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Coming off a brutal 59-28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins could have thrown in the towel on a season where the play-off race was slipping away. By the start of the second half against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, injuries had depleted their roster, and the Redskins had blown several opportunities to take the lead. But Mike Shanahan and his players refused to fold.
Despite the injuries, Washington rebounded from a ghastly performance last week, working overtime to beat the Titans 19-16 on a 48-yard field goal from Graham Gano. The embattled Redskins placekicker made the most of his second chance to win the game, drilling the ball through the uprights in a blustery wind at LP Field to keep the team's play-off hopes alive in a muddled NFC race.
Already without G Artis Hicks, CB Carlos Rogers, and S LaRon Landry prior to the game, the Redskins lost a host of other players on a slick field, but somehow managed to control the flow of play. Washington had more yards, controlled the ball for over 40 minutes, and contained superstar RB Chris Johnson for much of the game.
Donovan McNabb appeared to throw an interception on the winning drive, but Alterraun Verner's diving attempt was overturned by the officials. Several costly penalties put the Redskins in prime position for Gano and the young kicker, who missed a potential game-winning kick at the end of regulation, stepped onto the field and won it.
While Gano's fourth field goal of the contest ultimately decided it, the Redskins were anchored by a tremendous effort from a patchwork offensive line. By the start of the second half the Redskins were missing three linemen, but still racked up 32 first downs and converted 8-16 third downs attempts a week after going 0-10 in those situations. The makeshift line, going up against a formidable Titans' defensive front, surrendered three sacks and paved the way for 107 yards rushing.
Things got off to a dismal start for the offense. McNabb tripped over a lineman, the offense failed to convert a third down, and the Titans had the ball deep in Redskins territory after a 22-yard punt from Hunter Smith. However, the Redskins defense, back to the wall, buckled down and forced a Vince Young fumble to prevent an early score.
The Titans still managed to get on the board first with Marc Mariani's 87-yard punt return for a touchdown. The play marked the second longest punt return in Titans history and gave Tennessee an early 7-0 advantage. The score woke the Redskins up as McNabb hit Santana Moss on a 48-yard pass to set the table for a five-yard strike to Moss to tie it later in the drive.
McNabb, with a carousel of offensive linemen in front of him had a solid first half going 13-20 for 168 yards and a touchdown. He did throw an interception late in the first half with the Redskins at the Titans' 30 yard-line, spoiling an opportunity to break a 10-10 tie. Graham Gano also missed a 51-yard field goal attempt at the close of the half, leaving the team deadlocked after a half.
Washington dominated the first half with 242 yards of offense; the 2nd highest output on the season. The Titans failed to establish any type of rhythm as they held the ball for just over ten minutes, and at one point Young signaled the fans to continue booing after he missed a third down throw in the red zone.
Young went 12-16 for 165 yards before leaving the game with a torn tendon in his thumb during the third quarter. The Titans struggled to establish themselves offensively in the first half as Young seemed out of sync and Johnson only received seven touches.
The Redskins' first half success was fueled by their ability to control the game in trenches. Johnson had 33 yards rushing while Washington's latest no-name running back, Keiland Williams combined with Clinton Portis for 77 yards. Despite the injuries, the Redskins were able to run the ball with success and offset the pressure with dump-offs from McNabb.
The Titans responded in the second half with an 11-play drive that lasted 5:50, ending with a 32-yard field goal by Rob Bironas. The drive was instrumental in evening out the time of possession, but the Redskins answered on the ensuing drive with a 40-yard field goal by Gano to make it 13-13.
Young hurt his thumb soon after and with Kerry Collins sidelined, Jeff Fischer went with Rusty Smith. Smith threw a touchdown pass to Randy Moss on his first play from scrimmage, but the play was called back as Moss pushed off on DeAngelo Hall to make the catch.
Moss was held without a reception in his second game with the Titans, and was largely invisible throughout the game. The other Moss, Santana had a six catch, 106 yard performance. Nine other players chipped in with catches, including Chris Cooley with seven. All of Cooley's receptions came after the first half and five of them moved the chains.
The teams traded field goals in the fourth quarter, and Washington had a pair of chances to take the lead after a Phillip Buchanon interception set up the offense at the Tennessee 41. However, McNabb tripped again under center on third down and the Redskins had to punt it back. After a Tennessee punt, Washington drove down the field and had an opportunity to win it, but Gano's 47-yard attempt fell short, sending the game to overtime.
Game Notes: The Redskins injury report was extensive. Running backs Chad Simpson, Clinton Portis, and Keiland Williams; linebackers Rocky McIntosh, Brian Orakpo and Lorenzo Alexander; safety Anderson Russell; and offensive linemen Casey Rabach and Derrick Dockery all sustained injuries.
The Washington Redskins may have gotten themselves a big win against the Tennessee Titans, but it looks like it came with a major cost. All the injuries that occurred was a subplot of the game, and the news doesn't appear to be good with many of them.
Speaking in his post-game press conference, Mike Shanahan said that several of the Redskins that were hurt today are "longshots" to play against the Minnesota Vikings next weekend. LaRon Landry and Carlos Rogers, two Redskins that missed this week's game, were on that list, as was Clinton Portis (groin). Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander is also a "longshot" with a hamstring injury, while center Casey Rabach will have an MRI on his injured knee. In addition, Rocky McIntosh's groin injury was described as "fairly serious."
Yeesh. Oh, and Chad Simpson, the third-string running back who was activated this week before hurting himself in warmups, will require season-ending surgery. The Redskins' depth was tested this afternoon, and it passed. It looks like it will be tested again going forward.
A wacky game between the Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans has finally come to an end in fitting fashion. After missing a 47-yard field goal to win in regulation, Graham Gano made up for his failure by hitting a 48-yarder in overtime to give the Redskins a 19-16 win.
Gano was short on a 47-yarder on the final play in regulation. This time, he had plenty of distance and hit it right down the middle.
The Redskins got the ball at their own 13-yard line, but got some breathing room when Donovan McNabb found Chris Cooley for a 26-yard catch and run on a broken play. Two plays later, McNabb scrambled around and appeared to throw an interception to Alterraun Verner but a booth review overturned it. Making matters worse for Tennessee, Jason Babin was called for a personal foul after the play, so the 15-yard penalty was assessed, giving the Redskins a first down. On the very next play, linebacker Will Witherspoon was called for a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty, giving the Redskins another first down.
Two plays later, Santana Moss caught a 10-yard pass to give the Redskins another first down on the Titans' 31-yard line. That was then followed by yet another penalty, this time on Verner, for illegal contact. But the Redskins failed to take advantage of their good fortune, picking up a false start penalty and not gaining any yardage. Luckily, Gano was there to atone for his earlier mistake.
The Titans won the coin toss and elected to receive, but their drive stalled near midfield after Rusty Smith badly missed intended receivers on second and third down.
With the game tied 16-16 and the Redskins getting the ball on their own 22-yard line with 1:37 remaining in the game, all questions about cardiovascular endurance and knowledge of the two-minute offense disappeared.
Donovan McNabb stepped on the field, and he led his team down the field and gave them the opportunity to win. McNabb moved the ball 49-yards on eight plays, including a great third down conversion to infrequently used Brandon Banks. But unfortunately for the Redskins, the drive came up just a few yards short of Graham Gano's range.
The 47-yard field goal attempt should have been within Gano's range, as his career long is 49. The snap was good, the hold was good, and the kick was straight, but it hit the ground short of the goalpost.
The entire game has been back-and-forth, with both teams trading field goals throughout the contest. Heading now into overtime though, the next team to score will be the victor.
Stop me if you've heard this before. The Washington Redskins marched down the field, had their drive stall near the red zone, and were forced to settle for a field goal.
Well, it happened again. Thanks to big plays by Fred Davis, Anthony Armstrong and Chris Cooley the Redskins were able to get the ball deep into Tennessee Titans territory. But they couldn't get the ball into the end zone, and were forced to settle for another Graham Gano field goal, this one from 42 yards out.
On third and 10, Donovan McNabb tried to get the ball to Joey Galloway underneath. It looked like Galloway slowed down on his route, and the pass was a little beyond him off his fingers. McNabb was visibly frustrated at the result of the play. It makes you wonder why Galloway slowed down on the route. Maybe it wouldn't have resulted in a first down, but it's still an issue.
After rookie Rusty Smith took over for a injured Vince Young, the Titans drove down the field on a 7 play, 72 yard drive. The drives biggest play was a 52 yard catch and run by Nate Washington. Washington dodged a would be tackle from safety Kareem Moore (a troubling trend for the Redskins), which extended his run extra dozen yards.
But as has been a trend this game, the Redskins defense, injured players and all, rose to the occassion inside the red zone. They have contained star running back Chris Johnson thus far, holding him to under 100 yards.
With all the injuries the Washington Redskins have had, it's surprising that Tennessee hasn't had too many. At least, until now, at the most important position on the field.
Quarterback Vince Young appeared to injured his throwing hand trying to make a play, and he has been taken out of the game. Backup quarterback Kerry Collins is also hurt, so the Titans have turned to third-stringer Rusty Smith, a sixth-round rookie from Florida Atlantic. No official reason has been given yet for Young's absence, but it appears to be his hand.
Smith's first two passes didn't look all that great. His first pass, on third down, was nearly intercepted by DeAngelo Hall. His second pass was a deep ball to Randy Moss that was caught for a touchdown, but only because Moss committed one of the most egregious pass interference penalties you'll ever see. It appears the Redskins may have caught a break here.
Running back Clinton Portis, who left the game in the first half after suffering an injury, is on the sidelines in street clothes. His day is done after rushing for 32 yards on five carries.
Portis hurt his groin against the Eagles in October and today’s game was his first since suffering the injury.
Receiver Santana Moss sustained a hamstring injury in the third quarter. His return is questionable. He is leading the team with five catches for 96 yards and a score.
The Washington Redskins needed a good response after Tennessee chewed up the clock to take a 13-10 lead. They got it with a solid drive of their own. The Redskins embarked on a 10-play, 54-yard drive that was eventually culminated in a 40-yard field goal by Graham Gano. The score is now tied at 13.
The drive was punctuated by a key catch by Santana Moss and a big third-down catch by Anthony Armstrong. However, the drive stalled in the red zone. Keiland Williams slipped on a first-down run, and Donovan McNabb's pass to Joey Galloway on second down was batted away. On third down, Chris Cooley dropped a pass, forcing the Redskins to settle for the field goal.
The Redskins' offensive line continues to do an outstanding job of protecting McNabb, which is a big surprise considering the injuries to Artis Hicks, Casey Rabach and Derrick Dockery.
The Titans drove 68 yards on 11 plays on their opening possession of the second half. Vince Young displayed his scrambling ability to gain several key first downs. But much like the Titans last scoring drive, the Redskins were able to tighten up in the red zone, holding the Titans to 3 points instead of 7.
On the drive, the defense looked to take another hit on the injury front, with DeAngello Hall getting shaken up after an open field tackle on Chris Johnson. However, he was able to come back several plays later as the Redskins were able to force the Titans to attempt a field goal. Bironas then hit the 32 yarder.
Vince Young and company were able to go down field with relative ease against the Redskins, until they got inside the red zone. On a drive that lasted over 7 minutes on 13 plays, Young was able to exploit the increasingly depleted Redskins defense for the first time in the game. He was able to hit open receivers Justin Gage and Nate Washington, each of which were covered by Phillip Buchanon (a starter today) and DeAngello Hall, respectively.
However when the Titans got inside the 10 yard line, the Redskins defense stiffened. They were able to force a field goal by making jey tackles on running back Chris Johnson and forcing Young to make a rushed throw in the back of the end zone on a 3rd and goal. Bironas then hit a 25 yard field goal.
There may come a point in this game where more Redskins players are on the sideline nursing injuries than healthy enough to play on the field. So far, the team has lost Chad Simpson, Anthony Russell, Casey Rabach, Derrick Dockery, Lorenzo Alexander, Clinton Portis, and Rocky McIntosh.
And that's not even counting the starters who didn't make the trip to Tennessee today: Carlos Rodgers, LaRon Landry, and Ryan Torain.
McIntosh is the latest to leave the field due to injury. He is currently on the sideline with a thigh injury, last seen riding an exercise bike.
Portis, who had returned to the game briefly after leaving early with a groin injury, has once again taken a seat on the sideline and been replaced in the lineup seemingly permanently by Keiland Williams.
The Redskins are also down to only five offensive linemen. Important note: the Redskins only suited up seven offensive linemen for this game, and two are out with injuries.
The Redskins have ran 32 plays to the Titan's 10. If you're looking at the offensive yardage totals, the game shouldn't be close, but it's nice to finally see the Redskins in the lead after all their hard work.
Washington came into this game with the worst third down offense in the league, and maybe even the worst third down offense of all time. But on this scoring drive, the team converted three straight third downs before stalling out inside the 10-yard line.
On the final play of the first quarter, Donovan McNabb converted a third-and-16 to Joey Galloway, shocking many Titans fans who had no idea he was still in the league. McNabb targeted and connected with Santana Moss on two other third down plays, including a shovel pass that took the Redskins down to the five-yard line.
On the final third down of the drive though, the Redskins turned to Mike Sellers. On one of Jim Zorn's favorite play calls, Sellers was expectedly stopped at the line, and Washington had to settle for a Graham Gano field goal.
The offense had a long scoring drive which covered 79 yards on 8 plays. The Redskins offensive line gave running backs Clinton Portis and Keiland Williams room to run, as well as giving Donovan McNabb plenty of protection. That was most evident during the longest play of the drive, which was a 48 yard pass from McNabb to Santana Moss. Rookie Trent Williams was able to contain his man and drive him around the QB, allowing a perfect pocket for McNabb to help him survey the field. McNabb executed the play fake, and found Moss on the right side of the field. After Jeff Fisher challenged the catch, the play stood up.
The Redskins offense was also able to convert their first third down in two games. On a third and 2 inside the red zone, McNabb found Anthony Armstrong to finally break the dry spell. Two plays later, McNabb was able to find Santana Moss on the left side of the endzone for the tying score.
Through the first few minutes of this game, the Redskins look like they will not go quietly like they did on Monday night.
The Washington Redskins have given up big plays in a lot of different ways this year. You can add a long punt return to the list. After surviving an awful first possession, the Redskins got bit by a big punt return.
Tennessee Titans punt returner Marc Mariani took a punt back 87 yards for a touchdown, giving Tennessee a 7-0 lead. Mariani bounced the ball to the left sideline, took advantage of a couple blocks and, if we're honest, a couple injured Redskins players and took it to the house. Tennessee added the extra point for the 7-0 lead.
The play was devastating on a number of levels for Washington. For one, they had to repunt after the two teams had offsetting penalties. Tennessee was offsides, but the Redskins had an illegal formation. Then, on the return, starting safety Anderson Russell and starting linebacker Lorenzo Alexander got hurt on the play. It also looked like the Titans got away with an illegal block in the back.
The Redskins must now respond to stay in the game.
The Redskins defense has started off this game by doing what they have done best so far this year, which is getting turnovers.
After a sloppy three an out (a pattern with the Redskins offense) which included another play where Donovan McNabb slipped after receiving the snap, the Redskins were forced to punt deep in their own territory. Hunter Smith then booted a very short 22 yard yard punt which gave the Titans the ball at the Redskins 34 yard line.
After giving up a 12 yard run to Chris Johnson, it looked like the Titans would be primed for an early score. That's when the defense struck. Vince Young scrambled to his right and it looked like he would gain significant yardage. However, outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander caught Young from behind and stripped the ball, and the Redskins recover.
And so the Redskins offense gets a do over from their last offensive possession.
The list of inactives has come out for this afternoon's game between the Washington Redskins and the Tennessee Titans, and Clinton Portis isn't on there. This means Portis will start at running back for the Redskins this afternoon.
To hedge their bets, though, the Redskins will have three running backs active today for the first time in several weeks. Keiland Williams will be the backup, while Chad Simpson will be available to play. Here is the full list of Redskins inactives:
The list of important members of the Washington Redskins who will be missing Sunday's game against the Titans continues to grow.
The Redskins will be missing two key defensive starters as Carlos Rodgers and LaRon Landry both stayed in Washington, Rogers (hamstring) and Landry (Achilles' tendon) will sit out Sunday's game at LP Field because of injuries that slowed them in practice throughout the week.
Landry has been listed as questionable for the past several weeks, but he has yet to miss a game this season. Today's 1:00 matchup against the Titans will be just the second game that the Redskins will be without Landry since he was drafted in 2007.
Safety Reed Doughty is expected to replace Landry in the starting lineup, but it is not yet clear which Redskins corner back will take of the majority of snaps with Rodgers sidelined. According to Jason Reid of the Washington Post, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett might give Kevin Barnes more time on the field. Phillip Buchanon and Byron Westbrook are also candidates to fill in for Rodgers.
Last week, it was Ryan Torain that was expected to play and Clinton Portis expected to be on the sidelines. Now, after a game where Torain suffered a hamstring injury in warmups, the roles have been reversed.
Coach Mike Shanahan just confirmed that Portis will be in the lineup and Torain will not. Portis had been sidelined since Week 4 with a groin injury, and was a bit limited in practice this week, but apparently that won't stop him from playing. However, it is worth noting that Shanahan did not say how much Portis will play, so expect a lot of Keiland Williams on Sunday.
Torain was ready to go last week after suffering a hamstring injury against the Lions in Week 9, but during warmups, his hamstring tightened up. He had been doing a solid job in Portis' place, but the Redskins have clearly missed Portis' pass protection.
It's been a little while since we have seen Clinton Portis on the field for the Washington Redskins. He's been on the sideline nursing a groin injury that sounded extremely painful. Based on what we're hearing out of Redskins camp, it seems unlikely that he'll be on the field when the Skins take on the Titans.
If I were a betting man, I would put my money on Portis not playing on Sunday. I don't think there would be any reason for the Skins to put Portis out there, especially if he is still feeling some pain in that groin. Portis hasn't been able to go full speed yet, so I don't think that they will rush him back. It's not like there is something incredibly important at stake in this game.
Maybe with another week of rest and recovery he will be ready to play next week.
The Washington Redskins will get their first chance to see Randy Moss this season as they take on Moss' new team, the Tennessee Titans, on Sunday. When they do, they will likely have to do it without their top cover cornerback. Carlos Rogers told reporters earlier today that he doesn't expect to play on Sunday due to a hamstring injury.
Talking to Carlos Rogers (hamstring) , he doesn't sound optimistic about his chances of playing vs TEN.
Rogers hurt his hamstring early in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles. He didn't return, but most felt that was precautionary because of the blowout. Apparently that isn't the case.
It's important to note that this is not definite, as John Keim of the Washington Examiner notes. Rogers could improve and be able to go. But if Rogers himself doesn't think it looks good, it probably is a safe bet that he will be on the sidelines come Sunday.
I feel like I say this every week, but this is a big game for the Redskins. In the past, they were big games for the standings and their record, but now it's just a big game for respect.
There's a lot of people in the D.C. area who are upset with the team and how they performed on Monday and I can't say that I blame them. This game against the Titans on Sunday is a good opportunity to earn some of the trust back that they lost on Monday. They won't be able to get all of that trust and respect back in Sunday, but a win certainly will help.Here are the latest odds from over at SB Nation.com's odds page.
And the over/unders
My Prediction: I don't think the Skins will be able to bounce back from Monday, especially considering that it was a short week. Chris Johnson is too good on the ground and Vince Young should be able to keep the D honest with his arm. I'll take the Titans 31-17, so I'd be comfortable giving the points on this one. Based on the demonstration we saw on Monday, I'll also take the over.
We'll call this one a bounce back game for the Redskins. They'll have a good opportunity to put the disastrous Monday Night game behind them as they head to Tennessee to take on the Titans on Sunday at 1 p.m. eastern.
Much like the big story last week was Donovan McNabb facing his former team, the story this week is Albert Haynesworth facing the Titans. Haynesworth spent the first part of his career with the Titans and even attended the University of Tennessee. Earlier this week he said that he will always be a Titan at heart, so there's that.
This game is also interesting because it will be Randy Moss' second in a Titans jersey. Moss was unimpressive/invisible in his first contest since being claimed off waivers. If Michael Vick's success against the Redskins defensive secondary is any indication of how well that unit is playing, then Moss should get a pretty good opportunity to make an impact on this game.
We'll have updates about this game as they become available.
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