The second quarter of today’s game between the Washington Redskins and the Carolina Panthers began with the Redskins in the midst of their second drive of the game and trailing 7-3.
They found success running the ball in that drive — as they have the entire season. Running back Alfred Morris ripped off runs of four, nine and 12 yards to begin the quarter to get the ball to the Washington 40. On the next play, receiver Joshua Morgan was ruled defenseless as Carolina Panthers safety Haruki Nakamura broke up a Robert Griffin III pass, putting the ball in Panthers’ territory. It was the second personal foul called on the Panthers this game.
Two plays later, the Redskins faced a 3rd and 5, but they were called for a false start — their second of the drive. On 3rd and 10 from the Carolina 45, Griffin III ran for seven yards to the Carolina 38-yard line, but they elected to go for it on 4th and 3.
Griffin III, lined up in the shotgun, found Morgan for six yards to convert the fourth-down conversion, making the Redskins 8-of-9 on fourth downs this season.
Morgan made an acrobatic 13-yard catch on the next play, putting the ball at the Carolina 19-yard line. Two plays later, they faced a 3rd and 8 from the 17-yard line when Griffin III found running back Evan Royster for a seven-yard gain, setting up 4th and inches. The Redskins elected to go for it again, and fullback Darrel Young converted with a three-yard run. Morris got to the 2-yard line with a hard, five-yard run; but two plays later, Griffin III passed to receiver Brandon Banks on a screen play, who got the ball to the 1-yard line.
Going for it on 4th down one more time were the Redskins — this time they weren’t able to convert and score, however. Griffin III took the ball and was tackled for a loss of one, turning over the ball on downs just six feet from the end zone. It’s hard to leave points out there like that, but the Redskins are very confident with the ball in Griffin III’s hands in any down and distance.
The two-minute warning came as the Panthers faced a 3rd and 6 from their own 25-yard line. Quarterback Cam Newton found tight end Greg Olsen for the first down with a 17-yard pass-and-catch to convert, and on the next play, squeezed out of a sack by pitching to running back Jonathan Stewart for a six-yard gain. On the next play, Newton skipped his pass attempt, but middle linebacker London Fletcher was called for touching Newton’s helmet after the pass. Newton found Olsen for eight yards and the first down from the Washington 26 on the next play.
To make things worse, cornerback Josh Wilson was flagged for pass interference on the next play, putting the ball at the 19. Carolina faced yet another third down two plays later when Newton found Steve Smith for a 19-yard touchdown pass which, after the extra point, extended their lead to 14-3 with 57 seconds remaining in the half.
The penalties are absolutely killing the Redskins today. They’ve got to clean those up, or this will be a long second half.
CHIME IN: What are your thoughts of the first half of action from today’s game? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 regular season, Carolina Panthers, washington redskins
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