Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Redskins Beat the Packers 16-13 in an Overtime Classic

Dad and I went to the Skins/Packers game on Sunday at Fed Ex Field. We won, 16-13, and are tied atop the division with the Eagles and Giants at 3-2.

We had a great day: the weather was perfect (if anything, a little too sunny!), we found great lower level seats on the 40 yard line, and the Skins staged a comeback for the ages

It was especially fun to watch Donovan McNabb and Aaron Rodgers in person.  Having McNabb on the Skins makes all the difference in the world for me as a fan: the guy is just a total class act and the kind of player I've been wishing the Skins had for the past 15 years.  And Rodgers is my favorite non-Skins quarterback - tremendous poise in the pocket, the ability to scramble, and awesome zip and accuracy on his throws (is it too late for me to become an NFL quarterback and make throws like that?).

An emerging star from Sunday's game is receiver Anthony Armstrong, who made a leaping fingertip catch of a 52-yard touchdown bomb from McNabb that brought us to within 13-10. Armstrong had a couple of other catches as well, and it seems as though he may replace Joey Galloway as the #2 receiver fairly quickly (the big pre-game news was that receiver Devin Thomas was cut on Saturday; Shanahan said that Thomas needs to develop a more professional approach to the game).

The running game never got going:  Ryan Torain is indeed a power-runner, but our offensive line is clearly our weak point (on both runs and passes), and they were not able to open up any holes for large gains.  Hopefully Trent Williams will continue to develop and start to anchor the line. When you go to a game in-person and watch the plays develop, you really do understand that the offensive and defensive lines are the key to giving the stars the opportunity to shine.

As with last year's game against the Chiefs, I really enjoyed sitting closer to the action.  It makes the players more real, bringing everything down to a human scale.  For instance, I was focusing on Donald Driver when the Pack had the ball (I've got him in both fantasy leagues), and enjoyed watching his persistence in running his routes on each play: not flashy or showy (like all those Skins receivers through the past decade), but instead just working at playing the game.

It's a really nice treat for me to go to a game each year with Pops -- just talking football (for the most part, with a little bit of work mixed in), listening to the pre-game and post-game analysis and hype, and enjoying a beautiful fall day.

Here's an excerpt from the Post's recap of the game:
The Redskins again pulled out a close win, a 16-13 victory in overtime on a 33-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano to complete their late rally.
The Redskins twice trailed by 10 points. Gano's third field goal of the game and second after halftime capped the comeback and provided the latest of the Redskins' heart-stopping moments in the first five games before an announced crowd of 87,760 at FedEx Field.
Although Gano missed a 51-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter that would have tied the score at 13-13, he made his next two high-pressure kicks (I was super nervous when he lined up for the game-tying kick with one minute left (and even more nervous when Mason Crosby's 50+ yarder hit the goalpost as time expired!) and Washington won another contest in which the outcome was undecided until the final play...  
Fourth-year strong safety LaRon Landry, playing the best football of his career, made it happen by picking off Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the Packers 39-yard line in overtime. Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had a big second half to lead the comeback, quickly completed two passes, including one to tight end Chris Cooley that resulted in a 30-yard gain (this was a tremendous run -- vintage Cooley!) after Cooley broke two tackles and eluded another defender.

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