by Brian Tinsman
Football analyst Elliot Harrison of the NFL Network’s Red Zone Channel recently began compiling his top-20 games of the 2010 NFL season. At No. 18 he remembers a game that many Redskins fans would like to forget: a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Texans in Week 2.
Harrison justifies this game’s inclusion, saying:
This interconference meeting was an offensive explosion of the highest order. And any time you have a game in which one guy can take over, or a tandem — like Schaub and Johnson — it adds to the experience. Especially with a guy like Johnson, who is one of the most dominant players in the NFL.
Despite the fact neither would be a playoff team, all of the deep balls and the crowd going crazy for four hours made this an easy inclusion into our top 20.
Regardless of the outcome for Washington, Harrison is dead-on in picking this game, which bore some historical significance for the NFL. Here are some observations that put the game in context:
- Both teams came into the game with a (1-0) record and high expectations on the year. The Redskins were flying high after a Week 1 win over Dallas, and the team was clicking under new head coach Mike Shanahan and quarterback Donovan McNabb. Week 2 offered a matchup against the other team from Texas, an outside favorite to win the AFC South.
- McNabb and Schaub combined for a whopping 66-for-90, for 923 yards and four touchdowns and one interception. This was the second highest combined passing yards for a single game in NFL history, falling four yards short of the all time best (Marino and O’Brien in 1986).
- Despite lofty expectations, both teams finished the season with a 6-10 record. This game had the feel of a late-season matchup, with both teams clicking on offense. This game received attention at the time because of it was exciting, but it also featured anticipated contenders. It’s good that it happened in Week 2, rather than as a throw-away game in December.
The best part of this game is that it served as a snapshot in time of the beginning of the Redskins 2010 season. Here are some interesting stats:
- The starting offense featured the likes of Joey Galloway, Clinton Portis, and Derrick Dockery. The average age of the starting offense was 30.72 years old. In Week 17, the starting offense averaged 27.09 years old.
- Joey Galloway was the second-leading receiver on the team with 88 yards. He finished one yard behind Moss for the team lead, but is better remembered for the critical drop in the endzone that would have put the game away. Galloway would survive the game, but would make only one more start before being released in November.
- Graham Gano missed his first two field goals of the season. The first was blocked in the 4th quarter, the second was wide-right on a 52-yard attempt in overtime. The overtime miss set up the game winning drive by Houston.
The Redskins gave up a 17-point lead, but had little to be ashamed of in this game. The Redskins executed on both sides of the ball as McNabb spread the ball around on offense and the defense held Arian Foster to 69 yards on the ground. Sure, Andre Johnson racked up big yards, but he tends to do that a lot. Despite a negative outcome, the game produced good things and forced changes that moved the team forward. Check out the recap video below:
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