Monday, October 8, 2007

Skins, Bolts Turn Up the D!

There are statement games, and then there are STATEMENT games. Yesterday the Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers both decided to let everyone know that they were alive and well, both completely controlling their opponents.

In the Skins game against the Detroit Lions at RFK Stadium, Jason Campbell was very efficient in manning the ship, completing 23 of 29 passes for 248 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Skins also ran the ball effectively as Clinton Portis, Mike Sellars and Ladell Betts combined for 118 yards on 31 carries and a touchdown.

The big story for the Skins on the day though was their defense. Jon Kitna could do no right all day long, completing 16 of 29 passes for only 106 yards. Kitna was sacked five times by the Redskins including once in the end zone by Andre Carter for a rare safety early in the third quarter. Kitna was also intercepted twice, the last of which was returned 61 yards by Carlos Rogers for the final score of the game. Interestingly, the game featured nine fumbles, but only Clinton Portis' 4th quarter fumble with the game well in hand was the only one not recovered by the fumbling team.

The 34-3 win was the Redskins' largest margin of victory since a 52-17 demolishing of the San Francisco 49ers at RFK back on October 23, 2005. The 4-1 Redskins will take on the Green Bay Packers next Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field. The Pack lost a tough 27-20 game last night against the Chicago Bears to drop to a 4-1 mark on the season.


While the Redskins may be one of the NFL's most pleasant surprises this year, up until this weekend the Chargers had been one of the biggest disappointments. Yesterday, the Bolts played the Broncos in Denver in a contest which was almost over before it began. The Chargers scored on their first drive of the game, courtesy of a rare touchdown run by quarterback Philip Rivers. The Chargers would score again just 11 seconds later as Brandon Siler recovered a fumble by the Broncos' Brian Clark on the ensuing kickoff, taking it 23 yards to the end zone. At 14-0 with 6:15 to go in the quarter and this one was all but over. The Broncos could never get things going offensively as their only points came on a Jason Elam 30-yard field goal in the second quarter. By halftime the Chargers margin was 20-3.

A steady dose of Rivers to Antonio Gates along with some Ladainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner keep the Chargers offense in high gear the rest of the game. Rivers was a very efficient 13 for 18 and 270 yards with two touchdown passes, including one to Gates for 9 yards to make it a 27-3 game early in the third quarter. Gates tallied 113 yards for the second time in three weeks and now has 489 on the season - yes, he's on pace for 1,500 yards, nice if you happen to own him on a bunch of fantasy teams like me!. L.T. had 140 combined yards, while Turner rushed for a season-high 147 yards on just 10 carries including a 74 yard run with 9:42 to go in the fourth quarter to make the rout 41-3 - it would be the final score of the game.

Although both teams are now 2-3, the Chargers clearly are the team going the right direction. Ironically, the idle Oakland Raiders at 2-2 now own the AFC Western Division Lead. Don't expect that to last long - the Chargers seem to finally be firing on all cylinders!


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