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Anthony Armstrong And 'One Of Those Hits Defenders Dream About' (UPDATED)

Posted by Matt Terl on November 28, 2010 – 5:29 pm

As soon as I posted my contention that the game was lost when Perry Riley blocked some guy in the back, I felt sort of bad about it. Games aren’t lost on one play, and lord knows there was more the Redskins could’ve done so that they didn’t actually NEED that one punt return touchdown quite so badly.

Riley himself didn’t speak to the media in the locker room (although the PR staff got him on the phone for a brief conference call shortly after he left), but most of the players I talked to were less concerned about his penalty than they were about everything else.

“Everybody has to uplift him,” Anthony Armstrong said, “don’t let that be the One Play That Ruins Everything, and keep his head up. There’s multiple plays out there that we could’ve had; it’s not a one play thing, and I don’t want anybody to get that mindset that, ‘Oh, if he wouldn’t’ve blocked him in the back then this or that’. [Heck], if we convert third downs and do what we did the first series over and over again, then yeah, we’re gonna do good.”

(In fact, Armstrong was still beating himself up about one of his own miscues: the dropped pass on the play immediately following his 45-yard reception. “It hit me right in the hands,” Armstrong said. “I just dropped the [darned] thing. That’s all. That’s on me. That’s just some concentration stuff — you gotta be able to bounce back from a long play and then catch the next one. Just gotta wipe it off and go with a clean slate.”

Speaking of things bouncing and getting wiped out, Armstrong also talked about being on the receiving end of this monster hit during the Redskins near-flawless opening drive. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Vikings – Fourth Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on November 28, 2010 – 3:50 pm

It just HAD to be Brett Favre, didn’t it? Gunslingerin’ out another win, despite the laundry list of injuries, the rumored pregame illness, the new head coach, the otherwise unremarkable performance … just about the only appropriate ending this game could’ve had was Favre lumbering for a first down on third-and-8.

But the game was lost minutes earlier, as far as momentum was concerned. When Perry Riley‘s unnecessary (but correctly-flagged) block in the back negated Brandon Banks‘ remarkable punt return touchdown, every bit of air went out of the game. Sometimes there are those opportunities in games that you know you will never, ever get back, and that was one of them. The offense had been stalled all half. The team needed a spark. Their best chance to score was exactly what happened, and when that was wiped out, everything else — from the three-and-out to the defense bending to Favre’s run to the final kneeldowns –seemed like a foregone conclusion.

I’m heading down to the locker room to see if any of the players saw things differently, but even if they did it doesn’t matter to the final score. Vikings 17, Redskins 13, and the Redskins fall below .500 again. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Vikings – Third Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on November 28, 2010 – 3:07 pm

I’m not sure what happened to the offense from the first quarter — that crisp, Madden-on-Rookie-setting unit that produced the Redskins’ best drive of the season — but they certainly didn’t turn up in the third. The Redskins totaled three yards of offense in the quarter, and I think they all came on one four yard run by James Davis.

The Redskins went three-and-out, six-and-out, and one-and-intercepted for the quarter, and it didn’t even look THAT good. Meanwhile, the Vikings — still working without their all-world running back — opened the half by putting together a nine-play scoring drive and finished it by intercepting Donovan McNabb inside the Redskins 10 yard line.

The defense made a stand and held the Vikings to a field goal, and Brandon Banks returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards … but the offense followed up by promptly giving up a sack of McNabb, which is the story of this game so far: the offense has completely disappeared. Even if the first-quarter offense doesn’t make their way back, they need to improve over that abysmal third quarter.

In better news, Banks’ kick return fired up the crowd more than anything else we’ve seen today, so at least that’s a little better.

Into the fourth with the Vikings leading 17-7. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Vikings – Second Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on November 28, 2010 – 2:16 pm

From a measured, level-headed, non-hysterical point of view, this was just a tightly fought quarter of football. Both teams gained yardage, both teams made defensive stops. No one made any egregious errors or boneheaded turnovers — which is impressive, given the way the Redskins have played at points this year and Favre’s m.o.in general — and as a result no one scored.

(It didn’t hurt that Adrian Peterson left the game with an ankle injury, although his return is listed as probable.)

But the atmosphere in the stadium continues to feel … muted. I don’t know if people are still recovering from Thursday’s tryptophan overdose or if Redskins fans aren’t used to 1:00 home games or what, but the vibe at FedExField does not seem to reflect the actual game situation. (Except when Favre was sacked. Watching Brett Favre get knocked down still fires people up.)

Maybe it’s because Redskins crowds respond best to dominating rushing performances, and the Redskins go into the half with Donovan McNabb as their leading rusher with a whopping 7 yards. Brandon Banks adds 6, Keiland Williams another 5, and James Davis 4 for a total of 22 yards on 11 attempts. Even given the tough Vikings defensive line, those are numbers that will have to improve in the second half for the Redskins to win this game. And, I suspect, to bring the crowd back into it. Because I really can’t say enough just how odd it seems in here. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Vikings – First Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on November 28, 2010 – 1:35 pm

For one drive, the Redskins were darned near perfect. Donovan McNabb went 8-for-8 for 84 yards and 1 touchdown. The Redskins were 4-for-4 on third down. Chris Cooley, Anthony Armstrong, and Roydell Williams all contributed impressive athletic plays. Brandon Banks even took a couple of direct snaps in the Wildcat formation. It was like watching someone play Madden on Rookie level and do everything right.

Then the defense came on, and made the Vikings offense in general — and Adrian Peterson in particular — look even MORE like someone playing Madden on the easiest setting. The Vikings gained positive yardage on every one of their seven plays, and drove down for the tying touchdown in half the time that it took the Redskins to do the same.

And just like that, all the air went out of the stadium. Like it or not, we as Redskins fans are clearly a skittish bunch right now, and as soon as it becomes clear that the game isn’t going to be walk, everyone seems to get very nervous. Larry Weisman noticed it as well — “It’s like everyone’s waiting for the roof to fall in,” he said. (He was speaking metaphorically; there is, of course, no roof at FedExField.)

But that’s how the first half ends: 7-7, each team having had one impressive offensive drive, and the stadium more or less silent. Read more »

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Redskins vs. Vikings – Inactive List

Posted by Matt Terl on November 28, 2010 – 11:53 am

Looks like Macho Harris will have to wait a little bit longer to achieve his dream of playing for the Redskins, as the newly-signed safety is inactive this week. And Derrick Dockery (pictured above) makes a return to the inactive list. But the remainder of that list contains surprisingly little bad news, given what it COULD have looked like. Many of the questionable players — including Lorenzo Alexander, Brandon Banks, Rocky McIntosh, and Santana Moss — will be suiting up and (presumably) playing, as will Carlos Rogers.

And Terrence Austin will make his regular season debut, after being signed to the active roster in place of the recently-released Joey Galloway. Losing LaRon Landry and Ryan Torain is a bummer, but we knew about that days ago. This is probably as good as this list could possibly be expected to look. The whole list:

  • John Beck (third QB)
  • Macho Harris
  • LaRon Landry
  • Andre Brown
  • Ryan Torain
  • Derrick Dockery
  • Anthony Bryant
  • Jeremy Jarmon

Read more »

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