Sunday, November 4, 2007

At Least The Redskins Won...

... but barely against a horrible New York Jets team. Hey, a win is a win. And after what happened last Sunday in New England, us Redskins fans will gladly take it!

As for the other two NFL teams I really care about, well they both lost today... My San Diego Chargers got blown out 35-17 to the Minnesota Vikings in a game where not one, but TWO NFL records were set... the other was the marquee matchup of the season, and it looked really good for my team about 3 1/3 quarters as my Colts led the Patriots 20-10... those last nine minutes though just hurt to watch - A LOT!!! Final score: Patriots 24, Colts 20. :(

OK... so, I'll just talk about the good game. I want to get those other two out of mind as quickly as possible! The Washington Redskins faced a 1-7 Jets team in one of the early games... It got off to a very rough start for the good guys... Leon Washington returned the game-opening kickoff 86 yards to give the Jets a quick 7-0 lead. The teams exchanged field goals and the Jets took a 10-3 lead after one period.

The Jets then drove 80 yards in 10 plays with their first possession of the second quarter, culiminating in a 1-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Clemens to Joe Kowalewski to give the underdogs a 17-3 lead. The Redskins were able to run to ball effectively pretty much the entire game, but had to settle for field goal attempts a lot. Shane Suisham added field goals of 40 and 22 yards to draw the Redskins to within 17-9 at halftime.

Suisham added another 40 yard field goal early in the third quarter to cut the Jets lead to just five points. The quarter ended with the Jets still up 17-12, but driving toward a score.

The Jets faced a third and 15 from the Redskins 25 with 14:13 to play in the fourth quarter. Clemens completed a short pass to Jerricho Cotchery who was immediately hit by Pierson Prioleau and Shawn Springs, forcing a fumble. LaRon Landry recovered the ball for the Redskins at the 21 and took it 15 yards to their own 36 yard line.

Finally, in a very short six play sequence, the Redskins were able to string together an actual drive which ended in a touchdown. Jason Campbell hit Santana Moss with a nine yard pass. Clinton Portis then broke off a huge 32 yard run to take the ball to the Jets 23. LaDell Betts then gave Portis a rest, and took full advantage, rushing the ball 22 yards on the next three plays. Portis then came in and scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge to give the Redskins their first lead of the day with 11:06 to play. Campbell hit Antwaan Randle El with a pass for a 2-point conversion. The Redskins now led 20-17.

With a little more than five minutes to play, the Jets took over at their own 25. The Redskins defense could not stop them as they drove the ball 64 yards to their 11 yard line. With 10 seconds to play, Mike Nugent made a 30-yard field goal to tie the game 20-20. With that we were headed to overtime...

The Jets won the overtime coin-toss, and Clemens promptly hit Cotchery with a 39-yard pass to take the ball to the Redskin 42 yard line to open it. The Redskins defense would buckle down after that though, allowing Thomas Jones to rush for three yards and then forcing two incomplete passes from Clemens. A 57-yard field goal was outside of Nugent's range, so the Jets punted the ball away and the Redskins would take over at their own 10.

The Redskins decided to give the Jets a big dosage of Portis and smaller ones of Betts and Campbell with their overtime possession. Portis rushed twice for six yards, before Campbell hit Chris Cooley with a huge 17 yard gain on third down. After a Campbell incompletion, Portis rushed the ball the next three plays, gaining 29 yards and two first downs to take the ball to the Jets 38 yard line - almost inside Suisham's range for a game-winning field goal. Betts gave Portis a breather and gained seven crucial yards on the next two plays to take it to the Jets 31. Portis then ran left, and appeared to get the three yards needed for the first down, but a horrible spot left the Redskins about a foot short. Suisham was brought in to attempt the 46-yard field goal, and it was true, splitting the uprights, but clearing the crossbar by only a few yards. If it had been a 50-yard field-goal it would have been short! But it wasn't... and with it the Redskins had a hard-fought 23-20 road win.

You could definitely call Portis and Suisham the co-MVP's of the day. All Portis did was carry the ball 36 times for 196 yards and a touchdown. What a day!! Suisham was a perfect 5-for-5 in his field goal attempts... At 5-3, the Redskins are now a game behind the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions for the two NFC wild-card spots, and more than likely two games behind the Dallas Cowboys for the NFC East lead (the Cowboys lead the Philadelphia Eagles 35-10 in the third quarter as I type this and will likely go to 7-1 with a victory.)


As I mentioned earlier, a couple of NFL records were set in the Vikings-Chargers game today. San Diego cornerback Antonio Cromartie returned a missed 57-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Longwell 109 yards for a touchdown as the first half ended - the longest play in NFL history. The previous record was 108 yards, and was shared by three players: Chicago Bears teammates Devin Hester and Nathan Vasher on missed field goal attempts and a kickoff return by New England's Ellis Hobbs.

As for the other record set in that game, one Adrian Peterson of the Vikings took care of that honor. All Peterson did in his 30 rushes was run the ball for 296 yards, breaking the 5-year old record of Jamal Lewis (who ran for 295 yards as a Baltimore Raven). Peterson broke the record with a three yard run with 1:04 to play in the Vikings win.

Kudos to both Cromartie and Peterson on setting these new standards!


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