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GameBlog Third Quarter

Sep 20, 2005, 4:39 AM EDT

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You can reach me by email at rtandler@comcast.net

Fourth Quarter

What was the point of a pass to Robert Royal just past the line of scrimmage on second and 11? He’s not going anywhere if he catches it. Ditto to the pass to Portis on the next play. Junk offense—no power, no finesse, no nothing.

It’s now 13-0. Feel free to make a play, Washington offense. For that matter, feel free to show up. They’re making an ordinary team look great. They’re playing scared on offense. Not conservative, not safe, but scared.

Again, some good offense completely by accident. A good scramble by Brunell on third and 27 and then a pass to Thrash, who the Cowboys neglected to cover at all got the first.

It may be too late, but the Redskins finally score. I find it hard to believe that this is the first opportunity to get Moss open for a touchdown. Good pass, on the money by Brunell. He can throw the deeper ball. They finally play to win, but it’s too late.

I’ll say it may be too late, it’s probably too late. They need another TD to win and they have two timeouts with a shade under 4 minutes to play. If they make a play, just one or two, they can pull it out. Jones has gotten nowhere on the ground, but Dallas’ OC Payton seems to be a step ahead of Williams when it comes to the key moments. We will see.

A holding call bails out the Redskins. Again, we will see.

We saw, big time. Aggressive offense. A bomb to Moss on first down from the 30. Wow.

Not to complain, but where was that earlier?

Defense comes through again. There’s nothing else to say besides, again, wow!

For a finishing touch, they get Gibbs with the Gatorade bucket, a celebratory gesture invented by Parcells’ Giants teams. Son of a gun.

No, one more finishing touch. As I’m about to put this blog to bed, a spam email comes in: YOU ARE A WINNER!!! Appropriate, very appropriate.

Third Quarter

Whichever team gets a running game going will win the game.

With his third catch, Robert Royal has two more catches than Moss and three more than Patten. Another three and out.

Dallas shows some guts in play calling and it pays off with the flea-flicker for a touchdown. The Redskins bit hard. At some point, the Cowboys might, too. We’ll see if the Redskins get a little more aggressive when trailing by 10. But right now, though, 10 points looks like an insurmountable lead for Dallas.

Field position is killing the Redskins. You might think that they gave Dallas just one first down so it was a successful defensive stand, but they were past midfield when they had to punt and they down the ball inside the 10. The way the Washington offense is playing there’s about a 1% chance they’ll score a touchdown from there.

The best play of the night for the Redskins comes purely by accident as Brunell scrambled for time and found Moss for 41 yards. An aggressive play, but not an aggressive play call. The outer limit of this offense, by design, is the first down marker. It’s three and out after that, though, and Groom might as well have punted into the end zone as Crayton made the fair catch at the 19.

Dallas isn’t that much better than the Redskins, but they’re just a little better when it counts. The Cowboy punter outdid Groom with a 58-yard punt that died inside the 10. Washington is getting the ball with a long way to go and they just can’t get it going enough offensively to put any points on the board.



  1. Muccman - Sep 20, 2005 at 12:34 PM

    I am so happy right now. It has been so, so long since I have seen that. I don’t think I have been filled with this much redskin pride in 5 years. Wow. Amazing.

  2. Marcus Edwards - Sep 20, 2005 at 5:21 PM

    Outstanding. Beating Dallas in Dallas, with the big ceremony at half time, what more could you ask for.
    It may have taken 21 years to match, but now Clint Longley isn’t the only ‘mad bomber’ to pull out a victory in this rivalry. Who knew Brunell could throw that far?

  3. mike - Sep 20, 2005 at 6:30 PM

    Do you think the last 5 minutes of play truly represented a turning point for the offense? As happy as I am to win, I worry that this victory may have cost us other victories this season and/or experience for Campbell. The answer seems to depend on whether the last 5 minutes represented a turning point for Brunell and the offense, or a fluke and/or garbage time success against prevent defense that just happened to result in a victory. If the former, then our season looks up and I can rejoyce. If the latter, this victory simply validates’ for Gibbs his amazingly frustrating faith in a useless quarterback that showed no capacity to succeed in 10 games last year and in 3 quarters and 55 minutes of play this season. Sticking with a useless quarterback would then cost either a chance to try Ramsey’s hand at winning games (who may or may not be better, but who at least has upside potential) or time for Campbell to gain experience and possibly even win some games. I can’t bear another season reliving the Brunell era of 2004.

  4. Anonymous - Sep 20, 2005 at 9:21 PM

    Hail to victory ! But from what I saw from the “Skins”, this party may be short lived. Cowboys are not a bad team in fact they look very similar to the Skins meaning both have suspect passing games and commit many mistakes.

    We got lucky this time but if we play like this again we won’t against the likes of Seattle, Denver, Philly, KC, Giants, Oakland and St. Louis all coming up.

  5. Kounter Trey - Sep 23, 2005 at 3:59 PM

    We all have to hope that this will open up Gibbs’ playcalling. His offense has been so conservative since he came back–it was only in the 4th qtr. against Dallas that the offense really started to play with some abandon.

    If he learns from this that you have to open things up, we’ve got a chance. But if he goes back to playing it safe, we’re in for a long, frustrating season.

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