A review of the best and worst performances by the Washington Redskins’ offense and some observations after re-watching the TV broadcast of their 28-14 win over the New York Giants.
QB Rex Grossman: Grossman overcame a rocky start by defying his reputation for floundering when pressured. Against a formidable pass rush led by DE Jason Pierre-Paul, he made many smart decisions, some accurate throws and didn’t throw an interception.
Early in the second quarter, he stood in on third-and-2 from the Giants’ 19 and lofted a pass perfectly out in front of WR Anthony Armstrong, who hadn’t separated from the defender but made a diving catch.
Grossman was leveled in the fourth quarter when RG Chris Chester failed to pick up DE Dave Tollefson on a stunt, but he connected with TE Chris Cooley over the middle for six yards.
On the game-sealing touchdown to WR Jabar Gaffney, he effectively opened a passing lane by looking off the safety and linebacker to the left before coming back to the right and hitting Gaffney on the slant. His timing and touch were superb on the fade to Armstrong for the second quarter touchdown.
Rex wasn’t perfect. Several receivers bailed him out on high throws early in the game. (On the other hand, there were several drops.) He overthrew Gaffney on a deep ball in the first quarter that could’ve been a touchdown – although CB Cory Webster should have been flagged for illegal contact for putting his hands on Gaffney after the 5-yard buffer. Grossman missed WR Santana Moss on a deep throw that might have been a touchdown if he had put more air under it.
Still, Grossman’s performance should inspire confidence that the best man for the job is under center.
TE Fred Davis: Davis’ athleticism resulted in a career-high 105 receiving yards. His combination of size, speed and hands was a matchup nightmare for the Giants. He converted third-and-8 on the last touchdown drive despite catching the ball two yards short of the line-to-gain and facing the line of scrimmage. He quickly spun and eluded a tackler in gaining 15 more yards.
The best individual play of the game might have been his 28-yard catch on third-and-11, on which two defensive backs sandwiched him and one delivered a blow to his head.
Davis was inconsistent run blocking and setting the edge, as usual, but that’s easier to overlook when he makes such a positive impact in the passing game. It was a good way for him to begin his contract year.
FOX analyst Troy Aikman made a great point in asking aloud why the Giants continually let Davis release freely. On one first half pass play, LB Michael Boley jammed Davis and prevented him from getting more than five yards downfield. The result? A sack. But New York didn’t stick to that approach. Here’s thinking the Arizona defense won’t be so generous next week.
WR Santana Moss: Moss was his typically reliable self in catching six passes for 76 yards. He converted fourth-and-5 in the second quarter by immediately turning vertically up the field after the catch – something coach Mike Shanahan so memorably yelled at his receivers about during one training camp drill this summer. Moss also bailed Grossman out on a high throw on the third series. He sat in the middle of the zone and stretched out to catch the pass. The 22-yard gain was Grossman’s third completion and helped him get rolling.
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