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John Pappas: Game Review


The Commissioner
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BGO Ownership Group
Apr 11, 2009
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Greensboro, NC

Marine Corps Virginia

Great post-game summary by our friend John Pappas.


LANDOVER, Md. - Maybe it was all the new faces on Washington's roster. Perhaps it was the bold prediction of a division championship by the quarterback. In any event, it was evident the final score was more important to the Redskins in a 16-7 victory over the Steelers at FedEx Field on Friday night.

Washington played its starting offense the entire first half. The Redskins' defense played most of the half, with some starters going until the break. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh pulled its starting offense after just one series, and starting defense after two.

Washington was the better side statistically, outgaining Pittsburgh 452 yards in total offense compared to 186. The Redskins dominated time of possession, 39:25 to 20:35, outgained Pittsburgh three-to-one in net passing yards, 312-103, and almost doubled rushing yards, 140-83.

It was an effort that left Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin less than thrilled.

"It's not the kind of performance we were looking for or hoping for," said Tomlin. "Quite frankly, we got outplayed in just about all areas; blocking, tackling, running, throwing, kicking - that team was better prepared tonight than us."

Not surprisingly, Washington coach Mike Shanahan held a different view of his team's performance.

"To be honest, I was just pleased with the overall effort," said Shanahan. "I thought we played hard. I thought we eliminated a lot of mistakes. I thought some guys made some plays."

Washington distinguished itself early, outgaining Pittsburgh 259 yards to 129 in the first half alone. The Redskins made bigger plays, held the ball longer and had more scoring opportunities.

Still, the game was tied 7-7 at the half.

Washington struck first on an eight-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Rex Grossman to wide receiver Santana Moss. The play was nearly doomed at the start. On third-and-4 from the 8-yard line, Grossman did well to handle an errant snap before hitting Moss, who had come open on an underneath crossing pattern, near the goal line. Moss then muscled his way into the end zone for the score.

The touchdown capped an eight-play, 82-yard drive that featured a 38-yard completion from Grossman to wide receiver Terrence Austin. Grossman finished the night 19 of 26 for 207 yards and one touchdown. Grossman almost had to have a good showing after predicting earlier this week the Redskins will win the NFC East this season - comments that drew criticism from pundits.

"I feel good about it," Grossman said of his performance Friday. "There was a couple plays I wish I had back, but for the most part, it's a good start."

Grossman saw extended action with John Beck, his competition for the starting job, sidelined by a groin injury.

"I thought (Grossman) did a very good job," said Shanahan. "He managed the game well. He showed a lot of poise in the pocket."

Click HERE to read the rest of John's summary.


The All-Time Great
Jul 19, 2009
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Bethesda Md

Shayne Graham? The guy was 12 for 12 last year with NE including the playoffs but looked like he hadn't kicked a ball since the season ended in January.

He was dreadful.

The trouble I have with Gano is he always looks great when the pressure is off.

It's during the regular season in a tight game against Houston or Indy that he misses makeable field goals that breaks the momentum of the team.

But again, Graham doesn't even look ready to compete for this job.


The Commissioner
Aug 1, 2009
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Florida State

I discussed this last night during chat but I think it plays into what you are saying BT.

I think the coaches should have had Gano kicking in the first half knowing that Graham was up after him. That would have put more pressure on Gano and had him in an uncomfortable position knowing that Graham was on his heels.

Instead, they had Graham kick first and he stunk up the joint which took some pressure off Gano who was relaxed and nailed everything.

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