There were two things the Redskins needed to do yesterday to beat the Giants and the Redskins didn’t accomplish either of them.
Objective One; Put Pressure on Eli Manning
The Redskins’ “much improved” defensive line failed to get to Manning and allowed the Giants to dominate in time of possession. The Giants’ first drive ate up most of the first quarter. Granted, they managed to keep the Giants out of the endzone, but there is a reason why you track time of possession.
With Andre Carter, Phillip Daniels, Albert Haynesworth and Cornelius Griffin, there should be ample pressure from the front four alone. This is starting to look more like a coaching problem and less like an execution problem.
Don’t Bend OR Break
Yesterday’s defense looked like the same defense we saw last year…and the year before that. It smelled an awful lot like Greg Williams low pressure scheme that allowed teams to march into the redzone before finally facing a tough goal-line stand.
Whatever happened to “three and out?” Shouldn’t that be the mantra of the defense? End their drive before they get started? Sure you may get burned for a big one every once and a while, but you keep their offense from getting confidence and getting into a rhythm.
Objective Two; Establish the Passing Game
The Redskins opening drive of the season started off spectacularly enough with a huge run by Clinton Portis. So we follow that up with a trick play that resulted in an 11-yard loss?
We needed to get Campbell throwing the ball early and often, but that plan broke down when we asked Randle-el to throw the game’s first forward pass…and he didn’t! We then followed that up with a draw play and a screen pass.
The next series was three straight running plays, and it wasn’t until the half was almost over, and the Redskins were only on their third drive that they decided to finally start throwing the ball beyond the line-of-scrimmage.
Once the passing game got going, it started to show some promise. Most passes were accurate and beyond the first down marker, but it seemed like whenever the team did something right in one place, they would screw something up somewhere else; like Randle-el tackling himself over and over again. At least he would get the first down before he fell down.
Break it Down
By the time the Redskins got their act together it was too late. Miserable playcalling and poor execution had already doomed them in the game. Sure it was nice to see Campbell finally complete a touchdown pass to Cooley, but by then the game was pretty well over.
Sure, they could have recovered the onside kick and had a little over a minute to score again with one timeout remaining, but the odds were not in their favor for that kind of comeback.
Sure the offense had it’s share of mistakes, but really I blame the defense in this game. While you can say that it was Jason Campbell’s fumble that was returned for a touchdown that was the difference maker, you could just as easily make the same case for Manningham’s 30-yard reception where he was whiffed by three different defenders and ran untouched the rest of the way.
I’m glad D’angelo Hall got an interception because he certainly owed us something with the way he was playing. He could have dragged Manningham out of bounds but opted for the “two-hand touch” attempt instead.
At first I thought the team just didn’t seem to be on the same page, but now I realize they were all on the same wrong page; maybe even in the wrong book.
Six days until the Rams fellas. You owe us a good game.