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Question of the Day
What happened: Reed Doughty came from the free safety spot to sack Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, preceding a 68-yard Shane Lechler punt. Trevor Scott answered with an untouched sack of Jason Campbell, who took a hard hit on the drive-ending incompletion and limped off the field. A pass interference penalty set the Raiders back on their next drive; Brian Orakpo’s sack of Gradkowski essentially ended it. The Redskins answered with poor pass protection and a three-and-out. Darren McFadden had a long catch-and-run that set up a Raiders field goal on the next drive. Quinton Ganther’s catch-and-run on the next drive matched it, and Campbell capped it with a scoring pass to Fred Davis to give Washington the lead.
Analysis: No matter what you think of the “No Fun League” and its celebration rules, they’re still rules. And if you violate them, it will cost your team penalty yards. That’s exactly what happened after Davis followed his touchdown catch with a dipsy-do dance move or three. His score gave the Redskins a lead, but his dance cost them 15 yards on the ensuing kickoff. That, combined with poor kick coverage, gave the Raiders the ball on the 50 to start their next drive. It ended a quarter that had some otherwise positive moments - that didn’t involve LaRon Landry - on a sour note for the Redskins.
BY THE NUMBERS
48 Yards on Bruce Gradkowski’s pass to Darren McFadden, the longest offensive gain for the Raiders this season.
What happened: The Raiders took advantage of great field position and another long McFadden catch-and-run. Gradkowski completed three straight passes before handing to Justin Fargas on fourth-and-1; he dove over both lines for the touchdown. Washington’s next drive was aided by three Oakland offside penalties, including one on third-and-12 that put Washington in field goal range. Graham Gano made his debut from 46 yards and nailed it to tie the score. A Doughty interference penalty nearly saved a Raiders drive on third-and-13. But the Raiders punted after a long pass play was ruled an incompletion. Oakland had two 15-yard penalties that put Washington on its own 40 to start the next drive, and four plays later Campbell hit Davis for a second touchdown. The Raiders ended the half with a 66-yard field goal attempt that fell short.
Analysis: These two teams, who had a combined seven wins coming into the game, continued to put one of their biggest issues on display in the second quarter: a lack of discipline. Oakland had seven penalties during the quarter (and nine total in the first half), including three on Washington’s field goal drive and two that led to the Redskins’ touchdown. Washington picked up three more of its own, and Davis — penalized for celebration in the first quarter — still leapt into a teammate’s arms after catching a second touchdown pass rather than running off the field. And Oakland’s 66-yard field goal attempt was a bit reckless.
BY THE NUMBERS
16 Combined penalties for the Redskins and Raiders in the first half for a total of 120 yards.
What happened: An early Oakland penalty got a Redskins drive going, but two incompletions and another sack of Campbell ended it. The Raiders started on their 44 with a new quarterback, JaMarcus Russell, who at first relied on short passes and handoffs. When he tried to throw deep he got sacked. Eventually the Raiders settled for a 54-yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal. Washington answered with a three-and-out and another piece of poor punt coverage, and Oakland started on its own 49. The Raiders went four plays with sack-penalty-penalty-sack before punting.
Analysis: Give credit to Campbell (and the training staff) for staying upright. He continued to get pounded by the Raiders in the third quarter, including a sack by Mike Mitchell in which the safety got to the quarterback untouched. And though he stayed on the field, the pressure affected Campbell; he completed just two of six passes and got sacked twice. Penalties, meanwhile, continued to dog the Raiders, who picked up three more in the third quarter.
BY THE NUMBERS
4 Field goals from 50-plus yards for Sebastian Janikowski this season. It’s his second-highest single-season total; he hit six in 2007.
About the Author
- BOOK REVIEW: 'Small Wars, Faraway Places'
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