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ES Coverage: 2011 Redskins vs Cardinals (Final)


Hail yes or Hail no  

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  1. 1. Hail yes or Hail no

    • Hail yes! I believe
    • Hail! I will always support this team, but this isn't their year.
    • Hail no! I just don't believe anymore.

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ES Coverage: 2011 Redskins vs Cardinals



VICTORY (whew.)

Redskins 22 - Cardinals 21


Hello everyone and welcome. I am your host, Joel, joined, as always, by murf and we are just hours away from week two of the Washington Redskins' 2011 season as they take on the Arizona Cardinals.

Last week in the press box, the guy next to me asked me to predict what was going to happen. I told him that honestly nothing would surprise me - the Redskins blowing out the Giants, the Giants blowing out the Redskins or a nail-biting game that went down to the wire.

Sure, there was a lot of hype around this year’s team and they had definitely looked impressive in the preseason, but I’ve been a Redskins fan long enough to know that they often don’t live up to the hype. There have been plenty of times in recent memory where things looked good on paper, but the team quickly unraveled (Steve Spurrier’s “Osaka” preseason game and Jim Zorn’s early success with the team instantly come to mind). So I wasn’t quite ready to buy into the hype last Sunday. And even with their formidable victory, I’m still not entirely convinced.

The organization has been trying to convince everyone that this is a whole new team, one that has learned from past mistakes and has built this year’s squad around hard-working young guys who are focused on being a cohesive unit instead of a group of individuals. We have been hearing stories about the veterans in the locker room wanting to practice this past Monday instead of getting a “Victory Monday” off because of the win. And stories about Tim Hightower taking the entire offensive line out to dinner in order to bond with them and to thank them. The message from the organization is clear: this isn’t the same old Redskins team.

While it will still take time to find out whether or not that is actually true, I think a victory this week will go a long way toward proving that point. The fact is that the Redskins have won eight out of their last 11 season openers and in six of those games, they lost in week two. The Redskins have a history of beating teams they have no business beating and then losing to teams that should be easy Ws. So beating the Cardinals this week will send a message that this team is truly different and not just the same old underachieving squad wrapped up in a new package.

That seems like an easy task. After all, the Cardinals are the team that made Cam Newton look like a superstar in his first start in the NFL by allowing him to rack up a record-setting 422 passing yards. The Rex Cannon and the new look offense should be able to exploit the Cardinal’s D and score an easy victory this week.

But as we all know as long-time ‘Skins fans, things with this team have never been that easy. And, the truth is, there are still a few big question marks on this team.

The biggest question will be how well the offensive line performs. Trent Williams struggled quite a bit last week against the Giants and the rest of the line had their problems as well. They did enough to win and the team was fortunate that Grossman’s fumble under pressure didn’t end up costing the team points. But if the line continues to struggle and Grossman continues to fumble (which has been a problem throughout his career), things could get ugly fast as the season progresses.

Another big question mark is Graham Gano. Gano was flawless in preseason when his job was in jeopardy and the games didn’t count, but he missed a field goal last week that should have been an easy three points. This isn’t a team that can afford to give up points in close games, so if Gano continues to struggle, it could end up costing them winnable games.

On the defensive side of the ball, the biggest question mark this week will be Reed Doughty. If LaRon Landry doesn’t play and Doughty is forced to pick up the slack, the Cardinals could exploit him in pass coverage like the Giants did last week. Doughty is just not equipped for pass coverage and the longer Landry is out, the more trouble the secondary could be in.

So we will have to wait and see if this truly is a new and improved Redskins team or simply a repacked version of the same ol’, same ol’. If the team can overcome these question marks and walk away this week 2-0, it will go a long way toward proving that change has finally com to Washington.

We'll have continuous updates throughout the game, so please check back as things unfold. And if there's anything specific you want us to focus on today or any thoughts you have about the game, share them below.


10:41 PM - From murf's Twitter: Just walked into the stadium w/ LaRon Landry. Asked him if he's playing today. He said, "No, but I'm back next week for sure. For Sure."

10:43 PM - Also, the word is that Brian Orakpo is expected to start today. That's certainly welcome news.

11:03 PM - Mike Sellers is out on the field in pads right now. That could mean he will be active this week.

11:33 PM - LaRon Landry just took the field for the first time. He's running up and down the field separate from everyone else with a trainer next to him.



LaRon Landry

Logan Paulsen

Terrence Austin

Keyaron Fox

Markus White

Willie Smith

Leonard Hankerson

Darrion Scott


Crezdon Butler

Korey Lindsey

LaRod Stephens-Howling

Daryl Washington

D'Anthony Batiste

Jim Dray

John Skelton

12:43 PM - The Redskins marching band is playing "Don't Stop Believing" right now. Hopefully this game ends better than the finale of The Sopranos.

1:02 PM - The team has blocked streaming videos to speed up the Internet here in the press box. How am I supposed to watch my adorable cat videos?

1:05 PM - With that 19-yard pass from Grossman, Santana Moss now has 600 career receptions.

1:09 PM - I don't think anyone was happier about that unnecessary roughness call than Graham Gano, who just got saved from a moment of truth by that first down.

1:10 PM - I think Tim Hightower lucked out in not being flagged on that play.

1:13 PM - Well that interception stung. Not sure what Grossman was going for there.

1:21 PM - From murf's Twitter: Caps owner Ted Leonsis is at Redskins game w/ his son. They've got grear seats, but you knew that already.

1:25 PM - The only good thing I can say about Grossman's second interception of the day is that this one wasn't really his fault.

1:27 PM - The second interception results in points for Arizona. In two plays, the Cardinals take it 37 yards in 38 seconds. Kobl connected on a 21-yard touchdown pass to Jeff King for the score. 0-7

1:33 PM - Well, so far it certainly seems like we are getting the same ol' Redskins. Let's hope they snap out of it.



1:38 PM - The Redskins are moving the ball down the field, but a porous offensive line and two costly interceptions have them down by 7 right now. Here's hoping they can find a way to right this ship before things get ugly.

1:44 PM - Suddenly the 'Skins are just running at will on this Arizona defense. Maybe, just maybe, this game won't end up being solely in Grossman's hands.

1:46 PM - My eyes are closed and my fingers are crossed on this 26-yard Gano field goal.

1:47 PM - A Redskins drive finally nets points. 14 plays, 77 yard and lasting 8 minutes 29 seconds, Gano connects on a 26-yarder to make it 3-7.

1:57 PM - Brian Orakpo just crushed Kevin Kolb for a sack on second down. He actually got a nice hit on him on the previous play too, just as the ball was leaving Kolb's hands. I'm so glad Orakpo is playing today. The team definitely needs him.

2:02 PM - Watching Roy Helu's 33-yard run after his catch was a thing of beauty.

2:06 PM - A pass interference call saves us from Grossman interception number three on the day.

2:07 PM - After dominating in every statistical category for the whole first half except for points, the 'Skins finally find the endzone and pull ahead of the Cardinals thanks to a one-yard pass to Fred Davis. The drive lasted six plays, went 80 yards and took two minutes and 57 seconds off the clock. 10-7

2:18 PM - Just a slight facemask on that 35-yard Brandon Banks punt return.

2:22 PM - Gano's field goal attempt is blocked. Much like Grossman's second interception, you can't really pin that on Gano. Not that that makes it any easier to stomach.

2:26 PM - Ryan Kerrigan with his first NFL sack.



2:29 PM - The Redskins are completely outplaying the Cardinals right now, but thanks to two interceptions and a blocked field goal, they are only leading by three. Here's hoping that in the second half they can make the adjustments needed to make the scoreboard reflect how well they are playing.

2:46 PM - Josh Wilson is down, being looked over by trainers.

2:52 PM - Wilson headed back to the locker room to be looked over by trainers. The official word is that he injured his back and his return is now questionable.

2:52 PM - Rocky McIntosh with a big sack, followed up by an interception by London Fletcher. Definitely a giant momentum swing by the Redskins D. Now it's on the offense to capitalize.

2:52 PM - This challenge by Arizona could bite them in the ass. It doesn't seem worth it to challenge the yardage when they are risking giving up their second timeout. I'm not sure they want to win this game.

3:02 PM - Grossman with nothing but time and Fred Davis with nothing but daylight on that 40-yard pass. Big play by the offense.

3:09 PM - DeAngelo Hall is doing well against Larry Fitzgerald so far today.

3:14 PM - Beanie Wells with a two-yard touchdown run to give the Cardinals the lead. That drive lasted nine plays, 90 yards and four minutes and 31 seconds. The offense needs to step up to give the defense some help today. 10-14

3:24 PM - A 26-yard return by Brandon Banks. Let's see if that fires up the offense.



3:30 PM - Graham Gano connects on a 23-yard field goal to bring Arizona's lead to one. So after the great field position given to them by Banks, the team goes 39 yards in seven plays, taking three minutes and 42 seconds off the clock. 13-14[/b

3:37 PM - London Fletcher just hammered Kevin Kolb, but he still manages to complete a 73-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald. 13-21

3:47 PM - The Redskins go for it on fourth down and walk away with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss. Grossman's two-point conversion attempt is tipped at the line. The drive lasts 13 plays, 73 yards and five minutes 41 seconds, netting the 'Skins six points. 19-21

3:51 PM - The announced attendance today is 76,330 and that crowd is coming alive right now, cheering for the D to come up with a big stop on this drive.

3:55 PM - Does anyone feel good if this game ends up coming down to a last minute Graham Gano field goal attempt?

4:05 PM - God help us, it's Graham Gano for the win.

4:05 PM - Gano connects on the 34-yard field goal. The drive last eight plays, 48 yards and takes two minutes and 45 seconds off the clock. 22-21

4:09 PM - Chansi Stuckey fumbles the ball. God bless him for that.




To see ExtremeSkins game photos click HERE



To listen to comments from Stephen Bowen click HERE

To listen to more comments from Stephen Bowen click HERE

To listen to comments from Reed Doughty click HERE

To listen to comments from London Fletcher click HERE

To listen to comments from DeAngelo Hall click HERE

To listen to comments from Ryan Kerrigan click HERE

To listen to comments from Santana Moss click HERE

To listen to comments from Brian Orakpo click HERE

To listen to more comments from Brian Orakpo click HERE

To listen to comments from Byron Westbrook click HERE

To listen to comments from Trent Williams click HERE



The Washington Redskins narrowly defeated the Arizona Cardinals 22-21 Sunday in a game that was far from perfect.

For the second straight week, the Redskins got off to a slow start at home. Instead of just trailing 7-0 after the first quarter though, Washington decided to spice things up and also commit two turnovers in the opening frame.

One week after Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman threw for 305 yards with two touchdowns and a sparkling 110.5 quarterback rating against the New York Giants, “Bad Rex” made a cameo.

The first two Redskins drives were a combined 19 plays for 112 yards, but neither put points on the board. The first drive ended with Grossman forcing an ill-advised pass into coverage and the second drive came to a halt when receiver Anthony Armstrong deflected a Grossman pass into the air and it was also intercepted.

Despite the fact that the Cardinals offense had the ball for exactly two minutes and six seconds in the first quarter, they held a 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

If you wanted to make the case that the Redskins were suffering from a hangover after last week’s emotional win over a divisional rival, I couldn’t really disagree.

If you argued that Washington was suffering a letdown game against an inferior opponent, I could see your point.

However you wanted to spin it, the Redskins were well on their way to giving away another winnable game thanks to mental lapses and self-inflicted wounds.


For the second week in a row, the Redskins were able to put together a drive when the game was on the line.

In the season opener, Washington was able to mount a five-play, 80-yard drive right before halftime to tie the game at 14-14 the very next drive after the Giants regained the lead. Momentum had shifted in favor of the visiting team and the Redskins offense answered the call.

Against Arizona, the Redskins faced an equally grim situation. After allowing a 73-yard bomb to receiver Larry Fitzgerald to give the Cardinals a 21-13 fourth-quarter lead, the Redskins offense stepped it up once again.

Grossman orchestrated a 13-play, 73-yard drive that was capped off by a fourth-down touchdown pass to wide out Santana Moss to cut the lead to 21-19.

Had the offense come out in either situation and gone three-and-out, Washington likely loses the game. But this team, unlike any in recent history, is able to move the ball in the most crucial moments of a game.

When the spotlight intensifies, this offense doesn’t wilt under the pressure of big-game situations. Say what you will about the guy, but the Redskins couldn’t finish drives when Donovan McNabb or Jason Campbell were calling the shots.

Under Grossman though, this offense is actually capable of something special. And that’s not something most ‘Skins fans thought would be possible so early in the 2011 season.


You wouldn’t have known it watching last year’s Redskins team, but head coach Mike Shanahan is a bit of a genius when it comes to the running game.

During his time in Denver, Shanahan was seemingly able to take any running back available and turn them into a 1,000-yard rusher.

The Cardinals game gave Redskins fans their first glimpse into how wonderful that experience can be when starter Tim Hightower rushed for 83 yards in the first half against his former team and then rookie Roy Helu Jr. caught fire in the second half.

Hightower finished the game with 20 carries for 96 yards while Helu chipped in 74 yards on 10 carries. With a potent one-two punch like that, it’s much tougher for a defense to tee off on Grossman in the passing game.

Washington had the 31st ranked ground game in the NFL one season ago, but this is clearly the dawn of a new day in the Redskins backfield.

It’s no wonder why last season’s starting running back, Ryan Torain, can’t even crack the lineup. The two guys ahead of him have done such a masterful job of seizing the opportunity, Torain is left to sit back and enjoy the show like the rest of us.


Besides the newfound rushing attack, Washington is also enjoying production from another unexpected avenue.

Since his arrival, Pro Bowler Chris Cooley has been the face of the franchise for the burgundy and gold. Well, his backup, tight end Fred Davis, is absolutely making the most out of his chances through two weeks – leading the Redskins air attack with 11 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown.

By my math, Davis has six catches of 20 yards or more, which is unusual for a tight end. But the fourth-year pro has been able to stretch the field as well as any speedy receiver so far this season, while Cooley has been limited to two catches for 21 yards.

It’ll be interesting to see how the coaching staff handles this situation moving forward – especially with Cooley clearly less than 100 percent.

Against the Cardinals, Shanahan had no problem turning to Helu in the second half because, as Hightower put it, his coach was “going with the hot hand.”

The more Davis does, the harder it is to justify limiting his time on the playing field. And considering his had 13 passes thrown his way and he’s caught 11 of them, Davis is absolutely cashing in any time Grossman looks his way.


How much longer can the Redskins get away with having a complete liability in the kicking game?

I mean, when third-year kicker Graham Gano isn’t missing chip shot field goals like he did against the Giants, he’s having field goal attempts blocked or he’s slicing his kickoffs out of bounds.

Much like the Redskins of yesterday, Gano is only good when there’s no pressure on him (10 for 10 in the preseason confirms that). but as soon as the team cut his competition, Gano reverted to the same old same old.

For his career, Gano has converted just 28 of 40 attempts (70 percent). He’s so erratic that the coaching staff had little choice to go for it in the fourth quarter when the team was faced with a 4th-and-3 from the 18-yard line.

Fortunately Grossman connected with Moss to pull the Redskins within two with enough time left in the game to complete the comeback, but it’s tough to envision Washington winning many of these nailbiters with such a wild card at such a vital position.

Until Gano can prove once and for all that he’s an asset, it’s going to feel like Russian Roulette every time he takes the field.

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Donte Stallworth is wearing gold pants on the field, which means he's active this week. Not sure who sits in his place.

And for those who saw me nearly get trampled by Ryan Kerrigan last week, here's something a Skinscast listener put together to commemorate the occasion.

I'm surprised you walked away from that one. He nearly scratched your lens cap.

Call me when you've taken a hit from an NFL safety at full speed :)

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