I know, I know … you’re wondering what’s up with the photo. Trust me, we’ll get there. In the meantime, here’s this week’s recap:
1. “Sweep The Leg” by No More Kings
Coming into the game, the haters were running out of areas to nitpick. After the Redskins rolled off three consecutive wins, including a dominating performance against the Dallas Cowboys last week, the best any of them could come up with was “The Redskins haven’t had to deal with adversity yet. Let’s see how they respond with their back against the wall.”
Redskins 1. Adversity 0.
The Eagles came out of their corner swinging and nearly knocked the ‘Skins out in the first round. Eagles running back/Redskins killer Brian Westbrook scored the game’s opening touchdown and then an Eagles punt return for a score barely a minute later put Philly up by two touchdowns just seven minutes into the game. On the road against a desperate divisional rival with the entire stadium rocking after two quick touchdowns a lesser team calls it a night. They pack up, hit the showers and try again another night. Not this team though. The Jim Zorn-led Redskins simply “stayed medium” as he likes to say. They took a deep breath and went back to work.
Most impressively, the team stuck to their gameplan. While most teams would have abandoned the running game down by two touchdowns, Zorn refused to throw in the towel. Early and often he handed the ball to running backs Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts, and was rewarded with 203 rushing yards on the day.
With the running game in full effect and a patch-work defense stifling a dangerous Eagles offense, the Redskins reeled off 23 straight points en route to their fourth-straight victory. On defense they were without several big name starters. No Jason Taylor. No Shawn Springs. No Marcus Washington. No problem. Whoever stepped in stepped up. Here’s how good the Redskins defense has been this season – throughout the first five games, the ‘Skins have allowed just 10 points in the fourth quarter.
And while quarterback Jason Campbell didn’t have his best statistical outing of the season, he’s still taking what defenses are giving him and making timely plays. In fact, Campbell has now thrown 153 passes without an interception this season. Dating back to last season, Campbell’s thrown 175 passes without a pick, which is a franchise record. And the most impressive number for Campbell and the offense this season is 4, as in four straight games have ended with the ‘Skins offense taking a knee as the clocks winds down and they pick up another win.
Oh, and if you’ve never seen the “Sweep The Leg” video, then do yourself a favor and check it out. Seriously, you’ll thank me.
2. “Anything Can Happen” by Wyclef Jean
While Portis finished the day with 29 carries for 145 yards and a touchdown, those numbers don’t tell the whole story. For starters, the Eagles came into the game with the NFL’s best defense against the run, allowing around 54 yards per game. And while the 145 yards represent Portis’ best outing of the 2008 season, it’s the last three he rushed for that mattered the most.
With the Redskins facing fourth-and-1 at the Eagles’ 38-yard line with less than three minutes to play, Portis somehow coaxed his rookie head coach into calling the play he had in mind. That play, a draw out of a shotgun formation, turned out to be a game-clincher, with the ‘Skins able to run the clock out after Portis picked up the three toughest yards he ran on Sunday.
And what did Zorn have to say about handing the game’s pivotal play over to his running back?
“If a rookie had said anything, I’d have told him to shut up,” Zorn told Peter King of Sports Illustrated. “But the call made sense. We ran it.”
Hall of Fame head coach Joe Gibbs used to joke that if Portis had his way he’d throw at least one pass a game, so obviously he’s biased when it comes to who should have the ball in their hands when the game is on the line. But give Zorn credit – he trusted his players and was rewarded. You better believe the locker room noticed and will be more than willing to go to war for their first-year coach from here on out.
3. “Nothing As It Seems” by Pearl Jam
Conventional wisdom, at least if you listen to the talking heads on the major networks, was that the Redskins had just one weapon in their passing game. While it’s flattering for folks to remember how truly talented wide out Santana Moss truly is, it’s also a slap in the face to a certain Pro Bowl tight end to forget exactly what he’s capable of. In an effort to remind the talking heads that he can still take over a game, Chris Cooley hauled in eight catches for 109 yards and his first touchdown of the year. The touchdown was courtesy of wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who threw the highlight-worthy touchdown while on the run in an effort to make up for his three drops on the day.
4. “Mr. Carter” by Lil Wayne (w/ Jay-Z)
Defensive end Andre Carter was absolutely dominating. He might be labeled as a pass rusher, a job which he does very well, but that doesn’t mean he’s not capable of shutting down the run from time to time. The Eagles had the ball on third-and-one from the two yard line in the fourth quarter with just over eight minutes to play. The drive had started on the Eagles’ nine yard line and 10 plays later they were knocking on the door ready to cut the score to 23-21. That is, until Carter, who led the ‘Skins defense with six tackles, slammed the door shut on the Eagles, stuffing Westbrook in the backfield for a three yard loss. The Eagles settled for a fieldgoal and never touched the ball again.
5. “Ace Of Spades” by Motorhead
See the photo at the top of the page? That’s my wife and Lemmy from Motorhead. Turns out he decided to join us on our trip to Las Vegas this weekend. Okay, so maybe we didn’t share bunk beds, but he was on our flight to Sin City, which turned out to be a good omen for our trip. The wife and I headed to Caesar’s and bet some money on the Redskins beating the Eagles. We didn’t even want the points. Just a straight up win, please. When the ‘Skins won, so did we. So thanks to Zorn and friends, we walked away with an extra $300 worth of beer money. Good times. Good times indeed.
October 6, 2008 at 10:54 pm
She may be hugging Lemmy, but she’s thinking about me. You can see it in her eyes. Or maybe his. Hell, I’m not sure anymore…
October 7, 2008 at 1:19 am
Dude! That’s fucking Lemmy! Awesome.
October 7, 2008 at 6:29 am
…”It was a trick question…Lemmy IS God!”
October 7, 2008 at 2:12 pm
Klopfenstein, The Rams are Dangerous right now and this need not be said as any 0-4 team is dangerous in my opinion cause they will do anything to win which is what you should do if you are 4-0 as well but hey that’s me! Anyway back to the skins. In order for this to not be a trap game we must not under any circumstances let Marc Buldger or Stephen Jackson get hot! That’s first and foremost and a very close second would be dismantling Tory Holt quickly to take away their passing game which does not really exist but it could wake up someday! maybe…. but overall if this game is played physical we should have a dominating Performance and an extremely big win because now we have to win the games we are “supposed to win” and this is when you really know you have a playoff ready team when you pull the surprise upsets, when you come from behind to win, when your involved in a shootout (see New Orleans game), and when you hold on the ball and keep turnovers to a minimum which we are doing very well at the moment. Now Couple this with beating teams you’re supposed to beat and you got yourself one hell of a dominating football team. the redskins are an underdog team no matter what the point spread says if we were went undefeated in any season in the future we would be an underdog team and this goes for historic redskin teams that won division titles and super bowls we are a blue collar team who sports writers never really talk about going into any season even if we won the year before and that’s how we like it! That’s what Redskins football is about! We show up on Sundays and smash your nose in to make believers out of other teams. going back to when Gibbs put replacements on the field and beat the cowgirls to when we played our starters in a strike season to get to the super bowl to saying we’re not going to let this happen after the murder of Sean Taylor to catapult themselves into the post season. This team has and always will be the scrappy underdog that will fight to the end. So as long as the skins think like that then whoever lines up in front of us watch out! The keys to this game against the Rams are as follows
Defense: Keep up the good work! I’m anxious to see weather JT (Jason Taylor) will come back and get a few sac’s which would greatly and I mean greatly help in to secure a win. This is a game where we can make a pass rushing statement! Because we have yet to do it thus far in the season so JT really needs to have a monster day and I know he will after sitting out games in which the D dominated in Dallas and Philly
Offense: Portis-my man we need another big day from you and somehow I think we will see it <<< never worry about this guy as he is one of the few players in the NFL who plays 150% on every play!
JC- looking good my man keep up the good work as well whatever kool aide you drinking make another pitcher full! But I need you to silence the naysayers this week! How about we go out and have us a 3 TD 350 yard game! I know it’s in you and I can see it getting ready to happen for you because you’re letting the game come to you so hopefully we will see you taking knees to end this one out to! But way to not force anything I am thoroughly impressed. remember Cooley is like a guaranteed 11 yards so when its 2 and 9 he is my second check I would think and on third and long he would be second you guys probably have something designed to go to him in these situations anyway which I would use until someone stops it because Chris Cooley is a terror and a problem in the middle of the field! And no one can stop it….
Santana- nuff said this should be a big game for you and I see you running in front of d-backs all afternoon! Least that’s what Dion Warwick told me…….
Special teams- Durant Brooks!! Get it together!! ASAP like T.I