Before Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, Ryan O’Halloran identified three keys to the game for Washington. After the game, David Elfin revisted those keys.
1. Improve the return game
It’s hard to get much from the return game when there aren’t many balls to return. Santana Moss couldn’t field his first potential punt return of the season when Dirk Johnson’s kick sailed into the end zone. Antwaan Randle El was — as usual — running too much East-West on the next punt, gaining just 6 yards. The kickoff returns were equally uneventful, no matter whether Rock Cartwright or Mike Sellers had the ball.
2. Improve red zone offense
After getting touchdowns on just 3 of 5 red zone penetrations against the Saints, the Redskins rolled into the end zone with ease on their first drive as Clinton Portis used a chasm opened by the left side of the line to score from the 3. Washington also clicked on its other red zone possessions. A screen to tight end Chris Cooley gained 16 yards to the 2 to set up Jason Campbell’s 2-yard scoring pass to backup TE Todd Yoder before the quarterback won the game with a 17-yard toss to Moss.
3. Ride Nos. 47 and 89
Moss and Cooley were on the receiving end of three of Jason Campbell’s first four passes, but for just 20 yards. Maybe watching the Saints get burned by Moss for the game-winning 67-yard bomb convinced Arizona to give up the short stuff. Cooley caught Campbell’s first two second half throws and set up the go-ahead touchdown with catches of 11 and 16 yards. And after Arizona tied it, Moss had the game-winning 17-yard catch touchdown.