Coming Up
  • Thu., Aug. 24, 2017 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruiden and defensive coordinator Greg Manusky talk at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
  • Fri., Aug. 25, 2017 1:20 PM - 3:00 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden, Matt Cavanaugh At The Podium Tune in to hear Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruiden and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh talk at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.
  • Sun., Aug. 27, 2017 3:30 PM - 3:50 PM EDT Live Redskins Pregame Show At FedExField Tune in to watch the pregame happenings and get all of the latest prior to the Redskins' preseason Week 2 matchup with the Bengals.
  • Sun., Aug. 27, 2017 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM EDT Live Jay Gruden, Kirk Cousins At The Podium Tune in to watch head coach Jay Gruden and quarterback Kirk Cousins talk to the media at FedExField in Landover, Md.

Redskins @ 49ers – Fourth Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2008 – 7:18 pm

  • As the third quarter ended, it looked like the story of that drive was going to be a very brief Chris Cooley redemption story. After dropping a pass on first down, Cooley came through on third and 10 to pick up the first down and end the half. Everything looked groovy. But with the start of the fourth quarter, the narrative changed to A Series of Inexplicable Drops, by Santana Moss. The first one, on second down, was defensible, but the third down drop was completely bizarre, and not like anything I remember seeing from Moss before.

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Redskins @ 49ers – Third Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2008 – 6:23 pm

  • Do you know what’s nice about the start of this third quarter? The Redskins receive the ball. It’s barely happened at all this year, because Zorn generally elects to receive if he wins the toss, and most other teams have been deferring their decision to the second half when they win the toss. In both those situations, the Skins start the game with the ball, which has rarely worked out particularly well, and start the second half on defense. I vastly prefer it this way.
  • Jason Campbell, flushed out of the pocket, actually throws the ball away rather than rolling out of bounds for a loss. Although it should be common sense, that’s very good to see. If this game isn’t going to mean anything — and it’s safe to say that it isn’t — and if it isn’t going to be a showcase for the rookies — and that’s not happening either — at least the guys who are playing can show that they’ve learned from some of the earlier missteps.
  • A Clinton Portis fumble manages to simultaneously negate any benefit of receiving the second half kickoff, kill my optimistic enthusiasm, and lead to a 49ers touchdown drive. That would pretty much be the dictionary definition of a momentum changing play.
  • As would the Jason Campbell sack for a thirteen yard loss that starts the subsequent Washington possession. If there is an exact polar opposite of “not letting them back into it,” it’s what the Skins are doing right now. I suppose that’s just “letting them back into it,” but I feel like there should be a pithier term.
  • Jason Taylor is actually making his presence felt today, hurrying Shaun Hill and generally making a nuisance of himself in the backfield. He’s not being moved around as much as he was last week, but he’s beginning to seem much more like the player he used to be (or at least a reasonable replica thereof) than he has since his fluky calf injury.
  • I have a theory: maybe the Redskins have decided that since Ryan Plackemeier was NFC Special Teams Player of the Week, they should be utilizing him more this game. So what appears to be offensive futility is actually a canny plan to use one of our best weapons. Admittedly, he’s not doing that great this week, but you’ve gotta rely on your playmakers.
  • Despite scoring that touchdown earlier, Antwaan Randle El is really not having a very good game. He’s dropped a couple of passes that looked catchable, and he continues to frustrate in punt return duty. Based on the evidence so far today, his 36 yard return late in last week’s game is looking more like a blip than a return to form.

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Redskins @ 49ers – Second Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2008 – 5:40 pm

  • The Redskins stay hot coming into the second quarter, doing exactly what you’d like to see them do from inside the 10: hand the ball to Clinton Portis until he scores a touchdown. The ballgame is tied 7-7, and if you were looking for a non-gameplay related way to express that, you might say that the Redskins’ timeout has stolen the energy imparted by San Francisco’s mustaches.
  • Poor Carlos Rogers. He makes a great interception, with a terrific return afterward, and all anyone up here in the press box wants to talk about is how surprising it is that he held on to the pass with his legendarily maligned hands. “He has great moves with the ball,” someone says, adding, “I never knew that because he never actually catches the thing.” Viewing the replay, it really does look like Rogers did nearly drop the ball, but still.

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Redskins @ 49ers – First Quarter Thoughts

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2008 – 4:55 pm

  • The weather in San Francisco today is absolutely gorgeous. The locals keep saying it’s cold, but their scale is strange — it’s pleasantly cool, and downright comfortable when the sun comes out. Basically, it’s terrific football weather, which makes it even more of a pity that this game is so close to meaningless.
  • Something I’ve learned from traveling with the team this year is that fans of the visiting team ALWAYS establish a strong presence in the stadium before kickoff. Until the home fans trickle in from their tailgates and whatever else they do, it always looks like a stadium invasion, and today’s game is no exception. The Redskins get a resounding cheer when the jog out for warmups, but by the time they go back into the tunnel, they’re booed firmly.
  • That booing aside, there’s not a lot of energy at this game. The 49ers’ pregame introductions use all the usual fireworks and music and manufactured drama, but it’s not really charging the atmosphere in the stadium the way you’d like. It’s the last game of the year for both of these teams, and for the home fans, and it really feels that way.
  • It especially feels that way when the 49ers open with four straight runs, as if they just want to keep the clock moving and get the game over with as soon as possible. Which is not to say that the running game isn’t working; the Niners take their opening drive down the field like the Redskins defense isn’t even there, but they really are keeping the clock moving also. They’ve also gotten their fans (finally) into the game, which at least has the positive effect of making this feel more like a football game.
  • The Redskins, on the other hand, stop the clock with incomplete passes on two out of the three plays on their three-and-out, as they try to squeeze every last drop out of this season. Or something like that.
  • I have no idea what the Redskins did with their first timeout, but whatever it was, it worked. After that, they get a stop, the Niners miss a field goal, and suddenly the Redskins are moving the ball to get to the half.

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Redskins @ 49ers – Inactives

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2008 – 2:48 pm

Looks like Coach Zorn is staying true to his plan to stick with his starters. Malcolm Kelly is down, as are Devin Clark, Rob Jackson and newly-signed linebacker Tyson Smith. So those of you holding out hope for an inactive list of old guys … sorry about that.

  • 5 Colt Brennan – emergency third QB
  • 12 Malcolm Kelly – WR
  • 62 Devin Clark – OL
  • 63 Will Montgomery – OL
  • 73 Ryan Boschetti – DT
  • 78 D’Anthony Batiste – OL
  • 97 Tyson Smith – LB
  • 98 Rob Jackson – DE

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Sunday, December 28: Gameday – Redskins @ 49ers

Posted by Matt Terl on December 28, 2008 – 1:42 pm

For the last week, the only thing I’ve heard about this roadtrip is “wait until you see what a dump Candlestick Park is,” in about nine million different variations. And, from a certain perspective, it’s true. This is an old stadium, built in 1958 or thereabouts, and it looks it. Any modern amenities have been hammered into the existing structure after the fact, so they tend to be a little cramped, a little ill-fitting.

At the same time, there’s a certain RFK vibe that trips all the nostalgia buttons in an old Redskins fan. Like RFK, it was built to accomodate baseball as well as football, and that shows as well. The dimensions are weird, the seat locations make much more sense if you picture the baseball diamond in place of the football field.

But there’s one thing that this stadium has that the newer stadiums we’ve visited don’t: it has history. Texas Stadium had history, but I hate the Cowboys too much to care. Here, though, walking out onto the field before anyone was here, I headed straight to the back corner of the north end zone, where Dwight Clark made The Catch to beat the Cowboys in 1981 and send the 49ers to Super Bowl XVI.

The “ghosts” that occupy old stadiums get a lot of talk whenever one is knocked down, and that talk tends to be massively irritating. But coming into a stadium like this, seeing spots like that, knowing that Montana and Rice and all those guys won their games here … it goes a long way toward making up for a cramped press box and aging infrastructure.

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