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Bears—After Further Review

Dec 7, 2007, 7:26 PM EST

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Let’s dive right in to looking at what I posted live last night and how it stands up to review 24 hours later:

Pregame

Suisham is nailing field goal tries from 40 with plenty to spare—he just nailed one that went just a few feet below the top of the goal posts as it went through. It seems that he’s over that midseason slump he was in. You never know with a kicker, but he looks like he’s a keeper.

After he was short on a 47-yarder—well short—and wide on a shorter effort, it appears that Suisham isn’t yet a certain solution as the team’s kicker for the next decade.

One somewhat surprising name on the inactive list is Todd Wade. It looks like Stephon Heyer is going to get yet another opportunity to make the Redskins wonder if they need to keep spending all of this money on Wade. Or on Jon Jansen, for that matter.

I think that a good chunk of Wade’s money was guaranteed and I don’t think that Jansen is ready to go just yet, so the prospect of Heyer becoming a regular next year isn’t strong. But he does represent inexpensive depth for the time being.

First Quarter

12:00—A good punt by Frost, netting 39 as he angled it straight out of bounds. If he can do that all day, we’ll take it. In fact, if he can do that for the rest of the year, we’ll take it.

While Frosty had a few poor boots, he did average a net of 38.2 yards. Against Hester—in fact, for almost any game—that’s mission accomplished.

10:53—Grossman is down, he took a pretty good smack after firing an incompletion. Leg or knee got bent the wrong way, and there was an audible “ooh” in the press box when it was shown on replay. Rex is limping off.

Most of the time, watching the game in the press box is like watching the game while you’re at work in an office. It’s fairly quiet, people are working and having muted conversations. When they showed the replay of the play where Grossman got hurt, there was the spontaneous reaction like you would get from a group of fans watching a game in a sports bar.

Second Quarter

13:45—A great blitz pickup by Portis allows Campbell to Cooley for 22.

Clinton Portis is hardly having a banner season, but he still plays for my team. Not every so-called star RB will do things like this and love it.

2:49—Campbell is down again, this time the cart is coming out. It’s a knee or something very painful in the lower leg. It has season-ending written all over it.

It may or may not be season ending. Remember, we thought that the blow to the knee he took against the Steelers in the preseason would knock him out for the year and it just put him out for the preseason. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him play against Dallas if the Redskins are in a position to keep playing after that. No inside info here, just a hunch.

Third Quarter

Off the top of my head, this is the first time that the Redskins have held the opposition scoreless in the first half. Having a halftime lead, however, is no guarantee of success as we well know.

I was wrong about this. They Redskins had held the Lions scoreless in the first half, too.

5:40—The Bears ate up 6:28 to get just three points. If the Redskins don’t give them a short field it will be tough for Chicago to catch up.

Of course, I remember typing something similar at this point in the Bills game.

The Redskins defense, for the most part, did a good job of forcing the Bears into dinking and dunking down the field after it got to be 14-0. Of course, you’d like to see them shut the door completely, but they’re not that kind of defense at this point.

Fourth Quarter

A big third down conversion attempt as the fourth quarter opens. A pass to Betts a few minutes ago got the Redskins their third third-down conversion in 11 attempts.

14:55—Cooley with a 33-yard grab to convert. Collins threw a nice pass to his TE in the seam of the zone.

I neglected to mention that Cooley bounced off of an attempted tackle and rumbled for an additional ten yards or so after making the catch.

6:57—Third and goal at the five now after a run stop and good coverage by Doughty.

FG Gould 22
Redskins 17, Bears 13

That was a good job of tightening up as they got to the goal line, but the earlier part of the drive was just too easy. The Redskins will need a touchdown if they are going to win.

I didn’t go into Griffin’s tackle of Peterson on first and goal at the one. That set the Chicago offense back to the four and they couldn’t punch it in from there (good to see another team having difficulties starting from first and goal. Obviously, if the Bears tie the game up there, it’s a different deal altogether.

6:00—Stop the presses. The Redskins have thrown on consecutive first downs with a four-point lead. And they both were complete.

4:00—A great throw by Collins again converts a third and four after two runs.

2:45—Third and six at the 16. I’ve got to think that the Bears will bring the house and that if Collins can get the ball off the result will be a touchdown.

Betts 16 pass from Collins (Suisham kick)
Redskins 24, Bears 13

There has been a lot of talk about the Redskins trusting Collins to pass in situations like this while keeping the chains on Campbell. That may be the case. It also may be a case of Saunders, Gibbs, and company finally decided that they’d had enough of the futility of running into a wall all the time.

0:34—Fourth and goal at the four. The Bears will try the FG and then the onside kick.

FG Gould 21
Redskins 24, Bears 16

Ya think that Joe Gibbs would be getting hammered today if he’d kicked a field goal here? It just didn’t make any sense. You have about 30 seconds left to play. You need a touchdown, a two-point conversion, and a field goal to send it into overtime. Yes, you need two scores but you’re at the four. Lovie Smith is saying that he has a better shot of hitting a Hail Mary pass than he does of getting the ball into the end zone from four yards away. Fourth down at the four represents by far your best chance of getting the needed touchdown part of the equation.

If you’re at the 20 with fourth and four, yes, kick the FG. But from the four, you have to go for the TD.

0:00— The Redskins have now allowed two touchdowns in their last three games and they are 1-2.

This is DC and Redskins Nation so, of course, the talk is all about the quarterback position. What gets overlooked is that the defense. They kept the Redskins in a game in which the offense committed six turnovers. Yes, they allowed one late play that put the Bills into field goal position but the game should have been over long before that. And against the Bears they control the action almost the whole way.

 

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