offense.

3:48 - Heading down to the locker room now ...



To listen to comments from Kevin Barnes click HERE

To listen to comments from Andre Carter click HERE

To listen to comments from Chris "The Predator" Horton click HERE

To listen to comments from Malcolm Kelly click HERE

To listen to comments from Marcus Mason click HERE

To listen to comments from Rocky McIntosh click HERE

To listen to more comments from Rocky McIntosh click HERE

To listen to comments from Marko Mitchell click HERE

To listen to comments from Brian Orakpo click HERE

To listen to comments from Casey Rabach click HERE

To listen to comments from Carlos Rogers click HERE

To listen to comments from Devin Thomas click HERE

To listen to comments from Byron Westbrook click HERE




To see a slideshow of ExtremeSkins game photos click HERE

To see the complete set of ExtremeSkins game photos click HERE



“We’ll take a win any way we can get it.”

Those were the words of running back Clinton Portis as he headed up the tunnel and into the locker room just moments after the “thrilling” 9-7 win over the St. Louis Rams.

“If they had half points, we’d take a win by a half point.”

That’s what safety Chris “The Predator” Horton said in the post-game locker room.

The message – it might not have been pretty. But it still counts as a win.

That’s what the players are saying after the game. As to whether or not the fans are on the same page … well … that’s another story. When you are favored by 10 points against a doormat and are forced to settle for three measly field goals to get the W, questions are inevitably going to arise about the potency of the offense.

Those already calling for Jason Campbell’s head will of course see the lack of touchdowns as further proof that he isn’t the right man for the job. However, they will be overlooking the fact that Campbell ended up going 23 of 35 for 242 yards (and an 85.7 passer rating). He also picked up 28 yards on the ground, averaging four yards per carry on his seven rushing attempts (on a sprained ankle, no less). Overall, he looked much more poised out there today than he did last week.

The real concern is that the team couldn’t get it done in the red zone. The official stats show the team went 0 for 5 in the red zone. They couldn’t capitalize on scoring opportunities and instead were forced to settle for three Shaun Suisham field goals. It might have worked today, but that’s not a recipe for success.

On the bright side, Chris Cooley had a great game today. He caught seven passes for 83 yards, and a healthy average of 11.9 yards per catch.

On the brighter side was the defense, which carried the team this afternoon. It was clear that Jim Zorn had a lot of faith in the defense today, especially when he decided to go for it on fourth-and-one at the end of the game, knowing that if the struggling offense failed to convert, he was leaving the game in the defense’s hands.

Luckily, Chris “The Predator” Horton was ready there to answer the call -- stepping up and saving the day with two game-saving plays in the fourth quarter.

Horton’s first big-time play came on the Rams’ first drive of the fourth quarter. On third down and goal, Horton forced a fumble in the red zone, which Carlos Rogers recovered. The second, which came after the offense’s aforementioned failure to convert on fourth down, sealed the win for the burgundy and gold. On fourth-and-10, Marc Bulger threw a pass deep down the right sideline to Donnie Avery, which Horton defended beautifully to end the game. The play was eerily reminiscent of the 43-yard pass Bulger completed to Avery on third-and-13 in last year’s game, so clearly things could have easily gone the other way. The take-home message – Horton is better than Leigh Torrence.

Next week, the ’Skins head to Detroit for another game they should win. They will have seven days to figure out what worked and what didn’t. They will have a chance to review that all-important game film and to figure out what they need to do to improve (here’s a hint: it rhymes with red zone offense).

But for right now, we should all just take a moment to breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the team’s first win of the season. Zorn and the rest of the team are doing it. You should too.

“We’re going to celebrate this victory, we’re going to celebrate what we did well and then we will get back to work,” Zorn said in his post-game press conference. “The thing I know about our team, including the coaching staff, is that we will find a way and we will get better again next week.”

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Terrible redzone playcalling. They need to try something beyond runs and gimmicks. I mean, we're marching down the field well with diversified playcalling and then revert to predictable BS within 7 yards of the endzone. We will not win if we continue to settle for field goals.

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