Whatever Adam Carriker eats before games (and we now know) is clearly working, as he has a career-high 1.5 sacks for the game, in only one half of football. The Redskins are dialing up some tremendous pressure on Newton, and the Panthers have yet to find consistent protection.
When they keep their tight ends in to block Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, the Redskins get pressure up the middle. When they made the mistake of giving Orakpo a running start at Newton…ouch.
As a product of the pressure, the Panthers have been able to complete screen passes to the flats, but the defense has limited the damage. The Panthers still look primarily downfield to Steve Smith and the tight ends, and the Redskins have done a good job at covering these receivers.
On offense, the running game provided the necessary shot in the arm. Over the first four games, there has been growing consternation about sticking with the run. So far, the Redskins have run the ball 18 times, compared to just 12 passing attempts.
That’s dedication to the run.
Hightower’s 75 first half yards are second best in the NFL so far, only to Chicago’s Matt Forte (108).
The line is protecting the quarterback and opening holes in the running game, so it’s *theoretically* only a matter of time until the opportunities present themselves.
Redskins trail in a barn-burner at the half: Washington 6, Carolina 9.
Tags: 2011 season, adam carriker, Brian Orakpo, Carolina Panthers, ryan kerrigan, second quarter, washington redskins
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