- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2008


When: Week 2 vs. New Orleans

Situation: Down 24-22 with 3:38 remaining, the 0-1 Redskins faced a first-and-10 from their own 33.

Play:Jason Campbell sensed a safety blitz to his right — which put Santana Moss in man coverage — and changed the protection. Moss ran a go route down the right hash, hauled in the pass 52 yards downfield and scored a 67-yard touchdown. The Redskins won 29-24.

Analysis: The play allowed the Redskins to exhale after the Week 1 debacle against the New York Giants. It exhibited Campbell’s maturity in reading defenses and showed Moss was healthy and primed for a huge first half.


When: Week 3 vs. Arizona

Situation: In a game tied at 17-17 early in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals had third-and-8 from their own 21.

Play: Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, facing a five-man rush (Rocky McIntosh blitzed), threw deep to Steve Breaston. The ball was underthrown and allowed cornerback Leigh Torrence to recover. The pass deflected off Torrence and was intercepted by Carlos Rogers, who returned it 42 yards. Two plays later, Campbell threw 17 yards to Moss for the winning touchdown in a 24-17 victory.

Analysis: Rogers’ performance represented one of the team’s biggest surprises. His 16 pass breakups lead the NFL, and he filled the void of Shawn Springs, whose calf injury has kept him out for five games.


When: Week 5 at Philadelphia

Situation: Trailing the Eagles 14-9 midway through the third quarter, the Redskins were at the Philadelphia 18 on first down.

Play: An Antwaan Randle El end-around rush to the right side turned into a Randle El pass. He threw to Chris Cooley, who sold the play as a blocker, at the 7-yard line, and Cooley scored the go-ahead touchdown in a 23-17 win over the Eagles.

Analysis: The call continued to show Jim Zorn is a fearless play caller and isn’t afraid to go for it on fourth down to put a game away or, in this case, call a trick play in the red zone.


When: Week 8 at Detroit

Situation: With his team leading the winless Lions 16-10 early in the fourth quarter, Zorn gives Moss a chance to return a punt.

Play: On only his second punt return of the season, Moss rebounded after running into teammate Devin Thomas and returned the kick 80 yards for his first punt return touchdown in six years. It was the difference in a 25-17 victory.

Analysis: Losing to Detroit would have been embarrassing on several levels and doubly hurtful considering what happened against Pittsburgh. If Moss is healthy, he should be used more often in this role. The return helped elevate the Redskins to 20th in punt return average.


When: Week 9 vs. Pittsburgh

Situation: Two first-quarter sequences — the Redskins recovered a surprise onside kick and needed 2 yards on third down from the Pittsburgh 28. One series later, set up by a Cornelius Griffin interception, the Redskins needed 5 yards from the Pittsburgh 25.

Play: First third down — Clinton Portis was stopped a yard shot. Second third down — Campbell threw behind Randle El. The Redskins kicked two field goals for a quick 6-0 lead but lost 23-6.

Analysis: The Redskins kept Pittsburgh in the game with two failed third-down conversions. They were 3-for-15 in the loss and have failed to score a touchdown in their last six trips into the red zone. Moving the ball means nothing if it doesn’t result in touchdowns.

— Ryan O’Halloran

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide