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Redskins @ Cowboys – Fourth Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on December 19, 2010 – 4:13 pm

In a season where every loss has been more soul-crushing and depressing than the last, you would think that a three point loss and a failed comeback bid would just be more of the same. But this was actually the least painful loss I can think of this season — although I can’t for the life of me think of why.

I mean, by all rights this should be crushing. The Redskins scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to tie the game, had the ball with a chance to win, and the quarterback — who had already turned the ball over twice — threw a game-sealing interception. I joked on Twitter that it was the ending that everyone expected, which it was — Rex Grossman’s reputation involves a lot of interceptions — but the way Grossman and the team got there wasn’t what people expected at all. And I think it’s that gulf between expectations and actualities that made this loss seem just a bit less painful.

The expectations could not have been lower. When you see stories on gameday that openly suggest that the team is tanking to improve their draft position — simply because of a quarterback change — you can safely call that rock bottom for expectations. And people specifically had no faith in Grossman. Read more »

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Redskins @ Cowboys – Third Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on December 19, 2010 – 3:16 pm

The Redskins are losing 30-17, but the irony of it all is that Rex Grossman actually hasn’t looked nearly as terrible as you might think. The problem is with the defense, which is making Jon Kitna look like a dynamic, mobile, athletic QB. There’s been little to no pressure on the Cowboys quarterback, and when the pressure has arrived Kitna has been able to move away from it. He’s 20-for-31 for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns, and until I looked that up I honestly felt like he’d been doing even better than that.

The Cowboys have also rushed for 99 yards heading into the fourth, and it certainly seems like a ton of that has come on bad tackling by the Redskins. Kareem Moore has been one of the more egregious offenders (as seen above), but no one has been immune. It doesn’t help that the team is missing Brian Orakpo and (still) LaRon Landry, but no matter the reason this is just frustrating to watch. Read more »

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Redskins @ Cowboys – Second Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on December 19, 2010 – 2:26 pm

Well, things got a little less bleak there in the second quarter. Not a lot less bleak, mind you, but a little bit. Rex Grossman
has continued to look like Rex Grossman, but at least some of the positive side of Rex showed up. He doesn’t have terrific arm strength and sometimes really seems to lack pocket awareness, but he occasionally throws a very pretty pass that winds up right where the the receiver can catch it. (Then, two plays later, he throws a hideously ugly pass right where Gerald Sensabaugh can catch it.)

Stil: his stat line for the half is 7-for-13 for 108 yards, 1 pick, 1 touchdown, and he was sacked twice. Not great, but not terrible either.

The score elicits a similar reaction: 20-7 Dallas, but it could be much, much worse. Dallas has twice settled for field goals on promising drives, and once not only settled for but also missed the field goal If the Redskins can come out of the half with a respectable drive and a score, this might — against all odds — turn into an entertaining football game.

In other news, Chris Cooley still hasn’t been targeted with a pass — the second straight week that’s happened going into the half — which seems strange. Brian Orakpo has left with an injury and is questionable to return; Chris Wilson is filling in at his spot. Reed Doughty is also out with a head injury and is questionable to return; Kevin Barnes has been taking his spot. So by accident if not design, even more young guys are getting a chance to show what they can do. Read more »

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Redskins @ Cowboys – First Quarter Reactions

Posted by Matt Terl on December 19, 2010 – 1:39 pm

I had high hopes I really did. I spent much of yesterday telling anyone who would listen that Rex Grossman was going to perform better than anyone expected. That his extra year of experience in the system would pay dividends. Heck, I even made a friendly wager with Brian Murphy of Homer McFanboy: a six-pack of beer that Grossman would lead the Redskins to a touchdown in the first two drives.

It sure doesn’t look like I was what you might call “correct” about that. Murphy could’ve spotted me the entire first quarter and still would’ve won the bet. After one quarter of action, Grossman has thrown the ball six times; three were completed to Redskins players for a total of 30 yards; one was intercepted by the Cowboys. There was also one sack.

But it’s not just the bad stats — it’s the way Grossman looked racking them up. The interception wasn’t just a bad throw, although it was; he didn’t just fail to set his feet, although he competely failed to set his feet; it also looked like he expected Mike Sellers to be in a completely different spot. In summary: not an encouraging start to the Rex Grossman era.

Also not looking good: special teams coverage. The Cowboys have been in Redskins territory for all but one of their plays, and Bryan McCann has looked like Devin Hester setting them up.

So, yeah, not off to a great start here in Dallas. The giant TV still looks great, though.

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Redskins @ Cowboys – Inactives

Posted by Matt Terl on December 19, 2010 – 12:27 pm

This game may be a chance to evaluate some guys — Hi, Rex Grossman! — but others won’t have a chance to show what they can do. Running back James Davis and safety Macho Harris are two guys that people thought might get increased workloads as the season winds down, but they’re both getting about as decreased of workloads as is possible today.

Here’s the full inactive list:

  • John Beck (QB3)
  • James Davis
  • Andre Brown
  • Macho Harris
  • Erik Cook
  • Kedric Golston
  • Derrick Dockery
  • Jeremy Clark

The Cowboys inactives list also has some big names on it: Marion Barber, Tony Romo, and Roy Williams are all out today.
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