This game has certainly lived up to the billing of a defensive struggle so far, with both team’s defenses digging trenches outside of their respective endzone. Despite both offenses turning the ball over with terrific field position, the score has been limited to only a trio of field goals a piece.
The much-anticipated fire and ice safety combination of LaRon Landry and Oshiomogho Atogwe is yielding exciting results already. With the skill set and measured-aggression that both players have, it allows either to play close to the line of scrimmage and run-stop or blitz the quarterback, while the other drops into coverage. During the first quarter when Landry was shutting down Felix Jones in the running game, Atogwe was back in center field. On the play where Landry crushed unsuspecting receiver Laurent Robinson, Atogwe was blitzing.
Versatility allows more creativity in the defensive play call. Watch these two in the second half. And for the rest of their time in Washington.
After combining for 172 yards on the ground last week, the Redskins have gotten both running backs Tim Hightower and Roy Helu involved in the game early this week. Through 30 minutes, Hightower has 10 touches for 35 yards, while Helu has four-for-fouteen. Look for the Redskins to continue to get these playmakers involved in the offense.
Blocked field goal aside, the Redskins special teams have performed very well, individually and as a whole. Here are some notes:
- They account for all nine of the Redskins points
- Sav Rocca’s first quarter punt, fair caught inside the 20, was his seventh such punt of the season, tying him for the league lead.
- Graham Gano’s 50-yard field goal to finish out the first half was a career-long for him. For his career, he is five-for-six against Dallas, including the blocked kick.
- Brandon Banks has put the offense in reasonably good starting field position, with four returned for 54 yards. The Cowboys will receive first in the second half.
Once again, the Redskins lead their opponent in every meaningful category. Total net yards, 162 vs. 119. Total plays, 35 vs. 26. Penalties against, one vs. three. Time of possession, 16:09 vs. 13:51.
The Redskins certainly missed some opportunities on offense and defense in the first half, but the various units have consistently bailed each other out. This is another team effort for the Redskins, and we’ll see if they can capitalize better in the second half.
Redskins and Cowboys all knotted up at the midway point, 9-9.
Tags: 2011 season, brandon banks, dallas cowboys, graham gano, LaRon Landry, oshiomogho atogwe, roy helu, sav rocca, second quarter, tim hightower, washington redskins
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