The Fifth Quarter: Raiders

Archive: The 5th Quarter Washington Commanders

It was a terrible loss for the Redskins, and a brutal display from most of the Redskins’ respective units. The loss puts the Redskins at 5-5 and two games back of the division lead as both the Giants and Cowboys won their respective games. Ultimately, this may be the loss pointed to if Washington falls short of the playoffs.


Mark Brunell had a tough afternoon. Despite a gritty effort and some heads-up plays, Brunell has to shoulder the blame when the offense sputters so badly. Brunell managed just 155 yards in a 14 of 32 performance and the offense failed to score a touchdown.

In fairness to Mark, the Redskin receiving corps was completely ineffective. The loss of David Patten for the season didn’t seem that large when announced, but it looked big on Sunday. It didn’t help when James Thrash went down with a hamstring injury,

It doesn’t look like Taylor Jacobs is going to be the answer to any of the Redskins’ receiver problems either. Jacobs got ample opportunity with the injury to Thrash but he was covered like a blanket all day long. The ‘speedster’ wasn’t getting any separation on long routes and finished with a paltry 17-yards on 3 receptions.

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While it was a promising beginning for Clinton Portis, it quickly went south. The normally dependable back put the ball on the ground twice for his first two lost fumbles of 2005. While Portis ran the ball well on all other occasions (22 carries for 92 yards), the two turnovers cost the Redskins points and valuable momentum. Maybe ‘Dollar Bill’ should look for some stick um this week instead of worrying what happened to Jerome.

Rock Cartwright had a decent performance that was highlighted by a beautiful stretched out 17-yard catch for a first down. Cartwright got the start in place of the injured Ladell Betts. Unfortunately there is a slight drop off between the two and the Redskins were not able to as successfully spell Portis with Cartwright when Clinton tired.

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The defense also started with a bang and then waned. On the first drive of the ball game it looked like it was going to be a breakout game for the defense as Lemar Marshall returned a Kerry Collins interception for a touchdown. While the defense has been decent this year, they have struggled to force any turnovers. Marshall’s return was huge and would turn out to be the only Redskin touchdown of the day.

At first glance, it would actually seem the defense played well all around. They held the Raiders to field goals several times when put in tough positions and Oakland struggled to move the ball effectively in the first half. They held Lamont Jordan to just 52 yards rushing despite 27 carries. But this was the 3-6 Raiders and they allowed Collins to finish with almost 300 yards passing (19 of 36 for 289 yards).

Despite holding Randy Moss in check (3 catches for 40 yards), Jerry Porter had a field day. Porter ate up the secondary for 142 yards on 6 catches including a 49-yard touchdown.

If the offense had shown up at all, the effort by the defense would have been enough as they held the Raiders to just sixteen points after scoring seven themselves.

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Special Teams:

Frost-y. Doesn’t anybody else see what a handicap Derrick Frost is right now? The only good kicks he has are the ones that bounce twenty yards, but thank goodness he appears to get nearly every single fortuitous bounce. It was another stunning 36.2-yard performance… and that’s gross yardage folks… not net yardage. Gross indeed. If the bounces ever stop going his way then he should be good for about a 20-yard average.

The only bright spot all day long for the special teams was a solid 35-yard return from Rich Parsons in his Redskin debut. Parsons proved he’s worthy of the special teams’ roster slot again next week.

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On to San Diego to face a tough Chargers team next week. The Redskins will have to play a lot better on all units if they want to have a chance at moving back over .500 on the season and keep their playoff chances alive.

Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway

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