R. Wilson Quaintance, IV. 28th October, 2008 - 2:51 pm
If you tuned in for this game expecting the Redskins to whip the winless Lions, or Toothless Lions (if you follow the wire), that's not what happened. Detroit remains winless this season. The latest defeat comes at the hands of Washington, who, in Detroit, fended off Lions with a 25-17 victory. Hail!
Washington's performance in the first half lacked luster and was often hard to watch. At least it wasn't as slow as Week 7 when the Browns visited Washington, and there was no score at half time.
Clinton Portis started and finished the day as the NFL's top rusher. His closest rival is Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, but the Washington rusher leads by 260 yards.
Thus far, the transition from Joe Gibbs to Jim Zorn has been almost without note. Some play-calling trust bestowed from Zorn to quarterback Jason Campbell was publicized, which gave the illusion that the transition had been welcomed and was without major hitch.
During the first hal, there was a serious row between Coach Zorn and Portis. The running back put a towel over his head and hunched over on the bench with his elbows on his knees.
Commentators speculated that they had words regarding Zorn's decision to leave him out for that particular possession.
From a coaching standpoint, entering a game with the NFL's top rusher gives light to the idea of holding out and not running him to death even though he's prepared for and is expecting to do so. Zorn has a cool head,and he knows how to rattle the opposition.
At halftime the Lions were on top with a surprising 10-6 lead.
Campbell has all the poise of a man who may grace the front of a Wheaties box one day, but sometimes lacks focus because the opposing line tries to render him horizontal. Sometimes when the ball is snapped, he scrambles and weaves as a man skating impending injury. He finished the day having completed 23 of his 28 passes.
The play of the game was easily the punt return by Santana Moss. The return had a wacky beginning as Devin Thomas and Moss collided in what appeared to be a play-ending bop. The incidental contact stunned the defense and redirected Moss slightly. He zigged and zagged down the field and ran it in 80 yards for six points. It was a very satisfying play indeed and certainly for those fans who expect more out of punt-returner Antwaan Randle El than they've seen this year.
Notables for the week include Campbell's 328 yards passing, the NFL's fourth highest on Sunday. Portis clenched the number two weekly haul for rushing with 126 yards. He was superseded only by Philly's Brian Westbrook (167 yds). So much for the broken ribs Washington gave him almost a month ago.
Santana Moss also finished fourth in Week Eight with 140 yards receiving. In addition, Washington's kicker Shaun Shuisham was second in total scoring with 13 points.
There must have been some fire and brimstone or a wild epiphany in the Skins' locker room. The second half boasted a completely different outlook as Washington dominated the two quarters. And not without a sense of entitlement, either.
That's how they lost to St. Louis. Even if you're slated to win, it's never a good idea to play as if it is a given.
Case in point: Miami over New England and San Diego. Also, Cleveland over New York on Monday Night Football a few weeks ago.
Any given Sunday, right?
"That's why we watch football!" a good friend of mine always says.
The biggest disappointment of the day for the Redskins had to be seeing Tampa squander good field position against Dallas on the last possession of the game. What kind of franchise up and forgets to use their timeouts?