November 23, 2009

Who's To Blame For Painful Loss In Dallas

First off, I apologize for not doing thorough job previewing last week's game. I was struggling through a rough school week, and was unable to get on here often.

Secondly, this game was the first game in 2009 since week one that I have been excited for. And for three and a half periods, it appeared that my excitement may have been validated.

Then Shaun Suisham happened. Suisham came into the game perfect on all 12 of his field goal attempts. He left the game having missed two; a big reason as to why the 'Skins found themselves on the losing end of a 7-6 score to the Cowboys.

Now don't get me wrong the offense wasn't exactly piling on the points, but they controlled the ball in the second half with the scrubs in the game.

Think about it: in a defensive battle, the Redskin offense had four scoring opportunities to the Cowboys' two. The 'Skins were solid punting the ball, and moved it enough to keep field position balanced.

They played a sound game with the likes of Rock Cartwright handling the ball. Jason Campbell was being protected by Edwin Williams, Levi Jones, and Stephon Heyer. That's not exactly starter material.

With those guys, the Redskins gave up just one sack. Sure they couldn't protect well enough for Campbell to open it up downfield, but they gave him time to make big third down throws as Campbell went 13-13 on his third down attempts.

Overall, Washington went 7-15 on third down conversions, but it was a big third-and-two with around five minutes left in the game that they wished they could have back.

Campbell lined up in the shotgun with Cartwright next to him on the Cowboy 32. He handed it to him on a draw, which was stuffed, forcing Suisham to come out for a 50-yard FG. Suisham missed and the Cowboys scored on their ensuing possession to take the lead.

The playcall was questionable, but a good kicker would have made that kick. It was indoors and it wasn't even with the game on the line. And Suisham missed it.

Zorn was criticized by fans for not taking a shot to the endzone with 15 seconds left in the first half. He went for the 39-yarder instead of taking a chance. I liked that call and so did Redskins Insider front man, Jason Reid.

Quarterback Jason Campbell probably had one of the best performances of his career while dealing with constant pressure. He made many impressive throws on the move, but the pressure was there. Zorn simply did not want to risk Campbell being sacked, which could have knocked the Redskins out of Suisham's range. And Suisham had made his first 13 attempts.

So considering the shaky pass protection and Suisham's accuracy until Sunday (he also missed a 50-yard attempt), I didn't have a problem with Zorn's decision.

Not a banner day for the offense, but considering the personnel on the field, I'd call it a great effort spoiled by a pair of botched kicks.

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