Fourth Quarter Turn Of Fortunes

AP Image

For a team that previously lost six straight, nothing comes easy, as was the case this afternoon in Seattle.  The important thing is that the Redskins were good when it counted, and it was a total team victory.  Here’s the breakdown:

On Offense:

On the one hand, the Redskins put up 416 yards of total offense, their highest showing since Week 2, and the second highest of the season.  The offensive line opened up holes for running back Roy Helu, and kept Rex Grossman upright for most of the game.  Helu showed that his 146-yard game against the 49ers wasn’t a fluke, going over 100 yards for the first time today, with 162 total yards and his first NFL touchdown.  The Redskins receivers managed to get open when it really mattered, and Santana Moss returned to his clutch ways.  Anthony Armstrong, who had five receptions for 47 yards all season, finally came down with a game-changing catch for 50 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.  He was this week’s incarnation of Donte Stallworth, and proved that the storyline of this season is “the next man up.”  The offense clicked in the first and fourth quarters, and that was the difference in this game.

On Defense:

This wasn’t the defense’s best game, but they limited the damage and settled down in the second half.  They yielded only 250 yards of total offense for the Seahawks, including just 144 yards through the air.  They may not have had the sacks or turnovers that they were looking for, but they didn’t give up the big play either, and they played well in all facets of the game.

On Special Teams:

Clearly, this was a tough day for kickers, and that’s not just limited to Graham Gano.  Sav Rocca was charged with his first touchback of the season, the second-to-last punter in the league to put one in the end zone.  On a happy note, he also added to his punts inside the 20 and averaged 44.5 yards on the day.

As for Gano, he made things interesting (1 blocked FG, 1 blocked PAT, kickoff out of bounds), but he iced the game when it counted (fourth quarter FG).  His two blocked kicks nearly came home to roost, but his last kick put the Redskins up by six and forced the Seahawks to aim for the end zone.  This has been a tough eight days for Gano, and it will be interesting to see how the coaching staff gauges his performance.  Head coach Mike Shanahan said this week that the pressure was on for Gano, and his performance today was important.  Which matters more: conditions or performance?


At the end of the day, the Redskins managed to escape their first seven-game losing streak in more than a decade, and they did it in the worst possible conditions.  It shows great resolve to fly six hours into one of the most hostile environments in the NFL, play a team with a better record and momentum, play in the rain and wind and cold, play from behind–and come out on top.  From the opening kickoff, it was clear that this was a game that the Redskins should win.  Regardless of whether they’re a better team every week, they won on this given Sunday, and it was important that they come away from this colossal road trip with a win.

Now the monkey is off their backs, and the questions of leadership and character can settle back to a dull roar.  The plane ride back to Washington will be a long one, but a good one, as players can finally breathe a sigh of relief.  As easy as it is to settle into a slump, this team needs to look to build on the positive momentum this week.  This was a good team win, but there are enough issues to resolve before the Jets next week.

Hopefully, today is the start of a new streak.

So long from Seattle, with Washington in the win column: Redskins 23, Seahawks 17.

0 thoughts on “Fourth Quarter Turn Of Fortunes

  1. Boo-Yah! Who called it? That fourth win may have cost us a shot at MATT BARKLEY, but WTF. Win now baby.

    If this is how the REDSKINS are going to win games [by trying mighitily to give them away], then i predict a 6-10 record that should have been 10-6.


  2. BTW, that interference call against WILSON in the 3rd was one of the worst homer calls I’ve ever seen in the NFL. The receiver literally grabbed JOSH’s arm, and pulled him to the ground. The referee that made that call should be put on probation and fined $10,000.


  3. Saw the ‘Skins game today – moved to Seattle last year – awesome game!!!! We got there early and saw the warmups – shout outs to Santana for signing my kids #89 jersey and other son’s #1 Redskin Finger! And to Mike Sellers to also signing the Finger and my son’s Redskins hoodie!!!! Go ‘Skins!


  4. Good win to stop the bleeding for a while. Despite Gano’s best effort to give away yet another game. Isn’t it about time to unload him? Surely there are kickers on the market that would make you feel good about extra points and 23 yard field goals. I cringe everytime he trots out there waiting for the next disaster to occur. Enough pessimism. Hail!!!! Let’s put one on a very shaky Jets team next week!!!


  5. “he made things interesting (1 blocked FG, 1 blocked PAT”
    “His two blocked kicks nearly came home to roost”

    Sounds like you’re blaming Gano for the blocks? It was clear on both that the offensive line was to blame, and later it came out that a replacement was in for Trent Williams who usually would have been blocking the gap exploited by the Seahawks. In short, all signs point to an offensive line breakdown being responsible for the blocks, no signs point to Gano.


    • @david–

      I’m not blaming anyone, trust me. As I was neither on the field to see the play unfold, nor had the power of replay to watch it in slow motion, I merely wanted to leave open the possibility that anything could have happened. Typically when a kick is blocked, one to three things happen. Either 1-the blocking breaks down too quickly, 2-the kicker kicks the ball too low, or 3-there’s a super-human effort on the part of the defenders. These were both blocked up the middle from what I could tell, and it was likely a combination of all three. But again, I wasn’t blaming Gano, merely leaving it open to the interpretation of him and his coaches after reviewing film.


  6. BT:

    One kick [maybe the extra point], LO-A was literally bowled over, and that big dude from SEATTLE came right through the hole with his hand up. If I’m keeping count correctly that’s five blocked field goals and an extra point this season. Is that right?

    The replay seemed to show the same guy getting a hand on the last kick as well, but thank goodness it went through anyway. I think the entire teams players have some things that need to be worked out. SAV ROCCA and NICK SUNDBURG look to be the steadiest componants on that group right now.


  7. hey guys,
    It appeared to be an extra effort by seahawk player to block the f/g but how about the other 9 missed this season ( highest in the nfl by the way ) ???? I am happy skins won BUT way to late in season & GROSS-MAN tried harder to give it away than gano. Two (2 ints. both into double coverage !!!!!!!!! GROSS-MAN ( bear reject ) completes 5 or 6 in a row & he thinks he can not be stopped & makes BAD decisions. How many ints. is that this yr. 14 or 15 !!! C-MON MAN !!!!!!!!!!
    Good job on blog Brian. GORDON don’t forget kerrigan & landry. not perfect but pretty solid


  8. After D-Hall’s mistakes last week, people threw him under the bus. After watching him yesterday, he showed why he’s still a great player. Breaking up the 3rd down td throw to mike williams, making great tackles, and getting the pick! Keep it up 23!


  9. How about Roy “The Hurdler” Helu! The man has a step that we haven”t seen in a while from the RB position. Can’t wait to see what Royster has to offer as I feel like he has less speed but more of a brusier back. Have said all along even thru the loses that the direction of the team as a whole is on the up and up. A QB is what we need the most and I hope that Shannahan gets us one that will be around for a long long time. HTTR


    • Lavar- very well said and I agree. The key is unfortunately is not to win too many more games or we will screw ourselves out of a top draft pick to get our franchise qb!!! at 5-11 we will get a good pic


  10. So many people want to get rid of Gano, including RotGut who’s as sharp as a tack.

    Good thing we got rid of Nick Novak when he was shaky, and the Charges are now stuck with him. And good thing we got rid of Shaun Suisham when he missed a potential game-winning FG, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were stuck with him last year on the way to the super bowl and continue to be stuck with him this year. And good thing we got rid of David Akers when he was still young, would have been awful to be stuck with him during the 10 years of his prime.

    Oh yeah, Nick Novak is doing great for the Chargers, Suisham for the Steelers, and Akers had an amazing decade with the Eagles. Maybe it’s time we learned our lesson. Gano shows every sign of being another good one. This time let’s show a little patience.


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