Washington left Tampa Bay in their wake as they cruised to another win with Jason Campbell at the helm. This week, the 8-2 Washington Redskins go home to face the 6-4 Carolina Panthers. The Redskins currently have the 13th ranked offense in the NFL, their defense ranks 5th behind the Eagles and they’re tied for 2nd place with the Denver Broncos with +8 turnover differential. Jason Campbell’s #2 WR Brandon Lloyd will start at the #3 position today. He suffered a high ankle sprain but can play. The Redskins coaches are taking a slight precaution and are starting Antwaan Randle El in a hope to ease Lloyd’s injury.
The Skins lose the toss and kick the ball into the end zone. Carolina has the ball at their 20 yard line. Delhomme gets off a pass with Daniels in his face due to a key block in the back that was not called. The pass was completed to Keyshawn Johnson for a gain of one yard. On 2nd down Jake gets off another pass for a gain of one yard. With 3rd and 8 looming the Skins look to tee off on the QB and send all 3 LB’s blitzing. The Panthers call the perfect play and hand off a draw to #34 Williams who leaves the burgundy LB’s in his dust. With no 2nd tier support in sight, he’s able to cruise into the end zone for a 77 yard TD.
The Redskins offense steps out into the field with Jason Campbell. The first play is traditional NFC East smash mouth football run to the left with TJ Duckett. TJ bulldozes his way for a 7-yard gain but loses one yard on his second attempt on 2nd down. On 3rd down Jason Campbell scans the field and rolls to his right; he motions for Santana Moss to break off of his hook route that has been taken away by the DB playing a zone underneath of him. Moss breaks into a sprint and is wide open but drops the pass which would have been for 19 yards. The Redskins are forced to punt from their 38 yard line.
DeShaun Foster makes his debut in the Panthers second possession and is held to 0 yards on his first attempt on 1st down. The Panthers are obviously anxious to get another score on the board and put the Redskins in a two score deficit early in the first half of the game. On 2nd down the Panthers come out in a 5 wide receiver set, Reed Doughty and Kenny Wright come on a blitz but it’s all for naught as Johnson burns Carlos Rogers for a TD pass. Rogers had a shot to tackle Keyshawn but could not wrestle him to the ground and slid down and off of him.
The offense comes out on the field with hopes to finally get some kind of points on the board. The first play is a run to TJ but he’s blown up in the backfield by Julius Peppers. Jansen was blown into the backfield at the snap of the ball which allowed Peppers unimpeded access to Duckett. The running game has been off and on thus far in the game, on 2nd down JC rifles a pass to Brandon Lloyd who makes a shoestring catch and holds on to the ball after a nasty hit for the 1st down. Campbell brings the team back to the huddle and they try another run which gains 3 yards. On 2nd and 7 an errant pass should have been picked off by the defense. So far in the game the offense has not had an easy first down conversion thus far. With 3rd down and 7 yards to go, the Skins don’t come out in a multiple WR set. They stay with twin WR set and place Moss and Lloyd to the left. Lloyd makes a break up the sideline and Moss goes across the middle with #23 Howard behind him. JC leads Moss perfectly and he holds onto it this time for the completion and the 1st down. With the ball at the Panthers 37 yard line the Skins put Ladell Betts in and get 6 yards from him. The easiest first down came during this set of downs as a pass to Lloyd moves the chains on 2nd down. That bit of luck was the last bit they seemed to have as the offense stalls in the red zone. A pass to Lloyd down on the goal line was thrown too far as the catch was made out of bounds. The 2nd down run to TJ was blown up in the backfield for a loss of 4 yards. Its 3rd and 14 at the Panthers 31 yard line, JC scrambles to his left in hopes to hit a wide open Randle El but it seems that Peppers is too hard to block. He hits JC just as he gets the ball off forcing an incomplete pass. Nick Novak hits a 48 yard FG to put 3 points on the board.
The Panthers come out with 6 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Their first play is a run to the left with Foster. He gains a yard before getting tackled by Lemar Marshall. On 2nd down Foster is held to zero yards when trying to run to the opposite side. He’s tackled by Adam Archuleta who was one of the many offenders of the draw play that went for a TD. Cornelius Griffin makes his presence known in the game on 3rd down. He jumps the snap and gets into the backfield and makes the sack before Delhomme can recognize what’s happening. The Skins finally get off of the field on a 3rd and long, now it’s the offense’s turn to hold up their end of the bargain. The Panthers punt and hold Randle El to no yards on his return.
The Redskins switch up their strategy a bit, and include Betts more in the game plan. He’s running the plays more suited to Portis which call for a bit of speed. TJ is going to handle a bit of both but more so the tough runs. Betts gets 5 yards on a stretch play to the right which he cut back to the left. On 2nd down the Skins run TJ up the gut for another gain of 5 yards. With the new set of downs the Panthers blitz. Samuels picks up the blitzer as JC gets the ball out to TJ in the flat. Duckett rumbles for 7 yards and has proven himself a reliable target for dump off passes since he replaced CP as the #1 RB. A promising drive comes to an end as JC throws his first interception as a starter. The issue was more so the incredibly lazy route running by Christian Fauria which allowed #53 Diggs to step in front of him and take the pass.
The Panthers now have the ball at their 41 yard line, and with a pass from Delhomme to Steve Smith they get it to the Skins 42 yard line. The Panthers get the ball into the end zone after a Foster run for 10 yards took them to the 32 and then a touchdown pass to Smith sealed the deal.
The plan was for the Redskins to get the ball and play it safe. As the ball is being run back by Betts, he doesn’t secure the ball against his body and it’s jarred loose at the 18 yard line. Special teamer Shaun Williams scoops up the fumble and returns it for a TD.
The Skins come in a 3 WR set looking to score quickly and show a different side of the offense which has been dreadful thus far. Antwaan drops his pass on 1st down and puts the Skins in a hole. TJ gets a run on 2nd down for a gain of 4. TJ gets a pass on 3rd down but is one yard shy of the 1st down; he wasn’t able to beat the DB to the edge. Its 4th and 1 on the Skins 33, the Skins go for it and get the 1st down. JC is sacked for a 12 yard loss on 1st down by Peppers while directing his WR’s. On 2nd and 22 JC is forced to scramble to his left and throws back across his body to Moss to get it back to 3rd and 8. Randle El drops another pass on 3rd down which bounces off of his hands. The Redskins are forced to punt.
The Panthers march down the field with a myriad of passes that the Skins are defenseless to stop. Keyshawn Johnson and Drew Carter make key catches to get the Panthers in the red zone. It was Michael Gaines who caught the 22 yard strike from Delhomme. Delhomme threaded the needle by placing the ball in-between the safety and DB, hitting Gaines in stride.
The Skins are dejected and it shows as their play continues to get sloppy. Two decent Duckett runs put the Skins in a 3rd and 5 situation with their 1st set of downs. JC is looking for Lloyd on 3rd down but under throws him as the ball is picked off by Gamble.
Foster gets the ball after the change of possession and runs it for 7 yards. Fosters converts on 2nd down after a missed tackle by Taylor breaks him free. With a new set of downs at the Skins 20 yard line, Delhomme takes a shot in the end zone and gets it to the goal line. Johnson had to shield the ball from McIntosh but had to come out of the end zone to do it. With the ball at the goal line Delhomme and the Panthers get a bit too flashy for themselves. In a show of blatant disrespect, Delhomme drops back from the 3 yard line and rifles a pass to Steve Smith. The pass is intercepted by Taylor in the end zone and he races up the sideline 103 yards for 7 points.
The Panthers get the ball and are faced with a 3rd and 8 during the 1st set of downs. An exhausted Redskins defense holds up and forces the Panthers to punt. Delhomme played it safe on 3rd down and tossed the ball short of the sticks. He took what the defense gave him but threw it behind his WR and didn’t allow him to get yards after the catch. The Panthers are forced to punt.
The Skins have the ball at their 30 yard line. If they’re going to get back into it, now is the time. JC goes for the TD pass on 1st down but the ball is batted down. The Skins play it safe and run it with TJ. He gets 8 yards on 2nd down and converts on 3rd. On 1st down JC again goes for the end zone. He connects with Cooley on a 56 yard pass that gets nearly to the goal line. Duckett runs it in from the 3 yard line behind Sellers for the Skins first offensive TD. The Skins don’t have much time left.
Novak gets the ball into the end zone. The defense needs an interception make a possible a comeback. The Panthers continue to convert 3rd downs and it seems that the defense valiant effort is too little too late. The Panthers make it to mid field with a good mix of pass and run. Rogers actually got his hands on one pass but it was too low for him to haul it in. With the game over with only 4 minutes left in the game, Taylor starts teeing off on whomever he comes in contact with. The defense eventually holds and forces the Panthers to kick a FG but there isn’t enough time on the clock to mount a comeback. The Skins get the ball back in garbage time; they run the clock out and lose at home.
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Christopher Allen